Hotel and training centre, Melksham, Wiltshire
High quality accommodation for course delegates, business travellers and the leisure visitor too.

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For 2023 (and 2024 ...) - we are now fully retired from IT training.
We have made many, many friends over 25 years of teaching about Python, Tcl, Perl, PHP, Lua, Java, C and C++ - and MySQL, Linux and Solaris/SunOS too. Our training notes are now very much out of date, but due to upward compatability most of our examples remain operational and even relevant ad you are welcome to make us if them "as seen" and at your own risk.

Lisa and I (Graham) now live in what was our training centre in Melksham - happy to meet with former delegates here - but do check ahead before coming round. We are far from inactive - rather, enjoying the times that we are retired but still healthy enough in mind and body to be active!

I am also active in many other area and still look after a lot of web sites - you can find an index ((here))
Blame Culture

Why is it that people can't admit to making mistakes, but rather want to shift the blame on to someone else even when the responsibility should lie on their, or their company's shoulders?

This came to my mind this morning as I have a handful of particularly frustrating incidents over the past couple of days, with a very famous coffee supply company - one with a 300 year history - making aggressive phone calls for the umpteenth time to chase up late payment of a bill which was paid, in full, within 3 days of them submitting it. Has to be our fault that they screwed up the paperwork, blaming us first for non payment, then the move when that excuse was blown out the water, then having nothing to say when it was pointed out we had already had a similar call after their move, emailed and written to confirm, and they hadn't even been polite enough to reply. Even after 300 years, I am sorely tempted to find a new supplier.

The reason another company hasn't paid our invoices for course run in October is because we hadn't changed the company name on the invoice to them when they took over another company and added three letters to their combined name. That was 2 weeks ago and we have resubmitted with those extra magical letters, but the guy there's not answering emails nor returning calls, so I smell more problems.

And it's particularly frustrating at times to ask xxx "when was yyy last done" and to be told that zzz should have done it, even though it's clearly not been done for quite a while and xxx has signed off on having done it very recently indeed.

I guess that when people feel defensive and insecure, it's the most natural thing in the world for them to look to shift the blame onto others when asked. The immediate problem is that is makes them look all the more silly and gives me (as it would give any customer or business contact) all the more reason to mistrust them and in reality make their position all the more, truly, insecure. Whereas the occasional (or even a bit more than occasional) "oops - sorry about that", with a correction and a feeling that a lesson had been learned, would have turned a negative situation into one that had a positive outcome.

Sadly (and I shouldn't be sad in the run up to Christmas!), I know that I have to take steps as a "relationship manager" at work not to back anyone into a situation where an error must be admitted, but rather to do and ask things in such a way that they can get whatever it is sorted, without taking blame themselves, putting the blame on others ... and hopefully in such a way that the same issue won't occur again and again. And there are things that I know I have to get a little frustrated about, and simply let go.

There's an article on blame culture here ... worth a read. I am not blameless, but neither am I an expert /psychologist and I really wish that I could cut out the crap of all the time the blame culture wastes across the people we deal with and get on with the real job, with joy and efficiently.
(written 2008-12-17)

Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter for individual articles
M300 - Well House Manor - Behind the scenes
  [203] Holes in on line information - (2005-02-05)
  [677] Sympathetic development - (2006-04-09)
  [742] A visit from the solicitor - (2006-06-03)
  [769] King Edward VII - days of empire - (2006-06-20)
  [813] Monday Morning at Well House Consultants Melksham - (2006-07-24)
  [868] Smoking, or no - (2006-09-16)
  [897] Too much for the National Trust - (2006-10-18)
  [927] Hotel door furniture - (2006-11-15)
  [931] Before and After - Well House Manor - (2006-11-18)
  [939] Swipe cards for hotel rooms - Security issues - (2006-11-23)
  [951] What happened at Geekmas - (2006-11-28)
  [1000] One Thousand Posts and still going strong - (2006-12-18)
  [1083] Behind the scenes - (2007-02-17)
  [1105] A week is a long time in the life of a conference centre - (2007-03-10)
  [1159] It can take more that one plus one to get two. - (2007-04-22)
  [1179] Sizing sheets and other domestic issues - (2007-05-07)
  [1189] Meet, greet and welcome - (2007-05-16)
  [1285] In the army, or in civvie street? - (2007-07-31)
  [1311] What do people look for on a hotel web site? - (2007-08-20)
  [1319] Customer feedback - lifeblood of a business - (2007-08-25)
  [1369] One business, four different angles! - (2007-09-28)
  [1371] Hotel in Melksham at Christmas - (2007-09-29)
  [1441] On cancellations, rebooking, and pricing schemes - (2007-11-22)
  [1490] Software to record day to day events and keep an action list - (2007-12-31)
  [1515] Keeping staff up to date on hotel room status - (2008-01-22)
  [1520] Terms and Conditions - Hotel, England - plain English - (2008-01-26)
  [1571] Await guests in the early hours - (2008-03-12)
  [1637] Providing exceptional service - and carrying on doing so. - (2008-05-09)
  [1854] Three Seasonal Pictures - (2008-10-25)
  [1900] Table Topics - (2008-11-22)
  [1904] Ruby, Perl, Linux, MySQL - some training notes - (2008-11-23)
  [1957] Why are cooks bad tempered? - (2008-12-22)
  [1973] Required Request - (2009-01-03)
  [1991] Rules for a King - (2009-01-13)
  [2125] We have lost a regular business guest - (2009-04-10)
  [2247] A day in the life of a hotelier - (2009-06-18)
  [2396] Easing off in our 50s? - (2009-09-06)
  [2910] Robust - testing the system - (2010-08-09)
  [2916] Testing the robustness of our hotel and training systems - holiday and sickness times - (2010-08-11)
  [2960] The Well House team - September 2010 - (2010-09-19)
  [2961] Initial handling of phone calls and walk in visitors - (2010-09-19)
  [3093] How many toilet rolls - hotel inventory and useage - (2010-12-18)
  [3743] Sunday - no longer a day of rest - (2012-05-28)
  [3844] Rooms ready for guests - each time, every time, thanks to good system design - (2012-08-20)
  [3961] Well House Staff Party - (2012-12-22)
  [4302] Sunday is never quiet at Well House Manor - (2014-09-21)
  [4365] The changing face of Christmas - (2014-12-26)

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Nuclear Physics comes to our web site
Some other Articles
Small Print
Whisky - Setting and reading cookies from Perl
Copyright of Training Notes and Web Site
Nuclear Physics comes to our web site
Blame Culture
Perl substitute - the e modifier
Variable Types in Perl
Summary - Apache httpd build on Linux
Forwarding session and cookie requests from httpd to Tomcat
Port and Glasses
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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