Live A Lotto!

These are jottings from original entries made on my former website blog in May 2002.

It’s very hard to realise that it’s now over seven years since Camelot won the franchise to run the UK lottery for a second time. Prior to securing the licence to operate the National Lottery, the company pledged to donate £15 billion to good causes between 2002 and 2009 but quickly withdrew this promise saying that it would merely beat the £10.5 billion which it donated in the previous seven-year period. As the number of regular customers had fallen by 2002, Camelot decided upon a complete makeover.

The revamp was estimated to have cost £132 million of which £72 million was to be spent on a lavish media advertising campaign. Re-branding costs were in the region of £15 million and the development of a secure internet access facility was forecast to set them back £45 million. Nothwithstanding all this investment, the lottery was given the unoriginal name of Lotto on 18 May 2002 with the slogan ‘Don’t live a little, live a Lotto!’ One can only surmise at the number of brainstorming sessions held before deciding upon Lotto, the name, incidentally, used by about 85% of all countries with a state lottery.

My thoughts on all this expenditure was that it was a complete waste of money – money that could have been donated to worthwhile causes. I still believe that Camelot obtained their new licence under false pretences, and fail to understand why any lottery needs to be run as a commercial enterprise.

Also back in May 2002, I did some home reorganisation which included the archiving of some rarely used documents in a cardboard box. The box in question had been lurking in the loft for some considerable time and upon opening it, I found a newspaper dating back to May 1986. Within the paper was an advertisement for electrical products, included amongst which were video cassette recorders. Believe it or not, the prices of these almost obsolete machines ranged from £295 to £349 and were all shown as being on special offer! Today one can buy a basic DVD recorder for under £60. How times change!

Whilst working for a former employer, I had to attend a Team Building seminar at a retreat in North Yorkshire during May 2002. Despite having worked as part of a successful team for many years, senior management decided to reinvent the wheel and adopt various American practices. The workload was intense with both mental and physical tests, all designed to assess how well individuals work within a team.

Despite my general scepticism, some of the tasks were almost fun. One of the outdoor exercises entailed rock climbing and abseiling, neither of which I would probably have ever contemplated. However, with the support and encouragement of colleagues, the exercise proved to be exhilarating and one of considerable personal achievement. Of all the activities, this was undoubtedly the most beneficial in showing just what can be achieved when people work together, supporting and trusting one another. Without this support, trust and encouragement, the ascent of the rock face could not have been achieved!

Having invested considerable amounts of money and time into this seminar, which was the second one I had attended in the space of three months, the company made many of the staff redundant the following year, including me. Thankfully I no longer have the worry of attending such seminars or being at the mercy of senior management who do everything possible to try and justify their highly paid positions at the expense of others.


Looking Back

Way back yonder, from 1999 to 2004 to be precise, I maintained a popular personal website under the title of BRACCA online. This site gained a loyal, if relatively small, readership but like all good things, it eventually reached its natural conclusion. One of the most popular sections was the Journal which included many observations on people’s behaviour, especially from within the company for which I then worked.

Part of the concept of this blog is to re-visit some of those times past and to try and apply their relevancy to today. However, methinks very little has changed here in the United Kingdom. We still have the same government, relatively high unemployment, social greed, inefficient bureaucracy, traffic jams, inflation and over-crowding!

The first snippet will be posted very soon.