Golden Bull award winners 2016

Here’s the worst of this year’s written tripe. Someone actually wrote this stuff. Think about that.

  • An anonymous supporter came across the following perplexing passage in HM Revenue & Customs’s ‘UK/FRANCE DOUBLE TAXATION CONVENTION’.

2. As regards the application of this Convention at any time by a Contracting State, any term not defined therein shall, unless the context otherwise requires, have the meaning that it has at that time under the law of that State for the purposes of the taxes to which this Convention applies, any meaning under the applicable tax laws of that State prevailing over a meaning given to the term under other laws of that State.

  • An anonymous supporter received this from his employer and assures us that he has no clue what it’s about. We certainly can’t help him.

In our endeavour to make HCL a coveted place to be employed in, the Smart Survey team would like to share key findings of your interest obtained post analysis of Smart Survey-2015.Below is the list of employees working in your project/s, who have not been able to leverage the said passion drivers at HCL, i.e they have given low scores to these drivers from the organization aspect. Hence, as manager to them, we need you to draw intervention plan for these employees to showcase these are well practiced at HCL and by their supervisors. Please scroll at the end of mail to view description of the drivers.

In agreement with our motto of EFCS, we believe that you are the correct stakeholder to ensure EFCS is practised within the organization. Thus, we request you to draw out proper interventions for these employees so that they are able leverage these key passion drivers. Confirming to above will surely translate into higher employee engagement levels and subsequently improved business outcomes.

An automated platform- PEP [Passion Enhancement Plan] is available to you so that you may register the intervention as well as nominate the employees for the intervention. This platform will help you track the progress and maintain communication (automated) with the nominated employees.

  • From Rob Slade, who read the following in ‘SafetyNet’. It’s about…something. Or maybe not.

As we issue this edition of SafetyNet, we find ourselves in a vibrant, yet uncertain climate in light of talk of a Brexit from the EU and with no crystal ball to predict how this would impact on the construction industry or individual businesses. On the other-hand, our clients are continuing to report a buoyant construction market, albeit one that brings different risks - increased workloads bringing a need to increase and develop resources to meet the increasing number of deadlines imposed. With that particular issue in mind, we will be gathering industry leaders from the construction, property and financial sectors to discuss a whitepaper that we have produced in conjunction with BLM on the impact of Macro-Economic trends within the construction industry, and which will be made available to Griffiths & Armour clients, via download in the next issue of SafetyNet.

  • Tom Skelton doesn’t understand the following, sent to him by Weetabix/Procur4, and nor do we.

Recently you will have received an email from Catherine Lund (Strategic Sourcing Manager), regarding Weetabix’s 2016 Procurement Review, which is aligned to delivering the Weetabix Focus for Growth Strategy. As part of the Procure4 team, I am supporting Weetabix with the FM Review which Catherine alluded to, to determine how Weetabix can move towards a more efficient and cost effective approach to Facilities Management (FM) and associated Engineering services.

Currently, Weetabix has more than 150 suppliers providing a wide range of FM and Engineering services to its sites. These relationships vary from long, strategic partnerships to transactional, one-off purchases. Weetabix wants to fully understand the services it is receiving from its suppliers and also to find out more about the capability within its supply chain.

Over the last few years, there have been many changes within the FM market and new model approaches have been established; for example, bundled services, tiered supply chains and Total Facilities Management (TFM). Weetabix is looking to determine its own fit-for-purpose model that incorporates its requirements, and explore how suppliers in the market can support in this objective.

As such, you are invited to participate in a Request for Information (RFI) to enable Weetabix to collate data from its supplier base and to understand the capabilities of its incumbents as well as other market players. The RFI includes questions regarding Weetabix’s standard requirements for existing and new suppliers, as well as questions regarding the services you provide. This information will support decisions on next steps in this review.

The RFI will be issued on Weetabix’s online e-sourcing system, Wee-Buy. This is the procurement module of the Wee-Buy system used for tender activity, not the P2P module, which as you will be aware will be moving to AX. You will receive log-on details to access the documentation in order to provide a response.

  • Mark Carroll was appalled enough at the following from Walmart that he decided we had to see it. Assortment discipline?

Our strategy to turn things around is focused on improving the retail basics. We are simplifying and strengthening our offering through improved availability and assortment discipline, reducing costs and driving sales through strategic price investments.

  • Scottish Widows sent Alistair Gammell a letter about his pension and his ‘lifestyle switching strategy’. He doesn’t know what one of those is and nor do we – and they ask him about it several times in the impenetrable letter in question…

When you changed your retirement date, did you intend to align your lifestyle switching strategy to your revised retirement date?

  • Dr Steven Davies received the following nonsense from the ‘Melt Team’ at ‘Mobile Doctors Limited’. May help with insomnia.

Dear Dr DaviesI write to you in respect of the current operation of the Episource Medical (Corex) system.

