Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Color as a Signature

We are a visual society when it comes to making a first impression.  As much as we may say, "Don't judge a book by it's cover" or "People by how they appear", it's something we all do.  First date, job interview, person walking past our house / children / other valuables - we all tend to make our initial judgement based on what we see.  There is a tendency to overlook auditory clues or to forget written notes, but even if you don't remember all the details or with accuracy - visual first impressions can be lasting. 

Color plays a large amount into what that impression actually conveys.  Choosing an identity is as an individual, group or business is challenging because every choice conveys a message that can either help or ruin.  From the mascot to the company colors, you're speaking to your audience.  When you dress, your clothing is telling a lot about you as a person and your mood that day.  Even your home environment is greatly affected by the colors with which you choose to be surrounded.  What you smell, hear and touch count as well, but in today's topic - the eyes have it. 

Here's a little quick guide to give you something to consider when decorating, dressing or creating a corporate communication.  (If the picture doesn't show well, try downloading the full image and opening it on your computer - I'm still working out the bugs in attaching the image at it's real size!)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Good Idea Fairies and Other Loads of Crap

They come when you are least expecting it, waving their magic wands of "OhWeCouldDoThisToo" which are powerful though lacking in actual details of how to accomplish the ideas, what the costs may be or who should be actually working on such a task.  Regularly, they use them as finishing touches on already well-thought out and planned events only days (or moments) from occurring.

You know who I mean, those bright eyed little sprites called 'Good Idea Fairies'.  They come in, as always, both positive and negative variations.  The positive variations are always trying to help.  They are all smiles and regularly win awards for work they never actually have to implement.  Most commonly, they are attracted to hardworkers who are placed just low enough on the authority scale to be unable to say their most hated word, "No" but high enough to do the work without needing a lot of management approvals.  Beware their seeming understanding of the core topic, because inevitably they only know enough to be dangerous.

The negative sprites are more bold and easily spotted.  They are in every meeting, attracted to the idea that something might actually be accomplished.  Their job is to throw turds on the tables at every opportunity.  Every reason why something might fail or not be accomplished is known to them, for they are well-read on the topic and understand the tenuous nuances of each layer.  They are usually too busy (doing what, no one knows) to head any project and rarely have the answers to the questions they ask, but they are self-righteous in their adamant belief that if these issues are not addressed, everything is doomed.  Anecdotal evidence of other similar failed enterprises are their Piece De Resistance in any debated situations.  These sprites are sneaky in that after their initial appearance, they tend to disappear for a while until the previous issues are solved by which point, they have ferreted out more. 

While their name sounds like something you would want in your life, Good Idea Fairies are like Fool's Gold.  You think you have something valuable until realize it's just a shiny rock no one else wants.  Most commonly found around upper management or costly endeavours, these little beings can upset any successful venture if not banished with logic, foresight, and common sense.

Office Post-It Notes I'll Never Leave

DisgruntledMinorityEmployees(You know who you are!) please stop spending half your day whining about how "they" will never let you get ahead. That is bullshit. We work in a government office run by a woman who promotes initiative and autonomy. Obviously if you actually showed either of these skills, you'd move up in the world. Tired of doing admin paper pushing? Prove you can do more and stop complaining, the rest of "us" don't seem to have a problem.

Mr. ICanDoEverything please stop coming by my desk to inform me that you're working on that project as well. Yes, I'm sure you can do everything and the rest of us are all unnecessary members of the team. After all, you're an engineer. We all know, you've mentioned it - repeatedly. However, if you tried not living by the motto "Jack of All Trades, Master of None", you might actually meet a deadline and not continue slipping our schedule to the right.

Imelda Marcos, I have no idea what you do for this government agency, but damn you have nice shoes. This isn't a complaint because I would raid your closet in a heartbeat. I like the fact that they match your designer suits and jeans as well. How much ARE we paying you senior government employees?

Hey, Mr. Smiles, you are scary. I'm pretty certain you're gay but the weird flirting, smiling and constant compliments freak me out. Please stop. I'm sure I speak for all the women in the office. If you're actually straight and that is your method of flirting, I have a really good idea why you're single.

Ms. I'mASmall-ISwear, it's time to admit you should be wearing clothing a size, possibly two sizes larger. You're spending a lot of money on nice clothing that fits you like the local hoochie mama. Either go on a diet and stick to it or dress for the size you actually are. This is not a judgement on whether or not you're fat, because I certainly need to hit the gym. This is simply a friendly advice that every bulge doesn't have to be outlined (along with your underwear), if you were not squeezing into clothing that is too small.

TheTeleconTrio who sit in the offices around mine may not have noticed the cubicle/offices don't have walls that go to the ceiling. Thus we can hear everything you say in your "private" offices. When you are all on the same telecon on speakerphone, we can hear that too. In stereo. STOP IT! Are you all really too lazy to walk 3 feet or less and sit in one office?

Ms. SupportMyKids - How many children do you have? Honestly, we buy cookies, pizzas, wrapping paper, flowers, candles, etc. all year round supporting their various events. I thought you only had three kids. When do they have time to study with all these extra-curricular activities we're supporting? Seriously, I think some family time might be in order. Or jobs. 

Lastly, Ms. Stairwell, I know you don't work in my office, just on my floor, but I didn't want to slight you. You'll never live down your "friendship" with your coworker. Everyone in the building knows you two are involved despite apparently being married to other people. After being caught literally on your knees and apparently in the car at lunch, I want to give you kudos for walking around with your head held high. Just remember to wipe your mouth after meal, no one wants to see that.