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29th Sept 2113

Globalbot 1200

Continuing on the corporate numerical theme, what is Globalbot 1200 I hear you ask?

Well (obviously) it means:

 - 1000 robot shipments per month

 - at 20% profit

 - with 0 debt

Of course! How could anyone possibly not know?

It didn't take long for the engineers to suggest some re-interpretations:

1. 120 salesmen; 0 sales

2. 12 months; 0 employees

3. 1 robot; 200 quality faults

 

On another subject, how come executives always arrive with a 'wealth of invaluable experience' but leave merely 't0 pursue other interests.'

 

And finally, how many directorships can you cram into a single director?

Well, if the budget is tight, any number really.

 

25th Sept 2113

 PROJECT 11™

What is Project 11 I hear you ask?

Well, it's the 'Exciting new state-of-the-art control platform for Globalbot robots that will be launched during 2111'.

What actually happened was that it spawned:

 PROJECT 12™

Which is still some way from completion even as I write today. The latest development is a healthy debate over whether it should be re-branded again as:

 PROJECT 13™

Or it should jump straight to:

 PROJECT 14™

 

23rd Sept 2113

     

The event horizon of the quarter end draws nigh, and normality becomes non-intuitive.

The usual sequence:

1. Receive customer enquiry

2. Send budgetary quote

3. Receive detailed customer requirements specification

4. Respond with non-conformances

5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 several hundred times

6. Receive phone call to say we're going to get a letter

7. Receive letter to say we're going to get a verbal PO (Purchase Order)

8. Receive phone call to give us verbal PO

9. Receive fax about a letter about the hardcopy PO

10. Receive hardcopy PO

11. Wild jubilation

12. Build robot(s) to agreed spec

13. Customer comes and does pre-shipment inspection

14. Ship robot(s)

15. Invoice customer

16. Receive precise details of what the customer actually wanted but didn't know it at the time

Towards the end of the quarter some, none, or all, of the above events start to happen randomly with exponential probabilities. We managed to jump to #13 once - the customer turned up at reception but we had no record of the order and had to bluff our way through a tricky acceptance process without even admitting there was not robot to look at.

 

22nd Sept 2113

Why don't suppliers ever realise that engineers are never impressed by clichés and naff images from Psychosoft Crapart.

Why's the woman in the lower image wearing a hard hat? She's a midget compared with the suited airheads alongside - perhaps their brains are not worth protecting? And as the for the happy couple at the top, well, this isn't The SIMS engineering extension pack, this is a serious engineering supplier.

 

19th Sept 2113

MODIFIED SCHEMATIC BD0118 [PAGE 2] SO THAT ROBOT LIFT IS NOW PADDLE LIFT (UP AND DOWN) AND SECONDARY PADDLE LIFT (ACTIVE HANDS OFF) IS OTHER ROBOT LIFT (ACTIVE HANDS ON) (DOWN AND UP)

 

Reason for Change:

REMOVE CONFUSION ON BUILD BETWEEN PADDLE LIFT AND ROBOT LIFT

 

16th Sept 2113

Incomprehensible dialogue with Globalbot Taiwan today (this is a summary, the real correspondence was pages long):

Taiwan: New robot not match old robot.

UK: Please give more detail

Taiwan: Old robot fails to complete discharge step correctly but new robot does not either incorrectly.

UK: Er, so they perform the same?

Taiwan: No, old robot is better due to iron bar in head.

UK: Apologies. We do not understand. What do you mean by 'iron bar in head'?

Taiwan: Old robot has an iron bar in head. New robot does not have iron bar in head. This probably reason new robot no good. Please supply urgently iron bar for new robot head.

Total confusion in UK, 'What iron bar? The original robot didn't leave here with an iron bar in its head!'

 

13th Sept 2113

Stupidly agreed to do an interview for  rst|news  (rst = robot systems technology), and instantly had doubts about the wisdom of this when I saw that the only photos they'd used from the 1000s they  had taken during the interview were those of my finger, and not even the colour version.

