Tuesday, 28 February 2012


You know it's not good when:

1.  You finish work on Friday with a troubling e-mail arriving in your inbox.  You know you'll have to deal with it on Monday which means that it hangs over your head all weekend like the executioners axe
2.  You go out on Friday night even though you're barely speaking to each other after a squabble the day before
3.  You spend the weekend walking on eggshells hoping the atmosphere will thaw on Sunday night.  It does.
4.  You realise on Monday morning you can't find your office keys either because they're lost or you left them in the office.  Either way you can't get in until someone else arrives.
5.  Your motorbike won't start on Monday morning even though you spent several hours on Sunday getting it to fire up.  And then the garage says that they can't do anything for a week, and they suggest the same solution that they have done for the last 18 months that (clearly) hasn't worked
6.  You want to cycle to work to keep up the progress of last week only to find it's raining so it's not a sensible option
7. You pick up the wrong keys as you set the alarm on your way out of home, realising only when you're out the front door.  So you have to go back inside un-setting and resetting the alarm.  Twice.
8.  You decide you need a coffee and bun before you go into the office even though you know neither is good for you
9.  You find a virus on your computer which takes half the day to fix.
10.  You're so exhausted by the middle of the afternoon that you're being totally unproductive
11.   You get a county court summons
12.  There's a dozen other things on your plate that are troubling (and you don't think they should be shared in public) and you're not quite sure how they will get sorted

But on the other hand, when all the sh*t comes at the same time, you know there's only one way to go....UP!

Did anyone else watch Jeremy Paxman's pseudo heavyweight history documentary Empire last night?  On the up side it provoked plenty of discussion at home during and afterwards, on the downside it was quite appallingly bad.  I'm not sure whether it was interviewing the equivalent of the 'bloke down the pub' in Egypt and India about whether they thought the Brits having conquered their countries was a good thing, or the lack of context, or the strange way he started in the middle, or whether it was the lack of context or his smug sneer or the simple bittiness of the whole thing that made it so bad, or the complete lack of research beyond anything that I knew from my second year at senior school.  But bad it was.  Next week he looks at how we became rich on the drug and slave trades.  I'll be watching intently to see if there is anything that vaguely resembles historical context there.

I'm troubled by the etiquette of electronic communication.  I know I'm not alone.  Even when I started the business, we wrote letters to people and that was simple.  Dear Mr Smith, or Dear John worked very nicely.  These days it's all e-mails and I'm troubled about how to start the damned things.  Dear Mr Smith is wrong for sure, 'Hi' is crass, 'Hello'...I don't think so...so much time is wasted working out how to  start the things.  Not that the end is any better.  'Yours sincerely'...no way.  'Kind regards'...usually but isn't that a bit formal when the start is so relaxed?  And then there's women...they tend to put a X after their name...when I reply should I also put an X (yes because it's polite, or no because it seems flirtatious)  I just don't know.  I'm going back to letters.  Or telegrams.