Monday, 19 August 2013

Captain's Log 2013-08-19 On foreigners

I enjoy living in the multi-cultural society which the UK has become.
From 6.7 million foreign born citizens in 2009 we've gone to 7.5 million. Amazing. In Oxford it feels the Brits are outnumbered already and I had a walk around in Aylesbury today and observed a very diverse and significant number of non-English folk.

Having chatted to some guys from Hungary (who I mistook for Poles) I was curious, so I did some digging. They reckon that by 2031 foreign born people will outnumber the English in London. Bring it on! It bodes well for the future, providing this country with an excellent training ground for how to get on in other cultures and geographies.

Amazingly ze Germans are also very much in evidence - who would have thought that?

Bits and pieces

So here we go.....

The link to my Flickr account has disappeared from this page.

Here it is, in case you'd like to see my photos:

As far as this blog is concerned, I haven't written anything decent in ages, but I have worked on little art projects instead (like the picture below)

And maybe I just did not have anything new to tell.

Let's see - I am actually taking time off right now and maybe I will feel inspired.

Ta ta for now


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Captain's Log 20121212 - When should I put my boss on copy?

In short - if you think about it - never!

Well almost never.

Let's think about the possible reasons to cc your boss on an email:

  • You want to let the boss know that you are on the ball for reassurance
  • You want to show off - see how clever I am!
  • You think that somehow putting the boss on cc gives your message more authority
  • You are generally in the habit to cc as many people as possible in the hope that someone will pick up the thread and do something
  • The boss has asked you to
The only valid reason, me thinks, is the last one. If you have a good working relationship with your boss then he/she will know that you are on the ball, will know how smart you are.

And be honest - have you ever been impressed with someone else's boss on copy of an email you received? Ok, so it might spur you into action a little quicker, but do you feel the little bit of resentment building up?

80% of emails I receive have me on copy. Less than 15% of emails make it clear to me what I should do. Even less is the percentage of emails which make it possible to know from the subject line what is required.

Also consider this: your boss gets an email about some problem you face with your colleagues and team mates? How does this reflect on you? I think it gives the impression that you are not capable of solving the problem. The oss will get involved and another fire drill is on its way.

So in summation - in the ever growing avalanche of emails which we create in this age of social networking and messaging - keep you business emails sharp.

Use the right channel, use the correct distribution list, and don't escalate from step 1 by copying your boss (after all, where do you go after that?).
Try to solve the problem / issue by yourself first. If you have to involve your boss write separately outlining the action steps you have taken and why you got stuck.

Happy emailing!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Captain's Log #3403 - Surfing

If your ambition is to surf on the highest wave off the coast of Hawaii - the decision takes seconds - the implementation ages (as is so often the case).

Here comes the beef. You got to take lessons. You have to get a board. A big one first, for beginners, a smaller one later, as you get better. You gotta get a wet suit (well, at least if you live in England). You got to practice and practice and practice some more.

Then, when you are an accomplished surfer, get your ticket to Hawaii - do your research, find that important beach where the giant waves occur.

Go to the beach. And if you are unlucky the big ones won't appear, but if you are lucky they will and you will fulfil your ambition.

However, of course, if you haven't done any of the other things (get a board, practice, wet suit etc) there is no point turning up at the beach.

And that my friend is my philosophy on working life.

Cheerio from Buenos Aires

(no pictures though, got my camera nicked)

Friday, 6 January 2012

Captain's Log #3395 - On new year's resolutions

Don't make them. How does it go? "The way to hell is paved with good intentions!"

Instead, use the time to reflect a little. Do you still live the dream? Are you still true to your values? What is your say / do ratio?

Maybe a small adjustment here and there will do the trick and sometimes we all need to look further than our daily inbox.

Happy New Year M.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Captain's log 3398 - On Arguments

Hi fellow bloggers and esteemed readers,

long time no blog - I am afraid I was pre-occupied with work and other matters. Just about managed the odd tweet and posted about 2.3 pictures on Flickr....

Anyhow, I am back and today's topic is "Arguments". Whether it's with the girlfriend, your colleagues, your friends or even your boss - my extensive research on the matter reveals a very simple truth:

When you start an argument (pretty much about anything), you are actually making a fundamental statement to the other party: "You don't care about me enough". (This is not an original thought - as I said, I did some research on the matter).

The quality of the work you delivered sucked - I never get what I am asking for = You don't listen to my needs = You don't care about me enough, do you?
You never do the dishes - do I have to do everything around here = You don't respect what I do for the place in which we live and which I am trying to maintain for us = You don't care about me enough, do you?

And so on and so forth.

Actually the one who starts the argument also says: "I care more about this than you". This gives that person the upper hand. But here comes the kicker - if you win an argument like that, you also lose.

Imagine a fight with the bf/gf, if you like. If you win the argument, you actually prove that she/he does not care enough about you, so the relationship is somewhat on the rocks. And you are stuffed (well, at least if you want that relationship to work). So, you ought to try not to win the argument and let the other person try to prove that he/she cares enough.

It's all about creating win/win situations, if you want to get something out of your arguments.

Happy arguing - and happy making up!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Captain's log #3397 - On success

Oh that sweet feeling you get when something goes right! Especially if the achievement was precedented by a period of stress, anxiety, negativity, and depression.
A great weight lifted, a spring in the step. They say "success begets success". I sya, it's totally addictive.
So, when in the valley of darkness - and hopefully my dear readers, you won't be there often - look forward to this feeling of lightness and invincibility. And remember those moments when things look bleak, for nobody can take away your past - and that includes your successes.