Archive for the ‘Lessons’ Category

Articles

Taking stock

In Friends,Lessons,Life,Work on August 21, 2014 by kiltforhire Tagged: , ,

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on here. Terribly sorry. I didn’t really feel like I had too much to say as life whizzed by and over took me.

I guess I missed the words which has brought me back here.

However, normally when I come here I come to rant or slam something or to talk about something personal. Today? Nah. Too much has happened in the past year for me to even put down on digital ink and commit to cyberspace.

Today though. Today is about the future. It’s about the lessons learned from the past in work, in relationships and in life.

It’s about the years of journalism experience that has fueled my core and allowed me to dive into the world of public relations and social media. That skill set has stood me in good stead as I furthered my career by cutting my teeth in digital and marketing. Taking the time to move career and focus on new areas has allowed me to retain my core skills but build around them so I can work across the majority of promotional aspects for any business.

I was really lucky to have worked for over two years at NBN Co driving digital communications for them and building the brand from something small to the company it is today. I like to think I made a difference to how people saw the company which is no bad thing.

Confidence is important in a workplace and I realised that I’d lost some of my confidence while working on a start-up. It’s a different beast and it doesn’t allow you to use your main abilities but instead teaches you a whole new skill set but sometimes that comes at the detriment to your older skills.

I also realised that my connection with my homeland felt further away than ever. A recent visit back home changed that. Seeing my friends and family from Scotland reminded me how far I’ve come and how my life has changed in the past ten years.

Seeing my dad also made me realise the abilities he passed down to me and how they have kept me going. His constant socialising, joking and ability to woo a crowd with anecdotes and joy never failed to amaze me and I feel privileged to have been given 10% of his skills. He is the single most charismatic man I’ve met in my life and a damned skilled footballer – sadly a skill set I didn’t get.

I also realised how lucky I am to have a wonderful group of friends across the globe. Friends who are always there for me and who offer unconditional support no matter what is happening in my life.

Sometimes you have to take stock of your life and as I creep ever closer to forty I guess now is that time. So here I am taking stock. Feeling incredibly lucky to have my health, my family, my friends while living in a beautiful city.

Advertisements

Articles

Why the Man of Steel is not a Superman movie

In Lessons,Life,Movies on July 2, 2013 by kiltforhire Tagged: , , ,

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

If you have any care or desire to see Man of Steel then please do not read any further. If you have seen it or you don’t want to see it then feel free to keep reading.

I love Superman. I love the ethos that surrounds him.

He is everything good in all of us.

And Zack Snyder took that away.

He took away the core of Superman. He took away decades of writing. He took away the very being of what makes Superman super. Superman is more human than any of us. That’s the point of him. His humanity is his strength. His power comes from his desire to be more human than human. And it seem that the writers and producers and director of Man of Steel had no idea about that.

I watched Superman the movie when I was a child and I told my parents I wanted to be a journalist because of Superman. I wanted to be able to connect with him. I saw a man on the screen and in my comics who was all powerful but became a journalist because he knew he could still help people doing his daily job to fit in.

I became a journalist. I did my time. I worked as one for over a decade and helped keep schools and hospitals open. I fought the good fight when I could and I still like to think I do.

So where do my issues with Man of Steel begin?

How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways.

There is no humour except some bizarre addition in the last scene. What the fuck. Superman is supposed to be colourful not gray, deep dark blue, dark red and black.

Lois Lane finds out Superman’s identity over the course of what seems like a week even though it would be near impossible to link all the incidents.

Superman spills every secret to her in seconds of meeting her.

Lois then decided to not tell anyone anything.

Superman spends 33 years absorbing the sun’s rays which absorb the energy to give him his strength. Zod and his followers get all the powers in the space of five seconds.

If General Zod is such a fucking amazing military genius born into being the greatest warrior that Krypton has ever seen then why does Jor-El, a fucking scientist, hand him his ass in the first five minutes of the movie?

A terraforming world builder? Really? Just so happen there was one lying around?

Why the fuck was the phantom zone linked to the planet’s death? It’s a dimension. They are trapped there. It’s not a place manufactured by Krypton and their wee machine? Pretty shit decision to send all prisoners to a place and if you destroy that machine they all come back.

Why the fuck did the Colonel in the Air Force let Lois Lane on the aircraft near the end and why the fuck did he even fly it. It’s well below his pay grade to be doing that shit.

