The rudest woman in the world

I’m proud of Geelong. We have a lovely city – wonderful beaches, friendly people and great facilities. Like any metropolis though, we have problems with Trash, and today I got to meet her face to face. After having spent a very pleasant morning photographing the flora of the Geelong Botanical Garden, Mum and I were meandering back to the car when we noticed a steady stream of well dressed doyennes arriving at the Garden, ostensibly for some sort of function. “Lovely”, we thought, “wonderful place to get married!”.

As I was dismantling  the lenses, the carpark began to get full. Unlike most Trash, this piece arrived not on the wind but in a beige-gold Ford Falcon – the same colour as a fake Rolex. Ms Trash alighted from the vehicle, intent on being able to use the carpark we were obviously about to vacate. “I’ll be two  minutes,” I said, noting the large sunglasses and too-short-for-this-weather skirt, “just packing up”. I continued to clean the lenses and pack them away. Pouting, Ms Trash was not to be fobbed off. “Could you do me a favour?”, she whined in one of those used-to-getting-my-own-way-because-I’m-up-myself voices, “we’re running late for a wedding. Could you just back our your car so that we can get in?”

Principle Number #1: Your failure to plan does not make it my problem

No, we can’t. You are late for a wedding because you’ve failed to plan. Your tardiness (and hideous outfit) are testament to this. At this point Mr Trash, for whom patience is not a strong suit, began to beep his horn. His very small horn. The intent of this unashamedly alpha male behaviour of course was to intimidate us. Wrong move.

Principle Number #2: Be nice. It will get you better results than being nasty.

Mum and I are reasonable people. We’re generous and friendly. We talk to strangers, and we let people into traffic. But neither of us tolerates fools, and in particular detest arrogant swine who think their God’s gift to creation. Now, had Ms Trash been somewhat humble (heaven forbid, friendly!) and asked courteously we probably would have been pleasant and calmly reversed out of the car park. Mr Trash continued to beep. Ms Trash continued to pout. Smoke began to waft from Mum’s ears.

Principle Number #3: Don’t piss off my Mum!

Mum sat firm, keys in ignition, with no intent to turn them. “I don’t think so!” she bellowed. More smoke emanated from her ears. More beeping. More pouting. Finally, I instructed Mr and Ms Trash to find an alternate car park. And as we drove past, around two minutes later after gently and calming reversing out of the park, we noticed the Fake Rolex-mobile…. 100 metres away in a large alternate car park.

So, if you see a Ford Falcon in a fake Rolex beige gold, number plate RGR 170, please don’t do anything – including giving them your car park. They’re obviously not from Geelong 🙂

Netregistry nurses make me sick

CeBIT is a 3-day conference which focuses on business technology and IT solutions, and is held every year in Australia. Companies exhibit at CeBIT, hoping to build brand awareness and promote their service offerings. This year, Australian domain name registration and web hosting company Netregistry tried a slightly different marketing tactic – and it’s one that’s making me sick.

Using a ‘medical’ theme to promote their web site health check service, Netregistry dressed female staff in quasi-nurse uniforms, and had them ask CeBIT attendees about the health of their websites. According to this article by ZDNet, Netregistry CEO Larry Bloch (@larrybloch on Twitter) has stated that

“There would have been female doctors if any of our sales people were female — but they’re not”

This is appalling on three levels;

Representation of women in ICT: Instead of having female consultants and sales staff with (presumably) the technical and interpersonal skills to analyse the health of a client’s website, instead models (employed for their looks, not for their intellectual capital) are used engage the (predominantly male) attendees of CeBIT.

Representation of the nursing profession: The nursing profession has worked long and hard to build an image of nurses built on trust, integrity and professional deportment. Placing women in nurses’ uniforms to sell website ‘health checks’ detracts not only from the image of women, but also from the image of nurses and the nursing profession.

Lack of female representation in sales roles: The question everyone is forgetting to ask is why there are no female sales staff at Netregistry? Oh woops, my bad – as a female why would I want to work for an organisation that so obviously doesn’t see women as professional and intelligent, but as eye candy to sell a service. Recruit me now.

No wonder I moved away from Netregistry for my web hosting some time ago. They were appalling then and things it seems haven’t changed.

If you’re as angry as I am about this, send @larrybloch or @Netregistry a Tweet.

Disclaimer: I wasn’t at CeBIT, I didn’t see the ‘nurses’ in question. But I didn’t have to…

The 9000 day manifesto

I have 9000 days left to live.

Well, thereabouts anyway. How did I calculate this? By averaging the ages of death back a couple of generations on either side, factoring in underlying medical conditions, risky behaviour etc etc. It’s not a perfect model. In short, I’m 29 turning 30 in two months, and there’s good money on me kicking up my heels between 60 and 65.

Sure, there’s some things I can do that might change that outcome. But they might not either. Or I could get hit by a bus tomorrow.

So the big question is what am I going to do for the next 9000 days? Thinking about this in terms of days rather than years or decades helps to put this sense of purpose into perspective. I reflected on how my hours are currently spent. There are 168 hours in a week. Of these;

  • 45 hours (27%) are spent at work
  • 56 hours (33%) are spent sleeping (based on 7.5 hours per night)
  • 2.5 hours (1.5%)  are spent travelling to and from work
  • 12 hours (7.1%) are spent doing housework or gardening
  • 5 hours (3%) are spent in the gym, walking or in the pool
  • 8 hours (4.8%) are spent cooking, eating or preparing food
  • 5 hours (3%) are spent socialising – talking on the phone, going out etc
  • 4 hours (2.4%) are spent showering, washing hair, getting dressed etc
  • 2 hours (1.2%) are spent grocery shopping, clothes shopping or other shopping

The remaining time – around 28 hours (17%) is my free time – to write on my blog, do things like play with HDTV, knitting, run my web development business, do volunteer work, watch television and generally chill out. This seems like a lot, but when you average it out, it’s around 4 hours a day. Is this enough time to do what I really want to do?

No.

This means that the other time percentages need to be changed.

First of all, can I get away with a few minutes less sleep each day? Probably – although nothing too severe otherwise there’s a risk of getting run down, sick and therefore being unable to use that free time. There’s say 3 and a half hours a week back if I sleep seven and a half hours a day rather than eight. What about house work? What a useless waste of time! Get a cleaner in and I get back two hours a week. Awesome. Do I want to cut back on exercise time? Not really. It’s something I need to be doing more of rather than less.

Now, for work. I’m pretty lucky in that it only takes me about fifteen minutes each way to and from work. However the time that would otherwise be spent commuting seems to be going into some reasonably long hours. Is this something I can control. Well, frankly, yes. I reckon if I started to say ‘No’ a bit more often to taking on work that would save me at least 3, maybe 5 hours a week.

Now we’re starting to get somewhere. Already there’s at least 8 and a half hours back for me to do what I want. Average this over 30 years and whammo! 552 days back. I can live with that.

So what other changes will I be making to get the most out of the next 9000 days?

Well…

  • Spend more time doing things I enjoy doing, and less time doing things I have to do (like housework)
  • Spend more time with the people I like and respect, and less time with those I don’t
  • Understanding that you never know what is around the corner – and that to get the most out of the time we have left.