The COVID Nature of Hairs

If you are looking for a brilliant example of innovation, look no further than nature. Yes, this quiet creative achiever just gets on with its corrective business with minimal fuss or pomposity. Just look at all of mankind’s environmental mistakes, of which there are numerous. Thankfully, with time, some of which may unfortunately take many centuries, nature’s extensive tentacles scour through our human mess and methodically put right, what we have destroyed. Nature has been man’s environmental savior since the beginning or time. 

These mysterious machinations apply to all that we do and touch, nothing can be hidden from the probing eyes of nature. This will ultimately apply to the disastrous effect of COVID which has forced us all to modify many aspects of our daily behaviours, one of which being the wearing of the face-mask.

In many countries all around the world, the application of a face-mask has become mandatory, and rightly so for the protection of the individual, and most definitely for the surrounding community. But have you noticed that there is one part of human nature that is already staking a curative claim to the face being perpetually covered? This surreptitious activity appears to be more common in men, and potentially with some women, the later of which may never be acknowledged publicly, but it is quietly growing. The culprit is facial hair and it has made a bold decision to rise forth in rebellion to the face-mask. Hairs no longer want to be hidden; they want to be seen, and nature is facilitating this activity via numerous forms of creativity. 

For those of us that partake in the daily ritual of shaving, you will have noticed that your facial stubble is thicker and more intense. Yes, this has not occurred by accident as your cunning facial hairs have been strategically plotting this burst of growth whilst you innocently slept in total ignorance of the mutiny. 

Have you also noticed an increasing need to trim your nasal hairs? Once more, the creativity of nature yet again in demonstrable action to protect the sanity of your face-mask hidden nose. 

The role of nature is to uncover and correct what mankind tries feebly to hide. It’s good to know that with time, nature will eventually eliminate COVID, but whilst we eagerly wait, make sure that the blades on your shaver are sharp as you will certainly need it for many days to come. 

The Circle of Obsolescence

“Come in, we have a spare seat over there”, said the Office Social Worker (OSW). There was a quiet rustling sound of plastic chairs on the beige vinyl floor tiles as space was quickly made available for their newest member. “Don’t worry, we have all experienced what you are going through, with time, the frustration will pass.” 

The Desk Phone took their allocated seat and sat rather forlornly with its handset’s flexible cable coiled in an unsightly knotted mess dangling with an uncaring manner next to the front right chair leg. One sudden jerk of the chair and the cable would have been quickly sliced in half, but the phone didn’t care.   

They all saw the look of pitiful redundancy on the Desk Phone’s face, some of them had reluctantly joined the Circle of Obsolescence (COO) only recently, others had been frequenting the meetings for decades, but their empathy was genuine and sympathetic.

It was now time for the OSW to start the COO meeting, their role being to facilitate a group discussion where each discarded and forgotten item of corporate office yesteryear would introduce themselves in turn and provide an individual life update.   

The Business Hat gleefully started the discussion. My friends of the COO, take heart as I was recently reading an article in the Italian edition of Vogue, and apparently fashion repeats itself, usually every fifteen years! It’s been a much longer time for me, but I’m convinced that I have already seen signs of a reinvigorated hat-life on many a corporate office worker’s head! I’m so convinced of this impending hat rebirth, that I’ve already given myself a detailed brushing down and sprucing in preparation for the occasion. 

I too have seen signs of this fashion trend, said the Business Shirt with an air of excitement in their voice. The other COO members all leaned forward in their chairs to listen. For many years now, I have been residing in a hermit-like manner in the darkest position in the clothes cupboard fighting off a relentless onslaught of preying silverfish and other unwelcome clothing vermin. As you can all see, I have a buttoned collar, slots for cuff-links, and a pocket strategically positioned over the wearer’s left breast. And guess what, you will never believe it, but I was actually worn yesterday!! The sound of sighs, shock and respect, gleefully permeated the room from all those seated. 

As soon as the Shirt had concluded, a rapid rustling of metal was heard in the base of the chair occupied by the Cufflinks who supported the assertions of the Shirt thereby adding credibility to their positive proclamation. 

