Why Would You Fly With Any Other Airline?

My flight boarding pass indicated that I was to sit in seat 4A on Virgin Australia flight VA568 from Sydney to Melbourne. As I entered the plane, I took my special, and highly prized, Virgin Service Glasses (VSG) from the collection bin just inside the plane door and found my way to my allocated seat.

Now the VSG are not your average glasses. No, VSG are unique to Virgin Australia and the main reason why this airline is achieving phenomenal sales success in this competitive domestic airline market.

In seat 4B, my fellow passenger was a young business woman, and she too was quite excited at the prospect of wearing her VSG on the flight. In what looked like synchronicity, we both took our VSG out of the protective cases and placed them delicately on our faces.

A few minutes later, the metal, robotic Flight Attendant, as is typically found on all Australian flights, commenced the automatic routine of moving up and down the plane aisle to answer any questions and to make sure that all passengers had fastened their seatbelts in preparation for the scheduled takeoff.

As I was now wearing my VSG, instead of seeing a robotic Flight Attendant, I only saw an attractive young blonde woman wearing a red Virgin uniform with bright red lipstick. However, the woman passenger in seat 4B saw a different image. She saw a young, dark haired, rather muscular male Flight Attendant wearing tight trousers and an equally tight fitting shirt. Yes, in case you were wondering, we were both looking at the same robot.

Now this is the rather special characteristic associated with the VSG. They provide the wearer with a fictional person that complements the particular mood that they are in at that specific time of the day. If I, or the woman sitting in seat 4B, had have caught an earlier flight, the Flight Attendant image we would have been presented with in our VSG would have been completely different. This is the charm of the VSG, each flying experience is unique and varied.

From the perspective of the airline, they can utilise the services of a cost effective, bland, inanimate, ugly looking, metallic robot to do all the mundane inflight activities. However, the VSG passengers, only observe the Flight Attendant of the dreams!

The result is a well behaved and exceptionally polite group of passengers, as no passenger wants to upset, or offend their special Flight Attendant!

So next time you are flying on a Virgin Australia plane and you receive a friendly wink from the Flight Attendant, don’t think about the gesture too emotionally, as you may be rather disappointed once you have removed your VSG. And in case you were wondering, the VSG only works on the plane, you can’t take them home and try them out on some non-robotic, unsuspecting individual!

Note: If only this wasn’t fiction!

Your Very Own Personal “Sound Globe™”

Noise reduction ! the simple way !!

I re-inserted my snug fitting iPhone earplugs, quickly turned up the volume and hoped that the prevailing musical tones would assist with masking out the perpetual, and most unwelcome, office noise. On looking around the building, I noticed that the majority of my fellow workers, all had a similar array of self-imposed audio devices strategically placed within their inner ear canals with the hope of achieving that prized goal of thinking privacy.

Arhh yes, “the joys of working in an open planned office” I hear you all say with clenched teeth as you stifle the awkward exit of these words from your feigned smiling mouths!

For those of you that have the luxury of audio solitude as you sit within the contained comfort of your enclosed corporate office with a sound inhibiting door, you no longer need to feel isolated from this “joyous experience” as I have a cunning, and somewhat innovative solution, that will enable you to leave your well-guarded “den of silence” and happily re-engage with your work colleagues. I can hear your cheers of quiet approval already!

The key is in thinking differently! Rather than hindering unwanted audible sounds from entering your ears, why not stop recalcitrant and loud voices from leaving your head?

According to a “reputable and well known” materials engineering design source “close” to the author of this blog post, there will soon be a “yet to be invented” transparent, ceramic type material that has a unique combination of physical properties that include sound absorption, light weight and breathability. The material can be easily shaped to accommodate the contour of a human head and will be internationally promoted in all good retail stores under the “Sound Globe™” trademark, so all office workers will be able to readily purchase one.

Just imagine being able to purchase your own custom moulded “Sound Globe™” with the following features and benefits:

As no sound can permeate through the patented material used to construct the “Sound Globe™”, each device will have an inbuilt mobile phone transmitter so the wearer can communicate freely with the outer world. However, to those people standing next to the “Sound Globe™” wearer, no sound will be heard, the only indication of talk being the mimed mouth movements of the head within the device.

