Saturday, 12 October 2013

Only poor leaders knock back flexible work

Yep - that's right. If you've ever knocked back a request for flexible work from one of your employees, I'm suggesting that you take a long hard look at your own leadership skills.

I've been sitting on this post for a while now. Slightly fearful that there'll be an exception I hadn't thought of; a role requires exactly the same person to be physically present for exactly the same hours every week; a job so important that how it's performed can not be altered in any way.

I have not found a single example and yet, every week, I hear another story about talented, smart and hard working employees being knocked back for flexible work. It makes my head explode. There is absolutely nothing wrong with those seeking flexible work and a whole lot wrong with their leaders.




A quick study of most effective leaders will show that they are strong in the following areas:

  • Problem solving
  • Establishing deliverables
  • Holding employees accountable
Leadership of flexible workers requires EXACTLY the same.

Problem solving
Good leaders work with their teams and follow decision making processes before determining an outcome. If an employee has a small child at kindy 3 days per week or is studying nights, they work together to plan a roster that suits both. Great leaders understand the best outcomes can be win-win and problem solve to get there. 

Establishing deliverables
Good leaders are clear on what is required of their team. They plan, budget and deliver whatever good or service is expected from them. They know how to express their deliverables to their team. They know what their team is working towards and they don't need to be physically present for every step in the process. They understand employee strengths and allocate work based on these strengths and availability. 

Hold employees accountable
Good leaders will recruit, develop and train their teams to deliver. When employees are not delivering, they will be appropriately managed. A good leader measures performance based on behaviours and delivery, not where the person was working from or what days they worked. 

Requesting flexible work arrangements put a huge onus on the employee to state: where and when they will be working; what time they will turn up and depart; how they will hand over work; how they will manage collaboration and team work; and how they can be contacted for surprise jobs... 

Yet I have NEVER heard the same requests made of a full time worker. It seems that many leaders will let Sleepy Jones rock up day in day out, keeping his chair warm in the corner, watching the clock all day and barely delivering but the edge he has is that he is physically present. F..I..V..E    L..O..N..G   D..A..Y..S   P..E..R   W..E..E..K...

Skill-up  leaders! 

Next time a smart and hard working person comes to you for flexible work, consider your own leadership capacity before saying no. I'll certainly be asking what's wrong with you and your role such that you can not handle an employee with flexible conditions and I'm sure there will be others too!


Thursday, 19 September 2013

Leadership lessons from pirates

It be here!

Talk Like A Pirate Day
Illustration by Ghergich & Co.

I love September 19. I'm glad that we celebrate ye pirates of olde. They were snappy dressers, bird-loving, mis-understood amputees of the high seas. International talk Like a Pirate Day, ITLAPD (that's today), should not just be about faking a bad Irish accent (were pirates even Irish?), brandishing a cutlass and drinking tankards of ale though...

We can learn a lot about leadership from these salty sea dogs. If Mining Mummy was a pirate (or leader), this is what I'd do.


  1. Be brave - Have ye ever met a shy pirate? Nope. Nor 'ave eye. Pirates get amongst it. 
  2. Mutter unintelligibly - Pirates excel at bluff. When you have no idea where the closest landfall is or what went wrong on your last project, just try something like: "Me 'n' Muskit Ball Jim drug our sorry keesters out t'th'ship'n'had us a grand great adventuaaarrr! We almost had t'keelhaul Mad cap'n Knockboots f'r gettin inter th' grog behind our backs!". Say it while deeply focussed on your spy glass (or plans etc). You wont be bothered again.
  3. Learn the language - Know your bung hole from your keel haul. One keeps the rum in and the other results in a barnacle induced death. These days leaders have to be up on a vast array of TLA's and buzzwords, that are no less perilous.
  4. Use hand gestures - If you earnt that hook, use it. Should your arms be intact, show off your watch or rings. Either way, the bling and movement distracts smarter listeners from deconstructing your unintelligible mutterings. (I'm not calling Kevin Rudd a pirate, but,... he's got hand gestures and unintelligible (musings) sewn up. The double dead spider is worth a look.)
  5. Look after your reputation - Pirates understood branding about 500 years before everyone else. They knew what they did well and they delivered! Ok so it was death, robbery and worse but by simply raising their flag, everyone knew what they were about. Know what you are good at and stick with it!
Enjoy ITLAPD. I'm off for a rum.


