“Carbonated Soft Drink” takes me around the world

1 – Chocolate takes me around the world
2 – Beer takes me around the world
3 – Sludge takes me around Warrington

In this the fourth series of where work takes me around the world.

My latest work travel takes me to a carbonated soft drinks factory in Sofia, Bulgaria.

This is exciting because it is more than 9 months since my last trip oversea and the first one since I’ve re-joined the company. From a work point of view, I am exciting to get away from the stress of the work I have in the UK. I love to escape and work in a different country, experience new things.

From a photography point of view, I am even more exciting to bring my new camera the Sony A6000 there. I will be heading to the capital Sofia where there are lots of historical buildings and sites to photograph. And luckily I will have a couple of days of free time for bit of sightseeing too and maybe some model shoots!

The site has also promised free and unlimited supply of soft drinks while we are there!!!

Now that I am back in the UK. I was lucky enough to have arranged 3 photoshoots while in Sofia. They were awesome models and I am really happy with all three shoots, some cracking shots too. To see more of my photos, please visit my photographic website at simonphotography.co.uk

Some teasers here, they are all shot with natural light only!

Model: Marina


Model: Joanna

Model: Celene

and finally me visiting the Rila Monastery and decreasing their trout population (Monastery Trout is the local popular dish)


Moving ON

There is always a time to look to move on. Whether it is a task, a project, a tool, a thought, a feeling, a job and a person.

There is simply no more time, and actually you are dwelling on it.

I call this the dwelling factor. It is a negative factor.

In my Intelligence Resource Methodology,

Gain or Loss = f ( Timing, Location Advantage, People Relationship )

Dwelling on things would have a negative effect on all 3.

wasting and losing time, staying too long and let other gain location advantage, existing relationship become tired and not forming new relationship.

Positive change cannot come about while dwelling.

Dwelling on thing any longer, it will become a negative change. It is going backwards.

Act efficiently, don’t dwell on things.


Road Block and 3 ways

When your Road is block? How do you deal with it?

  1. Go straight on and crush the block.
  2. Turn Back
  3. Use alternative routes or bypass block

What happens if the block to moving towards you.

Would you still?

  1. Go straight on and crush the block even thought the expected impact is higher.
  2. Turn Back and Run away
  3. Use alternative routes or bypass block, shimmy pass the block

Which is the clever way?

Well it is of course dependent on the situation, you and the specification of the block!

For example:

IT is planning to block internet access to non-work related website.

  1. To go head to head and flight the ban
  2. Stop visiting those sites and compile to IT’s demand
  3. Find a way to bypass firewall, use other means of connecting to the internet

I would always choose 3, not because I always bend rules, it is becuase I believe their is another way and nothing stop my train. It is always going forward, even if I have to take a side step.

This is not helping the IT, because it seem like I am compiling but actually I have move myself outside of their system.

I am going call this tool simply as “3 ways” under Intelligence Resource.

Lean Six Sigma (5)

Last day on the course. Luckily avoided the CHILLI shot the night before and people was talking about it in the room. It would be nice if I was to come back. I will miss these guys, not that I like any of them that much. It is the fact that next time when I do my green belt it will be with strangers!

Anyway, the final day was a long exercise on Value Stream mapping. I have to say it was quite straight forward. Some of my team mates took longer than I did to grasp the tool.

It was good that the week has finished early, it is also good that I am more focus and motivated.

Then I went back to the office and got some more abuse and “BACK DOWN TO ROTTEN EARTH”


Lean Six Sigma (1)


I am on a Lean Six Sigma – Yellow Belt training for all of this week.

It has been long and painful journey to get my company to support me in this.

It was the original intent for me to go on a Green Belt course.

Well based on cost and finding a suitable manufacturing type project, my wish was reduced to a yellow belt course.

It is called Yellow belt, but basically is half the Green belt. In fact this week I will be training with Green and Black belt people. The whole Black belt can be modulised into 4 weeks course.

Yellow is the first, Green is the first to second and half. and Black is the whole shebang.

Basically to get a Green Belt, you need to demonstrate the theory learnt in Yellow and go on to carry out a project. Obviously Black will involve another project and the role would beyond just a small project but actually leading the whole project.

In a way, I am doing the Yellow, with my aim set clearly on Green and beyond. I am buying my time to find a good project and I will definitely push for Green belt in 2009.

Well let me continue by shocking the resident of Kent!.

I sat next to a Senior Legal Advisor for Civil Advice. The council is funding his MBA and the Black belt course (£3800) god know how much the MBA is.

I did make a sneaky comment, “Kent’s council tax must be very high!”

What the hell is going on. A lawer with MBA and Black Belt Lean Six Sigma, what a Fcuking waste!

and waste of tax payer money too!

I should start looking for a job in local authority right!

Compare to the struggle I had with my aproval on a “YELLOW” belt course.

Ok it costs £950 + £500 expenses. But it is very much worth it.

Some has even questioned (behind the scenes!) about why I am in York. Well, there is no other course cheaper than this one, even including the expenses.

I know, my daily charge rate is £600 quid, meaning a maximum loss earning of fees of £3000 plus the £1500 cost so totally £4500. it sounds alot but come on please, can ANYONE see the massive potential, not for myself but for the BLOODY COMPANY!!! It all cost cost cost, no vision no imagination.

Every big chemicals, manufacturers, industrial companies are going down the route of Lean or Six Sigma. It is like SI units, if I can be this bold.

Please forget about the old British units. Lean and Six Sigma is the new one.

Let me explain in another way, if I write a report with Lean and Six Sigma language to a site that is carrying out Lean or Six Sigma. Can you see this is added-value, integrating to the way of the site.


In the current climate, if I was recruiting for my company, I would strong look at Lean and Six Sigma as a key skill set. Why would we pay more for someone with these skills that not training ourselves up. We are intelligent engineers, and should also understands that these skills are like tools. More skills/tools do actually earn more FEES!

I do feel that by the end of this week, I would have improved my ARSENAL! and will recover the cost in fees in foreseeable future. I have no doubt. Please do not judge my loyalty either. I know some people will think I am selfish and just want this for myself and I would bugger off. Hey fcuking come-on, I have work hard for this company and I will continue to do so, I have proved this to many people all the time. I don’t need to justify my loyalty further more and as such I felt totally insulted that people even questions my motive.

Invest in people and all that, I have not had a training course for two years and the company needs to develop people! We are working at the fore front and the day we stop learning is also the day we going backwards!

” You show me no respect, I shall give you no respect”. It goes both ways!

I am a bullet train and you are my obsticles. I will not stop because you think otherwise.

Enough ranting!

I will enjoy the rest of the course. I will write a post every day this week to give my thoughts.

There are about 20 people in the course, some are yellow belts, some are green belts, and some are black belts.

Please! I am in no way arrogrant but I feel I am the cleverest people in the room, if not “the” at least one of “the”.

I have to say that I am constantly thinking about my “Intelligence Resource” methodology. My common sense and IRM is raw and NATURAL. This is the first training of this type I have been on. What I have heard so far matches very much to IRM. I shall not reinvent the wheel but combine all these thinking into IRM for the invention of a super wheel!

There is something that IRM is unique. Lean looks at the speed of delivery and Six Sigma looks at the quality of the delivery. IRM looks at both and the keyword is “OPTIMISED” in speed and quality. It is similiar but very different in many ways!

At this point, IRM dictates that maxmimum sleeping time is required for information absorbing tomorrow.