Member Since: 20th Feb 2007
23rd May 2012
Thanks for that one, OGA - I see Spotify describes them as the 'new Arcade Fire' which is fairly high praise. In exchange - if you're still seeking tranquil, try Christian Forshaw: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2MwVZyHJdo
That one is a cover (if that's the right word), but the original stuff is an equally beautiful listen.
8th May 2012
Not sure how you define 'developed'; but Argentina and a lot of South/Central America went bankrupt in the 80's. Brazil? Not sure.
I don;t see the elections as a big problem. France will be told to just forget it if they want to revise the financial stability pact in a big way and the probable conclusion will be a cosmetic re-write so Hollande appears to have gained something. We get to watch them try the tax-the-rich approach and see if it works. I hope it does - the usual squeals from fat chats have started and to be fair the line is set at E1M income in order to hit 75%.
Sadly for Greece I'm afraid they've blown it. The time to go bankrupt and cause trouble to the rest of us was 2 years ago. All the institutions who have lent Greece money have written it down with the benefit of QE money and now a default is more a case of recognising reality rather than blowing a hole in anyone's balance sheet. It's like the end of Speed when all the hostages have left the bus and Dennis Hopper has no-one left to blow up.
Internal political turmoil? Sure. Riots in the streets? Probably. Leaving the Euro in a chaotic way? Certainly. Contagion to Portugal and Spain? Less likely by the day.
13th Mar 2012
No courses for it
Soft skills are ridiculously difficult to learn. A lot of it lies in inherent personality. You can manipulate/persuade (delete where applicable) people or you can't. I have an employee who is fine in all technical aspects, but they just lack a certain something which is completely undefinable, but soft skills is a good description.
It's about empathy, the ability to be in a conversation/discussion and be able to see things from the point of view of the other person. I think it's the kind of thing you learn in your family/school upbringing and not in lessons, but in the way you learn to interact. You can teach people how it works but unless it comes naturally, it's not worth it.
3rd Feb 2012
And on the other hand
Swings and roundabouts and depends on the nature of the typical client of the practice. Our willingness to bust our balls at the very end of January has probably brought us 6 new clients, one of which is a direct result of their existing accountants being unwilling to deal with work that took me around 60 minutes from start to finished partnership + 2 individual SATRs.
You also make the assumption that for everyone, a level flow of work is desirable. I know this is true for most people, but personally I prefer to spend January working like a lunatic and February sipping cocktails in Jamaica as well as taking time off at need in the rest of the year.
11th Jan 2012
Not sure what this is doing here. On the one hand it's somewhat Janet-and-John ish for a website supposedly for professionals. On the other hand it's wrong (directors are not obliged to do Returns) and wrongly dated (it's 2011 now people). And on the third hand it seems like a thinly-veiled plug.
13th Dec 2011
Where are the oldies?
I'm not surprised to find that it's been 8 years of this blog and the only sadness is that the early days seem to no longer be accessible. Looking back through links gets me to Dec 2005 and no further (although the page promises more).
One upon a time about 4-5 years ago I did actually go back and read the blog from the beginning and it was (and remains) a tremendously worthwhile read. To find that this is denied to the masses is a sadness - is this because AWeb can't manage the disc-space or is there a more poetic reason for leaving the older stuff out?
30th Nov 2011
I think it's my philosophy that Peter's bitching[***] about FT, and I'm afraid it doesn't show wisdom to think that one way is the best. For some people, presented with a To Do list of 20 things, the answer is to do the difficult thing first and work downwards. For others, they need the momentum that's generated by starting at the bottom. Neither approach is right and anyone who preaches that one or other route is the better one, shows little understanding of how other human beings tick.
Different strokes etc and Snap Out Of It is almost an in-joke for shrinks. The important thing is self-knowledge - what works best and most productively for oneself.
30th Nov 2011
It's hard to underestimate the psychological lift to be obtained from tidying a cupboard Peter. To someone with their psyche fully under control that might sound bonkers, but it's the best therapy that doesn't come in tablet form.
When it all gets too much and someone is nudging towards stress or depression, the causes are often to be found in a lack of control over their environment, either at work, at home or in their personal life. If you can't directly exert control over the problem, exert control over something smaller - like a cupboard, throw away the best by Aug-08 packets of rice and just get on top of something.
But you're bang on about fee blocks and I don't like it being presented as a beauty contest. That way lies the prospect of over-paying.
28th Nov 2011
Trouble is that what looks professional is also ignorable. Subtle and elegant lines don't get noticed in a car wrap. There are other professions out there who attempt this sort of thing. Insurance, pensions, that sort of thing. But ask yourself, whose wraps do you even notice? The stupid Minis dressed up as red bull cans and the Crappo Cars sponsors Doris Bonkers, UK slalom champion sort of job.
Previously your car was shouting and some people listened. Now you're professional, your car is whispering and no-one hears.
24th Nov 2011
Carts and Horses
There's a bit of an assumption that the IT guy is reacting to the pressures of his situation by building up and manifesting stress because he's beinyg pressured to do stuff outside his comfort zone. Without the slightest knowledge of the circs or the person, do consider whether or not he is suffering from stress for other reasons entirely and that his apparent resistance to change comes from his suffering from depression.
In other words, his unhelpfulness in the IT workplace is a symptom and not a cause.
I do think the CEO is doing the right thing. Stress and depression needs looking at to find causes. The seemingly-universal cop-out of rest is only a help to some people. For others the removal of the crutch of a workplace can be destabilising. Each person and diagnosis is unique and the only way to find out is to investigate.