Thursday, January 13, 2011

It will never fly

Have you seen this rubbish?

What Spot Now shows you what's happening inside coffee shops, pubs, etc. in real time.

So you can decide whether you should pop in or whether it’s too busy and you should just go home because you’ll never meet anyone anyway and you’re destined to be alone forever.

Sadly, What Spot Now is the kind of missed opportunity that drives me crazy.

First off, it only works in Portland. That’s a 13-hour flight! By the time I get there, Starbucks could be busy again.

Worse than that, there are so many better uses for this technology.

Why don’t they have cameras in conference rooms at work, so you know when meetings are over and you can swoop in to hoover up the biscuits? Or even better, one at your local Greggs, so you know when they’ve baked a new batch of Sausage & Bean Melts.

Then there are the stalking opportunities. Cameras in houses of all the girls that ever dumped you, anyone? Yes please.

Have a look anyway. I guess it is pretty interesting.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Keepin’ it real like Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard

Is The Bodyguard the greatest movie ever?

I guess that when you’re forging a movie from the raw materials of Whitney Houston’s stardom and Kevin Costner sporting quite short hair, you could hardly go wrong.

But still, you’ve got to admit the director used this potent combination to full effect.

For me, the onscreen chemistry between Kevin and Whitney has only been matched by Frodo and Sam in The Lord of the Rings.

As well as solid movie gold, the film’s opening scene contains a valuable lesson for us.

After saving a client’s life, Frank Farmer (Costner) is begged to take a full time job, but turns it down. “I’m no good in a permanent position. My feet go to sleep.”

Which is true for YOU too.

If you stay at one place too long, you get complacent.

Pretty soon you’re taking lunch breaks from 11:30 to 3:30. And when you are at your desk, you spend the whole time collecting, collating and filing your bellybutton fluff. Then posting pictures of it online.

Inevitably the work suffers.

Next thing you know, you’re as stale as a Greggs steak slice.

Whereas for freelancers, you have to be useful ALL THE TIME.

That means every day I’ve got to bring my 'A game'.

This can be anything from filling out a timesheet correctly to looking attentive during briefings.

These days I even think of ideas, which I NEVER used to do. I guess nothing gets the old noggin going like the fear of not being asked back next week.

So to sum up. If you yearn to be edgy and sharp like me and Kevin Costner, you should definitely go freelance.

(Or I suppose you could just work harder. But that kind of blows my whole theory out of the water.)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year!

I wonder if this is the most middle class way you could end yourself? Jumping from the top floor of John Lewis on Oxford Street?

I reckon so. Particularly if you managed to impale yourself on some Jamie Oliver-endorsed kitchen utensils.

This is the kind of thought that plops into my mind when returning an item over the festive period, that's all.

On a similar note, I’ve been thinking about writing a murder mystery around a fantastically middle class killer. In the opening scene, a woman lifts the lid of her breadmaker to discover her husband’s severed head rolling around inside, sprinkled with organic poppy seeds.

Maybe it’s time I got an agent.