This prompted the Neck-Tie, and even the Bow-tie, to quickly unravel in their chairs as they too sensed, and willed, their possible re-participation back into corporate office life. 

However, many other members of the COO continued to have a glum look on their faces as they regrettably knew that their days were numbered as technology, not fashion, had unfortunately passed them by. These chairs were occupied by the Blackberry phone, it’s cousin the Nokia, and now by the matriarchal Desk Phone. Some of them would survive as they resided alone on a cold, dusty, glass shelf in a museum, but for the rest, their longevity seemed doomed.

The eyes of the Business Shirt saw the look of despair on his long sitting technology challenged telephonic friends and tried to cheer them up with the following comment. “My COO friends, don’t despair. Fashion does repeat itself, but it also recycles those that were once deemed good and useful into something even better. Have no doubt, that you will all be reincarnated into an office item that is most worthy of your composition. It will happen to us all….one day.”

The OSW then closed the meeting and wondered, who next from the Corporate Office would attending, and how many chairs would be required? Time would tell.  

Bobble Protection

At the first sighting of the bobble, you immediately know that the weather is getting colder and that it’s time to quickly equip your sensitive head with this trusted and simple form of thermal protection. Its application is simple, just pop it on with minimal fuss or effort.

The humble and stylish bobble cap has been a trusted companion for many an exposed cranium. It first came to prominence in France when their fashionable, and highly intrepid sailors utilised the bobble as impact protection against potentially annoying low ship ceiling impacts when the waves became a tad too rough and violent.  

As the years progressed, the bobble gradually traversed the milliner barriers of naval seamen to those fortunate land based civilians with equal head appreciation. However, its purpose was now that of a visual stimulant, just like what is achieved when a glacial red cherry is strategically popped on top of a scoop of ice-cream.

So we thought….

COVID-19 has changed everything. Buried deep in a nonchalant medical laboratory in Melbourne, Australia, sits an intelligent, sophisticated man who is a research graduate specialising in virus containment. He is an avid follower of Australian Rules Football, his team being the mighty Geelong, where the colours are blue and white. He attends each game, dressed impeccably in his team jumper, scarf, complete with matching beanie, a blue bobble centrally located on top. However, on this remarkable occasion, whilst observing his fellow colour matched compatriots, he has, for some unknown reason, experienced what many a master of innovation classifies as a “Eureka moment of creativity”! The source of this moment of excitement being, none other than, the Geelong bobble.

Hold this thought….

In Australia, and in all countries around the world, it is difficult to tell who has been vaccinated and who hasn’t. One solution is to legislate that every fully vaccinated person, regardless of their age, carry a card of certification with them at all times. But, this methodology is fraught with potential danger as the majority of people are either forgetful, stupid, or just too lazy.

But, individuals of all ages do love to wear hats. And why not, as they enable the wearer to express their unique personality, can also signify membership in an organisation, school or team. Hats come in many shapes and sizes, can have a bobble, stalk (as in a beret), ribbon or band, and can be purchased in a plethora of different colours.

The innovative solution….

It was this concept that excited and stimulated the immense intellect of our Geelong football club supporter as he sat on the edge of that famous oval situated within Kardinia Park. The phenomenal solution being colour. For those that have been fully vaccinated, the colour of blue would be used for the bobble (or hat equivalent). For those half vaccinated, a light blue colour, for those unvaccinated, any other colour could apply. The solution, being colourfully simple.

So next time you see a bobble, have some respect for this spherical fibrous cluster as it has protected mankind throughout the centuries, and it will continue to do so for many years to come.

Feed Them “Meat”

For all those publicly acknowledged carnivores amongst us, there is a common phrase that is music to your famished ears, that being, “Feed them Meat”. Yes, there are many of us that have, and still do, happily savour the burning aromas from a simmering hot-plate with our knives sharpened, and our forks perched in eager anticipation ready for the mouthwatering onslaught. 