Based on advice recently received, the Episource system has historically been operated in a manner that indicates we should update the records we hold on your supplier account. The Episource system has been designed to facilitate the flow of information between our two businesses, including the management of your cost invoice to us. As a result, we require a self-billing agreement to be in place between our organisations, to be compliant with the VAT self-billing rules. For the avoidance of doubt, there is no issue with the amount of VAT we have recovered on supplies to us from you, and you do not need to re-issue your invoices to us. The issue is one of procedure. This we now seek to verify by reference to the completion of the attached agreement, which should be completed and returned to us either by email or by post. Please ensure that you retain a copy.

  • Dave Hancock wrote to OpenReach to contest a charge given to him for an engineer visit and wishes he hadn’t bothered.

There is no evidence of a further fault raised against this CLI to suggest misdiagnosis. The engineer on this visit advised the service was RWT and the EU mentioned a BB issue, if the visit on 25th/26th May was an SFI visit against an LLU circuit then it does not invalidate the charge as this was originally reported by the communications provider (CP) as a Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) fault. When the engineer visited the premises the service was all right when tested (RWT) and no faults were found this is supported by the test results and the correct charge was raised. The customer advised they were having problems with their broadband service our engineer referred the customer to their CP to raise the correct fault. It is the responsibility of the CP to raise the correct fault for the specific engineer to visit. We advise that when disputing a charge based on a subsequent fault you provide details of that subsequent so that we can verify.

  • Colin Bibby sent us the following job advertisement for a British Council Project Manager. Good luck preparing for this one…

Project Manager: Regional English Language PolicyProject Manager is responsible for the successful implementation of a 30-week project in two regions of Peru. The project aims to establish a replicable model for English policy implementation at regional level. This directly impacts regional leaders and influencers who need to strengthen their English language skills in order to empower themselves to build commitment and action plans that allow them to implement the policy successfully. The project also aims to collate key baseline information that allows the UK education sector to engage effectively with regional leaders, influencers and stakeholders to offer continuous partnership and support for bilingualism targets.

  • Dave Gordon couldn’t understand the following from the Bradley’s Estate Agents webpage. Warning: this is possibly the most boring thing ever written. Do not operate heavy machinery or drive after reading this.

This property is for sale by the modern method of auction, also known as "conditional auction". The process is similar to a normal property purchase but on acceptance of an offer the purchaser will pay a non-refundable reservation fee to secure the property. The buyer then has 28 days to exchange contracts and a further 28 days to complete the purchase. Terms and conditions apply to the modern auction method of sale, which is operated by Bradleys Property Auction Definition of a guide price and a reserve price Guide Price: An indication of the seller’s current minimum acceptable price at auction. The guide price or range of guide prices is given to assist consumers in deciding whether or not to pursue a purchase. It is usual, but not always, that a provisional reserve range is agreed between the seller and the auctioneer at the start of marketing. As the reserve is not fixed at this stage and can be adjusted by the seller at any time up to the day of the auction in the light of interest shown during the marketing period, a guide price is issued. This guide price can be shown in the form of a minimum and maximum price range within which an acceptable sale price (reserve) would fall, or as a single price figure within 10% of which the minimum acceptable price (reserve) would fall. A guide price is different to a reserve price (see separate definition). Both the guide price and the reserve price can be subject to change up to and including the day of the auction. Reserve Price: The seller’s minimum acceptable price at auction and the figure below which the auctioneer cannot sell. The reserve price is not disclosed and remains confidential between the seller and the auctioneer. Both the guide price and the reserve price can be subject to change up to and including the day of the auction.

  • The following was Stockport NHS Foundation Trust’s reply to Carolyn Minkes’s question: 'Why has the proposal to appoint a second nurse been refused?' It’s not very helpful.

‘We are proud of the Parkinson’s service we provide here at Stockport Foundation Trust. In an effort to continue to provide the highest quality service we have identified the Parkinson’s service as key to the Stockport Together “Proactive” programme delivered as a Vanguard model of care. This will mean a slight change of service alignment within the Foundation Trust by moving it from the traditional Medicine Business Group to a more Community based setting. This change will have no negative impact on the quality of the service being delivered and will only help us to fully understand the demands on the service when delivered in this way and work with Commissioners to determine if our current resources are sufficient'.

  • Rob Wallis sent this in, from Ofqual’s ‘Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) supplimentary Notice to Centres – Post-Results Services and Appeals’, whatever that might be.

Ofqual has defined a marking error as:

‘The awarding of a mark or the arrival at an outcome of Moderation which could not reasonably have been given or arrived at given the evidence generated by the Learner(s) (and for Moderation, the centre’s marking of that evidence), the criteria against which Learners’ performance is differentiated and any procedures of the awarding organisation in relation to Moderation or marking, including in particular where the awarding of a mark or outcome of moderation is based on: an Administrative Error, a failure to apply such criteria and procedures to the evidence generated by the Learner(s) where that failure did not involve the exercise of academic judgment, or an unreasonable exercise of academic judgment’.

  • Martin L Milne thought the following from Engie was ‘an outstanding example of corporate arrogance and self justification’. We have to agree. It is only a name change, after all…

As the world changes, all energies change with it

That’s why GDF SUEZ is now ENGIE. The world of energy is undergoing profound change. The energy transition has become a global movement, characterized by decarbonization and the development of renewable energy sources, and by reduced consumption thanks to energy efficiency and the digital revolution. Today, the need is to mobilize all energies, to innovate, gather, and marshal every idea.

