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Extras module Z801
Pettifog
Resources from the web site of Well House Consultants on the subject of Pettifog. We provide open source training course and business hotel accommodation in Melksham, Wiltshire, England

Background
To carp, to quibble, to grumble, to rant. Just like the Eskimos have 100 words for "snow", the British seem to have 100 words for complaining. And, I'll admit, I've chewed out a few people in my time. I'm not necessarily proud of it every time, but if you want to see the collection it's here!
Longer articles related to this subject
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Articles and tips on this subjectupdated
4720Celebrating our diversity rather than discriminating for it
I'm teaching a fantastic bunch of people this week - with origins from all over the world. Born in Lancashire, brought up in London and having lived half my life in Wiltshire, I'm almost certainly the most 'local' of this group. I celebrate their multiple cultures, genders and ages. I admire their ...
2016-11-02
 
4651Pressure selling in the fire safety business
Written earlier this month / posted 19th February The gentleman from Xxxxxx Fire (UK) Ltd visited us for an annual check on our extignuishers on Wednesday. He told us we needed 4 new exinguishers (out 5) at what we felt was an excessive price for supply and installation. When challenged on the price, ...
2016-02-20
 
4630The story behind the bus cuts, and what they could mean
I'm going to post this in "purely personal" because I may regret going public and having labels on it at a future date. The top brass at Wiltshire Council require each department to make a 10% saving in expenditure in the year from April 2017 to March 2018 - that's making cuts that will come in just ...
2016-01-24
(longer)
4354Wiltshire Police - assuming someone is guilty just on the say-so of a member of the public?
I read the following on Facebook yesterday ... posted by a PCSO with the Wiltshire force. "If you think that a bogus caller may be at your door ... you must report it to the police immediately by calling 999. ... The more details you remember, and the earlier that you tell the police, the quicker we ...
2014-12-16
 
4304Please do not ask me to be the chair!
I'm so glad I don't chair any groups. For having seen, last night, the chairman of a rail user group in action, I think to myself "there, but for the grace of God, go I". Some 'credits'. Newcomers were being welcomed / chatted to. The women (I make the gender point intentioanlly!) were making sure ...
2014-09-26
 
4282On tipping - and the expectation of a tip
I remember going into a cafe in the heart of New York for a traditional New York Cheese cake ... and the main memory is not of the cheesecake itself, but of the laminated sheet I was handed with the bill which told me that an 18% tip was the norm and giving me a table of example amounts. As it happens, ...
2014-07-11
 
4167The important customers are the majority, not the celebrity
Last night, I had been planning to go along to the Assembly Hall - to an evening with Dick Strawbridge, TV Celeberity Chef and eco-warrior. But it didn't quite work out like that - and I found myself, as the event got close, still waiting for him at the hotel to check in and thinking "he's cutting this ...
2013-09-14
 
4140Riots in Melksham
Melksham has a place in history - with riots in 1738, 1747 and 1750. From Wiltshire Community Hostory ... "In Melksham, unlike Trowbridge, the [clothier] industry suffered further decline in the 18th century and it was also plagued with disputes and disturbances. In 1738 a leading clothier, Henry Coulthurst, ...
2013-07-15
 
90Rude old people
Yes, I *am* enjoying being on a cruise ship and attending Open Source lectures - you've see a few posts here on the subject in the last few days, so this is something slightly less techie. Why is it that some cruisers have to push into queues? Why is it that some of them are so inhumanising to the ...
2012-11-04
 
3900The Xxxxx Guest House in Xxxxxxxxxxx - my stay reviewed
We run a hotel. And because I teach training courses away, I stay at lots of other hotels too. That gives me an excellent opportunity to learn about how others do it ... to come back with ideas to adopt, and things which we should take care to avoid. Such feedback is valuable for us and for our team ...
2012-10-20
 
3835The Information age - not yet truly with us?
We're told that we're living in the information age - where anything you need to know is available at the click of a button, and where data is King. I'm not so sure that I agree - I think we're still coming into the information age. Much of the information we need is out there, but - in spite of the ...
2012-08-18
 
3749Removal of water safety equipment, and how to use a lifesaver ring
Melskam Gate is a weir and fish ladder across the river Avon, where a healthy flow of water drops a metre of more on its way down towards Bristol. At time of heavy rain, it becomes a swirling torrent with the weir submerged and the water level many metres higher. And at this spot, dangerous if anyone ...
2012-06-09
 