But alas, things are indeed a changing, and for a meat eater, the days of doing so are now becoming less acceptable to society as a new form of protein is strategically making its bloodless mark on the dining plate. The competition is in the form of a plant, and it is increasingly gaining an accepted gourmet reputation amongst diners of all ages around the globe. 

The manufacturers of this protein substitute are indeed most clever and have meticulously applied all their years of masterful university learning when situated in the chemistry laboratory, when the vast majority of us meat eaters were comfortably lounging about in a state of gastronomic stupor at the burger restaurant without a care in the world, blissfully unaware that our menus would soon change forever. 

The days of the “Big Mac”, “The Whopper”, or the world-renowned cheeseburger having pride of place on the ordering menu have now given way to “The Impossible Whopper”, “Beyond Meat”, even those common as muck meats such as chicken, fish and the humble egg can now be ordered in a plant-based version. I am not one to judge, nor hinder societal progress, as every consumer has the right to choose their preferred choice of protein. 

However, putting all meat prejudices aside, what I will state here is that the real winner is innovation. 

Who would have thought, that the term “meat” is no longer meat, but rather could be an animal or a possibly even a plant. The application of innovation has forced the simple consumer into actually making a decision on whether they say “bah humbug” and continue to munch in the manner of their forebears, or do they consider the sustainability needs of future generations? Who knows, only time and the gradual grinding of their teeth will tell. 

Remember the small child, maybe yourself, who in the past, would quickly summon their creativity and surreptitiously maneuver their unwanted vegetables, particularly any item that was green, under or within the meat that covered the majority of the plate. What will current generations now do in this emerging world of plant-based protein growth? Will the reverse occur as the animal protein is speedily eaten or camouflaged and hidden in copious amounts of vegetables and other plant like substitutes as they are too embarrassed to challenge the sustainable norm?

One thing is certain, progress is good, and so is innovation. Just ask any caveman whose diet was very simple and monotonous, and who would kill for a hearty meal, as long as it wasn’t them! So as that saying goes, “Feed them Meat…or Plants”, all is now acceptable. 

The Male COVID Head-Garden

For any creative men reading this blog post that have been forced into yet another COVID-19 lockdown, you may have run out of innovative ideas to keep yourself fully occupied whilst you are homebound.

Yes, all men are different, but as all families know, particularly those of the female persuasion, men need to have a different project for each COVID-19 home confinement, and one that entertains them for at least 24 hours in the day, otherwise, they go stir crazy!

Relax, and use your male head as therein lies the answer that you desperately seek, the solution being, to grow your own individual “head-garden”.

Like any garden, a head-garden needs to be planned, cultivated and requires continual maintenance in order to ensure an optimum hair foliage outcome. The follicle growth resides deep within the incumbent DNA structure of every man, and uniquely flourishes with their varying levels of male testosterone in a variety of potent fertiliser concentrations. The result being that no male head-garden is ever the same.  

Now to get started, your need a plan, as your head-garden won’t happen overnight, but it will happen, as any hairy man will attest.

Most men’s heads are blessed with a full range of potential garden plots as hairs sprout forth from a plethora of locations, that being on top of the head, face, eyebrows, ears and nostrils. Some hair plots do struggle if the testosterone levels are too high, but other man areas seem to compensate in order to maintain the desired follicle equilibrium.

The planning decisions are quite simple and are easily ploughed via the use of a sharp razor, or its lack of application where hairs can frequently grow wild. Once the geometric head-garden has been agreed, the man just needs to let nature take its course as the hairs will quickly and effortlessly propagate. Over the torturous days of lockdown, the hairs will bud out and take the intended form, just as man desired.

However, men can assist their head garden growth via the strategic application of numerous moisturisers, conditioners and shampoos, so as to encourage strong follicular growth. Personal scents and tonics can also be splashed onto any hairless exposed facial areas to add bespoke features to the head-garden personalisation.

