three scallywag monkeys

Left to Right: Mr Alan Bartram | Mr Bob Leiper | Mr Rex Gibbons

BeGolly, BeGosh!

Over the years, each of these scallywag little monkeys have come to me for assistance in sorting out your email issues! I managed to resolve your problems. This does rather suggest that I am a kind, helpful and supportive soul, and am pretty good at what I do.

Now these scallywag monkeys 'really' want to believe and pretend that I am 'really' a bad person, and that I have stolen this website project from their friend, Mr Gibbons? This, for no better reason than this is what Mr Gibbons tells you I have done. Just where is your evidence?  You have none.

I am here to tell you that Mr Gibbons was welcome to remain with this project all the time that he could:

  • Perform to the level of an 11 year old
  • Be sensible
  • Behave
  • Do exactly as he was told by a very experienced web developer

You want to believe that a man who has devoted thirty years of his life to serving the public as a police officer who has a certificate to say that his service was exemplary, whose last two website projects were to:

  • Build a clinical trials recruitment portal for the National Institute of Health Research
  • Make Horsham District Council area Dementia Friendly 

Has suddenly turned thief? This is somewat unlikely, implausible, improbable, ridiculous, and completely fatuous.

Let me give you some evidence. Let me give you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing, but the truth.

The truth is that Mr Gibbons urged and encouraged to build this lovely project by his oft repeated promises, assurances and reassurances that he would be a willing, capable, competent, reliable and trustworthy project partner. I was fool enough to believe him. I was suckered in by his promises. Mr Gibbons succeeded in deceiving, tricking and duping me into setting up a major (£38k) website project.

Mr Gibbons wanted me to build this, because he had the hope and expectation that another good pubs website, built by me, would (again) enable him to pretend to his silly friends, that he was (again), a 'very great and clever fellow'.

(As a very postive person, I asked myself, what could possibly go wrong? As the part of the project I needed Mr Gibbons to do, would have been well within the compass of an average eleven year old).

Sadly, the Mr Gibbons who rocked up to this project proved to be the EXACT OPPOSITE of what he promised, and that this project and I deserved to have.

Mr Gibbons went way beyond being unreliable and untrustworthy. I soon found that I could rely on him to be unreliable, and trust him to be untrustworty.

Between December 2014, and June, 2015, I tried my utmost to work with Mr Gibbons. But, he was unwilling, unable or incapable of doing ANY 'real' work at all, or add anything of value to this project. All he did manage to do was cause, problem, after problem, after problem. Mr Gibbons quickly revealed himself to be a problem factory, of spectacularly efficient productivity.

Through December, 2014 I spent a lot of time with Mr Gibbons, working alongside him in his office. He is not a man who can even sit normally, or even comfortably at his computer. I gave him a number of straightforward things to do, (some little tests) Mr Gibbons managed to 'Gibbons' them all.

Through December, in support of Mr Gibbons, I spent 15 days of my time in order to sort out the email difficulties that he had with his personal email address (The project email addresses that I set up for him all worked perfectly). This took me 10 days of online research into IMAP and POP3 email systems, and then MS Outlook Profiles). At the root cause of this problem was that the daft Mr Gibbons was silly enough to have BOTH IMAP and POP3 email systems in operation on a single email account?

On another day, I had shelved my plans for the day when Mr I asked Mr Gibbons if he had ever backed up his computer? He confided that he had not. That was another day wasted.

I suggested that he could grab himself an efficiency gain by adding a second computer monitor. (He had a monitor sitting on the floor of his office, and this would have been perfect). Mr Gibbons was so enthusiastic. With a second monitor he could (again) pretend to be 'really' a doubly great and clever fellow. Instead of following my advice, he bought another huge monitor that was way too big to be useful, or even fit comfortably alongside his existing monitor, not even on his (huge) desk. Instead of the efficiency gain, he gave himself an ergonomic nightmare.

Much worse was to come. The cable for the 2nd monitor was too short, and was in tension. Of course, a sensible person would have dashed to the shop to buy a longer one). This caused securing screws in the tower to come loose, and they down in the tower unit. Mr Gibbons was unable to connect his monitors.  A quck fix? Off came the tower case, Mr Gibbons found the screws and replaced them. Job done? No! The monitors worked again, but the computer was no longer able to connect wirelessly to the Mr Gibbons' wifi.

(Mr Gibbons has never heard of an antistatic wrist strap, or gave any thought to the damage his Heath Robinson, DIY repair might do to sensitive computer components).

Mr Gibbons contacted me. I went over the next morning to investigate the issue. I arrived with my laptop, iPad and iPhone. In a trice I had all devices connected to Mr Gibbons' wifi. Mr Gibbons confirmed that his daughters were also able to connect to the internet. I told him that it was his computer that had a fault. (Then the story of the monitor cables and issues emerged). I told Mr Gibbons that there was nothing wrong with his wifi, or his router. That he needed to have Jason Harmer (of Horsham Computers) to fix his computer. Further, as it was approaching the middle of December, unless he pulled his finger out, it would not be fixed until the the second half of January.

So, how did Mr Gibbons respond to my expert advice and diagnosis of his computer's inability to connect to the internet?

He decided to completely ignore it. One thing that I have learned about Mr Gibbons over the years I have known him that, instead of dealing with the problem expeditiously and efficiently himself, he will take his problem and lay it at the door of anyone else, that he can. In this case it was his poor, unfortunate ISP.