Some users of the “Sound Globe™” may not like the look of perceived baldness from the exceptionally smooth and shiny ceramic texture. To alleviate this public look, each “Sound Globe™” can be fitted with a visually pleasing externally mounted Velcro hair piece that can be obtained in a variety of fashionable lengths and stylish colours.
An additional benefit is derived for those that don’t like getting their real hair wet when walking in the rain as the “Sound Globe™” provides complete weather protection from the harshest meteorological conditions.

Air Circulation
Each “Sound Globe™” has its own inbuilt air heating and cooling system. So on those days when the office temperature may get a little bit unpleasant, relax, as that look of facial perspiration is now a thing of the past.

The “Sound Globe™” also measures facial colour change. So should you be a person who readily blushes, when this red colour is identified, the “Sound Globe™” quickly goes a solid black thereby disguising any personal embarrassment. However, should this occur, it is recommended that the wearer not move for at least 5 seconds, just in case they collide with a fellow worker owing to lack of external sight, and to ensure the requisite office HSE compliance.

The “Sound Globe™” does have a no-smoking design policy. Firstly, it will be difficult for you to place a cigarette into your mouth owing to the poor hand access to your lips. Secondly, should you manage to sneak a lit cigarette into your “Sound Globe™”. an inbuilt water spray is immediately released in order to extinguish any potential fire threat.

Of course there are many more benefits associated with this remarkable device, but I don’t want this blog post to sound too much like a product advertisement (as I do have a potential “conflict of interest”), so I will curtail my list to only those key ones mentioned above.

So the future of the open plan office does indeed look positive and one that ensures maximum sound productivity for all employees. Rumours are that the “Sound Globe™, will be available in the “near” future, so may I suggest that you quickly pre-order your own device to ensure that you do not miss out, and thereby avoid any personal disappointment.

Wink to the Rhythm

wiggity wizzink bw

Woohooo, there was only two minutes to go!

You could sense the air of anticipation as everyone was starting to psych themselves up for it! As the seconds counted down, people were trying to hurriedly conclude their phone conversations, meetings were quickly ending and there was a mass movement of excited employees all racing back their desks in order to get there in time. I was no exception as I looked down at the clock on my computer screen and saw that it was now 1:59 PM, only one more minute to wait!

Then at precisely 2:00 PM, with all the office staff now quietly seated at their allocated desk positions, it started.

The PA system crackled and the countdown began….5, 4, 3, 2, 1. On reaching the eagerly awaited number 1, the “gym workout music” loudly blurted out throughout the building with a rhythm of exactly 150 beats per minute.

As my desk was situated to the extreme left of the building, it was my allocated task to start the “Mexican Wave of Wink”. I turned my head to Melissa (the colleague on my right) and winked my right eye and smiled. Immediately, Melissa winked her left eye in time to the beat, then quickly turned her head to face Jules (seated on her right) and winked her right eye with perfect musical synergy, together with a the requisite beaming smile. This process continued in time to the beat until all 153 employees had winked and smiled. On reaching Peter, who was seated at the extreme right of the building, his timely wink initiated the “wink rebound” back along the “wink-chain” until I was able to receive the wink with my opposite eye. Gleeful and spontaneous laughter prevailed, as it was a unique sight to behold and a great opener to the daily 2:00 PM ritual.

My next task was to pass the “K-card”, once again in time to the beat, to Melissa, who handed it to Jules, and the process again continued. At the same time, Peter spun around once in his desk chair and stood up, thereby signalling to Angus (sitting on his left), to spin and stand up, again the process continued, until the music beat randomly stopped. The person in possession of the “K-card” now had to do some solo “krumping” for 5 seconds, following which the beat would start up again signalling the continuation of the “K-card” passing and chair spinning/standing.

Ten minutes later, the beat stopped. All employees now returned to work.

However, there was a noticeable “buzz” permeating throughout the corporate office. Motivation, employee concentration, and a most recognizable feeling of fun and teamwork prevailed.

Exploits of the “Paid Gentlemen”

Spy vs Spy

It was indeed a masterful, and strategically well executed plan in which the “paid gentlemen” (and I use the term “gentlemen” quite loosely let me assure you), had finally found what they were looking for after ransacking the Melbourne corporate office they had stealthily entered in the early hours of the morning precisely thirty minutes earlier. Dressed in the latest Australian Vogue approved designer fashion espionage dark clothing, with matching matte black soft kangaroo leather gloves so as to leave no fingerprints, and wearing matching black sound deadening yachting boat shoes, they systematically searched all potential hiding places.

