Posts from date: June 2009
Here at Maxus we have opened our arms once more and welcomed our lovely new work experience boy, Dan into our office. Dan's arrival made me think back to when I did work experience which actually I guess wasn't that long ago in comparison to some of the true Maxus Veterans.
I was lucky enough to secure a place at Headlines Hair Salon on Essex - the epitome of cool. Whilst all my friends spent their days dusting filing cabinets and sticking stamps to envelopes I was watching brunettes transforming into blondes bombshells, curly locks being straightened and most exciting of all is that I got to hear all of the juicy gossip - it really is true that people tell their hairdressers everything!
This led me to think...did I take anything away from my work experience? did it provide me with an increased understanding of the working world and what I might wish to achieve with my career when I grew up?
If you are lucky enough to know what industry you might wish to go into at the tender age of 15 then it is the perfect opportunity to test the water. But if like me, you were a little naive and didn't have a clue what you wanted to be, then work experience can be a great starting point to help you to understand which aspects of working life you do or don't like which in turn should help to get those creative juices flowing. In my time at Headlines I discovered that whilst I didn't want to become a hairdresser, I really enjoyed working in a creative and energetic environment but couldn't stand the smell of bleach and somehow I ended up here at Maxus which coincidently doesn't smell like bleach at all and is really quite a fun and energetic place to work.
It will be interesting to see what Dan takes away from his time at Maxus....
Wimbledon will officially start on Monday and there is already plenty of drama unfolding from the qualifying matches.The Williams sisters are both fired up for stealing Safina's title, Nadal is contemplating not defending his title due to a knee injury and no-body knows whether the weather will stay as glorious as it has been recently.
However, the most interesting subject for most of us is Andy Murray, the Scot (who we all call a Brit when his wins) who is now seeded 3rd.
It seems as though he may have a decent chance this year as Nadal (seed 1) is a limp-a-lot and Roger Federer (seed 2) could be exhausted after winning the French open. Murray has said that if he plays well then he has a good chance against most guys but he is wary of the dark horses like Ivo Karlovic.
The other hot topic this year is the new roof on centre court which means the showpiece matches cannot be rained off. 1.6million viewers tuned into the 'unveiling of the roof' show on BBC2 in May where the glamorous Katherine jenkins performed - they obviously couldn't afford to get old time favourite Cliff Richards on the show.
Since 2001, telecasts have brought in average audiences of 2 - 2.5million, in the true glory days (when Cliff would entertain in the rain) the audiences reached 8.42million viewers but that was way back when digital TV was unheard of and BBC ratings were sky high generally.
With our hopes pinned on Andy Murray, and centre court under cover perhaps the ratings will bump up this year.
Will you be watching? As an incentive, a prize will go to whoever can name Nadal's irritating habit?
Last's nights brilliant, albeit easy, 6-0 performance by England against Andorra pulled in 9.7 million viewers at peak time. TV viewing figures perhaps somewhat higher than predicted due to those with Wembley tickets being forced to watch from home. All this down to the RMT union leading strike action on the tube.
As we all know, the city becomes somewhat paralysed when any transport is affected, and apparently the potential collective loss to London's business' caused by this strike could be as much as £100 million. Who knows how much of a loss Wembley stadium made last night!
However, I think there is a good point to take from all this chaos and that is that it may have alerted the commuters and Londoners that we could save collectively, millions if we were to seek alternative modes of transport to our places of work.
I was personally baffled at the sheer number of people walking the streets last night as usually they are hidden away underground and watching the riverboats cruise by, busier than ever with commuters precariously perching on deck due to the lack of seats inside.
I read about someone considering riding their horse into town and many using scooters - the foot powered variety to get to work and personally having spotted two children hitching a ride on the back of, what I hope was, their Grandmas mobility scooter, it made me wonder how many ingenious modes of transport were actually thought up yesterday?
Whether you struggled to get to Wembley to see England thrash the Andorrans or whether you were just trying to go about your normal day, how have you been transporting yourself during the strikes?
As lovers of the show will know, last night saw the inevitable climax of the 5th season of the Apprentice with Sir Alan Sugar “Sralan” announcing his new apprentice. Yasmina Siadatan, a restaurateur, who beat Kate Walsh (the blonde one) in an exciting finale.
