Attention to detail

I’ve just seen that the company I used to work for, Cobham Wireless, part of Cobham plc, that well known British aerospace and defence manufacturing company are advertising for a “Systems Engineer”, Seniority Level: Entry level.
In the “About Cobham Wireless” blurb is says; “Cobham Wireless develops, manufactures and sells DAS (Distributive Antenna Systems)…”

Well, there’s higher paid minds than mine ever was churning this stuff out but, “Distributive”?

One of my roles within Cobham Wireless, before I accepted redundancy, was as a writer of handbooks, specification sheets and a producer of system diagrams and occasionally the odd piece of marketing collateral, very odd sometimes. I had to take rough sketches, you know the stuff, back of fag packet jobs, and tart them up to be presentable to a customer. I often re-wrote entire tracts of copy sent to me so that it made sense, a lot of said copy having been produced by people whose first language wasn’t English.

Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not having a pop at those people, they were doing the best they could and their English skills were certainly a lot better than my Swedish, German or Israeli, but once the basic information got to me, I made it “customer presentable”.

Not that I’ve got letters after my name or heaps of credentials and certifications but when I was producing documents for Cobham Wireless, for Axell Wireless before them and for Aerial Facilities Limited (AFL) before them both, I made sure, to the best of my abilities, that what I wrote was grammatically correct and easily digestible; all too often things get padded out with all sorts of distracting and sometimes downright misleading “information”. I remember once being given a datasheet for a fibre-fed repeater to “update” the specification, which I did but noticed in the little infographic picture thingy, call it what you will, there was a representation of an off-air repeater and a donor antenna, well, I thought, that’s not going to work, is it… So I did a new graphic there and then, inserted it into the updated specification sheet and sent it on its way.

It’s the attention to detail that matters, as our old boss Abbas at AFL used to say, “Attention to detail my boy, attention to detail”. When AFL became Axell we embarked on a whole re-branding exercise and several years later when Axell became Cobham we did it all over again, well, some of us did. I was forever being given specification sheets to update that still had graphics in the Axell house colours which was a particularly yucky combination of purples, pinks and greys. I re-drew a lot of graphics in Cobham house colours, not only the house colours but in Cobham inspired colours, a certain leeway was permitted, shades of the colours in 10% graduations; and in spite of me doing this and making those graphics available on a shared drive, the official repository of such things, the so-called Marketing Department with the “Digital Marketing Specialists” kept re-using the Axell flavoured graphics. It’s fair to say that towards the end I did give up, a little.

And now Cobham Wireless are making Distributive Antenna Systems, well, that’s certainly a departure from the Distributed Antenna Systems they used to do when I worked there.

The job description blurb in the “Industry” section says,

Industry
Information Technology & Services

Non-profit Organization Management
Management Consulting

Non-profit? I recall that only a couple of years back we all got a message from David Lockwood, CEO of the entire Cobham plc ménage, urging us to look out for cost savings wherever we could, “Cash counts for Cobham” was the tagline and now they’ve got “Non-profit Organization Management”, my, my, how things change, it must be the effects of the whole Kobham Kit and Kaboodle being snapped-up by Advent International.

 

blurb
/bləːb/
noun
a short description of a book, film, or other product written for promotional purposes.

verb
Informal • North American
write or contribute a blurb (for a book, film, or other product).

 

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