I’ll ride with you

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#illridewithyou

On the 86 tram. Or any tram. Or the bus. Or a taxi. Probably not on Uber – they sound a bit dodgy.

Or the train. The Metro train. Squished up against you. Not minding that sometimes, when the train lurches, you drag on the back of my shirt like a beaten defender conceding a professional free kick, while I push my palm flat against the roof, hoping my shoulder doesn’t subluxate. (more…)

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My email to Connex

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If you’re a relative newcomer to Haught, you might not know that before I was writing immaculately worded emails to big-name dickheads and corporate galoots like Microsoft, Alan Jones, Coles and Woolworths , I became a household name (and got people asking why there wasn’t a Nobel Prize for Blogging) writing to public transport companies.

Well, I’ve decided it’s time to return to my roots.

Now, if you’re familiar with what it’s like to be on a Melbourne train during peak hour, or slightly before or after peak hour, or in hot weather, or in mildly warm weather, or when it’s raining, or drizzling, you have my sympathies. You can also probably go straight to the email below.

If you’ve never had the displeasure of a Melbourne train experience, you might also want to get up to speed on just how badly our train system is operated before you read the email below. You can do that by reading my email to Metro trains from a couple of years ago, this recent Age article on continual overcrowding, or the most recent Canstar City Train Ratings.

 

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Lessons from The Grape Men

Grape truck in cyprus

The Grape Men, as regular readers would know, are glorious mythic characters who tend to South Australian wine grapes that they keep on a semi-trailer in the large vacant lot next door to my flat.

They are my heroes. I have observed them closely for many years and can now pass on what we, the rat race’s dreary participants, can learn from these stooped, wrinkled, blasphemous, cacophonous, cantankerous gods amongst men: (more…)

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A few good words

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Linguists recently identified around 20 words still doing the rounds today that were being uttered as many as 15,000 years ago. They included ‘spit’, ‘worm’ and ‘mother’. 

‘Learnings’, ‘empowerment’ and ‘monetise’ weren’t on the list. But these are such sturdy, evocative and indispensible words that I have no doubt they’ll be around 15 millenia hence. This got me thinking about what words not yet in the dictionary that I hope will be getting verbally lobbed across offices and work sites thousands of years from now. Here are a few:

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The Haught guide to know-it-alls

Picture 20There are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and that at any give time at least one person in your office, with absolutely no experience in your field, will believe he or she knows how to do your job better than you do.

Occasionally they will be genuinely brilliant polymaths, who have only now decided to dip their hyper-talented toe into the water of your particular discipline. In most cases, however, these people are barely able to keep their heads above the scum-topped liquid of their own career puddles despite wearing an inflatable giraffe ring around their waist at all times (sometimes metaphorical, often not).
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The 31 year old curmudgeon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back in my day

I worry sometimes that, instead of being the glitteringly witty, gently sarcastic and indisputably loveable institution that I think it is, this column is perceived to be the opinion vehicle of a reactionary 31 year old curmudgeon, rarely venturing beyond a refrain that goes “In my day, everything was so much better”. (more…)

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My email to Microsoft

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Recently, Microsoft realised “oops – we desperately need to give the arse to many many thousands of employees”. Last week, they left the job of telling these people to a man by the name of Stephen Elop, the Vice-President of Microsoft Devices & Services.

The email he wrote to staff was 1113 words and 14 paragraphs long and, when it became public, received much negative media attention. You can read it here (but set aside a good ten to twelve hours):

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I decided I’d drop him an electronic line.

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The Haught guide to doing what you wanna do

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Dream on

A group of sage philosophers once offered this advice to the world: “Do what you wanna do. Be what you wanna be. Yeah. Ooo.”

While I was working as a scraper of putrescence at the Burwood Smorgy’s (while doubling as their Chief Operating Officer), these words had the ring of “Let them eat cake” about it. As I was de-mounding the plates of porcine humans, I saw no prospect of becoming the Universe-famous digital vigilante and high-profile columnist I so longed to be. I saw no prospect of anything, really.

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The Haught guide to loud sneezers

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The problem of loud sneezers in the office is almost universally shrugged away as a mild annoyance. The idea that epic nasal detonations are on a par with double booked meeting rooms or coffee breath is dangerous conventional wisdom.

In fact, those who get to the 130 decibel mark or above are nothing less than a menace that must be ripped from the coalface, roots and all, like the insidious species of human weed they are.

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The worst conference ever

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Name tags and body bags

I once attended a conference that I swear was just one elaborate piss take, a comment on the vacuousness of modern professional gatherings taking the form of one momentous and brilliantly organised prank.

It was in Queensland at a place called Pastel Island. That was my first clue there, wasn’t it? (more…)

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