Come on! If they had interviewed President McBama or Bender Thickham or Mylie Konogue or Mikael Bootmacher would they have just featured their finger?

And then there was the interview. I'll spare you the full text and just give you one example of the editorial licence exercised over my responses:

Question: Can you give us any insight into what it is like to be a human robot

My answer: I believe the human condition transcends the vessel. The human spirit wonders where it has come from, what its purpose is and where its heading if anywhere, worries about being loved, or perhaps rejection by those it loves, fears its mortality, struggles with pain and constantly aspires to more than can ever be achieved, and consequentially often ends up trapped in denial, settling for reduction of life to physical comfort and financial security at the expense of all else, especially fellow humans, whose plight can often become mere entertainment or a reinforcement of feeling good about one's good fortune. All the great religions contain this struggle and as an example I quote the Apostle Paul - we are spirits living in vessels of clay or, in my case, tin.

What the Magazine Printed: I don't think about it that much - I'm just a tin robot.

 

11th Sept 2113

To: All Globalbot Staff

From: Globalbot IT

Subject: email interruption

 

Some users are currently experiencing interruption to email. If you are reading this mail then you are not affected. If you are unable to read this mail then you are affected. Apologies for any incontinence caused.

 

Globalbot IT Team

 

 

9th Sept 2113

vs =and  vs ?

 

Intense evolutionary debate today after GAT expressed the view that Engineers and Sales people should now be treated as separate sub-species of humanity, and maybe even distinct species no longer capable of inter-breeding successfully. Doom opined he'd be quite happy to volunteer for an unsuccessful interbreeding experiment with X from Sales (but we were pretty sure X would not, so it ended there).

 

8th Sept 2113

Got the results of a simple robot survey today. Various robots were asked 10 simple factual questions. The results were appalling:

 

Gave correct answer: 12%

Gave incorrect answer: 54%

Crashed: 7%

Don't know: 19.7%

Not sure: 30%

 

Total: 122.7%?

How do they get it so wrong? They're all connected to the net and just need to consult WikiBOT.

How can they possibly be 'Not Sure'? They're digital thinkers!

'Did you see any of the 'bots interviewed?' asked Doom, seeing my confusion.

'No,' I replied.

'Ah . . .'

 

 

7th Sept 2113

                                           

Chess - The Globalbot Rules

1. Each side is composed of 8 kings and 1 pawn.

2. (Need I go on . . . . ?)

 

2nd Sept 2113

Had to put up with one of GAT's favourite pastimes this evening - shouting at the telly. When I say 'shouting' I mean a whole string of unhelpful comments if you are trying to watch a drama or action thriller. Examples:

1. Character takes overdose - GAT: 'He/She's obviously read the rest of the script.'

2. Couple kiss for the first time - GAT: 'Well, that got the orchestra going.'

3. Hero leaps from building to building - GAT: 'I wonder how many stunt men ended up in hospital before they got that one right?'

4. Hero is being pursued and shot at. and missed. by 100s of trained soldiers, main battle tanks, attack helibots, air to ground airbots, with rockets & missiles - GAT: 'Try stopping - they might be able to hit you then!'

Eventually other members of the family forcefully evict him from the room.

 

30th Aug 2113

Continuing on the theme of budgets, I'm sure many of you know the Children's game 'Simon Says'. Well, in the grown up (this is disputed - Ed.) world of corporate reality, its equivalent is 'SOXbot Says'. Like Simon, you have to obey the SOXbot unquestioningly if you want to stay in the game/company. They are both gods whose will is irrefutable, omnipotent and beyond our weak human understanding.

 

The SOXbot enforces the corporate financial religion known as SOX. (Click on SOX for further info . . Sorry! Of course that should have been: SOXbot says click on SOX for further information).

 

Examples of SOXbot says:

'SOXbot says the CAPEX (application for a capital spend) for G56,000 to build a new prototype Digbot must be split into 492 separate CAPEXs - one for each sub-assembly.'

