The bright side of total failure

I used to be a timeshare salesman.

This was a long time ago, and I’m proud to say that I wasn’t very good at it. I am good at getting on with people and making them trust me, but I am not so good at turning that into cash through manipulation.

This is one of my favourite things about me, but it wasn’t one of the timeshare manager’s favourite things about me.

I got fired.

I didn’t care.  I was only 25 and was enjoying have an unconventional life that involved living in the sun (a novelty for someone from Yorkshire), and so being fired from a job I didn’t want had no downside at that point in my life.

I now know that there were three problems with my employment:

  1. Our values did not match
  2. I don’t associate money with work
  3. I am not motivated by people shouting at me


Continue reading “The bright side of total failure”

The (overdue) death of the (unreformed) alpha

Overly masculine leadership styles are under siege like never before these days. Yesterday’s hard driving, high achiever with a sense of urgency and a ruthless streak has just two options – change or take cover.

(Mitch McCrimmon in How to Tame the Alpha Male Leader)

OK, I may not be the best barometer on this one, but I reckon there are few things more annoying in the workplace than other people trying to dominate and control.

It drives me nuts.

I don’t like being told what to do at the best of times, but least of all by an egomaniac enthralled with the cult of their own personality.

I am talking about the workplace alpha: an individual who needs to dominate and control other people at work.

That’s my definition, not the official one.

Continue reading “The (overdue) death of the (unreformed) alpha”

Worst training ever

That was the worst training experience I’ve ever had.

I don’t usually rant but I’ve just finished an elearning course on health and safety in the workplace and, in order to avoid further psychological damage, need to communicate my deep feelings of frustration and anger.

This was elearning only in the sense that it was on a computer, and thus electronic, not in the sense that any actual learning took place.

I was so bored that I tweeted my frustration throughout the later modules as a coping mechanism:

The danger that someone might actually learn something was avoided by some margin. The seven lengthy modules of unnecessarily detailed information put the mockers on any chance of any useful information finding its way into my head.

Picking any useful stuff from the superfluous fluff would take the work of a forensic specialist. This detail on the fire extinguisher maintenance schedule for example:

From the date of last revision of the fire extinguisher (3 times), revise the equipment according to ITC-MIE-AP.5 rules of maintenance of Pressurized Fire Extinguishers (BOE No149 of 23 June 1982)

Am I likely to remember this? Do I need to remember this? Do I even need to know it? Do I even understand it?

No to all of those.

So why include it?

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