Monday, 22 July 2013

Been muddled up with someone else?

The funniest thing I read today was about Ernst and Young's rebranding effort. So a multinational advisory firm goes and pays a branding firm gazillions of dollars to... officially name their organisation after a saucy Spanish mens homoerotic picture magazine. Their cock-up (so to speak of course..) was in not doing their branding 101 homework. I'm not an expert but ... I'd have  probably googled my new brand before putting it out there...

I'm sure there is some embarrassment at EY over this but imagine the humiliation of the poor mens mag. Now anyone googling them is going to be directed to an accounting/advisory/consulting firm. Oh the horror...

Being far smarter than the marketing bods at EY and the branding company that just extracted their money, I did an internet search on my business name before launching. It appears that no one has thought of putting the words 'miner' and 'diversity' together yet (shocked anyone?) so I'm safe. Of course, I'll be on the leading edge of a massive trend so I trademarked and grabbed the domain names quicksmart. 

I think Diversity Miner is a pretty neat name... Being a miner that's into diversity and all... It's tempting to shorten it to DM though when I am writing reports etc so taking a lesson from our dear friends at EY, I did google the abbreviation and here is what I found:

DM is also short for:

Adamsite - its an organic compound used for riot control. (Bet you didn't know that.)
Dark Matter - makes up one quarter of the universe.
Depeche Mode and Dark Moor - 80's synth pop right and Spanish heavy metal. (Seem to have the spectrum of musical genres covered there.)
Dungeon Master - C'mon D&D fans. You know exactly what this means.
Diagonal Method - a mathematical proof of the uncountability of real numbers.
Difference due to Memory -  an event related potential differentiating between later remembered versus forgotten items.

All seems fairly innocuous... Even a little bit cool for the geeks out there.

And then I discovered....

Dungeon Monitor - a safety official at BDSM parties.

I'll leave you to look up BDSM in your own time (best not to do it at work). Rest assured that I am pretty sure you wont find any accounting/advisory/consulting firms from your search.










Sunday, 12 May 2013

Something new for my resume?

I've done some crazy jobs in my life. When I was 8, I picked beans for 10 hours one Sunday. Bent over the North Queensland red dirt, in the blazing sun for 10 hours, I managed to get severe sunburn on the patch of skin exposed between my 'choose life' hyper-colour shirt and my denim short shorts, an incredibly sore back and a days pay of $7! That's right. $7. I'm still a little outraged about it today. My parents encouraged their farming friends to enslave us.

Between school and uni I looked for less back breaking, more sun-smart ways of earning a dollar and spent most summers packing mangos. Remarkably, I still love mangoes despite the sap burns, varicose veins and industrial deafness I now have from long days spent standing over the top of sorting machines pushing the good manges forward and the bad ones into a bin behind me. Which, by the way, is the reason you will NEVER see my imbibe a mango juice...

For $10 an hour, I then offered my fingers to the gentle tapping of a Mitre 10 till. The woman who offered me the job thought I'd be good on a till because I wanted to be an engineer and therefore knew how to use a calculator??? Her logic, not mine... Working in a hardware shop was fun for a while. Strangely it's the only job I've been asked for a 1000 screws. (roofing of course .. tut tut ..). After a while I got sick of giggling when sorting the plumbing supplies into male and female categories or adaptors!!! Don't get me started on using the shop intercom system for prices on grease nipples... 

At uni I took a job with a catering company. First they put me in a food prep area where I had to distribute platters of grossly overpriced, soggy chips and prawn cutlets to the boxes at Manly Oval. We all know that rugby league fans are not too discerning but the platters were horrific and I swear I picked up more chips and prawn cutlets off the ground than what was loaded on-the platters originally. Oh and to add insult to injury, I had to wear a short black skirt and white top. Ghastly.