'SOXbot says the CEO must sign a stores req for getting a G0.50 100pF capacitor out of stores.'

 

Worst of all, if you get a financial bod on the ropes in the never-ending battle between Reason and Finance, he or she simply invokes 'SOXbot Says' to win the argument, and if you still resist by sticking pitifully to the concept of reason you risk being visited by the SOXbot Inquisition.

 

27th Aug 2113

It's the budget silly season! Although I regret the association of the word 'silly' with 'budget'; the word 'silly' deserves better, much better. But that's by the by. Globalbot Corporate Affairs helpfully emailed everyone with the revised rules for conjuring up next year's budget:

 

To: Managers

From: P L Onker, Director of Corporate Affairs

 

Please note the following changes to budgeting for a range of corporate items:

 

1. Internal Fixed Robot Moves

Fixed charge of 5,000 Globos per move

 

2. Training for Programming the Forkliftbot

Fixed charge of G470 per person

 

(Blah blah . . . .)

 

23. Phone calls

For fixed line to Cl2 mobile (same country), 0.39 Globos per minute

Fixed line to Gooseberry (same country), 0.12 G

Gooseberry to private non-Cl2 mobile (within continent), 0.24 G

(etc to about 40 permutations, implying that the manager should predict all phone calls for all categories for the 12 months starting in 2 months time).

 

And thus, to my favourite:

 

45. Biscuits now have stock records and units consumed during customer visits will now be charged to departments on a per biscuit rate:

2028564 OPTION (QUANTITY SELECT): Custard Cream, 4 cents per biscuit per person

2028565 OPTION (QUANTITY SELECT): Jammy Dodger, 7 cents

2028566 OPTION (QUANTITY SELECT): Chocolate Bourbon, 5 cents

2028567 OPTION (QUANTITY SELECT): Happy Face, 10 cents

2028568 OPTION (QUANTITY SELECT): Malted Milk, 3 cents

2028569 OPTION (QUANTITY SELECT): Rich Tea,  4 cents

2028570 OPTION (QUANTITY SELECT): Digestive, 6 cents

Deviations from the above Corporately approved biscuit options will not be chargeable.

Book to GLA 243058 'Customer Consumable'.

It will be considered bad form if employees undercut Globalbot Corporate.

Clearly, in the interests of preserving cash, it would be wise to minimise issues of HAPPY FACEs and JAMMY DODGERs; in the event of an unexpected inventory write down, HAPPY FACEs will be issued to all staff FoC.

 

22nd Aug 2113

New security measures at Globalbot:

 

To: All Staff

From: Constance Breach, Director of Security

 

Due to the current levels of global paranoia everybody is needlessly tightening up their security. We have no option but to follow this trend to maintain such gravitas we still have after the various fiascos of the past few years. To facilitate the illusion of increased security we have introduced a new badge system.

 

On arrival at reception, visitors will be asked several questions in ascending order of threat to Globalbot:

1. Are you a terrorist?

2. Are you a competitor?

3. Are you a customer?

4. Are you a shareholder?

 

Depending on the responses the visitor will be issued a red, green, yellow, or orange badge. Red badge holders will be restricted to the green areas marked on the site map unless blindfolded and accompanied, whereupon they will be admitted to the yellow areas (as marked by the orange signs on the blue doors at the periphery of the green area). Green badge holders will be allowed unaccompanied access to the red, orange and purple areas beyond the green doors (as indicated by the red labels), but the orange areas remain off limits unless accompanied by a Globalbot employee with gold clearance. Yellow badge holders are allowed access to all areas (green-orange) except red if cleared by a red Securibot. Orange badge holders are as per yellow except clearance must be obtained from a orange or green Securibot depending on whether entry to a green or orange area is required respectively.

Hope this is all clear; if in any doubt please deny you know the person requesting access.

If you come across someone you do not recognise and who is not wearing a badge, please direct them to the canteen.

