Living where we do we are regularly exposed to what can be most politely described as the nether region, or arse – end of the Customer Satisfaction scale.
House maintenance for example. A plumber (or Paloom – Bear, as it is pronounced here) is someone who may know the difference between wet and dry, but can’t necessarily do anything about it. Air Conditioning experts can sometimes spell AC, while a good electrician is one that is breathing by virtue of the fact that he hasn’t electrocuted himself – yet.
Car salesmen? The one who sold us a white car that had mysteriously turned red when we went to pick it up must be down there somewhere.
As if to prove a point, as I sit writing this my wife has just called to tell me that the tap in the garden, which was replaced 2 days ago by the Paloom – Bear because it was leaking, has just fallen off the wall, leaving just the pipe sticking out.
Apart from the obvious humour – at 7:30 in the morning she was drenched head to foot in cold water – how does a tap just fall off?
Twenty years ago a mate took his car to a garage to have the oil and brake pads changed and asked them to look at a problem with the automatic gearbox.
He picked up the car and they told him everything had been done and charged him around 80 quid. A bargain.
Further discussion revealed that everything had been done but they didn’t have a filter so couldn’t change the oil, didn’t have the pads so couldn’t do the brakes, and couldn’t find anything wrong with the gearbox.
Suddenly not such a great bargain.
Cars are a good source of comedy here. A colleague put his car in to have some burnt cabling replaced and when it came back the stereo was in upside down. They had also replaced the burnt cable and ran it over the top of the battery, so he couldn’t change the battery.
I put a car into a small workshop once to have a rattly speaker repaired but they didn’t have the parts. They called back a few days later telling me that if I could bring the car in immediately they could do the work. Turned out they had another car in, the same as mine, and that bloke was old and never listened to the radio.
The secret to not just exploding on the spot is what my company refers to as Expectation Management. The sad thing is that they use that phrase a lot, which ultimately suggests that we know we are offering poor quality.
If you aim high with the expectations you are likely to be disappointed. If you aim low it’s amazing how many times you come away with a smile on your face, pleasantly surprised.
You may call it pessimism (or miserablebuggeritis) – I call it experience. And of course, Expectation Management.
When it comes to my football team, however, my expectations are a little higher.
We can, and do, spend hours trying to persuade each other that our particular favourite is the best player on the park but I pretty much think that when the mouse is put to bed at the end of the day our opinions pretty much remain unchanged from when he was first roused and started the day earier that morning with his usual bowl of Cheesy Balls!
I might think that Shola The Mackem Slayer is the best striker we’ve got, but you might disagree. Again and again.
So what defines “good”?
Is it the stats, the write ups, the ratings?
Personally I’d tie it to who comes a knocking during the transfer window.
Are their suitors above us or below us in the league? Are they even in our league?
If you are being looked at by the likes of Chelsea, Man U, Arsenal, and Spurs, then surely that would suggest quality?
If you are being looked at by Championship or lower teams then that can’t be a good sign.
Oddly enough if you are being looked at by no-one I think that would put you somewhere in the middle.
Shola once had a medical for Norwich.
Time to wind Toonsy up now , because I know he’ll disagree with me here, but the Champions League Teams are hardly knocking the door down trying to get to Willo, Perch and Simpson.
OK. Nitty gritty time.
Who is good?
Well in my opinion Colo, Tiote, Ba, Krul, Ben Arfa, Guthrie and Cabaye though Cabaye seems to have lost interest lately.
Who is just OK?
Jonas, Ryan Taylor, Best, Santon. Admittedly Santon is showing improvement, but I’m rating them on what they are now, not what they might be in the future (or were in the distant past).
Who are not good enough for a team in 6th place?
Williamson, Perch, Simpson, Obertan, Lovenkrands and of course our old mate Shola.
The rest, including Cisse, just haven’t had enough games to really sway me one way or the other.
I personally think that referring to someone as a “squad player” is just another way of saying they are not good enough for a regular place and are happy to play reserve football and carry on taking the money.
So called “squad players”, by definition should not be getting regular games. We have too many squad players in our first team.
Here’s a challenge for Toonsy.
How about a poll where everyone gets to rate the players above in order, 12 points for their best player down to 1 point. Find out who the fans think is good, who is just OK and who is destined for lesser things.
Really – I suppose we could just do a statistical analysis based on their salary and how quick Ashley was to sign them to long term contracts.
Bugger – the wife has just called to say that wor dog Titus has just bitten the Paloom – Bear. Suppose we better do the decent thing and take him for a jab.
God knows what diseases a plumber can give your dog these days.