Thankfully, the catering company was quick to notice my lack of finesse in a short skirt and my inability to manufacture a smile of 'yum yum here comes your expensive catering' when entering the box so they put me on the hill. Best job ever! I got to walk over the grassy slopes of Manly Oval yelling "2 buck beers". Men would swarm, (ok stagger) over, hand me sweaty coins in consideration of lukewarm Tooheys that I'd been carrying around like an ice cream vendor at the movies. 

Then there is 20 or so years in mining... That's the topic of many other blogs... In summary though, very similar to my formative roles - still filled with sweaty blokes, sunburn and using a calculator. Only paid a lot better.

On Friday I found a job even more demeaning than being a child slave, mango sorter, screw counter and beer seller at the footy.

I modelled. 

Oh the horror. 

It wasn't even for charity.

It was because I can't say no. 

The night before I hardly slept and wondered if it was too late to:


  1. go on a diet
  2. shape my eyebrows
  3. buy spanks for my hips, thighs, tummy, back, butt ... do they do the fadoobadas?
  4. get a new hairdo
  5. some cosmetic surgery - nothing major - just eye lift, wrinkle filler, dermabrasion and liposuction.

Sick with fear, I ate a pulled pork burger, drank a glass of wine and consoled myself in the fact that the organisers had kindly set me up with a make up artist for the event. Perhaps she'd have the make up artistry to make me look less middle aged, middle sized mining mum and more long luscious catwalk vamp...unfortunately no.

The details of the event are too raw to share but let me confess that it involved:

  1. leggings
  2. oversized jumpers
  3. multiple changes in a storeroom with women I barely know 
  4. tantrums ... mainly mine... 
  5. strutting along, to the right, pivot, to the front, smile, pivot, strut left, swinging jacket over shoulder and strutting off
I did this sober. Ok I had a glass of ridiculously cheap sweet sparkling wine before hand. Just to settle my nerves. 

That night, well after the event, with nerves settled, comfy pants and shoes, I did a bit of reflection. Maybe it wasn't so bad? Maybe I did look like a groovy mumma? So I took some selfies of me doing my very best blue steel...






Nope... No chance... My agent has been told to divert the calls back to Jennifer/Giselle/Renee. I'm sticking to mining engineering, consulting in diversity, charm and witty banter.






  

Sunday, 5 May 2013

School holidays


They are nearly over. Phew.  In less than 48 hrs, I'll be back in the glorious routine of making lunches, dropping off, picking up, reading stories, bathing and putting to bed. My 'bad mum' performance anxiety will be over. Bring it on.

I used to love school holidays. When I was a kid they were great. Of course. As a grown up without kids, they were great. I always knew when NOT to plan a holiday or go to the shops. 

Now, as a Mum, they terrify me. They give me performance anxiety. 15 whole days of entertaining and I fail dismally. Well according to my kids I fail. They gladly helped with a list of things I have NOT done for them this break:


  1. We didn't make pop lollies... I don't know what they are either.
  2. The eldest didn't get to the zoo.
  3. I didn't download Harry Potter until day 13.
  4. We didn't go on a family caravanning or camping holiday (thank goodness!)
  5. I didn't buy them a pet kitten, pony, fish, hermit crabs or guinea pigs!
(Never mind that they had their body weight in babycino's and ice creams and saw about 47 episodes of Deadly 60). They have forgotten about the good things...

I made the mistake of taking notice of the things my friends (and their peers) were up to. Oh the guilt. We didn't go near a museum, science centre or animal park. I had a half hearted attempt to organise a play date but it fell through. So what did I do? 

I let them be bored. Yep. In fact I encouraged it. Most days. 

No craft, no tv, no me. Just each other to amuse. I'd like to think that this was great development for their imaginations. That they came up with creative games and thoughts to stimulate their little brains. That they built cubbies, tree houses and rafts. Just like Huck and Tom...

