I have a love-hate relationship with ties.

When I started my working life in 1993, almost all white-collar male workers wore ties. Over the years this has dropped somewhat, and I’d hazard a guess that perhaps around 30% now do so.

I still wear a tie. I switched a few years ago to a Windsor Knot, and this is what I’ve taught my kids to use now they wear ties in high school. Apparently some of the other boys don’t know how to tie them at all, and just leave them tied up all the time. (The girls wear them only in winter.)

Ties can add some colour to an otherwise dull shirt and suit. And when chosen and presented well, can look really good. I think they can give one an air of authority. Such as on TV!

On the other hand they are fiddly, and I don’t find them particularly comfortable to wear.

Ties apparently originated in the 1600s. I wonder if they’ll eventually disappear from common use.

The Loud list

At work I have a “Loud” play list, for when things are noisy in the office and I need to concentrate on something.

Loudness helps, but an all-encompassing sound is even better for when I need to drown out other noise.

Most artists in my collection have at least a few loud songs, but some which have more than others and are more prominent on the list, such as:

The Living End
Led Zeppelin
Spiderbait, obviously
Hoodoo Gurus, especially their live album
Ocean Colour Scene
Green Day

Who else would be good?

I hate the music

Message to owners of coffee shops in the CBD and other business-oriented areas:

Because of the closeness of related organisations, your venue is a de facto meeting room.

So, at least 9 to 5, turn down the music. Your clientele is happy to pay you to serve us beverages, but we really don’t want to be shouting across the table.

Daniel’s rules for phone conferences

The over-arching rule is: Don’t waste people’s time.

Don’t invite everyone in the known universe, unless they’re all genuinely needed on the phone at once. Talk to them individually if possible; it’s often more efficient.

If plans change and some people aren’t needed after all, let them know.

If you have people in different states/cities, use a service with a frecall 1800 number dialin, or at least a local 1300 dialin. People dialling in from home don’t want to incur a long distance bill just to sit on the phone for an hour to say their ten words.

Start the conference on time. If you intended to kick things off at 10 past, schedule the damn meeting for 10 past.

Jacket required

Following up from yesterday… In many cities, it’s common for white-collar male workers to wear shirt+tie, though casual Friday is becoming more popular in some companies.

For some people, it appears that even the suit jacket is compulsory, including on the hottest days. From what I can see, this primarily seems to include (male) politicians and TV journalists.

On weekends some of them doff the tie but keep the jacket on. Ditto when they go to the country.

Perhaps the very expensive jackets (worn by presidents and prime ministers) have water cooling inside or something, so the occupant doesn’t end up sweating like a pig?