Emoticons: an exchange

Sit down. I need to talk with you about something.

No, sit on the chair the right way round, please – you’re 45 now. And this is quite serious.

I… don’t know how to ask this, but… Are you… are you using.

You know what I’m talking about. Oh, for goodness sake – don’t make me say it. Are you using…

…emoticons.

160 views

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:… Read the rest

162 views

A few good words

squid03-jumbo-squid_18211_600x450

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:… Read the rest

212 views

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).… Read the rest

212 views

My email to Microsoft

My email to microsoft

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):

Picture 20

 

 

 

I decided I’d drop him an electronic line.… Read the rest

752 views

The Haught guide to doing what you wanna do

Picture 3

 

 

 

 

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.

Read the rest
129 views

The Haught guide to loud sneezers

"Cover Coughs, Cover Sneezes" - NARA - 514081
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.… Read the rest

266 views

The Magical Lavatory

Magical lavatory

 

 

Mystic movements

The office I worked at a few jobs back incorporated a magical lavatory.

By “magical”, I don’t mean notable for its propensity to host moderately quirky happenstances. This thing had its own micro-climate; there was always a harp playing in the background and you could sometimes see stars and the moon where the ceiling should have been.

Two out of every three times I visited it, something extraordinary happened.… Read the rest

98 views