The series which saw record audiences with the debut episode drawing in 8.1m viewer. As the show is now over I thought we would take a look at the some of the quotes from one of the ‘most belligerent men in business’.
1. "You are not here to enhance some form of media career, so if any of you gentlemen are thinking of prancing around in your Calvin Kleins, showing off your three-piece-suite bulge, you can forget about it."
2. "I've written books on advertising. Cheque books."
3. "If you survive here, I promise you this: as sure as I've got a hole in my bloody a**e, when it's down to two of you, people that are nice about you now, will not be."
4. (after Ben’s indecision over who to take back into the boardroom) I hope you're bringing in people for the right reasons. I hope you're not thinking about James, that there might be a village missing an idiot somewhere...
5. I don't like liars, I don't like cheats. I don't like bullshitters. I don't like schmoozers. I don't like arse-lickers.
6. I was born in Hackney. When you're born in Hackney and you do well in life, you move to Chigwell.
7. "Could be you’re here because you’re good with words and know the right thing to say at the right time. I know the words to Candle in the Wind. It don't make me Elton John."
8. "Howard I'm thinking whether I should get you a cushion because sitting on the fence there you could get a sore arse. So are you gonna talk up?"
After another successful Friends of Maxus event this week I have been left pondering the evening's topic. It revolved around the speaker's belief that "News is the new rock 'n roll" especially for the youth generation. The part of the talk that left me intrigued is, if this is true, how has this happened? Are the youth of today more interested in news than they were ten, twenty, thirty years ago? I don't believe that there would be such a shift in such a short space of time.
However, one thing I do believe though is that the availability of free online short form content may have heightened the youth generation's interest in news. An interesting comparison is that the Sun, a popular newspaper, outsells The Guardian, a quality newspaper, by almost 9 to 1. However, in terms of online, guardian.co.uk has over 2.2m more UK unique users than thesun.co.uk. The availability of free bitesize news at our finger tips in digestible chunks whether it be video, image or text has revolutionised the way we consume media. However, with the talk of micro-charging for online content, especially prevalent with NI's plans to launch the Sunday Times online, is this good thing going to be taken away from us?
Anyway back to my main point. From this, it has to be said the youth of the today have it pretty sweet. I'm not going to go into the whole, "back in my day..." (maybe a little), but the modern "yoof" has a mobile, a PS3, a netbook, fibreoptic broadband, a digital camera, a PVR, online bank account, three social network profiles and easy access to any content they want whenever they want. When I was younger, I had an amiga computer with sensible soccer and a time allowance on the home phone! Surely the current youth generation can't look back in fifteen, twenty years and say the same thing can they?
First broadcast in the United Kingdom in 1964, the Granada Television series Seven Up!, broadcast interviews with a dozen ordinary seven-year olds from a broad cross section of society and inquired about their reactions to everyday life. Every seven years, a film documented the life of the same individuals in the intervening years. The series was structured simply as a series of interviews with no plot. However, it did have the then-new effect of turning ordinary people into celebrities.
45 years later, reality tv is a global phenomenon and most of our current celebrities have either started their career, furthered their career or ended their career as a reality tv star. The thing that baffles me is WHY anyone would NOW subject themselves to entering a reality tv show knowing that it has become a platform to show abuse, racism, bullying, homophobia, prejudice, tears, tantrums, sickness and even dying - don't we have enough of that in our "real" worlds!
Big Brother returns this week for it 10th cycle with what I can only presume will be another set of contestants so eager for fame that they will literally make themselves hated by millions of people to get it. And is it their fault - no - it is ours. I guarantee that none of use will watch BB hoping that the contestants just sit around and laugh and chat and have lovely philosophical conversations about happiness and life. We will watch it to see who fights who, who lies the most, who is the most obnoxious and who will cause the most friction. We, the viewers have shown in our ratings figures that we are hungry for the really nasty aspects of reality, and the contestants know that. They know that they will get notoriety but at a price. That price is for them to become our personal hate figure, and they would prefer to be a disliked ‘someone’ rather than just a “no-one."
What I want to know is who is still going to watch it or who, like me, has decided that they like no-one's better than someone's?