There was news last week of the latest organisation to embrace the paperless office. Step forward our very own Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. They have apparently decided not to send out paper reminders to a large number of taxpayers who have payments due at the end of July. However this is not being done as a display of environmentally conscious zeal or as part of the ongoing government cuts programme. They have simply run out of paper.
Actually before we shake our heads at the supposed incompetence of it all, we should take a moment think about how we do use paper. I am sure most of us pay lip service to those entreaties at the bottom of e-mails imploring us not to print out this e-mail unless you really really need to. Indeed certain e-mails will often get printed out a number of times. Sometimes it takes an event such as running out of paper, or not being able to print, to make people realise that they don’t actually need a hard copy. Memo to purchasing – cut down on paper purchases next time. An electronic memo of course…….
I have just come across a new variation of the holiday stress chart courtesy of PHD Comics and The Poke website which shows in comic fashion how stress levels rise and fall before, during and after a summer vacation from work. Not really the complete break the doctor orders is it?
Oh what the hell, come on people get real! It is a 24/7 world out there. Nothing stops for anything anymore. The annual two week break has become as anachronistic as ..er.. HMRC sending out paper reminders for half yearly tax payments. Holidays now vary from trips of a lifetime to a smattering of short breaks during a year, during which nearly everybody keeps in touch with what is happening back home.
They say a change is as good as a rest. If you are checking your e-mails and managing your business from a remote corner of the globe rather than in and around your normal place of work then I guess it is a holiday of sorts.
Americanisms. Don’t you just love them? Apparently not according to the BBC News website, which has just listed 50 that generated varying degrees of irritability among the UK population.
Looking down the list I think the blame for many of them lies with MBA courses. Leverage is a prime example. Once used by US financiers to describe the ratio of debt to equity, its use has now been widened to cover any activity which involves producing a lot with a little.
Going forward (another phrase on the list) should we take the French approach and resist their use or should we accept it as the price of globalisation? Have a look and decide for yourself. Mind you if the USA is your holiday destination of choice this year then at least you will be able to speak the language…..