Self-assigned job title

Today, while waiting for what seemed like a never ending installation, there was a short lull in productivity. To fill that rare gap I engaged in a conversation about job descriptions.

It reminded me of the days gone by at my last job where the organisation chart and employees job descriptions were amended when a new contract bid required it!

After a lot of discussion and ideas for each other we whittled the list down to just 1 for each person. The list was as follows –

Micro Management Specialist
Part Time Unaware Operative
Piss Taking Strategist
Vacab Consultant and Pun Controller
Chief Grumpy Office and Junior Piss Taking Executive

Needless to say that I was given `Piss Taking Strategist`, which I have so say I was more than happy with.

Much like a self-signed SSL certificate the self-assigned job titles mean very little outside of the office, shame though as it would go great with my `Sex and Distribution` name badge that I got from Microsoft all those years ago….

Apple Mac`s again, no permanent routes

Yet more dealing with Mac`s again today and again another disappointment! So glad I binned my iPad for my Surface RT Tablet.

The set up that had been running fine for a few years had to be changed due to a `security update` that was introduced as a result of the work a few days ago.

Due to expert advice we changed the way that we do things which meant that I had to add some routes to the Mac clients to route network traffic to a different subnet.

All this messing about with adding routes to get traffic to flow where it needs to go reminds me of all the agro I had at my old job. I say agro, it was more me being excluded from being able to access things to change them and make them work. This time the A Team refused to add routes for the 3 additional subnets, mainly because they didn`t know what a subnet was and why they were needed! The subnets were in use by the engineers, Directors and the VOIP phone system. Needless to say I got the grief because the Directors couldn`t get emails and no one got the telephone stats!
Boy do I not miss that shit!

So I had to add a script!? so that the routes were added back in when the machine booted back up. Seriously not sure why that was and I really cannot be bothered to find out the reason, but thankfully the need was short lived as things were changed again so that we no longer needed to add a permanent route.

2 years on

Today is 2 years since my redundancy at my last job.

I can’t really believe that it has been 2 years as it’s flown by. I have more than settled in to my new/current job and am enjoying it more than I thought possible. Lots of new technology to deal with, much more than I would have ever seen at the old place. I still get to use a lot of my `low level` skills which have come in handy on several of occasions.

Best of all, I get to work with a bunch of guys that are not too dissimilar to the bunch at the old place. We all get on well, we all (well almost all) have the same sort of sense of humour.

But, more surprising than anything is the fact that the boat hasn’t sunk yet – by all accounts its taking in water so I can’t imagine it will be long……

Job Dodging – the new Workalergic

Today I stumbled upon, or rather was subjected to, a novel way of `Job Dodging`.

In par with `Workalergic` from the good old days (may they Rest In Peace), this was one unique way of getting out of doing any work.

It got me thinking, could I write some code to look at incoming requests and to reject them based on certain criteria? I could call in Project Job Dodging, or to use its highly secretive TLA codeword – PJD!

PJD could check for past issues in relation to the current incoming request and reject if there was found to be a link back.
PJD could check for the instigator of the incoming request against a black list of known previous trouble makers and reject if there was any kind of match.
PJD could check the time the incoming request was received against a complex matrix of maintenance windows and reject the incoming request if a match was found.
PJD could examine the audit trail of the incoming request against a very strict rule and location based criteria and if any deviation from complex predefined rules was found the incoming request would be rejected.
PJD could check the requirements of the incoming request against yet another complex matrix of skill sets and reject it if a mis match was found.

I will go away and ponder on that request, as im sure I could code that quiet easily, I just need to make sure that I get all the correct matrix and lists that are needed. Hmmmmmm

Dodgy Recruitment

Today I had the pleasure! Of dealing with a long standing issue – a dodgy recruitment company!

When I was made redundant, I signed up with quite a few sites etc. so that I could get back into work asap. Most of the sites I signed up with played by the rules but one company (or 2 as it now looks like) did not! Well actually I never signed up with them.

This is how it went…

First email was sent after I cancelled all my subscriptions and notified everyone that I no longer wanted emails

17/01/2012 – 4 Emails from Raymond Maccann – ok ill let them have that one as maybe the part time pensioner updating their database hasn’t come across the fact that I don’t want any more emails.

26/01/2012 – 2 emails from James McJarrow.  So I emailed James asking him to remove me from the database, also cc’d info@ and resource@ as valid emails addresses that I found on their website. The email bounced back with James McJarrow unknown? Strange as he had just sent me an email!?

15/02/2013 – 2 more emails from James McJarrow again! For a job in Aberdeen, FFS do they not read the areas where people live? I sent a reply asking who I need to speak to so that I can get more information about the job. This time it went through and I got a response saying it was him I need to speak to. No really! I asked him to remove me from the database. Nothing back

22/02/2012 – 2 more emails from James McJarrow again! This guy is obviously missing something up top! I let these 2 emails slide as maybe the now less than part time pensioner was on annual leave or something like that.

