Too bad, how sad, moving swiftly on….

Finally woke up after sixteen hours recovering from my meeting with the largest tobacco company in the world.  They are moving into new ways of killing yourself.  Whilst I am in no position and have no wish to moralise about smoking, (I used to be an Olympic level smoker myself) vaporising their product is no better than burning it as far as my lymph nodes are concerned.  I have a friend who is a smoker, and his habit does not have the same effect on me as sitting in an enclosed space with a tobacco vaporiser going.

Apparently this method of imbibing tobacco is not actually regulated yet.  As it is considerably worse than vaping fluids, I fully expect that it will be banned in enclosed spaces in the fullness of time, as actual cigarettes were positively benign in comparison.

So much for them.  I will not be doing any work for them.

Just when I was moving into position to start on filming, it has emerged that the person I was working with has no connection or interest in the project, refused to understand what the project was about, and reverted to talking about the news as if it was something separate from him.

It is a form of self-protection to assume that there is nothing you can do to solve any problems, so I am not planning on taking a chisel and trapanning it into him.  Therefore, I now have to amass a team from scratch and get the job done properly.

A small delay is inevitable, but at least it is at this stage and not halfway through.  I have been put in this situation by this individual before, and it is extremely depressing.  To this day, he will try to start an argument rather than take any responsibility for any part of anything he does.  Kinda tired of that, so an early blow-off was preferable.

Thankfully, there are plenty of other exs, and I have my sights on one with some choreography experience.

Extremely tiresome, but inevitable and it is just as well it happened now rather than later.  In the meantime, I now have plenty of time to write and finish the shoe collection to pay for all this….

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Outgrown your job?

Today I am going to write a post I should have written about twenty years ago, because it would have saved me a lot of hassle.

I have had some astonishingly hostile treatment at work, even when avoiding contact with other workers.  I took to doing jobs that involved little to no contact with them some time ago.

Ironically, graduating was career suicide for quite a while.  As a student it is assumed that you are available for under-employment.  After finishing you are suddenly considered a threat, and I am not the only person that has had to remove qualifications from my CV in order to eat.

Basically if you find yourself in this position, it is time to look at the jobs you want to be in in five years and start listing the qualifications these jobs require.  Sometimes it is surprisingly doable to simply go and get those qualifications and then await the right opportunity.

It may seem like madness to invest in more education when your education is stopping you from finding a job to even keep you ticking over, but as with all things, an element of fantasy is important when pursuing your dream, whatever that may be.

Sometimes your dream may be non-work related, in which case you may prefer to simply look at salary levels and decide that way.  If your particular dream is time restricted (you aren’t going to be doing much pop singing at retirement age, for example) then it needs to be a job that you can do whilst pursuing your non-career dreams.

You may also find that your dream finds you.  There is at least one chef out there that worked with me as a musician who had just quit his degree, and found that cooking was as creative, if not more so, than his band.  The one I am thinking of went grey fairly quickly, so I am not sure how well he eventually did with the music.

This year, since I am kicking an almost passive income stream off, in the form of possibly marketing supermix in its reductionist form  (although I see someone has done a 45 ingredient version called Super Elixir) and potentially selling some books and games, my priority is thinking about marketing.

Next year I am likely to be thinking about production again, as I have rather a lot of work to do to get where Ina is going.

Budget is likely to be a significant issue, so it will be interesting to see how I get on under serious time restriction, especially as I have no intention of abandoning the Boris project.

A few legal issues to deal with, so if I am quiet for a few days, worry not I shall return shortly.

Ina

 

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Ethical Issues at work

You would not think there were ethical issues with the idea of answering phones, but apparently there are.  You learn something new every day.

Obviously, there are ethical issues in the course of doing the job, such as integrity of medical information; making the right decision for the client who pays for you to answer the phone as against the needs of the person trying to contact them; ensuring that the company you directly work for are represented fairly; telling the truth or lying as to your position, depending on the wishes of the client.

What you do not expect is evidence of fascism  in a company who pride themselves on their ethos.