You don’t simply decide to be a journalist and then end up working for one of the biggest papers in the world. What about his time at the paper in Smallville? What about his articles he wrote around the globe? None of that in this movie. Just day one here’s a job.

If you see a A-10 Thunderbolt unleash it’s GAU-8 Avenger cannon (4,200 rounds per minute of 30mm pure death) into a bloke standing in the street and he doesn’t flinch the 9mm rounds from your assault rifle will not do fuck all to it.

Superman could simply have used his heat vision to destroy the terraforming machine from space.

Superman kisses Lois when no doubt thousands are dying trapped in building.

Superman pauses way too often when he would be in action.

Superman would never fight anyone in the street when he could take the battle to a field or somewhere where no humans could be harmed. The only people he protected was a girl he just met and a four people in a train station at the end. That was it.

But ultimately the worst problem with the movie is one thing.

Superman does not kill. Seeing Superman kill someone broke my heart. It broke every part of my 34 years of love for Clark Kent/Superman and it has left me with an empty feeling. I remember when Clark lost his life in Death of Superman. I cried reading that comic when his punch takes down Doomsday but Doomsday’s final punch kills him.

Clark never kills. Superman never kills.

And for that Zack Snyder and David Goyer and Christopher Nolan you showed that you have no idea who Superman is or what he represents and I hate the three of you for taking something about humanity and who we are and reversing the very core of it.

He doesn’t kill. He protects.

Articles

iPads aren’t free ya numpty

In Lessons,Life,Social Media,Technology on March 11, 2013 by kiltforhire

If you are on a Facebook and think that Apple can’t reseal a product and instead are giving away 500+ iPhones or 500+ iPads then you are a fucking numpty.

If you are on Facebook and think that Sony is looking for testers for the PS4 and you will get given a PS4 before launch and get to keep it afterwards then you are a fucking muppet.

If you believe that Ray Ban, Samsung or any other multi-national company just so happens to be on Facebook with only a few thousand likes and is giving away free shit then you are a fucking bawbag numpty muppet!

Out there are a bunch of devious fannybaws who would like nothing more than to gather your data and sell it on. That’s why these pages exist. You really want to give them all your info then please go ahead but you will be unfriended so I don’t have to see dumb on a daily basis. Especially as the person running the page now knows who you shared the image or info with. Thanks for doing that.

Oh yeah and if you want to share a ‘story’ on Facebook without checking Snopes – LINK HERE – then please don’t. Seriously. I’m sick of seeing pictures of crying matadors who allegedly broke down one day in front of the bull…the motherfucker was playing a ruse on the bull, oh yeah and it’s not really the same guy who your article is talking about, oh and lastly the actual guy the story is talking is in a wheelchair because a bull gored him.

And if you wan’t to load up a picture of someone with a quote then please can you just take one second out of your life to go to google and actually see if the person said it. Yes I know you want to be inspirational. Yes I know you want to seem cool but if the quote you put up doesn’t link with the person who said it then for fucks sake that’s not exactly great is it?

I guess all I want is people to think just for a few seconds before the commit to doing something.

Articles

My Google Glasses Rules

In Digital,Lessons,Life,Media,Social Media,Technology,Work on February 28, 2013 by kiltforhire Tagged: , , , , , ,

When I woke this morning my feed was full of chatter about Google Glasses. Google’s big man Sergey Brin while talking at TED said that smartphones are emasculating and forcing us all to look down – as a man I look down occasionally in a needed way which got me thinking about what would happen when you wear the glasses and the rules that will need to be enforced.

1. Don’t wear your Google Glasses at dinner/lunch/breakfast if you are sitting with other people. If you think people checking their phone is annoying just wait till people simply stare up to read their latest text.

2. Bathroom etiquette is going to be massive with this one. Don’t wear them at the urinal if you are a bloke. That could end up in fights if people think you are filming their cocks. And for everyone it’s gonna be rude to just record any and all bathroom chatter.

3. No google glasses in the cinema. I don’t want to see little lights in the top corner lighting up around me. SWITCH THEM OFF.

4. I realise that being a citizen journalist is gonna be awesome with these things but I also want you to think about what you upload. Don’t use them for evil.

5. Sex. No. Unless you feel like being kinky and watching that stuff later on…but let’s be honest what if your partner wears them and she puts the video on and all you see is yourself having sex. That’s gonna be weird right? Nobody wants to see the faces they make during sex.

6. In meetings at work. May seem like a good idea but no one will say anything because everyone will be paranoid it will come bite them in the ass.

