All Aboard The CC Train

It happened again this morning!  Yet another flag waving, look at me, I know what’s going on everyone email has shown up.email train

Dear Colleagues, I know you want to do a good job, I know you want everyone else to know that you are doing a good job, but for the love all that is holy, stop CCing in the world!

Why when I pose a simple question the reply to my email comes back with an extra six people looped in?  People that aren’t even remotely interested: remotely involved yes, interested nooo.  Some of these people even pay us to work this out so they don’t have to know about it.  That is our job!

Please, if I ask you a question, just answer me… if I’d thought anyone else needed to know I’d have included them.  I promise no one will miss out on any vital information.  I’m good at this, really, cross my heart.  I’ve even got a couple of bits of paper to back that up.

I’ve tried responding without hitting the reply all, but without fail replies comes back with everyone looped in again. Why?  Do you think I’m trying to hide something?  Do you think you’ve uncovered the great secret of my ineptness?  Do you think I’m just waiting to pounce on you for some mistake? It’s none of the above.  I just want to get my job done without annoying anyone.

For the record I think this practice makes people look needy and insecure.  It drives me insane (It drives my boss nuts to when his inbox  is filled with stuff he knows I’ll just deal with). Lord knows what your boss thinks (Well, actually I do because I asked if it was a directive from him; here’s a hint, it isn’t).

So, I’m begging you,  if we all promise to act like responsible, trustworthy professionals can we please pull the CC train into the station and disembark?  Pretty Please?……

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The Gourmet Creative “Process”

I’m seriously considering commissioning a time and motion study to get to the bottom of this issue. There have to be efficiencies that can be applied to the current processes – Marco Pierre White would lose his mind if he saw Crazy Cat Boy cook!kitchen

I’m standing in our kitchen surrounded by an inconceivably large mess that produced a single dinner for two last night.

Stains I don’t recognise spread across the floor (I’m ignoring the larger bits of ‘stuff”, I leave them for the cats to clean up so they aren’t my problem), there are brightly colour dribbles down every cupboard.

Weird spices coat the bits of the bench, sink and cooktop that I can see past the truly staggering number of utensils, plates, chopping boards and saucepans that clutter every available surface.

I don’t understand!  The dishwasher is right there and it’s empty, why not put the dirty stuff in there when you’re done with it?  Every knife has been used; why must he use every knife?

Once clean tea towels are caked with god knows what.  Why is it always the good tea towels that he uses, why not the ratty old ones that I hang right next to them?! Soaking doesn’t work; they never look the same again.

The kicker is that the one who cooks doesn’t clean in our house.  There is no incentive for him to change anything in his creative process.

One of the younger cats jumps lightly up on to a slightly less crowed part of the bench and gives me a look that says “There’s nothing good left up here, I checked last night”.  The older cat licks a random patch of floor hoping for a find, he’ll probably have success judging from the looks of all this.  With a resigned sigh I pull on rubber gloves and start the recovery process….

I really shouldn’t complain.  I do cook, but I don’t enjoy it and he does.   My major contribution to keeping us fed is to suggest that wine might be nice and grabbing the glasses out.  Apart from the colossal mess, the system works for us.

Why I Heart Working With Gen Y

They are always playing with their phones, they don’t pay attention, they aren’t committed, blah, blah, blah.Gen y

Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard the complaints and for the most part, I don’t agree.

I like working with people younger than me; they make me better at my job, more open to new ideas.  Perhaps I’ve just been blessed, but the “kids” I work with are smart, funny, unafraid and very generous with their knowledge.

Sure, they don’t hesitate to text you at odd hours and have very blurred boundaries when it comes to work and personal lives.  Let’s face it these are people who have always had the world on demand in their pockets.  It’d be pretty strange if they didn’t see life and work in a different light to anyone who knows what a typewriter is or found it exciting to use a fax machine for the first time!

I love how secure and confident they are in themselves.  While older workers tend to hold on to jobs longer*, younger workers aren’t afraid to change not only jobs, but entire careers and industries to find what they really want to do.

People my age and older can be more prone to keeping information and skills to themselves. Having  started work in the 1980s recession and worked through every downturn since. I understand how the pressure to hold on to a job can lead to someone to resist sharing knowledge to remain relevant.   However, my younger colleagues just don’t have this fear.  I learn so much from them all the time.

Younger staff don’t have the same geographic barriers.  They see no reason why they can’t get their work done from anywhere in the world at any time.  This is an amazingly freeing way to see life.  Some of my colleagues grumble about this and see it as being irresponsible or not committed.  I like the fact that someone has the tools to be free to pursue their dreams regardless of where they might be located.  I plan to use this lesson in a few years when I decide to travel almost fulltime as well as maintain a career.

Just like every generation before them, Gen Y just want to be happy and they don’t hesitate to change their circumstances to achieve this.  So, instead of berating them for their outlook on life, I think we can learn a lot from them, both personally and professionally.  I know I do.

* I’m not knocking this, experience and continuity is vital for companies.  I just think it’s important to remember that it’s not always good for the people providing it if they are unhappy or feeling trapped.

“The One”

I’d set out on my quest with such high hopes.  I wanted desperately to report back with a tale of triumph and joy.hanger

You see something has been missing in my life.  Something that no woman should have to live without, that’s right, I’m missing the perfect top.

I know what you are thinking, how is that possible?  She seems so together, so on top of it all!

My life wasn’t always like this.   For the past four years (I’m not counting “seasons” that’s just depressing) I’d been blessed with “The One”.  Just the right shade of grey, three quarter length sleeve, hit just below the hip in light weight merino, sigh.   I’d confidently throw it on with my skinny jeans, ballet flats and swan out the door knowing that I looked sharp, on trend and completely in control of my wardrobe and life.

However, as with all good things it had to come to an end; Frayed ends as it turns out.  I keep “The One” in my drawer, but we don’t go out in public anymore.

For the past nine months I’ve been feeling disjointed and slightly off when I leave the house.  Yes, I know the replacement top I have is nice, and it was eye wateringly expensive, but it’s not, well… right.  It’s too heavy for a start, I won’t be able to wear it in summer and it’ll be bulky to pack when I travel.  Then there is the sneaking suspicion that the polo neck makes me look a bit old and stumpy, like I’m trying to hide a wrinkly neck*.

So this weekend I left wine country and headed into the city for a dedicated assault on the malls.  I had a list of likely targets in mind and had decided to throw budgetary considerations to the wind!

However it was to no avail.  The kindly assistant in Portmans sympathised with me… “Sorry love, they didn’t do that model this season, I don’t know why, it sold really well.  How about this one, it’s this seasons version?” She helpfully suggested.  But it was too late, I’d tried it on already, it made me look like I was wearing my 20 year old friends top in a misguided attempt to look fashionable.

I admitted defeat and headed back to wine country, stopping only to buy a bottle of red to drown my sorrows.

There is a solution to this though, I’ve decided to stay home on weekends for the foreseeable future, I think that’s easiest for all concerned!

*Disclaimer: It’s not that bad yet that I have to hide it.