14/03/2012 – 2 more emails from the first spammer, Raymond Mancann (send spam emails) or it that Raymond Maccant (remove me from the database). Again for a job that didn’t mention any of the skill that I have! I sent an email asking him to remove me from the database. Again nothing. At this point I checked what I had sent in case I had sent a typo, you know it should say `Please remove me from your database` when in fact I typed `Please keep sending me shit emails as all though I am now in work I was only joking when I previously asked you to remove me from your database`
I am now sure that the database is an Excel Spreadsheet that has been replicated in several folders on their network and home computers, and are all out of sync, which is why my requests have fallen on deaf ears (no offence to part time pensioner).

14/06/2012 – 1 email from David Christian. I really thought they had listened to me and removed me as it has been months. But nice to see yet another new name sending me spam emails again. I need a macro key set up for this next bit [Reply to email, type `Please remove me from your database. Thank you. Gary` Press send]. So I recorded that and sent the resulting email. Again nothing!

25/06/2012 – 2 emails from David Christian. This time I pressed my Hot Key combination, G+F+Y, linked to the macro that sends a `Please remove me……` email. Surprisingly I get no response!
I now add a filter to my web hosting to reject anything that comes from and set it to send back a message asking to be removed from the database, and also forward the email to an archive so that I can collect evidence for a case with the ICO.

23/01/2013 – 2 emails from Catherine McAteer, who appears to be the Office Manager. Maybe she will take note of the rejection message and remove me.

08/02/2013 – 2 emails from Mychelle Matson, who appears to be a Senior Resourcer. As the Office Manager hasn’t removed me from the database maybe she can. You know, I’m not convinced that the database is an Excel spreadsheet, I think maybe it must all be on a huge Word Document which the, now 1 hours a week, part time pensioner is struggling to cope with.

27/02/2013 – 1 email from Nathan Moring, another new person, who is Senior Consultant, maybe he will be able to read the auto response and remove me. I doubt it! I have nor removed the auto response and will handle them in a more aggressive way.

07/03/2013 – 2 emails from Nathan Moring. This time I have had enough, so I compose a lengthy email to him and send, basically saying that I will report him for spamming.
Email trail is below

Hi Gary,

I’ve removed you from our database.

Kind regards,

On 07/03/2013 15:59, “Gary Rice” wrote:


Again, I find myself getting emails from
Please remove my email address from your company’s database so that I do not hear from you or any of your colleagues again.

I have never given you permission to use or email me.

I class these emails as spam and will report them to the originating ip address owner ( –

inetnum: –
netname:        RSPC-UK-Steve-Jennings
descr:          Steve-Jennings IP Space
country:        GB
admin-c:        IA247-RIPE
tech-c:         IA247-RIPE
remarks:        rev-srv:
status:         ASSIGNED PA
mnt-by:         RSPC-MNT
source:         RIPE #Filtered
remarks:        rev-srv attribute deprecated by RIPE NCC on 02/09/2009
person:         IP Admin
address:        Rackspace Hosting 5000 Walzem, San Antonio, Texas 78218
phone:          +1 210 312 4000
fax-no:         +1 210 312 4000
nic-hdl:        IA247-RIPE
remarks:         ###  Rackspace Abuse Department
remarks:         ###  Please send any complaints to the following:
remarks:         ###  abuse @
mnt-by:         RSPC-MNT
source:         RIPE #Filtered

If this request is not dealt with and confirmed within 5 working days I will be submitting a case to the ICO (

Thank you


From: Nathan Moring
Sent: 07 March 2013 15:12
To: Gary Rice
Subject: Linux Expert / Systems Engineer required, Luton

Good Afternoon Gary,

RE: Linux Systems Engineer required, Luton; £45-50K plus 10% bonus:

Worldwide IT solutions provider currently seeks an experienced Linux Systems Engineer to join their expanding UK headquarters located in Bedfordshire.

Acting as a subject matter expert for all technologies associated with server hosting, specifically those running Linux OS, the Linux Systems Engineer will be responsible for the development and maintenance of standardised configurations for all related technologies and for ensuring high-levels of performance and availability are delivered for associated services from their datacenter locations.

The Linux Systems Engineer will be accountable for ensuring all Linux based server environments achieve the best possible availability and performance, and for maintaining standard practices on specification, configuration and management of the Linux infrastructure. You`ll troubleshoot performance issues on web servers and databases, and be involved in the development of detailed best practice configuration, architecture schematics and relevant standard operating procedures. In addition, your role will extend to Data Center Service operations, Supplier Management and Resource optimisation.