Unfortunately they didn't. 

There were moments of sweet togetherness but they came down to a shared love of Peppa Pig and only one ipad charged up. The rest of the time they could be found torturing:

  1. Each other,
  2. Me or their father,
  3. The dog
  4. Or all of the above.
I took them on a walk once and they found a tree in the river. I found a coffee. It was win win for a few minutes and I took a photo to prove it. For a few precious minutes the school holidays were brilliant!






Sunday, 21 April 2013

Performance reviews


Tuesday will be my last official day with Rio Tinto. To every one of the many people I have had the pleasure of working with since graduation, thanks for the laughs, education and experiences. I'm moving on with wisdom and excitement shaped by knowing all of you. 

Rio was a brilliant company to work for and like most large organisations, they have all the policies, procedures, benefits, rewards, systems, processes to manage their huge workforce. Note the word 'manage'... Wedging a workforce into the confines of these rules is probably a necessity. There are 1000's to cater for, constantly changing regulatory environments and a vast array of roles. Outside the loving arms of Rio (and most other large organisations)  you start to miss having a rule book to play by. There is one procedure I wont miss though... Not one bit...

Performance reviews...

Even writing the term fills me with unease. Over my career I have given far more reviews than I received. It doesn't matter which side of the table I sit, I find the experience completely disengaging. Here's why:


  1. The distribution curve. Doesn't it simply force you to keep a few underachievers on your team? For every poor performing employee, you theoretically (and practically in many cases) are entitled to reward a high achiever? Then you simply tell everyone else that they 'meet expectations' .Great organisations can't afford to hold on to poor performers or demoralise the vast majority who are doing every thing you want (meeting expectations by definition).
  2. Studies have shown that organisational and quality improvements are poorly correlated with individual performance assessments. In fact, some studies have shown a detrimental performance in quality . So it begs the question: if individual performance ratings are not positively impacting the bottom line, could there be a more motivating process for engaging employees?
  3. Giving someone a number once or twice a year that is completely aligned to their pay rise and bonus promotes an environment of ticking boxes, working to pre-defined KPI's and lacks the creativity and flexibility we actually want from our teams. 
  4. Self rating is no-win: If you rate yourself poorly, your leader is likely to leave you low, question your ambition and save some high scores for distribution among the squeaky wheels. If you rate yourself highly, your leader has to spend the whole conversation dredging up work you did not do well to knock you down a few points.
  5. They are one sided. Your review depends on the view of your leader. His review depends of the view of his leader and so on. At no stage, does the vast majority of the workforce get to evaluate the performance of their leaders...
Don't get me wrong. I firmly believe in individual accountability. I want to see financial reward for hard work. I just happen to think that there has to be better ways of dealing with the humans in our organisations. So I did some research...

This time last week I had not even heard of a little Australian IT company called Atlassian. From what I have read and seen of this great team, I've become a fan. Their 5 values speak volumes and I get excited about a future where other, larger organisations think like this:




So what did Atlassian do about Performance Reviews?


  1. They kept the constructive bits of performance reviews like specific meetings to discuss performance and threw out the un-constructive bits around ratings and distributions curves.
  2. They stopped paying performance bonuses and instead pay top market salaries for the brightest and hardest working in their fields. Bonuses are based on the organisations performance.
  3. Continuous discussions through the year including 360 degree reviews, long term aspirations, barriers and focus areas.
  4. Increased focus on behaviours with two axis ratings on effort and results.

It sounds simple and I sure hope it works. Good luck Atlassian, I like what you are doing and for this years performance score I give you 'Exceeds Expectations'!


For more information on Altassians performance reviews see http://www.managementexchange.com/story/atlassians-big-experiment-performance-reviews








Friday, 5 April 2013

The Harlem Shake...

Thanks to 15 or so unfortunate (unwise?) miners, I now know what the Harlem Shake is... Given that the guys are looking for jobs, lawyers or new identities, it might be a bit too early to comment on that particular event. So I won't...  much more...