Alas, with all COVID-19 lockdowns, they do eventually come to an end. At this point, the man now has to make a decision prior to his long awaited return to the corporate office, that being to keep the head-garden, or to slash and weed it. This is a tough man choice as he would have nurtured his head-garden with love and respect over the time of home incarceration.

The recommended solution is to take a head-garden photo, and to then enter it into your local council garden club competition for posterity. But don’t let your work colleagues see it, as each male head-garden is strictly for your own lockdown enjoyment, and men can get a tad too jealous.  

The Working from Home Wipeout







For those of you that have spent the past few months working from home with a COVID restraining legrope that has successfully tied you to your desk of self-isolation, there is a proven outdoor immersion wipeout that will immediately refresh your starved physical senses. This rejuvenation act is commonly known as surfing and is one that any progressive Human Resources Manager will strongly recommend to all corporate office employees, regardless of their age, sex or body flotation ability following weeks of incremental self pudgification.

Surfing requires minimal equipment, but one necessary prerequisite is water, ideally with movement in the form of waves that traverse up and down with regular repetition. The optimum wave size may vary, and is directly linked to the perceived risk profile of the employee, but in general, a slight pond ripple will be deemed too small, but an ocean tsunami is considered by many to be a tad too imposing, somewhere in between is the goldilocks wave and will be just right. My advice, seek out a beach as you will have a high probability in finding what you desire.

Regardless of the weather, most surfers adorn a wetsuit which is used to provide welcome thermal protection. But for those of us who may have visited the COVID lockdown household fridge on too many occasions, the wetsuit provides a more useful purpose. That being, an ideal girth circumferential retardant mechanism that maintains some sense of personal dignity, particularly when frolicking with one’s office colleagues in an uninhibited outdoor physical state, many of whom may not have seen you for an extended period of time. 

Another benefit of surfing is that electrically powered items and water are deemed by the laws of physics to be not compatible. As such, there will be no temptation to take your mobile phone or work computer with you, nor will you see any fridges stocked with food and drink to surreptitiously persuade you from your intended outdoor goal. 

Your eyes will also appreciate the lack of electrical gadgetry which may have negatively impacted your sight via continual teleconference concentration. Waves are typically quite large, so regardless of how good or poor your eyesight is, when an unexpected wave fully encapsulates your body and drives your face deep into the sand, you will know immediately of their presence.

A surfboard is also another necessary piece of kit as it assists with employee flotation. However, don’t forget the Archimedes Principle as the size of the board will need to be customised to the individual’s body surface area, which may have slowly increased owing to some slothful home working experience.

Practice does indeed make your chances of staying on top of your surfboard more successful, but that’s not the primary objective. Your HR Team want the sea water to effortlessly bleach out any residual mental constraints that may be hindering your return to the office. So go forth and get wet, and then go fully revitalized ready to Hang Five.

The Presidential Nose





This nose just keeps getting longer!

It’s now so large, that I need to stand at least 6 feet away from those that I’m talking to, otherwise my nose pierces them straight in the eye. But that’s OK, as most of my friends are one-eyed anyway.

Why it keeps growing, I have no idea, but after every media conference, directive and tweet that I posted, an additional inch immediately appeared? Funny, those colleagues in my political party all seem to have a similar malady? It’s not an issue, as COVID is fake, so I don’t need to wear a mask, and with a nose like this, it would be impossible anyway.

But a massive nose does have some advantages, particularly when playing golf. It’s like a second club that allows me to surreptitiously spike my ball and discreetly move it to a more favourable position on the fairway, or even on to the middle of the green. No one would notice, nor have the courage to say anything anyway, now would they?

Although the nickname President Pinocchio does have a certain pointedness to it, but after my two unsuccessful impeachment trials, some anonymity does have some benefits. Thanks again to my political compatriots, great to know that our values are fully aligned, and yes, with time, you do get used to the nose growth, albeit a tad visually annoying at first.

Sleeping has always been an issue, particularly as I could never sleep straight in bed, regardless of how much I tried. But, with this whopper of a nose, sleeping is superb as I can’t roll off my back without shish kebabbing the mattress, or those in a dangerous close proximity, so it’s the perfect sleep aid for a man with my nasal stature.  