 

21st Aug 2113

Appraisal time! And don't we all love it: the angst; the Mickey Mouse preparation form; the inevitable outcome of '2. Satisfactory - performs most tasks well with a few areas to improve.'

(The other categories are:

1. Good in all areas, can raise the dead, time travel, etc

3. Unsatisfactory, needs to improve everywhere on everything, and soon!

4. Consistently out-performed by all other mammals)

 

The most original comment came from GAT after someone wondered why appraisals always seem to get a few weeks later every year, 'Ah, yes, that's HR's policy - Appraisals shall take place annually or every 14 months whichever comes last.'

 

16th Aug 2113

GAT is off work this week doing a a bit of redecoration with a little help from the DIYbot. DIYbots are very good at technical things, but obviously need to be told what to do. (This presupposes that the DIYbot owner knows what he/she wants - a pretty substantive presupposition).

Anyway, skirting board was required, so the DIYbot got hold of some  NO MORE NAILS , which almost worked, and lead GAT to suggest some potentially exciting new products:

'ALMOST NO NAILS'

'A LOT LESS NAILS'

'NO MORE NAILS (but keep the screws handy)'

And, whilst researching this erudite subject, he stumbled across a history debating the effect 'no more nails' would have had on an ancient method of execution:

 

What? No sealant gun?

 

13th Aug 2113

Crazy non-green labour-saving gadgets #108 - 'The Electric Sundial'.

Carbon footprint can be recovered by adding the 'Solar Panel Power Option'.

 

10th Aug 2113

Hello, I'm back! Back from a week of joyless camping in the rain at Mawgan Porth with the family. But the dodgy weather did mean there was 'good' surf. Amongst many observations of my fellow humans made last week, I marvelled most at the all pervasive marketing surf-hype which rendered every body board, surf board, or wet suit as 'PRO' or 'EXTREME' or 'SURF WIZARD'. This conjures up images such as . . . .

or ,

whereas, by observation at the shoreline the grim reality appeared to be . . .

or

 

1st Aug 2113

GAT has a colleague called who is obsessed with the instant world of the Gooseberry. He walks around looking at his Gooseberry and has, over the past few months, fallen over low hedges, low walls, kerbs, small children, people sleeping in the corridor, etc. Anyway, we were privileged to receive his last Gooseberry text message today . . . . 'I've walked off the edge of a cliff  , , , , , , , '

 

PS, I've off for a week's camping with the tribe so will blog again in a week or so.#

Happy Hols!

 

29th July 2113

A big oops-a-daisy-dumpkins today when GAT wrote in an email, 'Bear with me today as I'm dancing less a laptop.' Meaning his laptop had ground to a halt and had been taken into intensive care by IT. Unfortunately, the grammar auto-checker amended his message to, 'Today I'm bare with a topless lap-dancer.'

 

24th July 2113

GAT was on an interview panel for a Finance vacancy today. Being a wily engineer, he had thought up a typically horrid question:

'Please could you tell us about an instance where you made an error, what the financial consequences were, and how you recovered from it?'

This is nasty, the candidate has only unhealthy options:

   1. Claim no such instances had occurred (whilst realising no one will believe it).

   2. Admit to such a faux pas, but only one with just the right amount of limited consequences and a neat recovery plan (if the candidate manages this then he/she is probably good at fiction).

   3. Prevaricate and/or object and walk out; neither are good tactics in an interview,

   4. Remain silent thus giving the interview panel the message that the candidate has committed so many errors that he/she can't decide which one to talk about, or that there has been an error of such magnitude that it is impossible to articulate.

 

21st July 2113

Please find attached the hidden agenda for next week's meeting. If you'd like to make any additions of amendments then, by all means, don't let me know.

 

16th July 2113

 'I can never find anything on my laptop!' wailed Helen to Gerald one day.

'Do you want me to have a look at your folder structure', offered Gerald.

'Would you? Thanks.'

