Don’t eat in the Office

The modern world has changed how life is being perceived a lot. 30 years ago when there was no cell phone people disconnected easy, driving home, being at home or even better being at lunch.
History has already proven that once something has been invented we will never be able to get back, the knowledge already exists. We live in a hyper-connected world and response times are every day a bit shorter. There is a general fear that Robots might take our jobs, and most likely they will for some of us but there will be new / different jobs.
Fear has never been a good companion or advisor for making decisions. It is good to have respect and certain fear but it is unlikely that the Sky will come down and we have a total apocalypse just because we did not respond to an email in less than 5 minutes. There is, and has to be time for everything during the day.

On my last years vacation I was Myanmar. I did not have phone coverage for 2 weeks. There was simply no way I could have been reached. Guess what… Nothing happened. Nonetheless I got asked.. “How did you do this?” Well it is actually quite simple. Where there is not signal / roaming agreement there is no phone. But I tend to respond with “If I had a bad accident and were to be in a coma, what would you do?” I admit it is a bit harsh but there is this analogy of us thinking we cannot miss a single second at work.

I titled this post Don’t eat in the Office, probably should have been more precise at your desk, yet it is still what I mean. Back in 2000 when I worked at Ariba I had some consultant from the UK come over to Madrid quite frequently. He was always amazed on how we not just said ” let’s go have lunch”, there was a social moment around it in which we decided what we would like to eat and then of course where. In Spain we still celebrate the moment of eating, and having a chat about things which can be trivial but very relaxing for the mind. I am a firm believer that a short disconnect, with good food and a friendly conversation increases the productivity.

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In the last couple of years I am spending a considerable amount of time in the UK with my colleagues. There is a habit which I have never seen in Spain to go out (of course very quickly) and then grab something to eat and… now comes the worst eat it at their desk.

I am very gifted since my sense of smell is not very strong. However I find it unpleasant to be sitting at the desk and have somebody eat strong flavours next to me. There is no need to do that an the mixture of odours does not make it a lot better.

Eating is just so much more than just food ingestion (or injection in some cases)! This is a moment you are supposed to enjoy. It creates Oxytoxin… all good things do not waste a good moment of your life but pretending you are so important you cannot miss 5 minutes!

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P.D. I am very sure that somebody might think now “Allright, he is having those 4 hour Lunches”. No that is not the point. I have lunch in Spain usually in 30 minutes!

 

 

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So long 2016, 2017 what will you have in Store?

Many may think that 2016 has been a bad year and indeed a lot of thing happened, which were the least to say terrible. It all ranges from:

  • a continuous war in Syria which has brought nothing else but destruction and dismay for the people, there are millions of people who have had to flee their homes.
  • numerous terror attacks around the world killing an unbelievable number of innocent people.
  • the amount of ice on the poles is shrinking faster than ever
  • the British people have voted to leave the European Union
  • in spain there is still millions without a job and many have what I would consider “infra-jobs” where the pay will not allow them to make a decent living, in some cases not even a living at all.
  • We lost some of the few great musicians like Bowie, Prince, Leonhard Cohen..

However we all believed to be living in world with relatively fixed parameters. We believed that there were certain values which were set like in stone for the society which surrounds us and all in all we felt safe. 2016 is clearly not one of the best years to my liking. More than once I felt remembered of a banner I saw in my history class back in 1987-1988 in Monroe WA. Reg Head was my history teacher and he put “History repeats itself because nobody listens the first time, I hope you listen the first time so you do not have to repeat history”.

It seems like that people are forgetting history very fast and thus we are repeating certain patterns which have already proven to no bring us any good. It is now very acceptable to “hate” I have used it still in quotation marks because there are many ways to express hate. There is those who hate us because we are of a certain religion, there are others who think they have more rights because they are born in a certain country, those who believe that not all men and women should have an opportunity to find a better life and to prosper. Whist this is nothing new and has always existed and will probably always exist, the worrying factor for me is that there is now more who believe that complex problems can be solved with simple paroles. That somebody is at fault for their status (basically can be anybody but them!!!)

In a few days the USA will have a new president who has been elected by the people, Donald Trump. The world is watching how a man who based a lot of his speeches on hate will be having the trigger to nuclear weapons. I have felt myself in a great and wonderful city like London who people can all of a sudden look at you or make unpleasant remarks because I am not British and speak a different language.

It is up to all of us to make 2017 good year or as I tend to say an even better year. Love & Respect will be key value who will contribute to make this world, our world a better place!

Happy, Prosperous, Healthy and Peaceful 2017!

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