Working life

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, o

Clothes, Working life

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

Clothes, Working life

Runners for the commute

I can understand why some white-collar women wear runners on their commute given how uncomfortable and impractical some of the shoes they wear around the office look. I don't understand why some men feel the same way though. It's not like they wear platform shoes or high heels at work. (Unless their work is odder than they appear.) While it's certainly possible to buy men's shoes that are uncom

Health, Home life, Working life

The Chair Squad

I was sitting doing some coding at work when The Posture Police arrived. The Chair Squad. The Ergonomic Inspectors. Seriously, a team of three did a sweep through the office and checked every chair to make sure it was working properly, able to be adjusted, and offering the correct back support. Zowee. It reminds me that my own desk setup at home is not serving me very well. Sure, the two Zed

Working life

Tie-free today

Although I and a few others at work wear ties most days, the bulk of the men (and of course all of the women) don't. Ties are a purely decorative item, and sometimes they're expected, sometimes not. Lately I've been pondering if I should buy some new shirts. I don't know if my neck is getting thicker or what, but sometimes the collars seem too tight to be comfortable. Anyway, the forecast is

Geek, Working life

Does success make you? Or do you make success?

Cam of TPN is off to America to make his fortune, and his latest podcast is a "Goodbye Australia" edition. But what I found really interesting about it is him talking about the (metaphorical) journey -- how he's got into this position, and how successful people work: meeting people, making contacts, helping those contacts when you can, often without any direct incentive. Jumping off the cliff to t

Geek, Working life

Out of control Inboxes

My three main Inboxes are getting out of control. While I manage to reply in a reasonable manner to most of the email I get that's directed to me personally, I tend to get very slack at filing things away or deleting them, perhaps partly because I think at some stage I'll need to find them urgently again -- to contribute a point to a group discussion, or read again to enforce a point or otherwise

Culture, Working life

I’ll let you go

I've mentioned before how I hate the expression "I'll let you go". It just tells me in the most thinly-veiled way that the person talking to me is sick of me, and has more important things to do. Last week I overheard a work colleague who had evidently rung someone he didn't want to talk to as much as the person wanted to talk to him. He said "I'll let you go" about four times before the conver

Working life

I’m awake

I didn't get up early. I'm up late. Pulling an all-nighter for a major system deployment. Which has involved a lot of waiting around. Should get to bed soon. Thank goodness I can do it all from the comfort of my own home. Strangely, I don't feel particularly tired. I bet I will when I get up again in about 3 hours... 9am. Okay, so that didn't go quite as smoothly as hoped. Got to bed about 5

Working life

Contactable… mostly

It seems one of the popular things is to complain about these days the curse of the always-on generation. Mobile phones, email, instant messaging mean you're always contactable. But I like all that stuff for other reasons. It means I can leave the office early (as I do every Tuesday) and stay in touch. I can be at home with my kids, but still able to respond to crises. If a system goes down or