Somewhere in your third year of being a manager, the management pixies will appear in your office in a puff of sweet-smelling black smoke. There will be three of them, and one will be carrying a gorgeous black top hat.
I have a mild interest in calendars and wall planners and how they can be done better. This is a really nice example, both from a webdev perspective (the frame slides if you drag it) and as a way of improving the physical object.
Around the modest gallery where the ladies would sit there is a knee-high velvet curtain to shield the eyes of the Lords from the inadvertently revealed ankles of the watching women. In this we see the way institution must bow to nature, how chauvinism is manifest. A curtain has to be installed to prevent men at work from ogling women’s foot bones. Were all the pomp and grandeur indicative of any actual substance it would be enough to say to these divine, governing beings “don’t stare at the bird’s legs, you’re meant to be running the country” presumably they tried that and it didn’t work – the Lords just continued to salivate and stare, the running of blighty relegated to a distraction form their blue-blooded erections, till one day the maintenance people, the Dereks of the day thought “fuck it, we’ll put a curtain up”.
On 5 March this year, the chairman of the bank [Standard Chartered], Sir John Peace, said the following clunky thing: ‘We had no wilful act to avoid sanctions; you know, mistakes are made – clerical errors – and we talked about, last year, a number of transactions which clearly were clerical errors or mistakes that were made.’ This made the regulators furious, and in Sir John’s next statement on the subject, 16 days later, he said that he and the bank retracted ‘the comment I made as both legally and factually incorrect. To be clear, Standard Chartered unequivocally acknowledges and accepts responsibility, on behalf of the bank and its employees, for past knowing and wilful criminal conduct in violating US economic sanctions, laws and regulations.’ This was described in the FT as ‘the most abject apology that City pundits can remember hearing from a banker in recent times’, and their story reporting it contained a link to the Clash playing ‘I fought the law.’
One recent evening there was shelling everywhere, and I was sitting in a corner, wearing the only expression you could have when death might come at any second, and another reporter comes over, looks me up and down, and says: “This isn’t a place for women.” What can you say to such a guy? Idiot, this isn’t a place for anyone.
A friend who, walking with Samuel Beckett in Paris on a perfect spring morning, said to him, “Doesn’t a day like this make you glad to be alive?” to which Beckett answered, “I wouldn’t go as far as that.