7. Shower rooms. Hopefully the glasses are waterproof. This does not mean it’s ok to wear them in the gym shower room.

8. Surgeons. Leave my insides inside not outside on the web.

9. Don’t watch porn on them on the way to work. That’s freakin’ weird.

That’s pretty much the main ones for now but I have a feeling I’ll be adding a lot more to the list as time goes on.

Do you have any suggestions where you shouldn’t wear your Google Glasses?

Articles

My Elevator Rules

In Lessons,Life,Work on February 13, 2013 by kiltforhire Tagged: , , , ,

My Elevator Rules. Or Lift Rules.

Or woooo we’re going down really fast rules.

1. Similar to trains I wait till people get out. I also stand quite a way back to allow people to move out of the elevator and get to where they need to go.

2. You know what if the button lights up you don’t have to press it again and again and again. It won’t bring the goddamn lifts down any quicker.

3. Today I watched a guy shove his entire arm into the lift to get in. Seriously, is a minute of your time so precious that it’s worth losing a limb over? If the doors are closing just let it close. No one wants the nickname “liftslice”

4. Conversation. Never discuss anyone you work with or anything to do with work except general stuff. As an ex-journo I can’t tell you how much great info I used to get by simply stepping into lifts and going up and down. People discuss all manner of secret stuff thinking no-one is listening. People are. Shut up!

5. Farting. Don’t. Unless it’s silent and you are out on the next stop and no one you work with is in the lift.

6. If I’m ill I don’t go to work but if you must and you have to use the lift then please don’t sneeze, don’t cough and don’t talk. People deserve not to get your illness. If I’m unwell and have to travel in a lift I stand closest to the door to try and breathe out only when the door opens.

7. I only press the close button when I know no-one was behind me and wanting in the lift. It’s pretty damned rude to close it knowing full well someone is heading to get in the same lift as you.

8. Headphones. See number 9 on My Train Rules.

9. I always let ladies off before me. It’s polite and the right thing to do. If they have a lot of luggage I always ask if I can help carry it. Yes some people look at me like I’m a thief ready to sprint off with their stuff but my mother brought me up to always ask. So I do.

10. Every single elevator I get into I look for another way out should I get stuck. I’ve seen Speed and I’ve seen Die Hard. I know that one day brakes will fail or the lift will get stuck and I’ll be escaping any way I can! I even keep a spare white vest on me just in case I have to take on a bunch of german terrorists determined to rob a multi-national.

11. In a crowded elevator keep your hands to yourself. No brushing against people. That’s perverted. Oh and try to avoid fast head movements. I’ve had one girl flick her hair and it end up in my mouth.

I think that last one is a good one to end it on. Basically it’s a short trip, be polite, be nice, don’t be rude and help people if they need it.

Articles

My Facebook Rules

In Lessons,Life,Marketing,Media,Social Media,Technology on February 11, 2013 by kiltforhire Tagged: , , ,

Following on from My Twitter Rules here are my Facebook rules. Now where Twitter is about conversations with anyone about everything Facebook is slightly different. It’s where people from your past and your present all get together and update their lives, interact and chat but in a more reserved way.

I have a love and hate relationship with Facebook. I enjoy seeing what my friends are up to and it’s nice to get snapshots of home and lives that I’m no longer fully part of but on the other hand there are a lot of people who use it as if it was their personal diary and that just isn’t for me.

The rules aren’t for everyone and I totally get that every person uses their Facebook differently but these are my rules that I generally stick to when using it.

1. Spam. I hate it. You hate it. We all hate it. You remember those days when you would get chain letters sent by email? We all thought we had got rid of them but we forgot one single thing – some people are dumb and are now using Facebook and failing to do basic checks before diving in and commenting on dumb images and stories which are usually a total piece of shit and full of lies. I never comment on them unless it’s to point them to Snopes however I have since realised that by even getting involved other people who follow me may now see it and, well, stuff that. So now I ignore.

2. I try and post between three to five times a week. On the odd occasion I post maybe once or twice in a day and on a rare occasion three time. I don’t believe you should fill up other people’s feeds with constant up to the minute running feeds of your life. I ain’t that important and neither are you so let’s not annoy too many people.

3. When it comes to pics of my friends I have a really simply rule. I never ever tag a friend in a picture if I think it is unflattering. If you tag it it appears on their wall and if ain’t a good pic then I don’t want to make them look bad. They are my friends and they always look good to me so I don’t see why other shouldn’t see them in any other light than when they are at their most awesome.