The right Linux Systems Engineer will have solid datacenter experience, working with Linux server (including Apache & MySQL), SAN (including FC & iSCSI switching) and TCP/IP networking. In addition, if you have any experience of Windows server (including cluster services, IIS web server config/management), VMWare ESX or Vsphere, SaaS or cloud networking then it would be beneficial.

This is a superb opportunity for any experienced Linux Systems Engineer looking for a new role. If you`re interested and would like to apply please send me your CV asap.

Kind regards,

Nathan Moring
Senior Consultant

Gregory James Group
a 6 windsor works I sedley place I venn street I london I sw4 0ax
t 020 7078 9300 f 0870 013 6381 m 07985 524 770


This e-mail (which includes any files transmitted with it) is intended for the above named only. It may contain privileged, confidential and/or price sensitive information. If you are not the intended recipient please notify the sender immediately and confirm that all copies have been destroyed and it has been deleted from your computer system. This e-mail is protected by copyright. Unless you are the intended recipient you should not use, disclose or copy the e-mail nor should you rely upon it in any way whatsoever. All liability for viruses is excluded to the fullest extent permitted by law. Any views expressed in this message are those of the individual sender, except where the sender specifically states them to be the views of Gregory James.

Scanned by The Email Laundry


At last, I have been removed from their database!!

03/05/2013 – An email from Michelle Herrington-Smith. She is reportedly from Now you might think she is not part of The Gregory James group but looking at the emails, and a pretty poor one at that – she called me Gregory (Gregory as in Gregory James??), makes spelling mistakes and then uses multiple fonts and no formatting to get the job description across! Seriously!
Towards the bottom of the email I noticed the same address as the Gregory James Group and a website copyright of the Gregory James Group!
So I send yet another email to Michelle Herringbone-Smiff asking to be removed, but with a bit more of a warning.
After a short email conversation, Mabel finally said that she had removed me from the database. Coincidentally I am now 99.9% sure that the database is not a database,  Excel Spreadsheet or Word Document, but is in fact a VisiCalc Document!
Anyway, here is the email trail.

I have gladly removed your details on Tuesday as you say 2 working days

Sent from my iPhone

On 9 May 2013, at 07:20, “Gary Rice” wrote:


I do not think that trying to remove my details from your database, or collecting data for reporting your emailing practices is a waste of time.

But, thank you so much for confirming that my details are in fact on your system, not only that but with incorrect details.

Given that the 2 days stated have passed and you have not supplied me with the requested proof that I gave you permission to email me, it leaves me no choice but to submit my case to the ICO

There is also the issue of Data Protection, given that I have not given Gregory James Group permission to email me, I find my details now in your hands. There are very strict rules about that.

I will also be reporting your spamming to your ISP provider.


inetnum: –
remarks:        *******************************************************
remarks:        * Please send abuse reports to *
remarks:        *******************************************************
remarks:        *******************************************************
netname:        BT-ADSL
descr:          Single Static IP Addresses
country:        GB
admin-c:        BTOW1-RIPE
tech-c:         BTOW1-RIPE
status:         ASSIGNED PA
mnt-by:         BTNET-MNT
mnt-lower:      BTNET-MNT
mnt-routes:     BTNET-MNT
source:         RIPE # Filtered

address:        BT
address:        Openworld
address:        UK
admin-c:        AA12126-RIPE
tech-c:         AA12126-RIPE
nic-hdl:        BTOW1-RIPE
mnt-by:         BTNET-MNT
source:         RIPE # Filtered

descr:          BT Public Internet Service
origin:         AS2856
mnt-by:         BTNET-MNT
source:         RIPE # Filtered

Again, and I do not ask the impossible, please remove my details from all databases that you have, it’s not that difficult to do.

Lastly, as I have not seen any objection to including you and your company in my blog post, I take that as “Yes”, so thank you, I will start writing that now.


P.S. A couple of links for you to look at when you have a few minutes after you spammed people

From: Michelle Herrington-Smith
Sent: 07 May 2013 13:07
To: Gary Rice
Subject: RE: Application Support Specialist-London/Middlesex £30-£40k


How funny?  It states on our database that you live at our office

You must be an office ghost of the past

Please do not waste any more of my time

From: Gary Rice
Sent: 03 May 2013 17:30
To: Michelle Herrington-Smith
Subject: RE: Application Support Specialist-London/Middlesex £30-£40k


Firstly who is Gregory?

If he is part of the Gregory James Group, as your Telephone Number and Website would indicate, then I have requested, more times than I care to count, that I be removed from your database.

I was assured by Nathan, see attached email, that I had been removed. As detailed on the email I class these emails as spam and will pursue my case with the ICO

I request that you supply me within 2 working days, the proof that I have signed up for or given you permission to send me emails.

