I just received a phone call from a lady in South Africa, ringing on behalf of Talk Talk which lead me to be unusually rude and grumpy with her unlike my usual bog standard ordinary rude and grumpy which I get when one of these phone calls comes down the line.
There are a few reasons why I was particularly grumpy this morning.
1 It’s Sunday morning. Nobody ever rings on a Sunday morning so I heard the phone and thought ‘Oh…that’s unusual, I wonder what is wrong…‘
In the space of 5 secs my mind had run away to bad, bad news and instead I get a *pause*….bossy sounding South African
2 They sound bossy. They ring me and sound bossy. I try to allow for cultural differences, I try to allow for being stuck in a job that mightn’t be the most enjoyable and that they are just earning a living, I try to put myself in their job but no matter how much I try to frame it it just pisses me off. Stop ringing me up from the other side of the world and sneaking into my house!
There are other reasons as well too long and boring to write in blog post but main reason I was annoyed was that this phone call from Talk Talk seemed to sum up some stuff I’d been thinking about this morning.
I keep coming back time and time again to the role competition seems to play in life and wondering about it all. But here was this woman sneaking competition in the name of making profit into my home without being invited or asked. She was forcing herself into my home and pretending that was OK.
Talk Talk are a company. Their main aim is to make profit, more profit than last year, to continually make profit and grow
( Incidentally BT also rang this week looking to get us to swap from Talk Talk)
They run on competition and competing, which everyone seems to assume is part of life and something we can’t avoid, or get around.
Our whole society seems to be based on competition. Only this week I was in SERC and saw a message from some student push called ‘Get the Edge‘ flashing up on the flat screen TV in the canteen every few minutes. It’s a tough world out there, it’s a tough job market but if you get the edge on your neighbour you will have a better chance than him or her of getting that all important job. The college can give
‘ students advantages, skills and experience other young people take years to get.’
There you go. You can do better than other young people if you do what we tell you.
This is just the way the world seems to work. Competition rules so you had better do everything you can to get the advantages, skills and experience that other people don’t have. It’s a free for all but if you are hard working and clever enough you can get ahead of the rest of crowd. If you don’t get ahead it’s because you aren’t good enough really, you’re a lazy.
Doing a quick bit of Google I came across this article in The Daily Telegraph in which the chief executive of Talk Talk gives
‘.. .a serious pep-talk, replete with extended Star Wars analogies casting TalkTalk as the Rebel Alliance and its competitors at the Death Star. “Think of it like a political rally,” she says.’
That is exactly like the talks I used to hear in B&Q from our manager in which our job was to take out Woodies or Homebase, on how we had to take market share from our competitors and grow the company. They were exactly like political rallies
So that is what I was forced (or rather chose) to do as a foot soldier. My job was to be a member of the Rebel Alliance (laminate flooring and tiling division) aiming to take on the Death Star. Thinking back on it now perhaps I was probably more like a member of the Death Star blowing up smaller competitors.
It’s a competition out there and it’s impossible (or seems to be impossible) to survive if you don’t believe that. You will get left behind and trampled on. This seems to be the way of the world from phone calls from Talk Talk on Sunday mornings to initiatives in the local college.