I've never been a fan of themed shindigs - if you feel you can't guarantee your guests a good time without insisting they dress up like complete muppets (literally or figuratively), you're not a party host worthy of the name.
So imagine my vexation to read about "the growing trend of people hosting shredding parties" (no, I don't know either). At least, the trend is growing according to (VESTED INTEREST ALERT!) PHS Datashred, which believes the get-togethers will become "the business equivalent of Ann Summers parties" next year.
I can only assume this means they involve people bonding over an array of synthetic genitalia and a disappointingly moderate amount of awful wine - only with more suits, photocopiers and sales projections. Datashred boss Anthony Pearlgood claimed "the benefits of shredding are countless", shortly before coming up with two benefits of shredding.
"People [are] using it for everything from getting rid of past memories or to simply dispose of old junk," he muttered.
Good points, Tony - but I can't help but think the idea of "getting rid of past memories" is a touch Orwellian. I think I'll stick with the standard issue booze-up at Yates's in Harlow for the Dodgi Christmas do this year.
YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim may have uploaded the site's first ever video more than eight years ago, but until recently it remained the only item on his profile.
And what better way to break an apparent eight-year silence than by dropping an f-bomb and slagging off your company's new owner?
Karim finally added a second item to his profile when he left the comment "why the f**k do I need a google+ account to comment on a video?" earlier this month.
If only he'd known this terrible turn of events lay ahead before he agreed to sell the company and make a reported $65m...
It never rains, but it pours for the monolithic old-stagers of the PC market. You can't have failed to notice that sales have taken a pasting in recent months as consumers opt for mobile devices like tablets and smartphones.
And sales are hardly likely to be given a shot in the arm by the news that the latest whizzy new laptop released by Dell caused a real stink among consumers - literally. The Latitude 6430u is a high-spec enterprise-grade machine that, according to the vendor's website, is "thin, highly durable, and built for business".
All that and more it may well be, but unfortunately for Dell it also stinks of cat urine.
"The machine is great, but it smells as if it was assembled near a tomcat's litter box. It is truly awful!," was the view of one of the many people who took to the Dell hardware support forum to complain.
The vendor acted swiftly to reassure users that "the smell is not related to cat urine or any other type of biological contaminant, nor is it a health hazard". The problem has now reportedly been fixed.
But not before one user moaned: "It's embarrassing taking it to clients because it smells so bad."
Tsk. That's the oldest line in the book, that one. If I had a pound for every time one of my sales goons had used the old "sorry boss, I didn't close the deal because the customer thought my computer smelled of feline wee" excuse, I'd be a very rich man indeed.
Rank bad idea
I was heartened to learn this week that Microsoft is doing away with its bell curve system of ranking employees. Previously managers were asked to designate the
members of their team as either stellar performers, decent performers, or poor performers - even if they felt the whole unit contributed equally. Now so-called stack-ranking is being ditched, with the vendor wishing to place greater emphasis on "teamwork" (what a novel idea!), and bosses allowed to allocate bonuses among their charges as they see fit.
Smart move - I ditched the patented Diamond-Geezer Bell Curve System of judging my staff in the mid-90s. But not before many a salesperson was terrified by finding themself facing my bell end.
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