Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Smile (Even if you don’t understand!)

Smiley’s People. Great cast, deserved a repeat, still don’t understand a flipping word. I remember watching it the first time around. My parents were hooked, big Le Carre fans, but the plot confused the hell out of me as a twenty-something. I kind of assumed I would get it this time, but alas, whilst admiring the craft of the performers, I think bewildered would be a fair description of me when the credits rolled.

Maybe that is half of the fun. Working it out, I mean...but then again there was no one looking over my shoulder threatening me with a big fine and public shame if I let the baddie off. In so many walks of life, there seems to be an assumption that people know what they are supposed to do.

One good example of that is our tax returns. I am not a genius but I am not stupid either. I would lay claim to be in the upper quartile in terms of commonsense if not intelligence, and I am fairly why can’t I even begin to understand half of the questions asked of me? Is it really beyond the wit of man to come up with a system that is straightforward and understandable?

Another example would be computers or indeed technology in general. If I have to do something for myself, I almost always struggle because even if I can find any instructions, they always seem to be written by someone writing in the Klingon language.

And then there is Information Technology Asset Disposition, or as I prefer to call it throwing away your old computers and stuff. Human beings like to make their occupations sound important, right from the days of hunter-gatherers up to the present refuse co-ordinators.

There are a lot of don’ts, all backed up by huge fines and public shame. There are very few idiots guides and even less objective ones. Well, down here in eReco-land, a strange place reminiscent of Narnia at times, with just a hint of Star Wars, we are endeavouring to do something about it. Not that we will be objective of course, because we still want your money, but we will do our best to be fair and equitable.

We are endeavouring to re-word our website. I would say re-design but as the budget for this project has been doubled to 50p due to a sofa related bonus I think that would be over-egging the pudding! But what we are trying to do is speak to the two very different audiences who get involved in ITAD.

First, there are the big players...the people who really do have to get things right for fear of Chris Graham and his ICO hordes visiting in the middle of the night and sacrificing their first-born daughters to the Gods of Deterrent. They have to have plans, they have to care about what software we are using, what the process is and whether it is Dom and Rob in the van or John and Ben. Here we get into SLA’s and all that sort of jolly japery and it all gets a bit technical. Hence a level of detail only wizards can see and understand.

Secondly there is the rest of us, the other 99% of the human race, who just need to be told in plain English what needs to be done, why, where, how and how much. No mystery. No wool ready to be pulled over your eyes.

We found one website the other day where the ITAD supplier was not only using several logos they were not entitled to but their pricing mechanisms were basically a rip off. It took us several hard looks to work it all out, but essentially free only meant free if you had a shed load of stuff, and you only got a decent service if you paid premium rates.

Not our intention. No sir, honest. We want to be transparent and make people understand what we do for our money. So take a look at now, because we tinker all the time, and I’ll let you know when we have a full re-launch sorted. Feedback will be welcome. Now and always.