Social Media Award Winner

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Passive Aggression

The modern office is the best place for passive aggression. We are no longer allowed to beat minions with jagged broom-handles, nor are we allowed to stand over a colleague and berate them soundly with a volley of fitting, if unhallowed, epithets.

However, passive aggression is alive and flourishing in every office up and down the country - notes on microwaves, snippy emails, post-its left on the computer keyboard.

Many of these can take the form of anonymity - post-its are perfect for this.

Two of my favourites include a post-it left on my keyboard by the cleaner/Facilities: "Please don't feed the mice".

This referred to my leaving a box of cookies on my desk.

The second was an a4 sheet of paper sellotaped to the fridge, which read:

"Dear 'Bounty' Thief.. you know who you are"... which you can read for yourself below.


It's a doozy - no doubt written by the same person who, four years ago, complained about the theft of a White KitKat, which resulted in the whole Barn Owl Incident. More on that in another post.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pensions, loan sharks and mermaids

My word! the Voices of Middle England have spoken. For shame! instead of bickering why not take the best ideas of both sides of the story and forge something positive, such as a solution to the problems of individuals not saving enough, the govermnent unable to bail people out and not having enough to live on in retirement.

We had a similar experience in Mermedonia a few years back. In the early part of the 19th Century, we had a massive power cut that lasted for 40 years. This resulted in a huge shoal of Merpeople being born - the highest for centuries - and, of course, 200 years later they're all coming up for retirement.

Working past 185 is not an option for many, as by now their fins require too much medical treatment and long-term care, as we know, is a hidden cost of retirement that many individuals and the goverment of the UK are not clear enough about.

Meanwhile the industry itself is proud of its high-cost protection packages but of course neither the State nor the average individual can afford to take out this sort of protection, let alone survive on their pensions - just as in Mermedonia.

So what did the Kingdom do? Simply this. Instead of encouraging Instant Gratification - allowing loan sharks to circle the waters with ever-enticing offers of buy now, pay later and hidden interest rate hikes - we banned such pernicious creatures from our media.

Instead, we spoke about delayed gratification - the need to put away those sand dollars now in order to enjoy life to the fullest after retirement.

Instead of making pensions boring, we spoke to individuals about what they wanted out of life, and helped them to see the financial reality of what they needed to do now in order to benefit later and to fulfil their dreams.

A pipe dream you may say. A mere fantasy. Maybe not. Sun Life of Canada has just launched its Sense Check at 60 - one of the most erudite and based-on-reality pieces of research that even those with basic fiscal literacy can understand.

If the government can encourage people to save more and to explain why in words and language that they can understand, and offer better tax incentives for savers, then we won't need all these clever products. People will be saving for a purpose and will be rewarded for doing so.