When I say fascism, I mean true fascism.  Fascism as corporatism.  The idea that the source of the income determines how you think and how to live your life.

If I was your employer, for example, I would not tell you that in order to progress or even remain in the company you had to read Das Kapital and the Koran and state that you liked it.  If I did, I would be doing something wrong, now wouldn’t I?

So, imagine my surprise when I received the following message from the CEO of my company, relayed via company email

I have found over the past several years that learning tends to correlate to many other areas of performance over time, and those who learn tend to ascend… And those who do not, tend to have other issues. 

As you can see, the idea is that if you don’t watch the indoctrination videos, you will not get on well in this company.  This is nothing to do with actual training.

She is not talking about answering phones – videos I have watched whilst with this company include messages from Richard Branson claiming to be an eco-warrior (he certainly isn’t) and Ben and Jerry’s, still pretending to be ethical (they sold out to Unilever several years ago) We were also treated to a video implying that disabled people were to be put to work to save the country money – this is an extremely sensitive issue in the UK at the moment, and when I objected to this, I was accused by one of the founders of being political.  Right, so it is political when I object to it, but it is not political when the company brings it up?  Murder is murder, whether the conservatives were responsible for it or you were. Death is death, whether it is political or not.

I am inclined to think this is innocence rather than guile, but the education provided by this company has nothing at all to do with answering phones and everything to do with promoting a laziness of thought that entails allowing the source of your income to provide knowledge that has nothing at all to do with the work you do for them.

This, I am afraid, is not the function of an employer.  In the event that they wanted to provide me with 300 videos about how to answer phones, then that would be relevant.  The thought police telling me that I am to believe lies punted by someone to sell products is not relevant.

I will now be accused of lack of team spirit, of refusing to toe the line, and of sabotaging their efforts to create a team where none exists.  I loved this job precisely because I do not have to deal with other staff.  They appear to want to make this impossible, and alongside this I am to be taught how to think, in a badly researched and ill-thought out way.

Such a shame.

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Hilarious work

Ahh it is good to be back in a workplace, particularly a workplace that is not terrified of me.

Yesterday, we had to create a presentation about some technicalities of our role.  There were three groups of relatively shy people, all of whom had been given a huge pile of information which they do not quite understand yet because we haven’t actually done any work.

My group consisted of a very sociable female, a lazy but very intelligent dude from Ghana, a reptilian brained financial whizzkid, and me.

So, I decided, the best way of utilising the human resource was to mind map the entire course in one graphic.

“I don’t know what that means.” said the reptilian “We only have to talk about this.”  he pointed at some dry technical information about software at the bottom of the page.  “And not even all of it, so I don’t know what you are doing.”  he shook his head.

“I did this.”  The Ghanian waved a piece of paper, even more sparse than my graphic at me, showing much the same information.  He is very smart, but there is such a thing as being too chill.

“What about this?”  the sociable female said, bringing up several worrying factors about our imminent work, all of which connected to actual people and their lives.

So, with this I had some hilarious conversations where I had to gently tell the reptilian he was a reptile to let the humanity into the graphic, none of which made a tremendous amount of sense to either of them.

What I ended up with was a single sheet showing everything we had learned and how to actually do the job on one handy sheet. We actually got a round of applause, because I had let the rest of the people voice their concerns and talk about what interested them and made best use of it.  In terms of a teamwork exercise, we smashed it.

From this I have always concluded that working in three dimensions when you are not bogged down in the flatter world of work is a good idea.  You get far more of a sense of overview, of how to create a more workable picture, and it makes it far easier to actually communicate your ideas.  Dialogue is less useful than letting the friction do its own work.

Today is the last day of this part of our training, and from next week we have to actually make all the systems work together.  This is probably the first time I have been rather sad to finish training, since we will all be sent on to our respective shifts and will not see each other again.

I suppose I had better start wearing an actual suit.

Sigh.

