The Haught guide to first impressions

Overdressed

First impressions. In a perfect world there’d be no such thing and we could all be judged on a well-considered, thoroughly-in-context third or fourth impression. But as anyone who’s ever crossed the road to avoid a menacing 18th century pirate only to realise it’s a perfectly genial hipster with nautical tattoos, a voluminous beard, a cutlass, a tricorne hat with a massive feather and a king parrot on her shoulder knows: the world isn’t perfect.… Read the rest

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The Voice: a conversation

Friend: “You should write a Benign to Five column about The Voice.”

Me: “What’s The Voice?”

“Are you jok- ? Oh, you’re not. It’s a reality singing show. On Channel 9.”

New Faces?”

“What? New Faces hasn’t been on since 1985.”

“But like New Faces?”

“No! Nothing like New Faces! Not at all. Not really. Well… a little bit, I suppose. No! Not New Faces.”

“But my columns are about work and toilets and cassowaries and stuff.”

“What if… you… wrote about what would happen if job interviews took the format of The Voice.”

“YES! Brilliant! Bert Newton would be one of your interviewers – it’s gold!”

“IT’S NOT NEW FACES! IT’S THE VOICE!”

“OK. OK. Who’re the judges then?”

“There’s four. Um… Delta Goodrem…”

“The piano one.”

“Uh – yeah. And then there’s… uh… Seal.”

“A seal? One of the judges is a marine mammal? I’m definitely watching the show now. Why haven’t you told me about this show before?”… Read the rest

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ParentHaught: how to introduce your baby to the office

Here’s the ParentHaught story so far:

I’m a father. A year ago, to this day, the stork came. It was 2.30pm on a Sunday. That evening we were cuddling a snowy-haired girl and eating stork for dinner. Well, you know how bad hospital food is.

Anyway, barely a month had passed before colleagues began the inevitable bring-her-into-work campaign.

Although these are dressed up as cuddle-fests, they’re one-baby beauty contests plain and simple.  (Hey, I don’t invent society’s perverse and superficial games; I just give you very smart tips on how to make them work in your favour.)… Read the rest

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The Haught guide to “driving”

Driving value and efficiencies

If you’re reading this having set out with me on the Haught journey right back at the start – the very first post – thank you. You’ll no doubt remember that I long ago compared modern journeys to the wonderful (although admittedly futile) adventures that took place in the 1970s Japanese TV series, Monkey. (I think of you, dear reader, as my loyal, lascivious and temperamental Pigsy.)

You’ll no doubt also remember that I have already removed obstacles on your path to better in-office (and, let’s be honest, in-life) communication by revealing to you most useful words in the English language.

In the category of Most Outstanding Noun, the incomparable “learnings”.

In the category of Most Outstanding Adjective, the unimpeachable “strategic”.

And now for the blue riband Most Outstanding Verb.

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The Haught guide to choosing your spirit animal

lion-boring601961_1280

Ten years ago, if someone had asked you what your spirit animal was, you’d have moved to the other end of the tram, dialled 000 into your Motorola flip phone and sat, quivering, with your thumb poised over the call button. Today it’s as unremarkable and pedestrian as pulled pork on a brioche bun with whipped kale and a pfeffernüsse crumble served in a terracotta pot.

You’ll have it asked of you at work, in job interviews and sometimes even during medical appointments. And it’s true: the answer you give to the question says a lot about you. So here’s my guide to deciding on which animal best represents you:

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My email to Facebook

by Haught 20 Comments

My email to Facebook

If you’re one of the people who follows me on Facebook (thanks by the way), chances are you almost certainly don’t see every one of my posts – or more to the point, don’t even get the opportunity to see all of them. There’s also quite a good chance you get the chance to see fewer than half. In fact there’s some chance you see none at all and you’re reading this post because you also follow me on a more dependable service like Twitter, Google+ or email.

And it shits me up the wall.

This Guardian article gives a really good summary of how and why it happens. It also reveals that I’m by no means the first person who’s thought of writing a letter to Facebook about this very topic. (But let’s be honest, blogging smart-arse emails was never sparklingly original, anyway.)

Anyway, I wrote one. It’s undoubtedly my most self-indulgent, tangential and metaphorically jumbled yet. You’ll bloody love it.… Read the rest

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The Haught guide to the word “strategic”

A strategic waterfall

A strategic waterfall

In this ultra-cynical age, the word ‘panacea’ has been splashed with negative connotations. The 21st century has no time for the idea of utopia, and there is, admittedly, something slightly utopian about a remedy for everything in the universe ever. For that reason ‘panacea’ is a word – not unlike ‘alchemy’ and ‘Vodafone’ – that today evokes reflexive scoffing.

But we are wrong to sneer, for a panacea is theoretically possible. Indeed, it already exists. The corporate sector has known about it for at least a decade, and it takes the form, believe it or not, of a humble adjective.

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Our shared fear of telephone calls

CandlestickTelephones_edited (just man)_editedI’m scared of making and answering phone calls.

Not that long ago I would never have told you this, but today I can put it in print without shame thanks to a Twitter conversation I was a part of.

It was a series of frank, often moving, admissions from people who had originally come together over a shared love of football.

The exchange spanned 80 tweets and about three hours and I wept throughout. It was draining and embarrassing (I was at work at the time). But it was also cathartic. … Read the rest

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The Haught guide to grunting

The 2015 Australian Open begins this week and if the tennis season teaches us anything, it’s that making very loud noises while plying your trade is an excellent way of improving performance.

During one of the lead-up tournaments last year, a player was reportedly told by her coach that she hadn’t vocalised enough during a distinctly lacklustre victory.

Ridiculous advice? Not at all. Here’s why I’m a huge advocate of grunting, screaming, yipping, moaning and howling your way to supremacy in your professional sphere.

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