How long does it take to build a Boeing 737?

9 Days!   I know a lot of the parts will come pre built but still the fact that a Boeing 737 cane be turned around in 9 days is an impressive display of engineering and organisational skills.

Seen via Wired

Looking in the mirror

Ive found myself contemplating this quote from Steve Jobs a lot recently and wondering what is it that would change?  Is it the environment, the challenge or the people, but something may need to change.


Customer Service needs to go to the end of the experience

Over the last month or so I have had two experiences at a well-known high street store, that could have been great customer service experiences but were let down by the individual getting caught up in being a Hero and not doing the basics.

In the first instance we had ordered some curtains which would be delivered to the store the next day.  My wife visited the store, and was told they were down as arriving but they hadn’t.   As the store had no idea where they were they set about trying to find them at another local store but couldn’t.   They asked us to leave it with them and they would contact us.

The next day we got a call to say they had them, and to pop in when we were ready to collect them.  That afternoon I went along and was told them the don’t have them in stock.   I explained the call that morning and they responded well the system doesn’t show them in, and they asked for the manager to come across.   I again explained the situation and had to call my wife to find out who she had spoken to.   The manager then checked with the individual and they had them in the back of the warehouse.

I was told they had to drive to another store to collect them, which was around an 80 mile round trip.  I said I appreciated the effort they had made, but it was a shame they hadn’t updated the system to save me standing looking silly for 10 minutes.  A bit ungrateful I appreciate, but this struck me as someone has gone to so much effort but then not done a basic step.

Now this store makes a big thing with their staff of empowering them to be customer hero’s and doing these kind of things.  I am sure they are rewarded as well for doing so, but do they lose sight of completing the basics in the experience.

Fast forward to last week, a similar situation in that my wife had gone to pick up an order but it wasn’t quite as in the picture.   They checked the warehouse and didn’t have one that did match the picture, but could get this from a store near my work.  This was confirmed in stock and I had to pop down that night and collect it.   No problem I thought but there was.

I got to the store, and the lady who had been spoken to had gone home, not told anyone about it and hadn’t checked out the item on the system or reserved it.   So the lady I was speaking to had to trudge of the warehouse and sort through all the items again to find the right one.

That lady was brilliant and I couldn’t fault her.   However again they had pushed their excellent customer service which was let down by someone not doing the basics.  I wonder if this is a by-product of retailers looking for great story around their staff to push on social channels and by encouraging this kind of behavior encourage the basics to be missed?

Monday Motivation – Paralympics week see’s the start of the Paralympics.  In 2012 it was brilliant being in the gym and looking at the screen and seeing the Olympics and the Paralympics being covered while you were strugling to bother to do anything.  It sure motivated you.

In the UK Channel 4 picked up the coverage of the paralympics and to be honest did a brilliant job.  There adverts were accompanied in 2012 with a bit of Public Enemy but this time they had gone with this advert, which is incredible.  My Son tells me they have watched it at School as well this week and I can see why, anythting is possible!

Start Again September

At the start of the year I had a lot of plans for this year with getting my back side back in shape and entering a few races along the way.   However dislocating my Knee on the 7th Feb kinda ruined that.   I am getting to the point now where my knee is now feeling stronger, bar the odd day and I am starting to see muscle reform around the knee.

I am trying to make a habit of stretching more to ensure the tightness that possibly resulted in my knee injury doesn’t happen again.

The last few weeks have been stupid at work as we have been short of a person and I have struggled at times to make the gym, I’ve been also knackered and not motivated to go for a run in the evening.  So with my knee feeling stronger and some chaos at work calming down until the end of October I am aiming to use September as Start Again September.  I knew this weekend we had too much house and family stuff happening so I wasn’t going to do anything this weekend, but started off on the 1st September with something a bit different.

Inspired by doing farmers walks the other week and rewatching an event from the CrossFit games in 2015.  We setup in the studio in the gym an array of Kettle Bells and Sandbags at one end of the room.  The aim was then to shift them to the other end of the room as quickly as possible and back again.

The total weight pile was varying from a 7.5lb sandbag to a 55lb sandbag with the total combined weight around 340lbs.  You had to move the pile as quickly as possible so it was tactical as to how you moved it and in what combinations.  I managed to move the stack in 1m 40secs.

This was followed by a tabata workout of 20Kg Kettle Bell swings, Sandbag Press, Air Squats and Burpee’s.  If you’re not sure what a tabata workout is, this video explains it better than me and is also the track we used.

How long is your meeting?

Twice this week I have had changed plans at work due to meetings, which is fine.  Both meetings were due to last an hour and so I went in with the expectation that they wouldnt last 10 minutes.    WrongWrong