Personal Brand

Personal Brand

It is no longer good enough to be one face in the crowd
You need something distinctive to shout out really loud
In these modern days where qualifications proliferate
Extra impetus is needed to give your CV more weight

It is also true that individuality is the cult of the day
‘Look who I am’ is the message to convey
So our unique selling points we have to grandstand
And this can be achieved with a personal brand

The use of social media helps in self-promotion
Face Book and Twitter set the wheels in motion
This takes some time and can be quite a slog
Or you can gather a following with a topical blog

Some find that YouTube can spark lots of interest
It’s visual cameos often seem to work best
But branding is not only about loud media hype
It is more than just creating a new stereotype

Your personal brand should convey to all others
That you are different from many competitive runners
In the race for that treasured new job or profession
Claim that those talents they seek are in your possession

When there are so many fish swarming the sea
From that pool of bidders why should they pick me?
The answer would seem is to make them aware
Of the power of your brand when they start to compare

And so whatever in life is your earnest endeavour
Success in employment, marriage, or whatsoever
My advice would be to polish your brand
Thus being ready for whatever life might demand

This worldly advice is not meant to seem selfish
To ‘big you up” or half-truths to embellish
But rather to encourage your own self-belief
In your personal brand which will ensure you succeed

You may have observed that the brands we all love
Have not been handed down to us from someone above
They took years to build up to a good reputation
So it’s bound to take time to gain acclamation

Ken Fisher

Turkey Without Legs [2017]

Turkey Without Legs [2017]

Here’s a thing you did not know
And I assure you that it’s so
Legless turkey is being served
A phenomenon I have observed

As you see from this tasty plate
Who needs legs you might debate?
When stuffing’s there and so’s the meat
With sprouts and roasties, quite complete

It’s just that somehow one does wonder
Has the chef just made a blunder
Or have those legs now gone astray?
Their absence may cause some dismay

However, I really have to claim
Legless turkey tastes the same
And with the trimmings on display
Such a meal will make your day

One final thought about this dish
As we munch together I would wish
Despite not being the real McCoy
This legless bird might still bring joy

Ken Fisher

Hospitality

Hospitality

As we enter the season of advent, with its feverish activity
We hear distant echoes of Bethlehem, home to the nativity
And we compare our modern world of sumptuous hospitality
With the those far off rustic scenes of poverty and frugality

Hospitality given to strangers is a revered ancient tradition
To those who travel, driven on by a  determined mission
Pilgrims, intent on arrival at some holy shrine, their ambition
Travel weary refugees, claiming sanctuary is their petition

Hospitality today has moved far from simply the provision of a home
For Holy Family, shepherds and wise men beneath the celestial dome
In the dazzle of Christmas celebrations light is no longer monochrome
And to join in the fiesta no obligation on us to roam

Hospitality now manifest in food and drink and warmth and friendliness
A congenial welcome, a re-discovery of neighbourliness
An opening of hearts to show the milk of human kindness
So in our celebrations let love be the ever-present witness

But the spirit of advent exceeds mere hospitality
Or modern Christmas fun with tinsel and triviality
In essence it renews the desire for hope and peace and joy and love
Incarnate in that Infant come to mankind from God above

Ken Fisher

 

Track Your Parcel

Track Your Parcel

A mounting feeling of anticipation
Wondering when it will arrive
There is no need for desperation
Without it we have so far survived

In times past we simply waited
Till the postman rang our bell
Gazing at the pane frustrated
Arrival time we can’t foretell

The modern world is so high tech
Now we trace it on its way
Aware of delay or bottleneck
Beeps can trigger hope or dismay

But sometimes promises are broken
Dashing all our expectations
Bell rings and our door we open
Looking out full of impatience

But all we find is our Window Cleaner
Wanting paid and Christmas tip
Of parcel van he’s not the driver
Bearing our much hoped for gift

So when you order goods on-line
Remember hitches can arise
Predictions may be undermined
To remain uncertain my be wise

However, imagine how it made as marvel
When our neighbour at our door arrives
Bearing our illusive parcel
She had received to her surprise!