ICT suppport staff are by nature helpful and well trained. Mr Gibbons explained that his router was not working. (This was false). The ISP guy accepted at face value.  He went (Mr Gibbons said, and hour and a half, going through various problem solving proceedures.  At the end of this, the poor guy had probably lost the will to live, and he agreed to send him a new router.  (It was a small price to pay to get rid of the problematic Mr Gibbons and his problem from the phone).

A few days later the new router arrived, and it was setup.  Mr Gibbons' daughters could all connect wirelessly, but Mr Gibbons' computer STILL would not. What a surprise. My fears were realised. Mr Gibbons did not have the 'real' problem resolved (his computer), fixed until january was well advanced. Then the silly man thought that I would in any way be impressed by his 'negotiation skills', and being able to blag an unecessary new router from his ISP.  He had wasted more time - more prevarication, obfuscation and delay.

I had been at pains to warn Mr Gibbons:

  • That the little knowledge that I had give him, when I had given him a pubs website 12 years ago did not make him a webmaster.
  • That over 12 years website development had galloped along, and Mr Gibbons was a man who had very itchy and idle fingers and thumbs
  • This was a dangerous combination. Thinking that you can do something, and doing it properly and professionally were two very different things.
  • I strongly cautioned Mr Gibbons against, going rogue, off plan, off course, off mission, and off piste, and 'doing a Michael Schumacher' on me.
  • I had MUCH backend website development work to do, and I would not be happy, if, whilst my eye was taken off Mr Gibbons, if I suddenly discovered that he had engaged in extra curricular, unscripted, unwelcome, and foolish website activities.

    My BIG FEAR was that Mr Gibbons would not be able to resist the temptation to do a Michael Schumacher, and that was exactly what the silly man did). Mr Gibbons was like a man who, playing golf, with me as his partner, who quite deliberately tees the ball up, and hits it just as hard as he can, in COMPLETELY THE WRONG DIRECTION, leaving me to play the second shot, from an impossible and stupid position.

Through December, 2014, depite all of my time spent with Mr Gibbons, we did no project wok at all. I would like to say that we did enabling and empowering work, but this was not. It was remedial and special measures work and I was quickly fed up with holding his digital hand and wiping his digital bottom.

Just how did Mr Gibbons showed his appreciation and gratitude for my devoting 15 days to him in December, (holding his digital hand, and wiping his digital backside? On 21st, 22nd, and 23rd December, he decided to go rogue, and do a Michael Schumacher by exercising his itchy and idle fingers and thumbs, (without any reference to me), and 'just try' to forge ahead with the listing Crawley pubs?

Mr Gibbons was publishing complete and utter rubbish. This was not a little problem. This was rubbish in profusion. (I had told Mr Gibbons, over and, over again, that it is better to publish one pub listing, and work with that to get it right, than to publish a profusion of inaccurate and incomplete pub listings. To publish wildly inaccurate records would undermine the validity and credability of the pubs project, and make the pair of us look stupid).

I was incandescant with rage when I saw what he was doing, just days after I warned him against doing a 'Michael Schumacher'.  This would have been plenty bad enough at any time of year, but for Mr Gibbons to dish this up to me at Christmas? (I was expecting to have a much more conventional Chrstmas 'turkey').

I rang Mr Gibbons to berate him and demand that he remove his 'tosh' immediately. I told him that he had 24 hours to do this, or otherwise there would be serious consequences. On 24th December, and 24 hours later, I looked at the website. The offending records were still live, and published. I rang him again, and, (foolishly, as is his want), he lied to me.Yes, he told me bare faced lies. He said that he had taken the records down. Had he, Hell? Mr Gibbons showed himself (again) to be a man who was completely impervious to any subtelty, nuance, and would ignore all my advice, guidance, and even the firmest of instructions.

Mr Gibbons had quite deliberately decided to ignore and refuse to do what I told him to do, because, he was a 'fully paid up member of the CAMRA scallywag monkey troup. He decided that he wanted to assert his authority over me, a 'mere' website developer.

Mr Gibbons had decided that he could dip in and dip out of this website project that I had built, and paid for, whenever he liked, and leave his digital deposits all over the immaculate project carpet, for me to have to clear up? He wanted to show that he was in charge? A total fool.

I took these rogue records down myself. This was absolutley the last thing that I wanted to do on Christmas Eve. Happy Christmas, Mr Pine, from your ever so, willing, capable, competent, reliable and trustworthy project partner? Mr Gibbons had showed himself to be a man who would 'creep' onto the project to dump his digital deposits all over the immaculate project carpet. Not only that, he was dumping on my Christmas. A fatal mistake!

This is NOT the behaviour of a willing, capable, competent, reliable and trustworthy project partner. Rather, it is behaviour of someone who does not listen, ignores instructions, is disrespectful, thoughtless, has no sense, no regard, and no empathy for his project partner who had spent 15 days supporting him through December, 2014? In other words, a fool.

For doing this to me, Mr Gibbons would have needed a miracle to come back to this project after behaving as he did. I did wait for 6 months, and prayed and waited for a miracle, so I gave Mr Gibbons more than a fair crack of the whip. However, the miracle that Mr Gibbons needed, and I prayed for simply did not happen.