And of course, there is the complex issue of blowing my nose, but this I have resolved masterly with creative innovation. Most people when they sneeze, say “pardon me”. Not me, I just Pardon those that supported my dubious Presidential endeavours. The result seems to please them, and therefore me, and as the saying goes, its always good to have a handkerchief in your pocket if required for a future Presidential campaign?

Well, that’s enough from me, for the time being…..

Sandals – Free your toes, and those ideas!







Yes, why don’t you put your weary corporate feet up on your desk and have a well-deserved rest. If you have done this, you will undoubtedly be experiencing that gleeful moment of soothing and calming bliss. And, should none of your work colleagues be looking, nor in close sensory proximity, surreptitiously remove your socks, or stockings, and free your corporately constrained toes. Once done, you will now be in a state of happy “pedibus” pleasure.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could maintain this toey enjoyment on a habitual basis, not one when you are made to feel like a foot rebel of non-corporate compliance?

You will be pleased to know that there is indeed a solution, one that is practical, is pleasing to the eye of those deemed to be astute, and meets the self-actualisation needs that your toes have been yearning for throughout your office working career.

The answer is called the “Sandal”.

Alas, many people walking the corridors of the corporate office do not have the courage to adorn this innovative fashion statement upon their feet for fear of unwarranted embarrassment or perceived ridicule. My response, how ridiculous! If you are a leader, you need to step up and put one bare toed foot in front of the other and claim your sandal wearing freedom.

Sandals are also the perfect foundation to support a culture of creativity and innovation. The spiffy sandal owner can wear a plethora of different coloured socks (even white), paint their toenails with voluminous vibrancy and choose from a range of chic sandal styles.

Those progressive corporate organisations that readily adopt this welcome addition to their corporate office wear will already be thinking about where to install the requisite foot podiatric self-cleansing units to maintain those basic psychological needs, that being an acceptable nice smelling working environment, in, and around, the employee’s desk.

Sandals are also the perfect complement to those wearing a stylish suit (perhaps safari), business shorts, paisley skirt, or even a kilt. Long or short socks are a choice left to the individual, but most instances, the naked foot is considered the optimum.

Think of the great leaders of yesteryear, many of which gladly wore and encouraged the wearing of sandals. I will admit that there are some impressive individuals that publicly didn’t, but when they got home, rumour has it that the first item of clothing to be immediately discarded were their uncomfortable shoes, quickly replaced with a soothing sandal.

Now for all those that have thoughts of achieving an innovative mindset, the answer is simple. You need to free your toes. Let them wiggle in harmony with all those ideas that have been bound and closeted in your mind for far too long. The choice is up to you, but do recognise that the wearing of the sandal provides the ideal catalyst, and one that you can quickly place upon your feet for everyone to see and appreciate.  

Master of Bagpipes Application (MBA)








This intellectually demanding MBA degree was initially only offered at those most discerning of business management schools, like Edinburgh and Glasgow, but now other prestigious universities of professional note have quickly puffed their cheeks and offer it to those who are hoping to be worthy.

Historically, the student had to be of Scottish origin to fully appreciate the requisite harmonic contribution, but today anyone who has the individual desire to uniquely stand out and to be unmistakably heard in the business crowd is clamouring to be enrolled in this course knowing of the phenomenal personal benefit.  

Yet, the Master of Bagpipes Application (MBA) is not for the faint hearted as one needs large lungs to muster the voluminous air requirements to achieve the desired highly audible standard.

The MBA takes three full years to complete and following graduation the highly sought and fortunate individual will have attained all the necessary life skills required to be a recognised leader in any business field they may happen to choose.  

Year 1: Playing the Pipes
Yes, all students do actually learn to play the bagpipes and are encouraged to practice when at the corporate office, preferably during lunchtime (if studying part-time), or at home late in the evenings when most of your family and neighbours are tucked up in their beds trying to sleep. The objective with this module is eliminate the student’s self-consciousness and to build personal resilience to any potential negative comments. After all, as a business leader, sometimes your staff may not like what they hear, so this is perfect opportunity for them to start getting used to it.