Ken Fisher

Black Friday 2017

Black Friday 2017

Black Friday is about to dawn
Indeed it seems never to have gone
This mad scramble for bargains
Gives birth to rugby scrums in shopping malls
And melt-down on computer networks
As search engines and eager bargain-hunters
Hit the town centres and the web browsers

I wonder if this whole exercise has some cathartic purpose
Pent-up emotions being released in some orgasmic frenzy
But who stirred up the desire in the first place?
Did we harbour some deep repressed longing to buy, buy, buy
Or was it the wiles and blandishments of the advertisers
On behalf of the retailers in their constant quest for profit
Who ensured that we would not remain lethargic

Well whoever is to blame, ourselves or the market place
We are assured that Friday will produce record-breaking turnover
Shops may be crammed with customers
And the on-line trade will ensure the white-van army
Of delivery agents will shift the goods from anonymous
Warehouses up and down the land, to your door and mine
And we will jump for joy at the ring on our door bell!

Happy shopping!

Ken Fisher

 

 

Survey Monkey!

Survey Monkey

 

Get the facts! Count the numbers! With these you can’t go wrong!
And “facts are cheils that winna ding, and downa be disputed”*
So to prove the case with solid facts surely won’t take long
Our source of truth and accuracy cannot be refuted

But having taken time and effort the data all collected
Collated all the inputs, calculations duly performed
We find our conclusions in reality not reflected
As if our research still leaves us misinformed

Could this be because the questions make no sense?
Or our analysis contrived the real results to distort
We shouldn’t really need to offer pleas in our defence
As the numbers surely will our case support

Pollsters’ forecasts now result in consternation
Apparently unable to accurately predict
Despite all that deep interrogation
Somehow reality they fail to depict

So when to the results of surveys we appeal
We surely ought to exercise due caution
The answers given may not mirror how people feel
Rationality given way to emotive reaction?

Ken Fisher

*”Facts are chiels that winna ding “ = Facts are fellows that
will not be overturned. From A Dream – Robert Burns 1786

Remembrance 2017

Remembrance 2017

A similar poem was posted at this time last year.
We hope that despite the restlessness among the nations
 we might still remain grateful for the past and
optimistic about the future
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Today is a time for remembering
Thinking back to those dark days of war
When life was uncertain for all
And for some, death was an imminent prospect

But few living today have much memory
Of the years of conflict when hostilities raged
And although warfare still encircles the world
Our experience of it is mediated by TV images

And yet we have an uncomfortable feeling
That despite efforts to unite the nations
There is a persistent climate of arm-wrestling
Between the great powers who eyeball each other

The Cold War brought with it the four-minute-warning
Not long to compose our minds for oblivion!
But presently, although we hope our future might stretch for decades,
We cannot quite eliminate the nagging uncertainty for our destiny

However, for today, we give thanks
For all those who bought our freedom
And pledge to strive to maintain
Such fragile peace as we possess

Ken Fisher

Taxation

Taxation [And how some dodge it]

 

Taxation, a claim on their wealth, some want to avoid
The demand from the Revenue gets them really annoyed
But avoidance is achieved when legal loop-holes are taken
Whereas evasion, an act of defiance really quite brazen

The distinction between these two seems really quite subtle
For both indicate, of the demands of the state, a sort of rebuttal
Although avoidance involves the clever use of the law
Evasion is just deception, quite blatant and raw

It would appear that lots of citizens and large corporations
Have exploited the laws of far away nations
Based on islands amidst the sun, sand and sea
Where from heavy tax levies they permit us to flee

Some say that this is just a form of legitimized theft
To benefit the few, with no care for the rest
But others claim that the fruits of their hard-earned labour
Should belong to themselves and not to their neighbour

Perhaps the truth of the matter is not easy to detect
We are entitled to our rewards but others we must not neglect
So when it comes to taxation we should try to be fair
And devise a system through which all get a share

Many trying to reduce their tax are forced to explore
If they can achieve this by moving funds off-shore
And thus have grown up complex institutions
Helping their clients to reduce tax contributions

You may well have a view as to whether all this is moral
And there are no doubt principles  with which you may quarrel
But human beings are inclined to look after self first
Ensuring that their wealth is not too widely dispersed

Ken Fisher

Revolution [On the centennial of the Russian Revolution 1917]

Revolution

Today marks the centennial of the end of the
Russian Revolution – November 7th 1917

 When we sit cosily at home with our tea and scone
It seems incredible that peace might be overthrown
And in a world where communication is so all pervasive
Where words rather than weapons might be persuasive

Revolution implies the forcible ousting of government
By those who demand a new empowerment
That the existing order of society be cast aside
Usurped by a sea-change taken at high tide

Countries great and small lived through revolution
Accompanied by bloodshed and much persecution
In France, America, Cuba, and nation states world wide
Sometimes united in the cause, often fraught by genocide

Even today the  modern world of nations remains fractious
Made unstable by nationalism and diverse political factions
While adherence to religion still exerts a powerful force
Sometimes engendering unity, at others internecine divorce

So while we recall historic events of those days long past
Our plea is that our own fragile peace might last
That somehow the peoples of our divided lands
Might reach out to one another with open hands

It should not be beyond our wit to achieve an abiding solution
Which avoids the last resort of bloody revolution
That justice and equity be achieved without upheaval
A fairer society where all are treated equal

Ken Fisher

As a Revolutionary, Guy Fawkes was Relatively Tame (2017 version)

As a Revolutionary Guy Fawkes Was Relatively Tame!