To find the treasured item they were seeking, absolute darkness and silence was a non-negotiable prerequisite. Any search equipment illuminating light, such as torches, mobile phone screens, or audible communication between the “paid gentleman”, would make finding their objective impossible, as it would immediately, and permanently, disrupt its purity thereby making it worthless. As this was a risk they were not willing to take, specialist and custom fitting Ray-ban infrared goggles, together with some rather spiffy complex hand signals were the “paid gentleman’s” search accessories of choice.

To their great excitement, and might I say massive relief, they finally found that what they sought in a very sneaky and rather cunningly clever hiding location. The item was packaged in a lead lined small wooden red box. The “paid gentlemen” then placed this precious red box into a small attaché suitcase and locked it decisively using the twelve-digit lock combination that they would only divulge on receipt of their exorbitant $500M payment from the unscrupulous buyer.

Following a highly tense sixty-minute flight from Melbourne to Sydney, a surreptitious rendezvous with the seeker of the valuable item was arranged at a secret location in a prestigious hotel in Darling Harbour. It was there that the private exchange took place, upon which the now well “paid gentlemen” slowly departed the scene with a sense of relief and a new feeling of personal affluence.

The new illegal, and rather thrilled, keeper of the item quickly went up to her penthouse hotel suite on the ninth floor and swiftly bolted the room door. All lights were turned off; all window blinds were drawn to ensure complete darkness. She hurriedly unfolded the piece of paper on which the well “paid gentlemen” had written the twelve-digit code, and one by one the numbers were accurately entered until the small wooded red box was revealed. Her heart was now thumping so loud she thought her eardrums might explode with anticipation! Her trembling slender fingers toyed with the box latch and she opened it slowly. As the box opened, what seemed like a burning green gas hissed loudly upon release, followed by a large explosive pop. The startled woman quickly opened the box to make sure that the contents were OK and noticed that there was nothing inside apart from a small typed yellow parchment. She speedily grabbed her metal-rimmed spectacles and read out loud the following words: “Innovation is not something you can buy or steal. Innovation needs creativity!”.

In a fit of temper, combined with a rich and complex range of choice expletives, she heeded these words, and with a sense of “innovation and creativity”, she picked up the red box and attaché case and threw them straight out an open hotel window and then burst into tears with extreme disappointment and massive financial loss. Seconds later, these two hurtling objects landed with decisive and heavy force upon the unprotected and fragile heads of the soon to be very dead “well paid gentlemen” as they gleefully walked out the hotel with their unscrupulous financial gains.

With justice done, the small red wooden box bounced a couple of times on the footpath awaiting the next potential seeker of innovation and creativity!

The Office Revolution

Boldly Masculine Design

The alarm bell screeched with maximum volume! The Manager’s heartbeat immediately started to pound loudly as this was the first time that she had heard the sound, after all, it had never actually gone off before….ever! Other Managers around her also started to run around in a panic as they too had no idea what to do. The worried Managers huddled together as they quickly searched through their book of corporate policies and procedures. Finally, on page 272, there they found the answer. It was a “non-conformity” alarm! But how was it activated, and how do they stop this continual noise permeating through their normally quiet office floor?

Unbeknownst to the Managers, one of their employees had decided to mount a personal revolt!

Let’s go back to 8:30 AM that morning to understand the origin of this mystery!

Employee number 468136, aka Bernard Smith, arrived at his allocated work station. His desk was the same as every other desk on his office floor. It was white, immaculately tidy, a computer placed centrally, 4 piles of primary coloured folders on the left side, and had a standard black chair with his name branded on the back. Bernard was dressed in his black suit, white shirt and company embellished logo tie, just like all his fellow male workers.

At precisely 8:31 AM, each employee started to type on their computer and the day commenced just like every other day. However, at 8:32 AM, Bernard stopped work. He looked up and down the line of desks, each positioned in a perfectly straight line so as to not break the red laser beam, and thought…..”enough”, as a bead of sweat slowly rolled down his forehead.

