Monday, January 31, 2011

Heat and Buses - not necessarily related subjects

There's nothing I despise more than heat (except possibly small children throwing tantrums on public transport and middle aged, sweaty geezers who think they're sexy ). I know that's not what I used to say when I still lived in Sweden (about the heat) but ever since I've moved to Sydney I've hated it (- the heat).

Summer, and especially around this time of year which happens to be just around my birthday (in Sweden I got bloody sleet every year now I get hell heat!), is murder to me. The house I live in now has an air conditioner which is like the biggest blessing ever but step outside and I begin to agree with my grandfather: people can't possibly live in these temperatures.

It's true. You may be alive but you're sure as hell aren't living. It saps the energy out of you and forces you to drink anything you can get your hands on. I realize that I may come across like an ungrateful, whining git here, after all our Queensland cousins just had their hopes, plans and lives drowned in the mother of all floods, but I loathe this kind of weather with a vengeance.

It's a good thing I'm off work this week. It's a bad thing I have to leave the relative comfort of my home and go with my daughter on the bus to school this week. She's off to high school on her own on public transport. She will do fine. I will worry like a crazy Jewish mother even though I'm not even remotely Jewish, to my knowledge anyway.

Thank goodness there are shopping centers on the way. I may just survive this week.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Asshole Writers

In an obviously completely misguided attempt to integrate myself into society and to form alliances with people “my own kind” I signed up for a few writers’ forums on a professional networking site. I go through these phases when I forget myself and start thinking that I fit in with the general population.

All would probably have been well were it not for the fact that I had, as a newcomer, the audacity to comment on a post. The result was devastating. I was asked if I had even read the previous comments because obviously my comment was somehow so completely retarded that it was obvious to people reading it that I had just randomly commented sans thought. It seemed that some of the writers on the forum really took objection to me typing this absolute gobshite comment and I had somehow broken some unwritten or fine print writer’s law or something.

The funny thing is that I hire writers (and I therefore also sometimes fire writers) so I can’t help feeling that I’m having the last laugh here. None of these people would make it through an interview with me because that type of person is seldom able to work as part of a team. Plus, of course, now I have their names….. :P~

English is my second language and sometimes I envy those with perfect grammar. I could probably be one of them if I applied myself but I find that in order for me to do my job and to get by in life it’s not necessary so I choose to spend my free time doing more frivolous things. For my audience, for the type of documentation I write and for the team of writers I lead the command I have of the English language seems to be more than sufficient.

I get a bit sick of people having bite chunks out of each other over petty crap. It’s seldom helpful; it always shows how big their ego really is. Of course I knew it already; a lot of writers have big egos but I’d forgotten just what assholes they can be to each other. You can debate correct word usage etc (my own personal pet peeve is corporate jargon) but there’s also such as a thing as communicating with a wider audience (and being too tired to edit your own blog posts only to realize later that you apparently can’t spell).

Is there really a need to look for perfection in others all the time?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Corporate Jargon

Corporate jargon must die and this is a list of terms that are on top of the list of expressions that need to be assassinated pronto:

Wow! You’re going to produce something sustainable, like a sustainable solution. Personally I was going for something that would briefly impress then fail spectacularly.

You think that this term will somehow ease the pain and stress of letting people go? I’m sure the person losing their job finds it easier now that they now they are part a sustainable solution.

Elevator Pitch
We get it, it means a short pitch. Funny thing is that whenever I’m in an elevator nobody ever talks!

Want to take this off-line and not discuss this in the meeting? How come whenever you tell me you want to take it off-line it’s never discussed ever again? I get it now! It means I should shut up, doesn’t it?

Using an IT term to describe the capacity of people or teams must mean that you’re in touch with what’s happening out there right? Wrong. It makes you look like a moron.

Oh, so you think the team needs to synergize and to stop working in silos? Awesome! If you just could show some leadership maybe we could all get on the same page!

In the Current Economy
I think, unfortunately, it’s the only economy we realistically have to work with currently at present.

Baked In
Woot? Your ideas come with baked in components and ingredients and, I bet, sustainable solutions? How about some brownies with some baked in fun herbs in ‘em instead?

Outside the Box
Like something creative then?

Team Player
They want us to believe that this means that you fit into a team and that you get along with the other team members. What it really means is that you know how suck up to your boss and to tow the company line.

Oh, like where they keep the grain? No? An information silo is a management system that is incapable of reciprocal operation with other, related management systems. Urgh? You can’t be bothered telling others what’s going on and you can’t be stuffed listening to them either.

Touch Base
Where did you even get this one? What the hell is wrong with saying getting in touch?

Subject Matter Expert. Like you actually know how to do your job or something?

Best Practice
So you’re a consultant and you’re telling me that it’s best practice to use the kind of retarded flowchart you are showing me that tells me absolutely nothing. Nice try there but you didn’t succeed in making me feel stupid.

Business as Usual
Nothing’s changed then, is that what you’re saying?

In the Trenches
Let’s not pretend that your corporate environment has anything like World War I, just let’s not.

Core Competency
This is apparently what you must have to work in the organization. Subject to change on a day to day basis or with a change of management.

I know it takes more words and a little more effort to say “to provide an incentive” but it’s so much easier to understand. It’s communication (or perhaps that’s communicatizing to you).

To manage. Refer above. ‘Nuff said.

Cloud Computing
WTF? What the hell is wrong with calling it servers no matter where they’re located?

Currently at present
For some time I thought it was only my company’s IT help desk that needed to really emphasize that right NOW all operators are busy by saying "currently at present" in the on-hold message but apparently not. It’s spreading my dears, and it’s spreading currently at present.

Getting on the same page
I’m feeling a little crowded. How about you?

Saturday, January 22, 2011


It's official. I'm now a Mac user. My Windows days are over.

My Windows laptop finally gave up the ghost after a long battle with terminal overheating and shutdown problems. We managed to rescue all its data but it is dead, dead, dead.

Fortunately I had a Mac mini bestowed upon me by a kind soul and so far we are getting along famously so Windows no more!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Where art thou sleep?

It's no secret that I have a hard time sleeping. Although I sleep a little better nowadays than I did even a year ago I've not got it down to a fine art again as yet. I miss my teen days when I could sleep anywhere and for however long circumstances permitted.

Apparently I don't have much to look forward to in this department. It apparently doesn't get any better as you get older and if you're a woman then you eventually get hit by menopause and you can kiss sleeping good bye. Personally I'd put "the 'pause" on pause in the vain hope that I can get a few decent nights sleep before it hits me with the same subtlety a tonne of bricks hits...something.

If you've ever been sleepless for any length of time you've probably done what I have. You've googled a lot only to find helpful advice like "relax". You've tried to persuade your doctor that you need some serious meds to get some shut eye. You've probably spent a small fortune on CDs that contain music or some sort of hypno mumbo jumbo that doesn't make you sleep but does make you wonder why anyone without musical talent or with a voice (or accent) like that could ever think they could help people nod off.

 When it comes to music that puts you to sleep weirder is not always better, in fact it is seldom better at all.

When it comes to talking people to sleep it takes seriously mad skills and I'm afraid only corporate people and politicians possess those. The only person I've ever encountered that could make a serious attempt at making me dose off at any time was the old Chief Financial Controller in my company. He was aided by incredibly cluttered Powerpoint presentations as a visual accompaniment to his droning.  No one stands a chance under those circumstances.

Wonder what he's doing now. Maybe I could give him a ring and he could e-mail me some old slides and talk to me for a while.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Brave New World

It's a brave new world in a brand new year and I have wiped the slate clean so I can fill it with fresher musings.

It begins now. It begins here. It's already begun.

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