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Who can doubt the treachery of Guy Fawkes in days of yore
As audacious as any revolt that had come before
To kill King James and those then sitting in Parliament
Was the purpose on which these bold plotters were bent

But the plotters were ‘foxed’ when the cellars were checked
And their malicious intentions did not go unchecked
Thus failed the plan to divert history’s direction
With the death of those who foment disaffection

Fast forward from those events of 1605
The desire for reform is still much alive
Perhaps gunpowder no longer the agent of change
Other forces at play can  our lives rearrange

Politics, the modern weapon whereby changes are wrought
Citizens express their desires through the ballot box
So elections now ignite the volatile spark
Resulting in changes that may be quite stark

The referenda can trigger demands quite explosive
As feelings are stirred making tempers emotive
Demands for freedom from the yoke of the oppressor
Those perceived of our rights to have been the transgressor

And so on the  European Question there was little doubt
Deeply divided opinion on whether IN or OUT
Brexit is bound to bring far-reaching change
Who yet knows if these will be losses or gains?

While at this time of year Guy Fawkes may be fondly recalled
By contemporary scandals we are not quite so enthralled!
But one thing is sure, changes will come, and we’ll have to cope
So keep your powder dry and don’t give up hope

It is odd to reflect that the prestige of Westminster
May be tarnished by the new sobriquet ‘sexminster’
Let’s hope MPs can revert to propriety
And I don’t simply mean maintaining sobriety!

Ken Fisher

Fidget

Fidget

I notice that fidgeting has been brought back to mind
As nervous souls seek out ways to unwind
Some smart entrepreneur has come up with a winner
And thus brought to market the Fidget Spinner

I suppose this might simply be a short-term craze
Its duration not years but simply months, even days
But that fact of its appearance does at least testify
To an unmet need you cannot deny

So what is this fidgeting eponymous?
That gave the name to this device so dexterous
Requiring nimble fingers to spin the wheel
And the faster, I assume the better we feel

Fidgeting is the act of moving restlessly
Fiddling with hands or clothes somewhat nervously
Perhaps it is fear or boredom causing agitation
Or some forthcoming test or a confrontation

Some claim that fidgeting is caused by our genes
So this restless behaviour is not what it seems
Whatever the cause it is an unconscious act
Of which few would deny its power to distract

Fidgeting may involve pulling one’s hair
Or flexing fingers, a quite common affair
Sometimes our leg cannot keep still
Bouncing up and down quite beyond our will

So what can we do about this awkward affliction?
Which at its worst is like a persistent addiction
Perhaps to relax is the best advice we can give
And with all such defects simply just learn to live

Ken Fisher

The Slow Death of the Cheque

The Slow Death of the Cheque

The Bills of Exchange Act 1882 defines a cheque as a written order from an account holder
instructing their bank to pay a specified sum of money to one or more named beneficiaries.

The old fashioned cheque is now under threat
And its early demise is quite a safe bet
Its steady decline has now become drastic
Thanks to the ubiquitous employment of plastic

Credit and debit cards are now used everywhere
Especially when paying at point of sale
And now for small payments, no need to swipe
Just touch the card on the sensor, no gripe

The combination of chip and pin has almost killed cash
And these smart methods all work in a flash
When you want to make payment by the internet
Your plastic data can soon increase your debt

The growth of eBay has promoted PayPal
And for online trading it helps you go far
Of course you can now pay using your phone
Which is handy if travelling and you want to get home

So many of us now use lap-tops or tablets
Thus on-line banking’s a regular habit
So payments can happen without intervention
Debts can be settled with little attention

There is one point of which we must take note
And this to ensure we still keep afloat
Does our bank account hold enough in reserve?
To ensure our creditworthiness we still preserve

One final word, and this is a caution
But I think on this venture you should take precautions
Bitcoin is a brand new type of ‘crypto-currency’
I think I will avoid till it reaches maturity

Ken Fisher