Secondly, very nice use of multiple fonts and minimal formatting in your email below, it really makes it look professional quality. It will be something that I might be posting a blog entry about very soon, so I hope you do not mind a personal mention for you and your company/group of companies.

I look forward to receiving the information requested.

Gary Rice

From: Michelle Herrington-Smith
Sent: 03 May 2013 16:52
To: Gary Rice
Subject: Application Support Specialist-London/Middlesex £30-£40k


Application Support Specilalst         London/Middlesex      £30,000-£40,000 Excellent Benefits Package

Customer Application Support Specialist required for well established Software Company based in London. The role will involve Delivering outstanding support experience to their customers, finding solutions to the problems, thinking analytically and working with other members of the Customer Support team to enhance product knowledge and resolve difficult systems. Ensuring that Calls and customer are updated regularly and as per agreed SLA. Experience of problem Solving, Troubleshooting while dealing with complex and critical incidents, have experience of call logging systems, please mention what call logging systems you have used when sending your CV. Good working knowledge of windows Operating systems, managing users and services rights. Experience in Supporting Web Applications ideally ASP.NET Or PHP. Experience of SQL Writing basic SQL Queries, experience with MySQL, or SQL Server or Oracle Databases at administration Level. You will be a team player and can work well under pressure. The company have a fantastic Customer base, this is a great opportunity for someone who wants a career to work in a Support role for the long term. The client offer excellent benefits package Pension, 25 days holiday rising up to 30 days depending on years of service, Private Health care and flexible working. Telephone interviews will be taking place this week and next week. Apply Now!

Have a loveley bank holiday weekend

Michelle Herrington-Smith

PSR Ltd – A leading provider of IT Professionals & Talent Management Solutions
6 Windsor Works I 68a Sedley Place I London I SW4 0AX
t 0203 489 9599 f 020 7627 2352 m 07805 721749 e

This e-mail (which includes any files transmitted with it) is intended for the above named only.  It may contain privileged, confidential and/or price sensitive information. If you are not the intended recipient please notify the sender immediately and confirm that all copies have been destroyed and it has been deleted from your computer system.  This e-mail is protected by copyright. Unless you are the intended recipient you should not use, disclose or copy the e-mail nor should you rely upon it in any way whatsoever.  All liability for viruses is excluded to the fullest extent permitted by law. Any views expressed in this message are those of the individual sender, except where the sender specifically states them to be the views of PSR Recruitment Ltd.
Please consider the environment before printing this email.

Scanned by The Email Laundry

Hopefully that is that and I will not be receiving any more emails from them.

Time to purge some crap

Well its been a year today so i think that its time i got rid of what data remnants i have left from my past.

I had a look around to see what was there that i could get rid of, surprisingly there was rather a lot – paperwork, source code, programs, emails, dongles, phones, mobiles, CD`s, DVD`s, MySQL databases, MSSQL Databases, hard drives, cloud storage files, keys and backup hardware.

All gone now.

Batabase Secruty!!

Today I came across a rather worrying discovery! I learnt 2 new terms that I was not familiar with.

1) `Batabase` – which I can only think is a database of batter that is used when deep frying fish (and or sausages etc.). Given one of my former jobs, that would have come in dead handy! All my attempts to locate it or find more information on it have proved negative. Hopefully it will crop up at some point – I think the possibility of that happening is quiet high.

2) `Secruty` – I have no idea what the hell this is! My attempts to research this have led me round in circles so much so that I have disappeared into my own backside and come out again. It might be some kind of dodgy ware from what few results I have seen. Again I will have to keep an eye on it to see if it crops up again! Hopefully it won`t but again it might 😐

My first Apple device

Today I bought my first Apple device, an iPad. Not like me as I am a diehard Microsoft geek and would normally tell Apple loving fan boys where to go.

But, surprisingly I was actually looking forward to it, new technology and all that and a chance to have a play with it and not look like such a plum in front of students when I try and find my way round something I have not used before!

Sadly the whole experience was somewhat marred due to the arrogant fuckwitt that served me at PC world. I really should have ordered it on Click & Collect at the local Sainsbury`s but I wanted it there and then. I don’t know how many times I told him that I didn’t want this `Know How` support service crap, but it still ended up on my bill. Im sure that there are some kind of rules in place to stop this, but I could not be bothered to waste more of my time and money to complain, so I called `Know How` and cancelled the contract and called the bank to block any payments that might come off my card.

Still I guess that was the better! of the 2 options I had as the other one was a rather hyper Chinese lady running around the store like she was on speed trying to serve 2 customers at once.

What happened to the days of going in to a shop and buying something and getting what you asked for?