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I spy with my beady eye ...

16 Jun 2017

NBlog June 16 - dress down Friday

Every day is dress-down day in the IsecT office. Like most Kiwis, we much prefer comfortable clothes to formal attire such as business suits and ties. Why anyone - especially knowledge workers - would voluntarily choose to don a noose that constricts the flow of blood to their own heads is beyond me. The necktie is a bizarre fashion legacy from the fifteenth century - the very antithesis of 'smart'.

Anyway, today was a tad more laid-back than I anticipated. I got up with the very best of intentions to crack on with the module, only "stuff" occured. 

Firstly came a string of emails from the CSA (Cloud Security Alliance) inviting me to get involved in their work on cloud and IoT security. They are doing fabulous things and it's very flattering to be asked, except I can't afford the time to wade in. By a process known as Chinese whispers (telephone in the US), my simple, naive inquiry about their activities on IoT security got transmogrified into an offer to help out. I'd love to, but I can't, sorry.

Next came the realization that one of the websites I manage on behalf of a group I belong to had fallen into a black hole when I rebuilt the server some months ago. As I tried to recover the site, I remembered why it wasn't already running: NetObjects Fusion (possibly the worst website management software) had, once again, scrambled the site beyond repair, entailing an hour or two regenerating and reloading the site from scratch.

Then a knock at the back door from a flustered Deborah told me one of our cattle was the wrong side of a 7 wire fence ... which meant leaving the office and donning my fencing garb to retrieve the beast and repair the fence. It's winter here, hence lots of mud and a fair bit of cow poo. Good thing I wasn't wearing my best suit!

After a quick lunch al-desko, another urgent farm job popped to the very top of my honey-do list: Deborah needed my help to round up and tidy up some sheep ready to send them to market on Monday. Apparently it is due to rain later today or over the weekend, so it couldn't possibly wait. Another few hours of my working day down the Swanee.

Finally at 5 pm I returned to the sanctuary of the office to write a case study for the workplace information security awareness materials and update this blog. It is officially drink o'clock so as I write these words a large glass of plonk is helping me relax as I contemplate a predicted rainy weekend ahead, catching up on work in the office no doubt.

"I'm only happy when it rains" rings true right now.

I've worked in more than enough organizations to appreciate the frustrations of "stuff" that is not "work" in a corporate context. There are meetings, meetings about meetings, quick jobs that are anything but quick, urgent tasks which wouldn't have been urgent if only someone had listened to someone pleading to get on to it sooner, and myriad other diversions of everyday office life. Filling in time sheets was one of the low-lights of my career, especially when management complained that I was working one and a half or two standard working weeks per week, and seemed curiously upset that I insisted on accounting for "Time spent completing pointless and counterproductive office admin". Against that backdrop, a few hours fencing and chasing sheep into the yards seems quite a pleasant way to waste my day.


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