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The Horror of Direct Communication

In my more distant past, I was a Head Chef.  I almost ended up working for Gordon Ramsay, that most famous of direct communicators. (I turned him down) At one point after I finished up university, I considered writing a book about the way chefs communicate and why offices are so cripplingly inefficient in comparison.

Science has now established that people who swear, for example, successfully lower their blood pressure, are likely to be more honest and more intelligent in terms of clarity of thought.  This idea is pretty key to direct communication.

When people make excuses, such as “I can’t right now,” and you cut across them with “That’s OK I don’t want to either, but this is important” it is an extremely effective weapon in ensuring that you have an opportunity to follow up with getting your message across as quickly and effectively as possible.  It is often met with horror, particularly by people who are used to using measured doses of superficially polite oil to avoid confrontation.

Likewise, offices often have gossip cliques, where complaints and queries about other staff members circulate for weeks and weeks at a time, colouring everyone’s view of the unfortunate victim no matter what they do.  Extremely competent yet unambitious rivals are eliminated by this conspiracy of incompetence, rather than my or any other chef’s preferred route of simply telling the person what the problem is in order to avoid a repeat.

Hence, the urgency of service is akin to the urgency of war.  Retiring chefs – who often retire in their late twenties – often retire into the army as they are well equipped to deal with discipline and extremely direct communication.

Trying to survive an office environment when you are used to an efficient system with a sense of urgency is more difficult.  It is bewildering.  Why would an oily incompetent be promoted whilst you are left sitting on ground level wondering when the problems will be fixed?

Many years ago, I was involved in such a scenario when I stumbled across such an incompetent, who was mismanaging a data management project for a major utilities company.  I had previously worked for a rival company doing much the same work, and it turned out that I was the only person qualified to run the project.  Rather than taking advice from me directly, which this individual could not be seen to do, he stole the information and colluded with his assistant to eliminate me.  He could not understand why I had even bothered to point it out.  His errors were potentially killing staff at an estimated rate of 12 per year. I was offered a bribe, which I turned down. I later heard that further to this they paid consultancy fees to the original company to tell them the same thing I told them.

To the company, this was simply part of their business, so the safety risk was not something they were equipped to even think about.  The fact that I knew about it meant that I had to be discredited, and the fact that I was the only person qualified to actually do the job simply did not matter to them.  They were not going to listen to me. Ahs a direct communicator I was not likely to understand this and so I became a marked person.

It had never occurred to me what a small corrupt country I came from until I pursued the CEO of this extremely large company to ask why the company worked like this and what was to be done about it?  I was hotly pursued to see ‘who I was working for,’ and why I would create trouble for the company.  It did not occur to anyone that I had simply identified a problem and reported it with the intention of solving it and had no industrial sabotage in mind at all.

This is very much the problem with many of the companies I had the misfortune to observe when I was still working.  You are expected to sit in fear, worrying about paying your mortgage and you are not supposed to point out problems or attempt to solve them unless you have renamed yourself as a consultant and wish to charge a large fee.  If you step out of this paradigm you are either mad, dangerous, corrupt or probably all three and are CAUSING THEM PROBLEMS.

I much prefer my abrasive, direct approach.  I can honestly say that I am a very clear communicator and people who choose to deal with me have no doubt about my intentions unless they themselves have issues with their honesty. (most of them do, sadly)  I suspect that I was born at the wrong time.  Had I been working in the 50s, I would have been welcomed as a problem solver.  Now, in the age of waste, I am considered stupid because I do not play the game.  It has been an expensive problem.

Perhaps you are better to deceive than state your intention.  I prefer not to.

 

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David Wolfe Haters Updated 2017

Just before I go for my walk – I just had a quick look around the newer, calmer, more measured haters of Wolfe on Youtube.  Most interesting.  Things have moved on by quite a bit since five years ago.  Wolfe has developed his crowd gathering strategy by quite a bit, and the offended vegans making videos appear to be a bit calmer than last time I looked at this.

