2016 — 23 September: Friday

Ever have one of those mornings when you decide it's time to wrangle some sort of order into the lovely (but frankly slightly untidy) array of audio goodies snaffled from the BBC? Rhetorical question. I doubt any readers do untidiness on the industrial scale I'm talking about... This morning's email from Staples "Storage solutions at prices you will love" isn't helping. What the hell ever happened to the paperless office?

Back in 1981...

... I was initially very impressed by what IBM called its "Clean Desk" office policy.1 (Not once did I collect the badge of shame known as a "Red Sticker" — a security violation — by leaving office desk or cupboards unlocked and thus fair game for security guards to rifle through idly looking for any material labelled "IBM Confidential" or above.)

Of course, I ceased to be impressed the first time my first 2nd-line manager let me into his particular secret. At the end of the day, he simply swept everything up in an untidy heap into a lockable space... locked it... and cycled off back home to Winchester. Problem solved. Though only until you next try to find something, of course.

Today's treat...

... is as yet undecided. Meanwhile, although "Lucifer" got off to a good start, it seems that (like "Preacher") the TV variant will be diverging pretty widely from the original comic book. (I found eleven volumes of this up on Peter's shelves last night, none of which I have read.)

Reasons why...

... I don't miss work, number (oops, lost track):

... employers often cannot detect whether their employees are delivering their best efforts. So good employers may pay more than they have to and use a wide range of other tools to promote a sense of company loyalty to encourage workers to feel personally invested in the success of the business.

Henry J Aaron reviewing a book by Samuel Bowles in Democracy Journal

Or, failing that, tell me they'd like me to train a couple of Indian replacements and then bugger off?

I have formally requested permission to take early retirement on 5th November and, subject to my not terribly bright manager being able to convince his not terribly bright 2nd line that all my roles can be satisfactorily handed off to, or backfilled by, others I shall be a free citizen in around mid-August. (I get to burn up all 46 days leave since the miseries won't let me sell it back to them for cash.) I wouldn't have so much leave except that (a) this is my 25th year and (b) they've decided that this is a 17-month leave year so some clerk somewhere can synchronize leave calendars all round the IBM globe.

The "fact" that I have what they tenderly call "transferable skills" means I could still (or, more to the point, they kid themselves that I could still) slot myself into another job in the Lab [Pubs, sans doute, and I'm not prepared to go back there for the 4th time!] and thus any departure remains voluntary on my part, subject to IBM's agreement, and not classifiable as redundancy or management-initiated separation. But it's on my merry way, nonetheless.

Date: 30 April 2006

My, how Time flies! :-)

The Ig Nobel prizes are always good for a giggle.

From time to time...

... (and I hafta say the intervals between these times have been getting steadily longer) I nip down into Soton and just wander its streets, noting the various changes while happily chattering away (silently) to Christa about them. And since there are still a couple of bookshops I also make room in my busy schedule to nip into those for a leisurely browse. Why change the habits of a lifetime?

Thus having picked up, and leafed through, Durrell's "Alexandria Quartet" to remind myself why I didn't need it back in my life, I opted for a much more pleasant quartet:

Books #1 and #2

I pay little or no attention to the "NYT bestseller" tag. The Eagleman — yes, the neuroscientist — is very slim, dates from 2009, and is a fascinating set of tiny but imaginative essays on the afterlife. The Klein and Cathcart has some excellent jokes in it.

Books #3 and #4

I was unaware of the Melian Debate (Haynes), or that economic growth that took 200 years 7,000 years ago now takes just 90 minutes (Bostrom).

Bearing in mind...

... the impossibility of "ranking" non-fiction books, I hesitate to call this one "leaving the best until last" but I suspect it will be a pleasurable read:

Latest memoirs by Chris Mullin

I note, with some dismay, that my electricity supplier has set up a phone number for advice about what to do in case of a winter power cut. Now that the nights are drawing in. I hope this doesn't mean they are expecting a return to 1973...

Happy Days :-)


1  Control freakery on a global scale, now that I think about it.