To the amazement of those sitting around him, he took off his tie and undid the top button of his business shirt. Silence and an uneasy feeling quickly started to prevail. Bernard had taken the first step to his creative freedom and it felt good! As his confidence increased, he messed up his 4 folder piles. Then he did something completely radical, he moved his desk over the laser line and turned it by a full 180 degrees. He was now facing into the office, rather than a wall!

Little did Bernard know that once his newly re-positioned desk broke the red laser beam, an alarm would be triggered……

The Managers now knew the cause of the alarm and initiated an immediate and successful remedy. They decided to quickly reconfigure all work desks with Bernard’s new alignment so each and every desk now faced inwards. Once again quietness was instilled in the office as all desks now looked precisely the same as all the others. As the week progressed, the bewildered employees slowly got used to their new desk view until normality once again was achieved.

But not for Bernard, he still had no tie around his neck and there was no way he was going back to that form of corporate fashion control. He liked his messy folder pile and the air movement around his uncollared neck. It was time for revolution……!!

Me, Myself and “I”

Sonrisa ante el espejo

I” opened the door and peered into the “private lounge room” where all the other “I”s were already seated. Like “me”, they all had that look of exhaustion on “their” faces. “We” had obviously all had a long, tough and quite demanding day observing “ourselves”.

Many of the “I”s sat in “their” favourite comfy leather chair with “their” heads supported in “their” hands. Glasses of spirited drinks were being sombrely consumed in an attempt to liven up the mood of the collective “us”, but with little avail, it was obviously time to verbally out pour and share the critical mirrored views of “us”.

Each “I” in turn then shared how each of the original version of “them” had performed during the day with our family, work colleagues and socially. Yes, it was a communal reflective 360 feedback session in which all the “I”s gave constructive feedback on “themselves” for the mutual benefit of the individual they represented.

Now you may be asking, “What is Steven Cramer talking about this time”? Well, what if each of us had a hidden personality called “I” that watched and took notes on how we behaved during the day? Whilst we were sleeping, these “I”s then vacated our body and met up in that “private lounge room” with all the other “I”s that we came into contact during that day. The collective “I”s would then provide feedback on what we did well, what needed improvement, or what should be quickly purged from our personality so as to avoid a repeat negative occurrence! Armed with this reflective information, our “I” would then return to our body in the early hours of the morning and have a “good chat” with “ourselves”. The following day, we would subconsciously implement what the “I” had learnt and our personalities and people skills would reap the reward from this “I” effort.

Now I can hear you all saying that this is only fantasy! But is it? Next time you are half asleep and you “think” that you feel a small part of you quickly dashing out the bedroom door, don’t be alarmed, it’s just your “I” heading out for a night of social “I”nteraction.

Using Thought-Mail

(Too much) Thinking

I don’t know how people coped in 2015! It must have been so tedious having to write E-mails, talk on that massive heavy communicator (and they called it a “mobile phone”, I mean really!), and use that archaic and primitive “thing” called the Internet! Thank god I was born in 2064 and am a “Generation SC64er”.

I put my history book down and decided to get back to work.

The first thing I needed to do was to send a “Thought-Mail” to my work team. I’d been putting it off for ages, but I had finally worked out my “thinking” on the business strategy and now needed their input and feedback. I “mentally” turned on the “thought reader” and inserted it in my ear and then “thought” about what I wanted to say to my team. This only took a couple of microseconds as I’m quite a fast thinker. I then “listened” to the play-back draft of the message in my mind, made a couple of corrections, and then visualised the names in my work team and allowed my “Thought-Mail” to be sent. Immediately, everyone in my team received my thoughts.

Not all of them replied immediately though. That was OK, as I assumed that some of them would be “thinking” about other things. I knew that my “thought” would sit in their memory and would be “read” when they had some available thinking time in their work day. I could have classified the “Thought-Mail” as urgent as that would have forced them to think about it straight away, but it wasn’t that important, a response tomorrow would be just fine.

A couple of seconds later I started to “feel the replies” coming into my mind from two of the people in my team. I thought about their comments and agreed with their reasoning. Thankfully all those team members that hadn’t yet responded, also received these replied “thought updates”, so they would have all the updated thinking which would assist them in making their own thoughtful responses.

Well, that took 30 seconds. I now moved onto my next task and again started “thinking” and the process was in motion.

Author note: I wish I was born in 2064, don’t you?

