Print to PDF… Must have free software

“The best things in life are free”… well not always, but if you need to be able to quickly and easily create Adobe PDF documents and you don’t want to pay for or install expensive Adobe Acrobat software (or get Office 2007) then check out this neat application (it’s free, never runs out and is Open Source)… you simply click File | Print and select the virtual PDF printer, pick a file name – and you’re done. Nice.

http://www.pdfforge.org/products/pdfcreator

Highly Skilled? Check out my new HSMP Calculator

I did it. Many others want to do it… Coming to or staying longer in the UK! The Home Office keep changing the rules, but a relatively easy way (for graduates) to get into or stay in the United Kingdom is through the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP). The criteria consider education, earnings and age. To make it easier, I’ve built a simple, online HSMP Calculator

http://www.hsmpcalculator.co.uk

…give it a spin! See if you qualify.

SAA specials from UK to SA

Just received this special offer email from SAA, which covers most of the year, but must be booked by 31 Jan.

Who can shed pounds
on fares to
South Africa?
South African Airways
Naturally.
From only £404.*
Visit www.flysaa.com or
call 0871 226 5397 for reservations.
*Book by 31st January 2007.
Valid for travel between 20th January – 30th November 2007.
Fare includes all taxes. Conditions apply.

    TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  • Fares are subject to availability
  • GBP404.00 includes all taxes applicable for London – Johannesburg – London.
    GBP454.00 includes all taxes applicable for London – Cape Town – London
  • Booking period: 22 December 2006 – 31 January 2007
  • Travel period: 20 January 2007 – 22 March 2007 & 19 April 2007 – 30 June 2007 & 01 September 2007 – 30 Novemebr 2007
  • Valid on South African Airways direct international services from London to Johannesburg and London to Cape Town only
  • Refunds: Tickets are non-refundable and non-endorsable
  • Cancellations: No refund
  • Changes: Not permitted after ticketing
  • Endorsements: Non-endorsable, non-refundable, valid on flights/dates shown only
  • Child fares: Accompanying children aged 2-11 years inclusive pay 75% of the adult fare
  • Infant fares: Accompanying infants under 2 years old not occupying a seat pay 10% of the adult fare
  • Voyager Miles Accrual: Special fares qualify for 50% of flown miles only

Don’t use ArgusCarHire or Drifter Car Rental in Malta

I’ve just got back from Malta, and apart from a great holiday – I’ve had some poor customer service that I wanted to share.

 Drifter Car Rental / Drifter Car Hire of Malta – these guys are sharks. They offer what appears to be the lowest rate via brokers like Argus Car Hire, but when you get there they slap on extra insurances (that are supposed to be included) which doubled the price and made them more expensive than some of the other big names. Also… they don’t have an airport location (they have a cocky, arrogant agent Angie come out and patronise you) and they are not on time to meet you. Their cars are older and not clean. Avoid these guys like the plague.

ArgusCarHire.com / Argus Car Hire – these guys were complicit in the issues I had with Drifter Car Rental, now that I’m back I’ve logged a complaint via their website – waited four days – still no reply. I called them up to find out they have no trace of my complaint, even though I have an email notification from them proving that it was submitted fine. I was then told by one of their phone sales agents that they don’t really look at web enquiries anyways, and I’d be better off by submitting an enquiry via email to ccm@cartrawler.com. I enquire what the average response time is… the reply…. wait for it…. 15 to 20 days!!!! Hello! What year is this? One of my clients, 1stContact.com have a company policy of answering web enquiries and emails within 4 working hours! I did some research on Argus/Cartrawler and see that they’ve won some award for technology, it seems they need to turn to improving their customer service now.

Otherwise, the hotel – InterContinental Malta – was pretty good (despite a few things) – and I’ve written my longest yet review over on tripadvisor.com… http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g227101-d275944-r6532340-InterContinental_Malta-Saint_Julian_s_Island_of_Malta.html

Is your business ready for the Millenials?

Very interesting article on how companies and workplaces need to adapt to attract and retain a new generation of staff born since 1980 (like my brother!!)…

http://www.theretailbulletin.com/index.php?page=5&rss=1&cat=news&tag=c8461bf13fca8a2b9912ab2eb1668e4b

Online HSMP Calculator

The Home Office changed the HSMP (Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) rules earlier this month. I put together a little online calculator for people to easily establish whether they qualify under the rules, or not. Give it a spin…

www.hsmpcalculator.co.uk

…may not a mean a lot to you, but if your existing (Working Holiday) visa is running out, an HSMP could be the only way to stay in the UK, unless you can find someone to sponsor you for a Work Permit.

Twickenham & Smoking Banned…

Just read this fantastic news that the ban on smoking in public (indoor) places in England kicks off on 01 July 2007… pity it can’t start sooner…

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6196910.stm

… which reminded me of Saturday… I was very fortunate to watch the Springboks beat England at Twickenham, along with great hospitality before and after the match in the Orchard facility. The only draw back to the whole day was that smoking was allowed in the hospitality facility (a “semi permanent structure” – or “a marqee with walls” as ordinary people call it!). I checked it out with the manager there and his reply was “Yes, I know, but smoking IS allowed”!!! Fortunately by the next lot of Autumn internationals, smoking in enclosed spaces will be against the law.