Archive for November, 2011

MDCC / 365

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

So much going on…but as you’ll see if you check my geocaching stats, I found my 1700th geocache today! And, like many centenary caches before, I found it in the excellent company of Purple Fred and Mini Fred. In fact every centenary cache except 200 has been found with one group of good geocaching chums or other – either Team Tate, who got me into caching in the first place, Rockin Rob – with or without other members of Paws4Thought – and Purple Fred, with or without Mini Fred. Oops – and of course one, number 500, with King Omally of Sweden, geocacher extraordinare.

Much of my caching activity lately has been driven by the 365 days of caching project: through the good offices of the geocaching website, every cacher can access a spreadsheet showing how many caches they’ve found on each date of the year, since they’ve been caching – since cachers by definition love a challenge, the target immediately becomes to fill in the gaps so there are no zeros. I’ve been filling in the gaps since June of this year, and although I’ve missed a few, I’m doing pretty well.

The 365 days project hasn’t only got me out caching when I mightn’t otherwise have bothered – it’s affected my other caching activities too. For example, any cache near enough to work to be achievable in a lunchtime has to be left for emergencies – i.e. a Fail to Find in the morning before work! I’ve also started working on some Puzzle and Multi caches, to give me a few more “Ready to Finds”.

All being well, the 365 days project should finish next September. We’ll see.

The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intent

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Due to unforseen circumstances (a burst pipe in the office upstairs), our Frozen North office has had to temporarily close.

Of course the work still needs to be done, so the home working project has had a sudden acceleration. Our IT contractors are producing laptops in only three times the time it would take to order them from, leaving the rest of us to deal with the other aspects of home-enabled working – in my case, of course, the Health and Safety implications featuring high.

Someone who should know better asked me today if we should be supplying each of our home workers with a fire extinguisher, in case their house catches fire while they’re working in it. I kept a straight face and produced a sensible justification why we shouldn’t, that went a bit further then my first reaction, which was “errr…NO!”. But it made me think…what if I’d been on holiday? It’s conceivable that in my absence, someone would’ve thought “Fire extinguishers aren’t expensive, let’s issue everyone with one rather than risk getting it wrong”. And then, having done it for this crowd, we have to do it for every future home worker.

Then because we’re a medium-sized public sector body, other public organisations start coming under pressure from their staff to do the same. And on the same justification – they’re not expensive so it isn’t worth fighting – the other organisations do the same. And so the policy spreads, with every organisation or company that says yes making it harder for those that come after to say no.

So my question is – at what point does a daft suggestion become industry accepted practice, without ever going through the intermediate stage of being a good idea?