4. If you want to play games on Facebook that’s just great but I don’t. And therefore you will never get a game invite from me and I’d really appreciate if you didn’t ever send me a damned invite for a game. Please don’t. I’m sick of them. I’m a gamer and I have an Xbox and a Wii U and a PC and an iPad all for gaming but Facebook is not a gaming platform for me and I simply don’t give a rat’s arse about any of them.

5. Hashtags in Facebook. Leave them over on Twitter please. Thanks. Appreciate it.

6. I do believe that Facebook is a place for long updates as opposed to Twitter 140 characters. I have no problem with that. Write away. I usually do. Sometimes people even have to click the little blue button to read all of my update.

7. Baby pics. I am delighted when my friends have babies. It’s wonderful. Especially my friends Alan and Lesley who have gorgeous triplets but you don’t need to share 8000 pictures each and every day. Next time you want to take a spree of pics and post them why not pick up your kid and give them a hug. I have to admit I’m really lucky that the majority of my friends with kids at the moment do a great job of limiting the pics but I have seen overkill in the past.

8. It’s called Facebook not Facesbook. Leave your profile pic as just you and don’t have you AND your other half. C’mon we don’t need to be reminded how much you both love each other every single day. And if you really have to use a pic like that please don’t make it one where you are expressing your tonguitude into them.

9. I never upload funny pics and tag my friends. Personally I think it’s rude to do that. There really is no need for it.

10. Ultimately I try to be considerate. I don’t really post anything inflammatory. I don’t flood people’s timeline with funny images. I don’t pester people and I do like things that I genuinely like. I don’t click on something for no reason.

11. Comment. Getting involved in your friend’s lives is important. If someone has put up a good status update that I’ve enjoyed then I’m not afraid to get involved in a chat or discussion about whatever the post is about.

12. I try and be funny when I post. If I can make one of my friend’s smile then it’s all worth while.

13. I’m happy to unfriend someone if they are being horribly racist, sexist, vile or downright intolerable. I’m also happy to add new people who I’ve met online who I believe will add a little bit of colour to my life.

Looking at this list some are rules and some are things I avoid doing but I think you kinda get the gist of where I’m coming from. Similar to My Twitter Rules I believe that you should always hover before posting to think about what you are saying and if you are happy with it slamming into 200+ people’s feeds.

Articles

Marginal Improvement and big thinking

In Digital,Lessons,Life,Marketing,Work on February 10, 2013 by kiltforhire Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

This is a post about marginal improvement and my recent list of rules

I’ve had a few people chat to me about my recent bunch of rules I’ve posted and have been saying that life needs fewer rules or that they thought I used to be a rebel would would always break the rules so I thought I would explain.

I’ve already posted these:

My Twitter Rules

My Train Rules

My Cinema Rules

And I’m currently working on a set for Facebook, LinkedIn, Vine, beach, elevators, escalators and more.

However, what I want to say is that they are more guidelines than rules. I follow the majority of them most of the time and I try to do what I can to be considerate to others. The guidelines or there just as a reference that if we all did all them well maybe, just maybe, the world would be a little bit of a better place.

Which brings me to marginal improvement. I’ve recently taken an interest again in economics (yeah I know who would have believed I would start enjoying that stuff all over again) and have been devouring podcasts on them.

The ‘Team GB’ cycling team in the UK won so many Gold Medals thanks to the their Head of Marginal Improvement, Mr Matt Parker. There is a good article on him here.

Basically he looked at how he could help increase the team’s performance marginally. Just a tad. Just enough to make them a little bit better. For instance he made the team where heated shorts before races to stop the players muscles going cold. The only team who did this were Team GB and I have no doubt at the next Olympics all cyclists will have toasty legs.

Now normally I’m the kind of guy who likes to take risks and who isn’t afraid to speak out. I’m always willing to go for the long shot and see how it pans out and I dream big – however I see that one of the best ways to dream big is to start small and that is with marginal improvements.

I’ve been re-focussing how I work by seeing which small things I can change and what things I can do that will make a small but important change in delivery and result and so far, so good.

I realise that you need a mix of marginal improvement and long term thinking. You have to dream big but also look for the small things that improve your life and your work marginally because the small things really do make an impact.

I’m not saying that from now on all I’ll be doing is looking for the little wins, oh no, I’ll always be looking to make a big impact but until they pay off I’ll be making small leaps rather than massive bounds.