Gérard Mestrallet, Chairman and CEO of ENGIE declares : “The energy transition is more than ever a reality for which we have both great ambitions and a great responsibility. To meet the new challenges of this reality and to accelerate our development, we have decided to give the Group a new name: ENGIE. It is an easy name and one that is powerful, a name that evokes energy for everyone and in all cultures, a name embodying our values and activities. We thus confirm our new ambition and the dynamics of change that drive our Group. This new name is an expression of our new corporate ambition whose conduct I entrusted to Isabelle Kocher, Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer. With a presence in 70 countries throughout the world and across every energy source, ENGIE aspires more than ever to be the benchmark energy player in fast growing markets and the energy transition leader in Europe.”

With this new name, ENGIE upholds that energy is everyone’s business: employees, shareholders, partners and customers, because collectively we are energy’s architects. We are called upon to act together, to be optimistic, and seek solutions that will change the daily lives of everyone and bring the benefit of greater energy efficiency.

A global communications plan

The new brand name adopts the rising sun as its logo, symbolizing a new day in the world of energy. To establish its international dimension, ENGIE has chosen to take its inspiration from its baseline signature, “By People for People.” An advertising campaign (on TV, in the press, Internet, and social media) is accompanying ENGIE’s launch in France and Europe. A full program of social network coverage is also being organized.

Valérie Bernis, Executive Vice President in charge of Communications, Marketing and Environmental and Corporate Responsibility, declares: “This new name and new logo and the campaign to launch this new identity are messengers of a positive, optimistic and forward-looking vision. The name change symbolizes our Group’s transformation. ENGIE differentiates us in a globalized market and facilitates our customer approach, closer to the field of action. The advertising campaign highlights the changes that little by little, in small and large ways, transform our daily lives. We celebrate the momentary spark when, with newfound energy, we propel ourselves toward the future. It’s that moment we are living today with ENGIE.”

  • Susan Kemp wasn’t impressed with the following excerpt from a United Nations Development Programme job description. Nor were we.

The ART – Hub for Territorial Partnerships is a UNDP’s global project that is geared at harnessing the potential of territorial partnerships through a variety of modalities, such as Decentralized Cooperation, South-South and triangular cooperation. ART is therefore an entry point for all international cooperation actors interested in harmonizing their respective actions in support of national and sub-national policies for sustainable and local human development. According to its new Project Document 2015-2017 and in support of UNDP’s overall Framework on Local Governance and Local Development (LGLD), ART aims at strengthening and expanding the existing alliance between UNDP and Decentralized Cooperation partners in support of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local level. ART also seeks to strengthen the potential and role of Local and Regional Governments (LRGs) as development partners and to promote the principles of development cooperation effectiveness.

  • Andrew Buchanan wasn’t impressed by the following letter, and nor were we. Shoddy writing reveals plenty about a person or an organisation, and this is shoddy. Plus: what has the writer got against full stops?

Dear Resident

As you maybe aware we are currently upgrading the Street Lighting Columns in the area complete with new LED lanterns we plan to be working in your street on Wednesday 26th October we will have operatives on site from 7.45am if at all possible would you be able to leave access to the lamp column outside your property by moving any vehicles that belong to your property we greatly appreciate your co-operation in this matter please feel free to re-park your vehicles when work is complete.(The removal of the redundant column) we won’t need access with a vehicle to complete the permanent reinstatements. Again thanks for your help in this matter.

Yours sincerely

  • Lawrence Hiller correctly describes the following as ‘total gobbledygook’. Another writer allergic to full stops…

I do hereby for myself, my heirs, executors, administrators and assigns guarantee to you and your heirs, executors, administrators and assigns and the owner of the premises for the time being the punctual payment of said rent now payable by the Tenant or as same may be varied or permitted to be varied by law and for mesne rates that may accrue due until full clear and legal possession shall be delivered up to you and I agree for myself, my heirs, executors, administrators and assigns to indemnify you and your heirs, executors administrators and assigns and the owner of the premises for the time being from all loss or damage done to the said premises by the Tenant or through his negligence or by reason of non-fulfillment of any of the stipulations and conditions on the part of the Tenant contained in above agreement and for all costs of any proceedings for the recovery of the rent or possession of said premises and should Notice to Quit be served by the Landlord or Tenant, or ejectment summons issued or eviction decree obtained in respect of said premises and afterwards withdrawn or waived by either party with or without my knowledge. My liability under this guarantee shall not be affected but shall remain in full force and effect in respect of the tenancy thereby created nor shall my liability under this guarantee be affected by giving the Tenant time to pay the amount by him, or agreeing to accept same by installments, nor shall this guarantee be determined or my liability thereunder affected by the Bankruptcy of the Tenant. This guarantee shall remain in full force and effect during the continuance of any statutory tenancy arising by virtue of the Rent Order or any statutory provision upon the determination of the contractual tenancy in consideration of which this guarantee is given.

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