Transcript from an advert for Apple about 2o years ago.
But, in the midst of all of this we can hopefully look forward to one or two wonderful moments (maybe even three or four!) peculiar to this time of year. And that got us thinking…
Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
And, of course, should you wish to send any festive greetings our way, we can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
My previous blog about queuing ‘Queuing:there has to be a better way.’ received an unexpected response from my son. As a University researcher studying something to do with physics and mathematical modelling, he suggested that I might have mentioned queuing theory in the blog. I have to say this was very remiss of me. I asked him to briefly clarify my understanding.
The theory is used extensively by organisations that deliver queuing to their customers as part of their experience. Theme Parks, banks and supermarkets employ mathematical models to optimise the most efficient way for their customers to be processed. After a brief resume of the following we decided to apply this to a supermarket queue:
Expected average total time E(v) = 2- ρ / 2 μ (1- ρ)
Expected average waiting time E(w) = ρ / 2 μ (1- ρ)
Expected average waiting time E(w) = E(v) – 1/μ
μ = Service Rate
ρ = λ / μ
Admittedly he did get served marginally quicker but only because my fellow queue-ers couldn’t agree which member of the royal family bore most resemblance to the sweet potato I had offered up for the ‘vegetable that looked like Prince Charles’. I had to disagree entirely with the Security Guard who was brought in to make the final judgement, there was no way it was a Lady Di lookalike.
Well that puts queuing theory into perspective, I think you’ll agree.
- Always aim for things that are a real challenge. Only by pushing the absolute limits can you find out what is possible.
- Courage is a very helpful mindset.
- Eat fewer pies. This is considerably easier than the Alpe D’Huez Triathlon as a weight control programme.
- ‘You are looking a bit peaky today.’ This usually makes your colleague start to think they are ill. Using ‘blotchy’ as a descriptor is even better but can appear cruel if others overhear.
- ‘You are a lot thinner in the face these days, you’re either getting fit or it’s the stress of the job.’ Not to be used on someone who is getting fit.
- ‘I was talking to (first name of the MD) …’ gives you instant authority as the confidant of the boss. A very useful addition is a vague time like ‘the other day’, even though you haven’t seen them for three months.
- Give yourself the air of a strategic thinker by rocking back in your chair in a meeting whilst sucking the end of a pencil and staring intently at the ceiling before making your point. This can backfire if you lose your balance. Your status goes instantly from guru to village idiot. Practice at home before you try this one.
- Use a foreign language. Latin is good. Welsh is better. (Not to be used in the presence of Welsh speakers because they will know what you’ve said and you will undoubtedly have pronounced it wrong). Dutch is best.
- Old hat techniques which should not be used involve the mobile phone. The important text, sudden interruption by a vibrating phone or a comment like ‘I’ve got to leave my phone on because I’m expecting an important call.’ All, no, no, no. Important people aren’t troubled by these things. People who think they are important are.
- Arriving with a motor cycle crash helmet and wearing leathers is a killer move. You look particularly ‘interesting’. Tip: Make sure you park your car where people won’t notice you getting into the biking gear. A particularly effective counter measure if this is used against you is to jokingly comment across the room ‘Blimey a few cows lost their lives to make those’. You appear to be witty and they appear to be having a mid life crisis.