E-tales: Office culture goes really green

A WEEK OF IT

Office culture goes really green

Lifehacker innovator Sherwood Forlee has come up with a cute way of ensuring the office gremlins never ever steal your sammies (it’s probably the hint of green in the lettuce leaf that’s attracting them).

Forlee has devised a new-style lunch bag that has interesting green splotches printed on it. These become even more interesting when you stick a sandwich in as they make it look really, really mouldy.

Other suggestions — from posters — for deterring any munching thieves in your office include laxative peanut butter sandwiches, and having “Specimen for Dr Chan. Collected this morning” printed on your brown-bag lunch bag. This actually isn’t quite logical but who’s going to test it out?

Strangle them at birth, please

Marketing-speak has penetrated ICT as much as any other industry, which means that not only do media releases often take five paragraphs to get to the point, but the language is often a tad strangled too. Take this little beauty dredged up by a rather irritated e-taler and provided by a company’s PR, who says modern computing has produced “complexities in electrical systems and room architecture potentially trapping the unwary”.

Damn! We were so focused on getting enough power to the blade servers that we forgot to put a handle on the inside of the datacentre door.

Dr Who’s lazy ways

I reckon this makes me a double-nerd. I love Dr Who, particularly the new-style Russell T Davies version. I can remember hiding, terrified, behind the sofa from the Daleks as a tot, but then I grew up and felt rather left out as all Dr Who’s assistants were awfully posh, ruling out my ever becoming one.

Then along comes Welsh gay writer Davies, who has including the rest of humanity in the Tardis story: a Northerner — Christopher Eccleston as the ninth Dr Who — and now a Scot, David Tennant, as his latest reincarnation. Then there was the girl assistant who lives in a council flat, Billie Piper as “Rose”, and, most recently, the young black doctor, “Martha”.

Now Davies has further endeared himself to E-tales’ editor, by saying he treats writing Dr Who episodes like homework… “I leave it and leave it. I can’t bear those writers who say they get up at 8.30am and write 1,000 words,” he says in an interview with the UK Observer newspaper. He doesn’t write at certain times, he says — “bollocks to that” — and loves to pull all-nighters.

Not only does Davies portray life as the rest of us live it but he also writes the way most scribes really do. Did I say I was a fan?

Facebook spies

In these uncertain times, a secure public service job may seem just the ticket — which could be one reason Britain’s spymasters, at MI6, have started recruiting via Facebook.

The cynic in E-tales wonders if it might also be that MI6 needs to broaden its base a bit — it used to recruit exclusively from the more upmarket unis, via the famous tap on the shoulder, but this hardly provides an entrée into the immigrant and other communities it needs these days.

What is a fair exec whack?

The free-fall of Wall Street and other sharemarkets around the world has raised the long overdue question of what exactly constitutes fair executive pay. Our Theresa — the ex-Telecom boss — opined briefly on this topic during a radio interview last week.

Gattung reckons exec pay could never reach the stratospheric levels it has in the US because Kiwi culture is too egalitarian. E-tales begs to differ — on the greed factor. Gattung got a lovely $5 million golden parachute when she exited the telco last year. And her $3 million pay packet was not small change either. Successor Paul Reynolds’ pay package adds up to about $3.5 million.

Compare this with Japan, where, a few years ago at least, execs earned a far more modest 12 times as much as the workers on the floor. E-tales thinks Ms Gattung has gotten a wee bit out of touch here, but then Telecom is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Guerilla signage

And now for something fun — just the ticket in these days of financial gloom… One of our e-talers found these little guerilla gems on Neatorama. Apparently, US advertising company the Glenn Group got its designers to develop these bring-a-smile-to-your-face signs and stick them up all over downtown Reno. The art project won an award at the 2008 Society for Environmental Graphic Design awards.

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