Observations

  • It’s easy to appear the smartest guy in the room, or at least pretty clued in, just by speaking up.

    Picture the scene – 10 people in a classroom-esque environment, learning about Hedge funds. Most of the people in the room come from financial or legal backgrounds, and most are also, if not senior, certainly not junior. Except one, who is a graduate, and in IT at that. Can you pick me yet?

    The instructor asks a question. Result? Not one word. Instructor shrugs it off, answers his own question.

    More questions. “Why do banks love hedge funds?” Still no response, even from the guy on the hedge fund-facing desk. I’ve learnt all I know about finance off the business section of a newspaper, and I pipe up “Because they do stuff?”

    Chuckles. But the instructor doesn’t chuckle – he just grins and says “Exactly!”

    By the end of the class, I had cred for the sheer fact that I spoke up, even if I was way out. Perception is just so much easier than actually knowing the stuff.

  • (Note to self: if investing, write down what you plan to do and do exactly the opposite.)
  • Self-serve checkouts at supermarkets: what. the. hell.

    I have no idea who thought this a good idea, nor who actually bought into it, but if it was possible to have a more daft idea about retail, I’m yet to see it. Shoppers are not shop assistants (hence the “assistant” part of the latter), nor should they be doing the check out. They get confused. They don’t do this every day – they’re slow at it. The rate of throughput goes down, not up. And you still have to have one person for about every 3 – 4 tills to keep the bastards honest (as the saying goes) and to handle the exceptions (you try getting veggies through a self-serve checkout).

    Plain idiocy as far as I can see, and yet people line up for it here. It’s like, “I want to interact with the minimum number of people possible in my day.” What miserable sods.

    Side note: same applies for daft idea of packing the groceries in the bags yourself. Oh, it helps the checkout chick/guy get your things scanned quicker, but they will invariably wait for you to finish packing before proceeding to the next customer, or even before asking for you to pay. And yet Europe – old fashioned and service oriented and all – seems to have embraced this inconvenience, perhaps for a few pennies knocked off the price of your bread and butter. What a nutso model.

  • The weather this week has been roughly the same as August, or perhaps even July – cloudy, 18, 19ish. In August, people were wearing t-shirts and occasionally even shorts; come October, they are wearing coats and scarves and even gloves. What silly people.

    What silly weather.

That is all.

Crush

Who’s your first crush? (via)

I told Kirsty I’d tell these stories one day, so here they are.

The first

My first – proper – crush was ‘A’, and she didn’t look at me at all; I adored her for all the wrong, infantile reasons. We would have conversations which I would take away, manipulate and make myself feel good about things, and pretend like there was something reciprocal there.

Hah, what a lie. She crushed any such ideas swiftly, and I haven’t spoken to her in years. I got over it quick. Looking back now, it’s very much a “what were you thinking?” feeling.

She taught me to recognise shallowness, and that I should avoid it like the plague.

The second

My second crush was also an ‘A’ (but a different ‘A’). She was as cute as a button, and I assumed that her ever-smiling face was her, and that it was all very chill. It was a time at which I could devote my time to obsessing over these things, and so I did.

Continue reading Crush