Room Service With A Difference


I was sitting at my hotel room desk when the doorbell rang. “Brilliant”, I said, my room service meal had finally arrived and I was famished! I bounded up from my desk, opened the door, and was greeted by an attractive young woman called Adriana and immediately signalled for her to come into my room.

Now the odd thing about hotel doorways is that they are quite narrow, and the meal tray that Adriana was carrying was quite wide. On seeing this conundrum, two possible solutions could eventuate. The first being that the door needed to be widened, but as I couldn’t see a sledge hammer neatly dangling from Adriana’s immaculate hotel uniform, I knew that this wasn’t going to be the chosen remedy. So option two prevailed.

Option two involved a contortionist yoga movement in which Adriana swung the meal tray around, utilising an impressive single slow pirouette action, which succeeded in the tray entering through the doorway with possibly one millimetre to spare on each side. What surprised me more was that the food, drink and cutlery, all remained firmly in position without experiencing an undignified free-fall onto the carpet in the room entrance hall.

I applauded Adriana on her room service skill and suggested that this innovative and creative food delivery move should be listed in bold italic font in her CV, and, that I would be happy to attest to this unique hotel qualification as an official referee should ever it be required!

But what if other hotel staff members saw Adriana’s meal tray delivery technique and tried it for themselves without any pre-training? Yes, I’m afraid the result could be catastrophic for the individual concerned, the food, and more importantly, the hungry hotel guest.

Now this got me thinking about a methodology for those potentially not as skilled as Adriana. One that provides an efficient, and reliable meal delivery service, together with the added benefit of improved health and safety for all concerned, including the food.

Why not expand the hotel’s limousine fleet to include a number of Segways (two wheeled, self-balancing, battery powered), each branded in the hotel’s colours to ensure that consistent professional appearance? The Segway could be modified to include a number of shelves into which the meal tray would snuggly fit, together with a Wi-Fi transmitter so the rider can communicate easily with the hotel kitchen. But the most important design feature from the hotel’s perspective of the Segway is its width. The Segway can be easily driven straight into the hotel guest’s room, without impacting the doorframe, thereby eliminating the need for any complicated and dangerous meal tray manipulations that were required in the past.

So, should any hotel management be reading this blog post, may I suggest that you explore this Segway idea as it might just be useful in the future. I would also be keen to know how it goes?

Corporate Dress Design with “Wind Gust Resistance”!

Wind Gust

“There must be a solution!”, I thought to myself as I was walking in the Sydney CBD this afternoon and saw yet another corporately dressed woman holding her skirt as she fought off those all too frequent wind gusts!

For too long, women have had to endure the public embarrassment associated with unwanted underwear exposure!

So as I walked, I pondered some potential ideas to alleviate the occurrence. Now, there does need to be a self-imposed caveat here, mainly because I haven’t experienced that dreaded moment of dress wind gust movement, so I can only speculate as to the impact.

If you are a fashion designer reading this blog post, please don’t laugh too loudly! However, it may just spark an idea in your minds that might actually make some sort dress design sense? But, then again?

Design Option 1: Underwear Hip Magnets
Now this is a design that would need to be tested first to ensure that womanly comfort is not compromised! The big feature of this concept is its simplicity.
In the skirt there would be a hidden interior pocket strategically placed next to the left and right hips. Should the weather look likely that a wind gust may eventuate; the dress wearer would quickly place a metal disc in the dress pockets. At the same time, a smooth edged, very flat magnet, would be placed into the elastic underwear waist band thereby locking the skirt into position.

Design Option 2: Waistband
Sewn into each dress waistband there could be 5 equally spaced $2 coins which are held in place by a discreetly hidden placed zipper. When the wind gust eventuates, the zip is opened and the coins fall into an inner sleeve positioned in the hem of the skirt thus eliminating skirt flap.
Alternative benefit: should the dress wearer need some money for any unplanned items (such car parking or restaurant tips), there would be an ample supply that could be quickly utilized when required?

iPhone App:
Although not a dress design option, an iPhone App could also be developed that monitors wind gust velocity in the city thereby providing an early warning for the use of the above Design Options?

Now for all you kilt wearers, sorry, I have no idea!

Hopefully, unpredictable dress wind gusts will soon be a thing of the past and all corporate dressed women will be able to walk with confidence in the city!

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