Cottier's Restaurant

Saturday night saw us out for a nice meal. It was a better meal than the one we had 12 years ago but the premise was the same. We decided to head into Glasgow, so if the mood took us we could have a few drinks afterwards, however after a leisurely and delicious dinner we both agreed we’d just head home. The restaurant is part of The Cottier, and is located in the top half of the old church. It’s a nice setting, for a homely restaurant that sits nicely between the more pretentious of Glasgow’s eateries and your standard pub grub. The food was good even if the menu is rather restricted (only one kind of steak on offer), …

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Thoughts on Interviewing

Several years ago I attended a management training course. It was largely a series of scenarios throughout which you had to apply the rules of the particular branch of management methodology to which we had ascribed. It’s been a long time since I revisited those rules but by and large I’ve adapted them to match my personality and my own beliefs as to how a technical communications team should work. They are, as I’m sure you’ve probably realised, largely based around common sense and the knowledge that you are working with professionals. If you are not you are either working for the wrong company, or you hired the wrong people. So, how do you hire the right person? A quick …

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Some shops are evil

Tomorrow I am going into a city called Glasgow. Once there I will likely partake of a coffee from an American outlet known as Starbucks, and most likely wander around a variety of shops trying not to spend money (hey, I’m Scottish, shut up). This activity is known as shopping. The key purpose of shopping is to visit shops with the aim of purchasing an item (or items) that you need. The items I currently need are some new shirts for work, and probably a new shirt to wear the following weekend when we attend a small party being thrown to celebrate the fact my sister got engaged (yay!). The shopping activity is one I am familiar with but, over …

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New eyes

Hiring new staff is fraught, and rightly so, as it’s likely to be the biggest ‘purchase’ you make for your company. I’ve conducted enough interviews that I’m fairly comfortable with the process, and have a good feel for when to press for more information and when to sit back and let the candidate sell themselves. I may post more on how I conduct interviews later (anyone interested?) but as I am hiring right now I’ve started to think about the whole induction process, and how we can best get a new technical writer into the team and up to speed. First of all there is the timing of these things. Rarely do you get the luxury of being able to …

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Arriving moments

As I stood waiting on my niece to walk through the sliding doors, I took in the scenes unfolding around me, a quiet bystander of life. Around me people stood quietly waiting, tentative, excitedly patient, tensing with each noise, each footstep and the rolling trundle of baggage trolleys. Strange languages on either side couldn’t mask the the nature of small talk, the stilted chit-chat filling the last few moments. Cameras whirr and click as friends and family embrace. A blonde haired girl drops her doll to the floor as she runs for her father, scooped in joyous arms, smiles bouncing off walls. Mobile phones are turned on and quizzed over by bemused faces, as gaggles of red tanned faces laughingly …

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Don’t be the secretary

I’m about to head into a two day, brainstorming style, workshop. I was invited along as there will be a lot of useful information flying around, and it’s the beginning of a new stream of work. I will spend the next two days with the people who know most about our product and have already made it clear that my presence will be participatory, not dictationary! I was quite adamant about this, to the point of being slightly abrasive, as it’s something that happens a little too often. Whilst they may not realise it but asking a technical writer along to “take notes” is basically asking us to sit quietly in the corner and “write stuff”. Because that’s what we …

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Can't Blog, Won't Blog

I should write up my thoughts on the Olympics as they are now over. I should mention that I managed a 15 minute jog this morning. I could write something about the cat. I could write something about my sister’s engagement (party next week). I could write about the Wii Fit we were given as a present on Friday night. I could write up how old my Gran is looking these days, and how many memories it brings back of watching my Grandpa slowly fade. I could publish the beginnings of a rather crap short story I’ve had sitting in draft for months. I should ask if anyone knows the maximum dimensions for hand luggage on a Ryanair flight. But …

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The post with no title*

I was working at home yesterday as our car decided it was bored with it’s old brakepads and would quite like new ones please, and no it wouldn’t stop making that horrid grinding noise (which meant new rear discs as well, ouch). I also had another physio session, more ultrasound and another lung-busting, leg shredding session on the “stepper”. After that, 30 squats with my heels raised whilst holding a medicine ball out in front of me was… interesting. I’m taking the approach that in the long term it will only make me stronger, right? That aside I took advantage of working from home to run some lengthy backups of my home PC, and I also managed to update 3 …

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Lazynet iPhone request

Dear iPhone Developers, This may exist already, but if it does I haven’t seen it. I’d really like an application that turns off all system sounds except the alarm clock between preset hours. If it could be activated when the iPhone is docked that would be even better, and finally if it could somehow keep the display turned on then that would be excellent! You see I’d quite like to use my iPhone as an alarm clock. Now, I can do that right now by setting an alarm but that means that I’ll still have email notifications playing. Of course I could turn them off every night, and back on in the morning again but that’s a little bit more …

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