3302Are you a half full or half empty person?
Let me show you a picture - the swimming pool that's just outside our hotel building. We checked in at the main lodge on Saturday, without a car and after a flight from the UK followed by a wait for a transfer bus for 60 minutes in the searing heat while others on the flight who are staying at the ...
2011-05-31
 
3084Can you trust the big brand names?
I tread with great care if I post criticism of "big names" as I don't want big guns turned on me (yes, I'm vain enough to imagine that this may be being read;-) ). But here are a couple of example of what I consider to be appalling advertising, over the last few days, from big names mis-selling their ...
2010-12-13
 
3030Liquorice allsorts and Dolly Mixtures
A series of snippets / thoughts ... on such a variety of subjects that they can't be equated to any one type of sweet selection! Votes for prisoners The press is full of public outrage at the potential of prisoners being given the vote, and the convenient excuse of "Europe" is being used to pass off ...
2010-11-07
 
3013Audio equipment
I'm seated in coach B of the 16:54 from Witham to Norwich. I chose this coach because it's the "Quiet Coach" and it's labelled as follows: Quiet Zone. Please refrain from using phones and other audio equipment in this area. Thank You. We've just had a tannoy announcement (!) telling us where the ...
2010-10-24
 
600It costs nothing to say THANK YOU
If someone spends a time writing you a letter, and does so above and beyond the call of duty of their job, then it's an act of kindness and a brief "thank you" is called for - at least in my book. In times gone by, that meant scribbling a note on a piece of paper, putting a stamp on it and popping it ...
2010-10-08
 
2944What others cannot do in 10 months takes Virgin 10 minutes
I've learned to be careful - very careful - about slagging people off in public. Whilst I'm not averse here to telling people how things really are and give some interesting insights, I fight shy of being critical of people and companies who may have done us exceedingly wrong. Him as throws much can ...
2010-09-14
 
2937The cat in the dustbin
The newspapers are full of the story of the woman who dumped a cat into a dustbin. Should you come back to this article years later, it appears that she was walking up a typical suburban road, a cat came up to her in a friendly way, and she stroked it, then picked it up and put it in a refuse / wheelie ...
2010-08-27
 
2788Cost of Sales
Let me tell you about a job I did last month ... An approach for our smallest possible training product - one day, non-residential, and least profitable (running as an "extra" one on one day as no standard public course covers the need) lead to a day being penciled into our diary. Follow ups indicated ...
2010-06-02
 
2761A small business, facing a big government questionnaire
I'm wading through 18 pages of terms and conditions and a 17 page questionnaire on Quality and Health and Safety, send to us by an organization which wants to send a delegate on one of our courses. They've also asked us to provide 8 additional documents or document sets, some of which are very wide ranging. ...
2010-05-14
 
2625Both feet on the same pavement
Wednesday Morning 08:30, February, Moorgate, London. I'm fascinated by some people who feel that the rules don't apply to them. The guy I just had to walk past, bathed in a cloud of smoke of the almost-enclosed lobby with its clear "it is illegal to smoke here" signs, the young lady using her personal ...
2010-02-05
 
2193Excellent product, excruciating customer service. 3 Mobile Broadband
Should I shout, or whisper? An excellent product, but a dreadful company to deal with. I ordered a mobile broadband connection and router to go with it on 11th April and here we are - 21st May - with it just working. Not exactly technical problems - I knew exactly what I wanted as it was a repeat ...
2009-05-21
(longer)
2122Commission Creep
"Please sign this and return it - it confirms our telephone conversation". Fortunately, we're small enough to know who we have spoken to, and sharp enough (I think) to pick out rate changes in such documents which could so easily slip by in a larger office. We're noticing commission creep. The well ...
2009-04-08
 
519New Road
Choosing a name for your home? Or for your child or cat? It never ceases to amaze me how some people come up with words / names that aren't entirely appropriate - names that describe the current situation with accuracy but which - with just a moment's thought - they must realise will get outdated. ...
2009-01-28
(short)
1972Pettifog and forum boards away from public view
I looked up the word "pettifog" online ... and found the definition "To act like a pettifogger" here. Hmmm - I don't want to get too heated about this, but have you ever seen such a useless definition. And an ironic one too - because to Pettifog means to argue or quibble or grumble or carp over something ...
2009-01-04
(longer)
1862Remember your units
I remember one of my maths teachers at school - a certain Mr Shaftesbury - who despaired of me. I think he was the one who told my parents I would never be able to do even simple arithmetic. I was reminded of him a couple of hours ago when our order for 4 carrots turned up as 4 kilograms of carrots... ...
2008-11-02
 
