The Dinger Show

You may have heard of Schrodinger and his pussy.  It wasn’t an actual cat of course but an imaginary one because potentially bad things are only allowed to happen to theoretical felines.  Schrodinger attempted to simplify the notion of a belief in something being in both one state and another by postulating that if you trapped a cat in a box containing a radioactive poison and then didn’t open it, at one point the cat would die.  But at any point up to then, because it is as yet unobserved, it may or may not have been an ex-cat and therefore must be considered during this period both dead and alive.

Schrodinger clearly didn’t use a dog because the actual time of canine demise would be marked by a sudden but obvious silence from all the previous barking and this would give the game away.  But Schrodinger assumes the cat wouldn’t meow.

Perhaps it should’ve been Scrodinger’s tortoise all along.

White cat on kerb
“Mrs Schrodinger, have you let that cat out again?”

Schrodinger did all this to help partly explain quantum mathematics.   Which is clearly unnecessary as we are obviously all familiar with those theories.   And partly because he fantasised about tabby torture.

But apart from explaining complex molecule movement we could apply his findings to business.  I suggest that any powerful business person, or engineer, or specialist may have a bit of Schrodinger about them.

When in such a position you are trusted, respected, admired.  And you have probably earned this air of actual belief.  Either through training, study or experience.  And it is easy to embrace these feelings.  However, if you have ever been in this position you will know that in truth the powerful often also have feelings of being a bit, shall we say incompetent.  A bit fraudulent even.

So are all Managers Schrodingers?  Discuss.

Schrödinger’s theorem states there only two possible outcomes.  So in conclusion you either understand what I’m saying or you don’t.

Or maybe both.  Or any combination in between.

Communist Capitalists

It has been widely reported today that by lunchtime [Wednesday 4 Jan] the average CEO had earned as much as an average yearly UK salary.

It is less reported that I will have earned as much as the average salary by August 12th.  Next year

So, how do I feel about this?  The CEO stat, not my situation.

This feeds partly into concerns over globalisation and the inequality of wealth that this supposedly fuels.  On this matter I am vehemently opposed but perhaps without the vehemence bit.

Generally, I think we should be happy with globalisation and all the benefits it brings our first world lifestyle but we should also be concerned about inequality of pay.  The sheer difference between the highest earners and me.

Maybe what we desire is to have communist companies in our capitalist world.

And on the matter of CEO remuneration I don’t think this is a problem.  They have probably worked hard and maybe risked all to be in their enviable position.  But they could have waited until Christmas dinner had been fully digested before earning what we do in the whole of our year.

Pod 014 Nine2Five

Welcome to another episode of my podcast.

In this episode Vince puns his way through a life of work.

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Pod 014 Nine2Five

Soul Trading

Contract or permanent, that is the question?
Whether ’tis nobler in the industry to suffer
the slings and arrows of outraged employees
Or take arms against a drying sea of Contracts

I apologise Mr Shakespeare but your soliloquy does help present a conundrum I have wrestled with lately.

Contract or permanent, that is the question? And I think the answer lies in time.

Often employees are subject to a three month trial. I’m not sure of the legal validity but it is common to hear this. So, if someone has lasted just three months in a company as an employee you may be entitled to ask why? On the other hand Contract work, being more ephemeral means three month assignments are more commonplace so the same suspicion may not arise.

However extend that duration to one year and there is real dilemma.

Consider first that this was a permanent position. A year as an employee initially suggests that the role was sufficiently carried out. The ‘three month trial period’ was easily surpassed so any failings would show well within this time but why just a year in a ‘permanent’ post? Questions of unfulfilled ambition and restlessness start to emerge and no one wants to waste money recruiting this attitude. Is there natural negativity here?

However, look at the exact same individual taking the exact same job on a Contract basis. This time any trail period was over in the first week and Contracts are usually job based so a whole year assignment suggests a successful conclusion. Here there is only a feeling of positivity.

So unless that employer is offering more than a year of work go Contract. And who can guarantee more than a year these days?

So permanent positions…

…by opposing end them: to die, to sleep
No more; and by a sleep, to say we end


Does it pay to be smart? If you are in the need of new staff you want the best don’t you? You want someone who is smart. Your business needs smart. There’s enough dumb around and smart is better than stupid, right? All positions are about risk and opportunity and if you hire smart the risk is reduced and the opportunity increased. A smart manager will hire smart staff. Don’t you agree? Or maybe not?

You need to fill a role and you meet a really smart candidate. This candidate will present great future opportunity and fantastically improve your business. It’s a no brainier. You want smart and here he is right in front of you. All you have to do is make the offer. But you hesitate.

You know there is a real downside to smart. Firstly, smart is good, possibly too good for the role you have in mind. Smart will soon become disenchanted and want to move on so you will have to hire all over again. Or smart will move on taking all your company skills with them. Nothing worse than having smart only for smart to get better and then move to the opposition. Even worse smart may rise through the ranks. You know smart rises to the top and between smart and the top is you. If you’re not smart, smart may become you. It takes a brave person indeed to hire someone smarter than they are. Are you that brave?

All I can say is that I’m smart. But don’t worry. I’m not quite as smart as you.