Now! That’s What I Call A Trade Mug

120. A1 D2B

Tis the festive season and this year more than any the pressure around getting everything sorted for what is essentially a 2 day break is reaching fever pitch. Trying to find a free day of the week is almost impossible: The Daily Hate & the BBC have invented an alternate calender week: We now have: Black Friday; Green Saturday; (Yes, Walmart made that one up & believe in it – honest!); Cyber Monday; Mayhem Monday; Panic Saturday. (Zzzzz)
It’s only left me with a handful of days to devote to this blog:
Sabbath Sunday;  That’s a rest day supposedly!
Crap Tuesday;  The worst day of the week – official.
Dreary Wednesday;
Quite Chilled Thursday;

Anyway. In the annals of Mugspotters we tend to get single branded mugs. Very occasionally we get dual-branded effort (Unison/Britannia)  but this very week we took delivery of a Cambridge that is one of the most spectacular pieces of Trade earthenware ever.
caril 1  caril 2 caril   3

caril 3

I don’t know where to start. Gasps of awe and amazement were heard in Mugspotters HQ. No whoops or hollers just a solemn & respectful silence. Minds everywhere trying to compute the information contained thereon. It was almost
a Rosetta Stone moment. Slowly we began to pick our way round the vessel. Building was my first guess. There are some heavy weight construction giants on there: Highways Agency – Carillion – Morgan Sindall – Work Safe Home Safe – Atkins (diet?) – AECOM. But what of the Target Zero   2,750,000 Hours Target Zero & A1 D2B algebraic inscriptions? Thanks to the pwoer of the Internet a quick search on A1D2B unearths a PDF presentation which is ripe with Project Management jargon & low-hanging buzz-word Bingo. It’s headed CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT SUSTAINED APPROACH MORE FOR LESS. There’s 16 cliche packed pages to peruse stuffed with such gems as ‘Get the forecast right & deliver under budget’, ‘Top Down Bottom Up’ (ooh err Mugspotters) ‘Lean’, ‘Driving Flow’, ‘Blacktop Efficiency’, ‘Critical Success Factors’.etc etc.
We have been here before with Warrior Project Management. More searches were commissioned & it seems the purpose of the A1D2B ECI team is to upgrade the A1 between Dishforth and Leeming Bar in North Yorkshire, with all the aforementioned companies signing up to the project.  On Twitter you can follow #neverendingroadworks  in which there is a mention of a sighting of a banners stating 2,750,000 safe hours have been worked on the nations roads. However this thread also enables you to take to social media and make your feelings known about the state of the nations roads & its roadworks.
All in all it’s been quite a journey getting to the bottom of this wonderful specimen but thanks for sticking  with us. It feels like its taken me 2,750,000 to write & edit this entry!
All that remains for me to say is everyone here at Mugspotters wishes you all a safe and Happy Christmas.


Buzzword Bingo

96. Warrior:  Joint Integrated Project Team

Salutations and thanks go out to our Cardiff-based branch of Mugspotters, who hot on the heels of Office For National Statistics gift us this adrenaline-fuelled Marrow for ‘Warrior’.
Here we have a case of the background almost upstaging the mug. We have some cool 50’s Americana proppage in the form of do-nuts & ice cream.  (Hmmmm do-nuts……)
I have to admit I couldn’t find anything on the web which accurately matched this brand. It’s true we have dabbled in hi-tech surveillance before on this blog but have to assume this ‘Warrior’ is so deep undercover, it’s buried.
So, artistic licence comes into play here with a few lines on Project Management.
‘Warriors’ boast is “Joint Integrated Project Team:  Delivering Capability“.
This is buzz-word bingo. It promises everything but tells you nothing.
Friends of Mugspotters and acquaintances tell me (not that I’ve had experience of Project Management at close quarters, perish the thought, honest) that it usually involves a company parachuting in some overpriced drones to drive more efficiency (a.k.a. eeking more labour) out of an already frazzled work force. They also tell me these ‘Project Managers’ are basically big-collared, wispy-bearded, stuffed-Blackberry types who have an amazing knack of not being around much Monday to Thursday but on Friday, as you are ‘Getting into a weekend frame of mind,’ they’re all over the office like chickenpox, wanting loads of reports, figures and stuff urgently when they’ve had all week to sort it out!
Lastly my acquaintances tell me that weeks and months pass and when they finally admit defeat by delivering a half-baked process improvement plan that anyone with half a brain knows won’t deliver, these PM’s slink off into the sunset counting their piles of cash whilst you start to count the true cost.
Sounds like a good-racket to get into. Where do I apply?