Monday, 22 April 2013

Best practice


Fiona is back in the UK and sitting in my living room on the sofa under the window that only she sits on. It’s very lovely to have her back. She’s laughing at Windows 8 with Nathan; bloody smug Mac users. I’m the one who has to put up with a system which doesn’t work and which is about as unintuitive and un-user friendly as anything any of us have ever come across. I reckon it’s basically Microsoft’s attempt to make their last few users up sticks and buy Macs. The only reason I don’t have a Mac is the fact that I can’t be bothered to use a new system, and here I am expecting to learn a new system. “Oh this is awful” says Fiona, “it looks like a brochure my bank would give me.” She’s not wrong. I hate it. I can’t use it and now do all my internet work on my broken computer which is still running Windows 7.

We’ve just been to our local pizza restaurant, Papa Dels. It’s a fabulous little place where everyone sits around two enormous communal wooden tables. After 9pm you can buy a pizza or a pasta dish for just £4. It’s brilliant.

Today I’ve done nothing but sit in front of my computer filling in an Arts Council application. I reckon I’ve got another 24 hours’ work left to do on it, which is fairly astonishing, but a necessary evil I suppose. I’ve been a bit blinded by management jargon; questions like “how does this fit into best practice?” I rather hate it when thoroughly good English words are brought together to make meaningless phrases. I now understand that “best practice” is something very specific.  Wikipedia tells me:

“Best practices are used to maintain quality as an alternative to mandatory legislated standards and can be based on self-assessment or benchmarking. Best practice is a feature of accredited management standards such as ISO 9000 and ISO 14001.”

I’m obviously none the wiser. Come off it, people. I’m a composer. I just write nice tunes.

Nathan’s computer finally came back from the people in Gamlingay. Unfortunately they’d not been able to locate any of the deleted files, and even more unfortunately, when Nathan came to switch the computer on, it was flashing an error message. We phoned the Gamlingay people and they said we might need to take the hard drive out again because it “might have been put back in wonky.” We took ourselves down the Archway Road looking for someone who could lend us a screwdriver small enough to undo the screws on the back of the computer, and found ourselves wondering into a little shop we’d never seen before; ironically, a computer repair shop.

We showed him the computer and he immediately discovered that the Gamlingay people had put the hard drive back in upside down, and in the process ripped out half the rubber on the inside. Our new friend also told us, even more ironically, that he did data restoration at a quarter of the cost of the Gamlingay people. So Nathan’s computer is now with him. Four doors down from our house.

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