Year 2: Clothing
Corporate office wear can be quite sexist with various traditional suit and dress stereotypes that typically prevail for all employees regardless of their age, experience or physical stature. This is where the kilt comes into the foray as the perfect clothing standard of equal opportunity for all those in the corporate office. In this module, all students are taught the correct and fashionable ways of wearing a kilt, complete with the appropriate tartan that complements and embellishes their individual personality.

Year 3: Building your Persona
Graduates of the MBA will never need to be introduced by their peers when entering a meeting or a conference room for the first time. They will also have no requirement to waste precious environmental paper resources in getting those old fashioned business cards printed for the customary hand-to-hand distribution. One short puff of the bagpipes will quickly announce their presence and they are assured never be forgotten.
In this module, students role-play marching up and down office corridors whilst playing the bagpipes, fully adorned in their kilt in order to perfect the optimum visual and audible entrance.  

So should you want to have a successful business career, together with one entwined in musical Scottish harmony, may I suggest you enquire at the business school nearest you to see if they have an MBA that is worthy of your time and money.

Tapadh leibh 

Rediscovering your Office Post COVID-19







When that momentous day finally arrives and you are allowed to legally reacquaint yourself with your long forgotten COVID-19 free office of old, will you be prepared for the emotional experience?

You, and many of your colleagues, may become teary, or not cope with the prospect of actually leaving that safe and hygienic home fortress of your private abode that has protected you from the pandemic onslaught for the past few months.

Now before you step into your car, or on to your preferred mode of public transport, here are some helpful tips to support you on your office journey.

Office Amnesia
Many of you may have forgotten where you actually work and have no idea on how to get there? Relax, as this common condition is known as “Office Amnesia” and you are not alone with this conflicting malady. The prescribed solution is to find one of your old business cards, one that has your name on it, and not one of the many Uber Eats promotional cards that you have accumulated over your weeks of home captivity. Now find your work address, enter the location into Google Maps, and be prepared to follow it without any creative deviation.  

Buttons
Once you have arrived at work, some of you may need to locate a vertically moving metal cubicle to reach the lofty heights of your office. With time, the word “Elevator” will indeed re-emerge into your vocabulary. I’m conscious that the majority of you will have been confined to a single or double story house, or apartment, but don’t be too perturbed about having to travel into the upper regions, you used to do it all the time and experienced no ill altitude related physical effects, in fact, some of you used to actually fly on business! (Note: you do need to press the illuminated numbers on the elevator wall in order to commence your ascension)

Desk
On arrival at your desk, you may still need to wear your face mask. Not due to COVID-19, but owing to the large accumulation of office dust and other residual muck that could be a potential health hazard. This visually annoying dust build up will be more discernible for those of you that partake in the “clean desk policy”, however, for those employees that adhere to the “mess is best” methodology, you will be none the wiser.

Coffee
As you will no longer have the option of disguising your lack of work productivity via the use of Zoom, Webex or Teams video-conferencing where you could speedily turn your camera off or on, complete with a background of visual stimulation, you will now need to muster a cleverly crafted facial look of concentration from at least 8:30 AM to 5 PM. To accomplish this forgotten feat, you will strategically need to locate the coffee machine with military precision, or a nearby café that is not full to the brim with those needing a welcome retreat from the tiring corporate environment.  

Home Time
Although you couldn’t wait to get back to the corporate office, once 5 PM arrives, you will be busting with fatigue to make it home so you can rapidly disrobe in private and re-familiarise yourself with those comfy trackie pants that you have lived in for months (Note: unlike trackie pants, a suit or skirt does need to be hung on a coat hanger in order to avoid creasing).

So, my corporate office colleagues, by closely adhering to these tips, you will be prepared for your first day back in the office. However, don’t forget that you need to do this for 5 days (Monday to Friday). It is not a once off random event, but your job!