While it's too early to comment on that event, it seems that I am too late to comment on the Harlem Shake in general. The internet is soooo over the Harlem Shake fad. Here's the proof:




http://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=harlem%20shake&date=today%203-m&cmpt=q

Note: The miners uploaded to YouTube right at the top of the trend. That's cool.

Devastatingly it provides the graphical evidence that I am not cool. The Harlem Shake had started its death spiral downward by the time I got on board. Thank goodness I kept my clothes on.

How cool is Google Trends though?

In an effort to be more cool. I have done a bit of research and compared a few topics that entertain, amuse and make news:

Sheryl Sandberg - of Lean In fame
Lindsay Lohan - of ???? fame?
PSY - Gangnam Style
Harlem Shake
Rio Tinto





The standings?

Gangnam Style was cooler for longer and, as far as I know, no miners were sacked for riding fake ponies. (Although I would strongly recommend that that they don't say 'Eh - sexy lady' at work. Being the only decipherable English words in the whole song it might be tempting but definitely very uncool.)

Harlem Shake was the coolest at its best but you had to be quick and got uncool very quickly when soldiers and miners lost their jobs. 

Lindsay Lohan is way cooler than Rio Tinto or Sheryl Sandberg...

Quite odd given that one is a Harvard grad and the CEO of Facebook and the other made $15.5 BILLION last year.

It's interesting to note (well to me anyway) that Rio Tinto got a lot more interesting when Tom Albanese stepped down and Lindsay Lohan got a lot more interesting when she missed a plane to LA.

Fun at work?

Previous Blogs have recommended having fun at work. I've even provided a few tips. 

Just keep your clothes on and follow the safety requirements. 

One thing I can't criticise the miners on though... was their level of cool. They caught the peak of the Harlem Shake fad. If they can pick stocks the same way, they don't need to worry about returning to work at the mines. Their future lies in spotting trends and letting the rest of us know what's cool.









Sunday, 17 March 2013

Enjoy a laugh?


Passion #16: Laughing.

God I love a laugh. More than, well ahem, doesn't matter... I just love a laugh.

All sorts of laughs. From the, I get it simple chuckle; to the that joke was TOTALLY inappropriate but bloody funny hope no one is watching laugh; and the, can’t believe I am witnessing / doing / hearing this nervous laugh. But there is a laugh that beats a beautiful wine, better than shaved truffles, more enjoyable than night swimming or sleeping children. This laugh hurts. It makes you cry. Your breathing stops. Your belly seizes and it can't be stopped. You just have to laugh through the pain and oxygen starvation until it's over.

Not everyone is a great laugher. In fact, some find it quite impossible. The dear Propeller Head for example: I like to think that he is married to an intelligent, good looking funny gal. He agrees but do you think I can get a rip-roaring laugh out of him? No. In fact, I recently made a terrible discovery about him. He does laugh... but not at me...

I was at a work function one night and returned home to a darkened house, lit pale blue with the digital signal from channel 10. There in front of the TV, my darling husband of 9 years was found splitting his sides in laughter. Having never done it for me before, I was intrigued. I crept up behind him, keen to share this beautiful moment and discovered him rolling on his sides laughing hysterically. The cause of this magnificent happiness? 

RUSSELL BRAND! 

WTF? 

It's taken me a while to come to terms with the fact that the Propeller Head laughs – at a sex-craved dandy in skinny jeans. But after much research, soul searching and acceptance, I've come to the point where I'll happily watch him laugh for another. Sometimes I'll even join in... Because laughing is good for you – especially in the office.