I only found one offended customer, and this was an offended 801010er who had gone on one of his courses, only to get crap customer service and lose 800 dollars.  So, then, Wolfe evidently still needs to upgrade his staff.  Sigh.  Were I to show you my emails, which I have no intention of doing, I could show you some far more extreme material from far angrier people, including some people from the Icke camp.

Right then, to inject some rationality into this:

Pros of Wolfe

Wolfe is the most useful person the entire alternative health industry has, because he is utterly shameless about crowd-gathering, can muster enthusiasm about the most obscure topics, and has an extremely tough shell as a result of doing this for more than a couple of decades.

He is the most successful marketer in the business, and there are many businesses that are nothing to do with him making money off his work.  He gives away more work than most people do in the course of a full time week.

Yes, a proportion of his recent work is quite far out, but it keeps the audience awake, entertained and interested in learning more, whether this is from him or on their own.  The point is that listeners with more than one brain cell gain confidence from his work, not that listeners who are not so blessed follow blindly.  That is not the point of Wolfe at all, although I see that there are several such people milling around Youtube.

From someone who had a lot of knowledge before I had ever heard of him, I can tell you that his work is extremely useful in terms of making you more committed to fighting your corner and dealing with problems conventional medicine cannot manage.  I tend to disregard quite a bit of what he says, but other things are quite useful.

Cons of Wolfe

He keeps pissing people off, including me at times.  Arrogance is not a virtue.

He is too self-interested, but that is in the nature of successful people, so it is probably a useful affectation.

He doesn’t seem to look after number 1 terribly well because he is too busy having a good time.

He relies too heavily on esoteric role models such as Rudolf Steiner.  Yeah, Wolfe, we all have our Steiner moment.  Most of us grow out of it at age 17 and stop wearing the stupid hat.  Over-use of this stuff makes you appear to be a shill, which is not helpful at all to those concerned about such things WHO ARE AN INCREASING PART OF YOUR MARKET.  This is one area in which you can easily be defeated so you need to sort that out.

HE STILL HASN’T SORTED OUT THE STAFFING ISSUE.  GET A GRIP WOLFE!

Whoever is now running Longevity Warehouse – yes, I see why the prices keep escalating – because people keep buying – but perhaps a budget or wholesale range might make you look a little more egalitarian?  If you want to build a true society, you have to cater for people other than rich people with no knowledge or time to go elsewhere.  In the meantime you are losing business from everybody else.  What is he working for if not to make yet more money?

 

Personally, I have gained a lot from Wolfe, without spending a penny on anything, but then I decided fairly early on that it was more useful to me to like him rather than not like him, no matter what he did.  Nevertheless I was also very critical, as I do not think being nice is necessarily being a good friend to anyone.  (we aren’t, just to be clear – the website represents a lengthy period of stress and upset)  He has been a major thorn in my side, and I do not owe him any more favours than he has already had, although I am sure he would say the same or worse about me were he to say anything at all.

You can waste a lot of time on picking holes in people.  Wolfe is a royal pain in the ass, but he is driven, successful, very good at coming up with more strategies for increasing his community, who then become irritated and go to someone else.  Therefore everybody is depending on his being successful.  Be careful who you shit on, because that goose is still laying the golden eggs in the alternative health market.

 

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My 47th Birthday Present from David Wolfe UK event 2017

My 47th Birthday Present from David Wolfe UK event 2017

Today is my birthday.  I am avoiding all calls from social services and have been out buying obscure seeds and a gigantic commercial blender (we are into horsepower level of power now and the kitchen sounds like a large car starts up when I prepare our respective supermix)

I took the liberty of looking up the UK events page for Wolfe, to see if I wanted to buy the ticket for October, and on a very tiny link at the bottom of the search box, at last came across the blog post about how Wolfe keeps his wife of seven years happy.

So thank God I found it before buying a non-refundable ticket for an event that I would have been tolerating only to get moved on with my academic work.  The last seven years has been a source of hurt, self-doubt and self-loathing for no reason at all!  How long would it have taken Wolfe to email and simply say sorry, misunderstood, what is your work about, actually?