 

                   

My Documents      

 

Which contained:

My Documents      

 

Which contained:

 

                

   My Other           My Other          My Documents    My Documents

  Documents       Documents II        (not other)            (other)

 

Each of which Which contained:

My Documents

Which turned out to be the middle one at level 2 above.

So Gerald gave up and just limited himself to renaming the highest level folder:

 

My Labyrinth

 

 

15th July 2113

Hello! Just got back from the RIAT Airshow at Fairford. There was an historic F-22 Raptor display. The Raptor was developed in the early 2000s and was one of the last military planes to have a g-force prone human pilot limiting its performance. Anyway, it gave an awesome display.

'He must be crazy to fly in that!' declared GAT.

Bizarrely, the Raptor demo pilot had been interviewed in the programme and his other plane was a restored Sopwith Camel, one of the first ever military planes, 'You just have to be plane crazy to fly it!'

And thus, did I conclude, throughout the entire history of manned military high-performance aircraft, the pilots were all crazy.

 

10th July 2113

Globalbot Secures Spontaneous Noodlebot™ Repeat Order
Monday 10th July 2113

Filton, Europa -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Globalbot.Corp. (CRASHDAQ-100), a supplier of advanced robotic equipment and related automated technologies for the global robotics industry, today announced that it has received a repeat multi-bot order for its cluster Noodlebot® from Noodles-R-Us, a major Asian noodle producer.

The Noodelbots will be fitted with patented enabling Long-Arm™ technology for ultra-high aspect ratio (U-HAR) noodle production. Globlabot’s Noodlebot was selected as there are simply no viable competing technologies and major robotic equipment competitors of Globalbot have repeatedly stated, ‘We really can’t be bothered developing a Noddlebot [sic]’.

‘I just can’t believe it!’ lamented Dr Mee Pok, President of Noodles-R-Us, ’Our current Globalbot Noodlebots are just complete dogs and we’re inconsolably distraught at having to place a repeat multiple order with this shower.’

‘We‘re delighted,’ commented Graham Cracker, CEO of Globalbot. ‘To secure such a significant order when we’ve pretty much done nothing at all to support the previously installed base should be credited to our abysmal but clearly effective sales and support operations. We’d completely forgotten Noodles-R-Us even existed.’

Note to editors: You can currently view a Noodlebot in the skip behind  building 07 via the Globalbot Filton webcam network (assuming it’s up), but please note we will extracting it shortly for shipment to Noodles-R-Us.

Safe Harbor: This press release contains statements, some of which may be true, but many may be pure fiction, then again maybe not, we just don’t know (or care). However, they certainly contain expectations and beliefs and involve innumerable risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. You should not rely upon these forward-looking statements as predictions of future events because Globalbot cannot foresee the future nor, indeed, does it keep adequate records of the past. Globalbot deny all statements containing the words "mee," "Chopbot," "joke," "pok," "noodle," "lament," “safe”, “harbor”, "ostrich," "order" or "distraught" or the negative of these words and phrases or other variations of these words and phrases or comparable terminology.

8th July 2113

'Unless you can prove it won't work we'll assume it will,' said Marketing to GAT today.

It reminded me of that age-old favourite, the Tree Swing Project:

 

 

Link to the source site - Thanks!

 

6th July 2113

Slowly, the ultimate horror dawned on the panel - the interviewee knew far more about the advertised role than them.

 

4th July 2113

Here are a collection of statements made about GAT recently by Helen:

    'You're too old for converse all-stars'

    'You're too old to wear a hoody'

    'You're too old to pretend to speak like a dalek'

    'You're too old to have long hair'

    'You're too old to go on the bouncy castle'

Hmmm . . . I think I detect a common theme . . .

 

3rd July 2113

Learned today that we'd sent some poor young engineering undergraduate down to the Weldbot shop to gain some experience working with Weldbots. In particular, the student should learn everything there is to know about:

1. Tin bashing

2. Welding

3. Swearing

 

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