Here are my top 5 reasons for laughing while you work:

1.   Work IS insane. There are people, meetings and training courses that defy logic and common sense. But, “against the assault of laughter nothing can stand,” said Mark Twain. He was spot on. Your anger and frustration will be wasted on a ship of fools so laugh at the nonsense of the modern day workplace.
2.   Laughter helps you lose weight. Ok so this one is a bit dubious. I found it on Dr Kataria’s Laughter Yoga International page. Surely a reputable source?
3.   Humour solves problems. It does. Think about all you know about diversity. If a problem can be seen from a new angle and with objectivity, surely the range of solutions opens up?
4.   Humour reduces turnover and absenteeism. Here is another dodgy internet fact for you: Only 15% of people are sacked for being poor performers. The other 85% are sacked for not having the people skills and ability to relate to others. Humour brings people together.
5.   Fun improves performance and engagement. I understand this intuitively but when I did my research, I actually discovered that a study of Canadian financial institutions found that managers with the highest employee performance outcomes were more likely to use humour in the workplace.

So it’s for the greater good, that I try to illicit a small laugh (or even just a smirk) when I write some of my blogs. If you are reading this at work, feel confident that you are not wasting time: You are dealing with the insanity of work, losing weight, solving problems, being engaged and performing at a high level.

Should you have made it to through my 600-ish words and not laughed, you’ll be in good company. The Propeller Head, just pointed me to Goats that sound like Humans on u-tube. I didn't laugh much but, then again, I don’t find Russell Brand funny either.










Sunday, 24 February 2013

Busy networking?

Three weeks since I packed my desk and left corporate life (for a while at least). EVERYONE I meet is asking how I am enjoying my 'life of leisure?' Including the propeller head ... daily... "I've had no time for 'leisure'" is my standard response. The propeller head then comes back with something about too many coffees and lunches... He's right. There have been a lot of coffees and lunches but I have loved catching up with so many old friends and new. The truth is I have been busy busy busy 'networking'.

That's right. What he sees as social events and gossip, I see as an investment in the future... The seeds of a plan for life-after-Rio are starting to come together but I need to test my thinking. What better way than to catch up over a caffeinated drink, some stories  and a bite to eat.

He's still a little dubious of my motives, so I did some research on networking just to be sure. This is what was recommended at successwomensnetwork.com.au. Surely a trusted source?

What the ‘experts’ say.
What I am doing
Prepare – marketing material / name badge / business cards and your elevator speech (template sent with your welcome email)
In progress… I spent 6 hours last week trying to work out how to add some social icons to my email signature. Anyone?
Come early and leave late
50%. I was early at two functions and late for 2.
Work the room
Easy. Always on the lookout for coffee, wine, loos.
Act like the host and not the guest i.e welcome new people
Easy. Ask for more wine, coffee, canap├ęs whenever there is a lull in conversation.
Sit next to someone you don’t know (remember their name)
50%. I sat next to someone I didn’t know but have forgotten their name. Must work on this one.
Follow up after the networking events – emails, catch ups, social media etc
Yes. I even Twittered (???) at one event…
Book a meeting at every meeting
We always promise to catch up again soon.
Be proactive – invite clients to attend events / online forum / articles / social media shout outs.
Not yet… No clients… or business…
HAVE FUN AND REMEMBER THE MORE YOU GIVE, THE MORE YOU GAIN
Of course.

By my reckoning that's 7 out of 9 when evaluated against networking tips form the experts. Take that propeller head. 

Thanks for all your advice and chats everyone. It's been a great few weeks and my plans are coming together nicely.














Friday, 15 February 2013

Business Improvement ... for the home ...


This 'career break' is tiring. Honest. I am busy busy busy. On what? Well I am not sure. There have been no sleep ins, no boozy lunches, and my plans for more blogs, being a better Mum, writing the great Australian novel and world domination are way behind. How did this happen? 

Well I am busy doing stuff... 

I'd quite happily stay like this because, frankly, I am loving the coffee catch-ups, chatting to old friends and new and reading the news daily but I had a conversation earlier in the week that I know will set BI hearts aflutter...

I'm putting up my very own Information Centre. Yep - that's right, a 'lean' board right here at home sweet home. It will come complete with metrics (safety, environment, social, financial and family), gantt charts, action lists, post-it notes and different coloured pens. 

