May 19, 2011


First, a warning: these plans are copyrighted and trademarked. Intellectual property rights and all that, you know. (As you will see later, one doesn’t need to have much intellect at all to have intellectual rights.)

I have developed unique communication software that can be custom tailored to meet individual management requirements for quick and cheap communications between ships and the office. It will work with any email client or interactive voice response (IVR) system, thus granting a wide variety of suspects in the office the ability to respond to most communication originating from ships in 1.4 seconds flat- or your money back! (Conditions apply). The software will, whether the ship communicates by email or IVR, reply and disconnect within those 1.4 seconds, requiring-for email- a maximum of two keystrokes by the suspect, sorry, operator. Voice is even easier.

This bespoke path breaking patented software is appropriately named E-cliché™. Interested parties can contact me for an incredible introductory offer made later (while stocks last).

E-cliché™ involves a onetime keying in of up to 256 stock replies- email or voice- into the user’s computer terminal. These 256 represent the most commonplace clichés Masters are fed by managers. Anyway, after keying in, each of these banal utterances will then be allotted a unique identification number. (We will, at ridiculously cheap rates, arrange unemployed cadets to do the data entry grunt work).

That is all; the user is now all set to use E-cliché™!!

Whenever an email or phone call comes in from the ship thereafter, the user will- Step1: Click on the email or pick up the phone, and Step 2: Either key in or speak the number corresponding to the programmed stock reply from the ‘list of clichés (LOC)’. (A small laminated colour with the LOCs will be provided free of cost to each user).

Incidentally, when using the IVR, the hapless Master at the other end will not hear the user’s voice saying, for example, ‘one’, or ‘two’, or “two hundred and twenty nine”: instead, the Captain will simply hear an automated response that corresponds with the E-cliché™ chosen, and a surprisingly husky female voice will read out to him the full form of the selected cliché. The system will then disconnect immediately before the Captain can speak again.

Feedback from the industry at the Beta testing stage has resulted in us feeding a few stock responses into each system even before installation. These are based on the most common platitudes used by ship-managers. The user’s manual we supply recommends the use of these preset clichés appropriately: for example, the number ‘one’ is preprogrammed to respond with “seafarers are our most valuable assets”. We suggest that this be used as soon as possible after a ship is hijacked.

Other scenarios and suggested preset responses:

Scenario, Master’s message:”Awaiting critical spares since last October. Please advise.”
Preset E-cliché™ reply #5: “Arriving at next port.”

Scenario, Master’s message: “Help!! Pirates are threatening to secure my genitals with cable ties, keelhaul me and throw me into the meat room with ice in my underwear!!”
Preset E-cliché™ reply #18: “Follow latest version of Best Management Practices.”

Scenario, Master’s message: “Crew is putting on weight. We need to renew twenty year old gym equipment. Please sanction funds ASAP.”
Preset E-cliché™ reply #101: “This Company believes that everybody should grow together.”

Scenario, Master’s message: “Third Mate requests immediate relief before sailing this port. As you know, his entire family killed in home fire last week. FYI, vessel sailing tomorrow”.
Preset E-cliché™ reply #2: “We are endeavouring to find suitable relief. Please bear with us.”

Scenario, Master’s message:”Ref last mail, strongly suggest no deductions be made for Third Mate’s repatriation from his wages, on compassionate grounds.”
Preset E-cliché™ reply #3: “Amount to be deducted follows. We are about people, not profits”.

Scenario, Master’s message: “Officers and crew are refusing to work because wages have not been paid for two months. Kindly advise.”
Preset E-cliché™ reply #8: “Teamwork is indispensible.”

Scenario, Master’s message: “Chief Engineer regrets unable to attend company seminar two days after signing off since daughter’s school admission on same day.”
Preset E-cliché™ reply #255: “These seminars are very useful as they provide an opportunity for seafarers to give feedback to top management.”

Scenario, Master’s message: “Please advise plan re: longstanding small holes/cracks in shipside plating below waterline that are presently cement-boxed.”
Preset E-cliché™ reply #111: “Safety is paramount in our organisation.”

Scenario, Master’s message: “Reference your email dated April 1 regarding crew shortage, regret all officers and crew inform me that none of their relatives want to join this company”.
Preset E-cliché™ reply #222: “If it weren’t for seafarers, half the world would freeze and the other half starve.”

Scenario, Master’s message: “Help! This may be my final email! The pirates are threatening to shoot all of us this evening if the ransom is not paid immediately!”
Preset E-cliché™ reply #10: “Press Ctrl+Alt+Del”

It is easy to see that the E-cliché™ will revolutionise ship to shore communication as we know it and simultaneously increase productivity exponentially- one can even reply to phone calls while playing golf without interrupting one’s swing!

I intend, after the inevitable successful upcoming official launch of the E-cliché™, to immediately launch my next venture, the E-Seminar. This will be followed by another hot idea: a postgraduate diploma level programme that I am now developing with input from practicing ship managers; this is tentatively called the E-Shaft™.

Meanwhile, I am working closely with regulators to develop a modular E-cliché™ training programme that will soon be mandatory for all ship managers. The two day course will take one day each for in depth training in the two steps of the E-cliché™ software. Day 1 will teach only Step 1 (how to click on mail in your inbox or how to pick up the phone). Day two will cover Step 2- the use of preset clichés and the LOC, with wide-ranging additional scenarios practiced and discussed extensively.

Now, a special, amazing offer. For a limited time only, readers of this column can buy just one step of E-cliché™ and get the other one free! Book now- quoting reference number ‘420’- to enjoy this fantastic offer at an unbeatable price!

Before it is too late.


No comments: