On being a strange generational hybrid

 

generations

A sculpture of my buttocks

Regular readers will know, or have by now deduced, that I am in an existential crisis. I’m generationally awry.

I have the Birth Certificate, digital literacy and firm buttocks of a Generation Y, but the basic grammatical skills, suspicion of young people, latent revolutionary zeal and ever-present fear of imminent apocalypse of a Baby Boomer.

The Gen Y in me is impatient. But impatient for what the Boomer in me yearns for: a better, simpler, earlier time. Even though I’ve never experienced one.

I’m 33 and already a sort of strange quasi-reactionary, just without all the racism, desire for religious reverence or blatant misogyny. But I’m covering old ground here, so let me get to my point.… Read the rest

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ParentHaught: “UH-OH!”

Uh-Oh!

The other day my wife, my daughter (Lucy) and I were coming home from a walk. We went via a cricket oval.

It was late afternoon and a game had just finished. We passed the pavilion and began to climb the hill towards our house when we all noticed a cricketer having a wizzle up against a fence of a nearby house.

He wasn’t particularly well hidden – there was just a barely living clump of bush obscuring his dude – but we probably wouldn’t have noticed him had it not been for the fact he was emitting wind with gay abandon.… Read the rest

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“Grandpa, what was Agile Methodology?”

Grandpa and grandson - wind

“Grandpa, what was Agile Methodology?”

“Ah, that’s a very good question, kiddo.”

“And…?”

“And what?”

“And what’s the answer?”

“The answer to what?”

“My question.”

“About what?”

“About Agile Methodology.”

“Oh. Oh… that. I thought you were talking about the other thing.”

“What thing?”

“The… thing… with… about… the… the… bi-… about… Biff… Pelican. Biff Pelican.”

What?! No!”

“Well it’s a funny story, actually. I used to have this weblog. And -”

“I was asking about Agile Methodology.”

“No. No. Of course you were.”… Read the rest

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Regrets? Surely you have a few

NO REGRETS

Some people ask me while I’m signing autographs or they’re basking in the fresh-baked-bread warmth of my celebrity, “Jonathan, have you ever written something you wish you could take back?”

I always tell them “yes”, even though it’s patently untrue and every one of my pieces of work to date has, on any objective scale, been between an 8.5 and a 13 out of 10.

Why? Because you should never trust a person who doesn’t have any regrets.

I’m all for a bit of haught. I named my blog after it. I start most of my articles and many of my emails with it. I think a sprinkle of superciliousness is good for the soul. (It’s like nutmeg in that way.) But the philosophy of regretlessness is arrogance taken to a preposterous level, a level that not even I, with my weather balloon head and galactic ego, can empathise with.

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The Haught guide to “too much information”

There’s an acronym doing the rounds on the interconnected network of digitised information at the moment. You might be familiar with it.

It’s TMI. It stands for “too much information”.

According to Urban Dictionary… actually, no I just checked and I can’t use any definitions from Urban Dictionary without risking losing the few remaining followers I have left.

TMI is generally used as a term of exasperation or disgust. It’s dispensed by a person burdened by the involuntarily role of listener. The recipient is a teller considered by the listener to have demonstrated the faultiness of an important biological filtration mechanism – the one that connects their brain to their mouth, thus:

“I just did a burp that tasted of a witch’s broth with a human foot in it. In a cauldron.”

“Oh. OK. Wow. TMI.”

The colleague who routinely discharges TMI is the most challenging of workplace obstacles.

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The Haught guide to people who love drama

Drama

A little while ago a friend thought one of my articles was a pointed reference to his own behaviour.

It wasn’t.

This was just his own giant ego and tendency towards solipsism playing tricks with his very small mind. What a neurotic clown he was for making such an assumption; I would never besmirch his already grease-spattered reputation in print.

It got me thinking about how easily a misunderstanding can lead to offence and how convenient that can be for some, especially in the workplace.

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My email to Arnott’s

by Haught 2 Comments
Image by: penguincakes, flickr

Image by: penguincakes, flickr

 

Last week, someone contacted me.

The end.

Not really. That was a little joke.

The person who contacted me was Haughtmaniac, Andrea Chick.

She wrote:

Are you familiar with Arnott’s BBQ Shapes? Of course you are! Who hasn’t copped a mouthful of red and green sprinkles as they dived in for the last remaining morsels in the bottom of the bag?

Have you had one lately?

They are NEW AND IMPROVED! Well, at least that is what they say on the pack. New, yes. Improved…um…well there appears to be revulsion and revolt afoot from the feedback I have read on the Arnott’s Shapes facebook page.

Please help Arnott’s. Please help us all.

I considered myself commissioned.

Unfortunately, I didn’t put the email together as quickly as I should have and in the intervening period, the Great Shapes War of 2016 had already been fought and won – or in Arnott’s case, lost.

I decided it was better to write late than never.

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“How’s working at McDonald’s going for you?”

Edgar McDonald's

[At a party.]

“So what do you do for a living, Johnson?”

“Uh… it’s Jonathan… I’m a… well, a writer.”

“A writer? You write books? Novels?”

“No, no, no. No. Definitely not.

“No.”

“But I do write a little thing… a little columny thing… in the paper.”

“The local paper? Well that’s nice.”

“No. The Age. And The Sydney Morning Herald. And some other ones online.”

“Oh. What do you write about?”

“Well… I dunno… stuff.”

“Stuff? As in auction prices?”

“Auction pri-? What? No. Stuff like work, life in the corporate world, management buzzwords.”

“Give me an example of one of these columns of yours.”

“Well… um… for instance… I might talk about how difficult this conversation can be.”

“Which conversation?”

“The one we’re having now. The one that starts with ‘So what do you do, Jonathan?’ ”

“Sounds fascinating. And what did you do at uni to qualify you to be a columnist?”

“Well, I’m not really… I did Arts. A Bachelor of Arts.”

“Oh. A Bachelor of Arts? Oh! Wow! How’s working at McDonald’s going for you?”

“No. Remember. Five seconds ago, I told you I don’t work at McDonald’s.”

“You did. You did. That’s right.… Read the rest

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The Haught guide to “deep dives”

deep dive

I’m all for metaphors. If variety is the spice of life then metaphors are the smoked paprika of language. I just made a metaphor out of a metaphor; that’s how highly I regard them.

But my veneration for the figurative extends only so far.

Like so many things sucked into the corporate vortex, metaphors become significantly less delectable once appropriated by the Organisational and Regulatory Group for Aligned and Strategic Management (ORGASM), or whatever the central workplace buzzword creation committee is called in your region.

Here’s an example.

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