Chairmans Blog

Are we becoming Paranoid?

I don’t recall getting so many emails or texts asking me to complete a quality questionnaire regarding how the organisation performed, and I wonder if we are becoming a paranoid society where everything must be perfect. A simple item such as a printer cartridge was followed with an email asking me to complete a 5-minute questionnaire with the usual questions, how did we do? Was the item as ordered? Could they do anything different? This was followed by an email from the courier company asking the same questions with another quick 5-minute survey, I am now 10 minutes down on my day.

The following few days saw quality questionnaires from the local garden center, chemist, DIY store, and finally a questionnaire following a hospital appointment at a private hospital. I’m now up to 30 minutes of my day filling in questionnaires to satisfy the paranoia of various suppliers. The weirdest being from the hospital who asked if I would recommend my visit to a friend and this took me over the allotted 5 minutes allowed to fill in the questionnaire as the visit was for a potential colorectal examination, now who would I like to experience this I thought.

I thought I’d try it out on the wife and asked the usual questions was she satisfied with the service (me)? Is there anything that can be done to improve her experience? Would she repeat the experience (life with me for the past 47 years)? Well, I was surprised at the response but then again, we all elaborate when doing surveys.

Some funny quotes to make you chuckle at questionnaires or surveys.

‘Latest survey shows 3 out of 4 people make up 75% of the world population’ Stephen Hawking

‘A telephone survey says that 51 percent of college students drink until they pass out at least once a month The other 49 percent did not answer the phone’ Craig Kilborn

‘I don’t hire a lot of number-crunchers, and I don’t fancy marketing surveys. I do my own surveys and draw my own conclusions’ Donald Trump

A recent survey of North American males found 42% were overweight, 345 were critically obese and 8% ate the survey’ Banksy.

What an experience!

Now I am a young man in his late sixties but with age comes the inevitable with bits dropping off or
ending up where they shouldn’t be, with knees stiffening and backs aching and the adverts on TV
with reclining chairs and walk in baths looking ever appetizing. Like many of you I remember the
days when you threw away leaflets advertising saga holidays, chums’ trousers and Stannah stair lifts
but now they tend to hold your interest albeit briefly as we continue to be in denial.
Anyway, on with the blog, I had occasion to undergo a minor clinical procedure called a colonoscopy
which some of you may have had the dubious pleasure of experiencing and whilst it’s not my
intention to give you a blow by blow or even inch by inch narration of the encounter what struck me
was the ability to photograph areas that should remain as hidden as the Lost Ark, with amazing
clarity. I knew it was going to be a difficult time when being introduced to the consultant who
explained what would be happening, I asked ‘are you a Canon man or a Nikon man’ followed by
what could be described as a tumbleweed moment as he looked at me whilst deciding what end he
would inserting the equipment, so we changed the subject to the women’s world cup and how great
they had done.
Now the consultant who was a lovely man, liked classical music and I must admit it did create a
calming atmosphere helping me to relax that was until the William Tell overture started and I remain
convinced that he was pushing this drainpipe where the sun doesn’t shine in time to the music.
Strangely enough I did find myself tapping my foot along with the music but secretly praying that the
Flight of the Bumblebee wasn’t next. Anyway, the clarity of this instrument, which is called a
colonoscope, is incredible and has a small, lighted camera attached to the end of a long, thin, flexible
tube called a catheter. In addition to taking images, it could take a biopsy, tattoo an area, had a
small jet wash and I’m certain he said it could make a cup of tea and fry an egg, although I may have
misheard the last two.
Technology is truly incredible and having the opportunity to see how slender I am on the inside was
a joy to behold. My thanks must go to all the clinical and support staff at Medway hospital whose
care and compassion was unconditional, and I’ll finish by saying even though it was a routine
procedure for a check-up all’s well. I did chuckle when the resulting text with a survey asked if I
would recommend the procedure to a friend which did get me thinking about Christmas presents.

The Colonoscope.

And another thing………………….

I had a few minutes to spare the other morning and decided to procrastinate about life in general
and started thinking about global warming and the effect this is having on the seasons. Then it got
me thinking about how the winters used to be cold and it always snowed at Christmas, summers
were long and hot, and March was always windy and playing football with a beach ball was always a
challenge. Anyway, back to my procrastinations and I got to thinking about technology and how this
could be affecting the seasons, consider this, if we constantly upload information to ‘the cloud’
won’t that make clouds heavier meaning they cannot move so quick and therefore the sun will not
be able to shine through. I know what you are thinking that this is pure genius and why has no one
thought about this before and I can imagine you all agreeing with me singing halleluiah and crying
out bring back paper and the clouds will get lighter, and we can get back to the Indian summers we
remember as children.
Now before the IT gurus and conspiracy theorist start correcting me, I am only joking I know we’re
not uploading to actual clouds, or at least I don’t think so. However, technology is here to stay, and
we need to embrace it and with the continuing development of smart phones and apps such as
those that enable super macro and those with longer shutter speeds means popping to London for
the day only requires a smart phone, so technology is undoubtedly having an influence on
photography. The problem with technology is we don’t need to speak to anyone anymore, take a
typical day, drawing money from an ATM does not need any social interaction, you just wait to be
told our money is ready then off you go. Getting petrol again pop your card in get told how much
you can have and off you go, shopping, no need to speak with anyone just follow the mysterious
voice who in a condescending manner tells you ‘Don’t forget your card’ and away you go being
careful to avoid eye contact cos that means social interaction.
I had to renew my Senior Rail card and never left my home, just followed the instructions, took a
picture of myself, which is always a challenge getting all my head in the frame and hey presto there
was my rail card. Got to the station and got the tickets all done via the machine cos the ticket office
was closed. Arrived at Victoria and went through the barriers without talking to anyone. Had lunch
and paid using a thing called a QRS, bought coffee and just waved my phone at a machine. Took
pictures of flowers using the iPhone and a macro app, edited them and uploaded them whilst sitting
in Battersea Park.
I could ramble on, but this is supposed to be a blog and not a book and I’ll finish off with when you
take a picture you don’t even have to say smile please, cos there’s an app that will do it for you.
“I usually say what I really think. A great mistake nowadays. It makes one so liable to be
― Oscar Wilde, Witticisms of Oscar Wilde;

The Thought

It occurred to me that to attract the younger generation then we should have a go at talking
in a way that our future potential talents would understand. I must confess that I am not
very ‘with it’ and have probably been without it and not realised for some while. However,
we should be embracing new ideas whilst maintaining traditions and values and although I
am not advocating we should start to wear our jeans and underpants halfway down our
derriere maybe getting ‘with it’ is the way forward.

In the way of an example, I have lightheartedly prepared the following, the first is an
example to attract new members with the second talking in slang. You do get bonus points
if you understand the slang version without getting a migraine.
‘At Reflex Photography Club we aim to ensure our images are of the highest quality and that
our news is always up to date. We have some amazing members who produce some
awesome photos, and we want you to join us and have a good time’.
Now the slang version

‘At Reflex Photography Club we aim to ensure our images are dope and that our news is
never cheugy. We have some fire members who produce some slaps, and we want you to
join us and turnt’.
Personally, I think I’ll carry on attempting to speak the Kings English as best I can but I will
attempt to modernise and from now on I will wear sandals without socks.