1839Job application
From my email Subject: Application for any post.   Dear Sir/Madam;   I am writing in response to the job vacancy announcement of the above mentioned post. The position requirements and my skills are a perfect match.   As you'll see on my enclosed resume, I have the educational background, ...
2008-10-13
 
1783Think before you send
Some useful (?) things to send somebody ... a) A pair of scissors, in one of those hard plastic wraps that the stores use to prevent their products being used before they are sold, and you need a pair of scissors to open. b) A decompression program, in a compressed format c) A software download, with ...
2008-09-04
 
1741Age Concern
"Age Concern" says the "one armed bandit" in one of our local pubs - and watching the display on the screen, it tells us that 20% of the proceeds go to the Age Concern Charity. Good for them - I suppose - if they're happy to be funded by the profits from gambling; it's probably quite a good sales line ...
2008-08-07
 
562Smoke and mirrors
I spoke with FD and GD and DP and they all told me that I had an excellent and logical case, and I should ask R in the appropriate government department. I asked RJ and his colleague DH. RJ is rude and didn't reply (he never does according to DP), but DH did answer me and tell me that it was a commercial ...
2008-06-11
 
1349Cash is not an acceptable way of paying
Is it just me, or do you also feel it's the end of an era when a pay phone no longer lets you pay in cash? The coin slot in the phone box is sealed with a plate that says "see sign", and there's a sign telling you how to make a reverse charge call. Heavily vandalized inner city area? No - this is ...
2007-11-20
(short)
1337A series of tyre damages
Warwick, 11 a.m., Saturday, for later posting. I left Maastricht yesterday evening at quarter past four, was at my overnight stop in Kent from 11 p.m. to 5:30 a.m., and should have reached Birmingham at around 08:00 ready for the Python Conference - Pycon. So want went wrong? Debris on the motorway! ...
2007-09-11
 
1170Smoking, or no? The law insists we spell out the obvious
We're a non-smoking hotel, and our headquarters / second training centre is non smoking too. There's never been any change in that status, there's never been an issue with people who don't realise, and there's only been one occasion that I'm aware of that guests have smoked in their rooms. And we ...
2007-05-01
 
826Fighting illegal net use by imposing download limits
I was away in Cambridge last night ... and St Neots tonight. On line via a hotel's wireless connection, and limited to 150 Mbytes of traffic for my session. I've always felt that these hotel limits are agressively low - if I need to grab (say) a fresh download of J2EE, I'll have used up most of my allocation ...
2006-08-11
 
815Time trickles like water through a sieve
"It's been one of those days" says an incoming email, and indeed it has. I'm seated here, approaching 8 O'Clock in the evening, wondering where the day has gone. And yet .. a whiteboard with a "to do" list on it has some re-assuring white patches so I must have achieved something ... even if I sit ...
2006-07-31
(short)
791Strange housewarming
On Saturday evening, we were invited around to a house warming party that our new neighbours were holding ... or at least "House Warming" was what we were told. They moved in quite a while ago - before Christmas last year, in fact, and we've hardly seen them around - in fact I met 'her' just the once ...
2006-07-04
 
783Good follow up ... my thanks
My grateful thanks to our local police inspector for going well beyond the call of duty in explaining some of the law and the Wiltshire police policy in applying it with regard to the incident I reported here the other week. I've added an update quoting many of his words. I appreciate that the police ...
2006-06-30
 
478Watch what you wear
I stopped wearing a wristwatch years ago ... carrying heavy Sun workstations in and out of conference rooms, I used to get the strap entangled with the door handles and nearly had some nasty accidents ... and I feel a great freedom in having clean arms, clear wrists. When in formal wear, I'll use a ...
2006-06-05
 
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Well House Consultants specialise in training courses in Ruby, Lua, Python, Perl, PHP, and MySQL. We run Private Courses throughout the UK (and beyond for longer courses), and Public Courses at our training centre in Melksham, Wiltshire, England. It's surprisingly cost effective to come on our public courses - even if you live in a different country or continent to us.

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