My wasted minutes, rework and non-value add activities are in for some serious scrutiny.

Unfortunately the lean board brilliance was not my idea. I shamelessly borrowed it off a friend that had her own 'career break' last year (thanks KS). She's way smarter and more organised than me... 

Establishing an Information Centre is not for the feint hearted. (Our team developed a 70 page document to demonstrate the intricacies). But thanks to the Business Improvement (BI) teams' careful tutelage, I think I am up for it. They worked hard to educate me in the dark arts of lean, six sigma and a range of improvement methodologies. Too many years in operations and a preference for acting on my gut, made me a difficult student but they persisted and I'm thankful. They are all skilled BI professionals and they never let my complete lack of understanding in their craft inhibit our great working relationship. 

Thanks to them, I finally think I know what DMAIC is all about. Here goes:

D – Divine. That’s right. Often misheard as define. Divine can be used to describe the intervention required to get some projects off the ground (and the kids out the door in the morning).
M – Morning teas. I'm not saying that this is what I’ll miss most about working at the OC, but...
A – Airports. Late nights, early starts and possibly in between? 
I – Influencers. Each individual in the BI team worked hard to make a difference to the organisation, each other and me.
C – Challenge. Teaching me. Teach the unteachable to define, measure, analyse, improve, control, encourage, support and add great value.

Like all great BI projects, I am going to spend the right amount of time in the planning phase. I've raided the draws, hit office works and found a wall space. Next week I might even get started on pulling it all together but the sun is well over the yard arm now and it's time for a process check.

Here are some photos of my work in progress - just to show I am serious about this... 

I've selected a wall ... the old print will have to go .....

The materials...


Wednesday, 6 February 2013

How to have fun in the office.

Too young for retirement, too old for backpacking, too unco for joining the circus. I'm 3 days into  'that brilliant little gap I had between fabulous jobs' and wandering around my home office looking for a bit of fun. 

So far I have:

  • read 6 pages on how to change the gears on your bike
  • attempted to make a paper aeroplane
  • considered and then reconsidered pulling my tax paperwork together
  • called a real estate agent - just 'cause I know they love a chat
  • hung out 2 loads of washing
  • checked facebook, linkedin, twitter and googled

Don't you dare accuse me of procrastinating though. My inability to focus on higher priority tasks is quite deliberate. I still plan on doing NOTHING for a while yet. There is one thing I miss about the office though...shhhhh.... it was sometimes fun....

Let me be clear. I didn't work in the googleplex or anything. Just a conventional open plan office. We didn't use the photocopier for shenanigans way beyond it's warranty limits. We didn't have a goofy prankster to entertain us through the climate controlled, ergonomically fitted, meeting filled hours of employment... Nope we just had a team that wanted to enjoy being at work.

Here are some of the things that gave me a laugh in the office:

  1. We set up a War Room on the request of senior leaders for, well,.... a daily teleconference.. Thank goodness I didn't go through with the camo netting order.
  2. The Great Cumquat Jam Making Competition of 2012. In an effort to rid myself of around 16784 kg of cumquats, I took them to work and created a competition for the most creative and best use of cumquats - complete with an expert CWA judge, fabulous prize and ribbons. Not to mention the respect and admiration of your peers.Guess who won? I swear, Shirley was completely impartial. A woman of her Royal Show judging pedigree can not be bribed... besides that would have been against Rio's code of conduct.
  3. Writing left handed during dull meetings... (Not my idea but brilliant nonetheless.. Thanks RR)
  4. Adding words to my corporate buzzword hate-list. Fun for a while but dispiriting in some meetings...
  5. Coffee... Brilliant in all its manifestations .. Bad coffee demanded a pitching and replacement trip to the local cafe for intel and a stretch. Good coffee, made the agony of 'syndicating', 'learnings', 'boiling the ocean' and 'swings and roundabouts' almost bearable...
I'm missing the insanity of the office just a tiny winy bit... Please free to post what makes you laugh... if you require anonymity, I know a great place that has camo netting!