Instead of which, I have been blocked in terms of an important piece of work, I have done a lot of completely irrelevant and unnecessary work, and Ina has, all things considered, been a complete waste of my time and energy!

I am pretty delighted that I spotted this very tiny link before I spent any money on the non-refundable ticket.  I can now not bother doing anything about my health and basically stop wasting my time worrying about hurting the feelings of somebody with no apparent conscience about how he treats complete strangers.

Not the first time I have been assured of my complete lack of importance, and it won’t be the last. Happy birthday and wasted decade.  What a bore. Don’t think there is a way of putting a positive spin on this.

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The Great Thing about Nonentity

The great thing about being a nonentity is that you don’t have to worry about what you say. You can say anything at all, nobody is listening. I had to take the website over from the website manager a few months ago, and since then have had to try to figure out how websites work from scratch. It has only been close to back to normal for the last week, so I have no idea when it plummeted in numbers between then and now. There was quite a serious gap, so basically Ina had to be restarted from scratch.

Whilst I am quite fond of some of my old posts, I see that I waste a lot of posts talking about personal stuff. I tend to think it might be of use to somebody, but perhaps it is just a bore. I actually got more retweets than readers for the last post!

Facebook and Twitter seem to be phasing out the free sharing of posts altogether. To make things worse, Twitter are banning authors, in particular, from promoting their posts. The ‘eat shit and die’ blog entry about healthcare was mistaken for hate speech, and so Ina is no longer allowed to promote anything at all on Twitter.

Good news for more mainstream advertisers, but what use is Twitter to me now? It seems that unless you are posting several tweets, with a variety of hashtags, you will not reach very many people. Between the two of them, Twitter and Facebook are streamlining more visible content to reflect bland material. I am sure that this is very helpful to the producers of bland material, but it does not seem to me that it is particularly diverse.

I guess the answer is to be more bland and less quirky, which is a crashing bore. Perhaps it is time Ina died a death and became Brenda Bland?

I will use this slow phase to catch up on building the Youtube channel, and considering more of a strategy for the blog. Wittering on about a niche author that hates me anyway would seem rather pointless.

Am up to 5 miles per day, which is amazing considering my first walk, of a mile, was incredibly hard. Evidently there is some stiffness that you resolve simply by doing it. Pretty sure I will not be going to Wolfe’s event anyway as it is probably pointless and will just get me annoyed.

Spoke to a woman in the market today who told me that there were 200 kinds of dementia and that there was nothing you could do about it. She laughed at me when I said I had kept mother going for this long by pretending there was no problem and constanly rehabbing. Her sister, who has dementia, is 58. It struck me by this woman’s disparaging anger towards me, and the illness, that attitude is very important to remain well as you progress with the disease.

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Introduction to Ina

Introduction to Ina

This week, I decided to launch myself a bit more seriously, in preparation for the finished Boris pieces, which I think are the start of a more revealing art period.  Several of the sites would like me to write a regular blog, and so here is your handy introduction to Ina Disguise.

My father, also an artist, always advised me to do anything but art, since producing artwork for money is not the happiest of experiences if you like to express anything.  Therefore, his reasoning was avoid art in order to produce better art.  This led to my becoming a habitual over worker, as I took him at his word and worked every hour I could to avoid doing any artwork for many years.

Ina Disguise came about as a result of my inability to have a conversation with David Wolfe, a natural health promoter that I wanted to talk to about some academic work I was doing on eco-economics, marketing and behavioural economics.  I managed to connect with him briefly on a few websites, but he only seemed to want to talk trash and pretend to himself that he is very clever.  I am not sure why he does this, because apart from his lousy writing and a murky past, he actually is very clever.

As my family were trying to use abusing me as an excuse to rob their own mother, this came as the last straw and I became very unhappy, despite having just lost about 160lb and looking unusually hot that year.  Therefore, after spending several months fighting off the urge to eat myself into oblivion, I started sewing, which is a habit I had previously formed whilst avoiding horrible and hurtful people and recovering from failed love affairs.  If you cannot have the relationship, you might as well have a nice carpet out of your misdirected emotions.

Since he had blocked me from actually speaking to him, after it transpired that I was unusual in seeing through his many disguises online, I then wrote Best Scandal Ever in an effort to appease and inform him why I was buttering him up in the first place.  Best Romance Ever followed, and, since I am of the opinion that keeping one’s brain balanced is rather important, I spent the time that I was not writing doing a lot more stitching.

I had previously amassed art materials with every spare penny from every job I had had since being told that I had to give up everything for my parents as nobody else in the family would ever be willing to do it.  Currently two of them are sitting idle with pensions whilst I am unable to earn my own.

Anyway, within a year of putting my work out in public, GQ had got in touch, which has been an enormous encouragement, and my work has now been in Tatler several times, and last month I realised an early ambition and managed to get a spot in World of Interiors.  I cannot tell you how much the girls from these magazines have helped me at what has been a very rough and ego bashing time.

So now I work in batches, usually five or six pieces at a time, and I have released several batches over the last four years, with varying results.  Some of the pieces are more popular with other people than me, but my experiments have taught me a lot.  Scale is a great tutor, as is ensuring that you are spoilt for stock volume in raw materials.  As with writing, the ideas you would like to have only come when you have indulged the ideas you initially think are merely basic.

Wolfe taught me a lot about marketing, allowing yourself to express even the most rudimentary ideas, on the basis that most people cannot manage that and will show some interest anyway.  There is simply no point in waiting until you are good enough, because if you don’t practise and attempt things, you don’t develop the stamina, skill and confidence to get to the good stuff.  One of my pieces, Raw Sex Object, took seven years to complete, and I am not even interested in selling it because it is really a giant sampler.

Anyway, Wolfe has never understood that I am not trying to kill his career, and I cannot be bothered explaining it to him, so I have now embarked on the Boris adventure, as I perceive Boris to be a far more settled and confident person who might actually appreciate my amusing coded communication skills.  I shall lavish attention on poor Boris until I presumably focus on a very serious person, such as the Pope.  In the meantime, enjoy the artwork.

Ina

 

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The most expensive handbags in the world

1001 nights diamond purse

  1. Mouawad’s 1001 nights Diamond purse $3.8 million

I rather like this one, it at least has an interesting shape and took 8800 hours to make.  I am not up to spending that amount of time on one piece quite yet.  It is gold, encrusted with several thousand diamonds.

Lieber Precious Rose Bag

2. Lieber Precious Rose bag $92,000

This one at least has a great shape and structure. Again with a couple of thousand precious stones, if you like pink I am sure it is great, and will have taken a long time to make.

 

Chanel Diamond Forever

3. Chanel Diamond Forever $261,000

This is a tedious bag, for tedious people who want to wear that all-important logo.  Unimaginative and a waste of a fine crocodile.

Hermes Birkin by Tanaka

4. Hermes Birkin by Ginza Tanaka $1.9 million

This is a beauty and is also very practical.  Less tasteless than the Chanel, and yet still having that all important bling.

LV tribute patchwork bag

5. LV Tribute patchwork bag $42,000

This looks as if it is begging to be a counterfeit bag that you can snap up in poundstretcher. Beyonce apparently got suckered into actually buying it.  I think Beyonce should be asking me to make one for her. At least there would only be one if she did.

6. Urban Satchel Louis Vuitton $150,000

Seriously, next time you clean out your handbag, just get some E6000 and stick the contents to the outside of the bag.

Marc Jacobs Carolyn Crocodile handbag

7. Marc Jacobs Carolyn Crocodile handbag $38,000

This bag is so ugly that I am not sure I have words. If you actually like this, please send me all your money so that I can save you from yourself.  Try a market stall in the average small town and you will find nicer bags.

This is a small selection of the hundreds of bags that cost about the same as a house in the UK. As you can see, money does not buy taste.

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