iPhone – more reasons to like it

The iPhone crept up on me. I ignored the first couple of versions until the recent version 3 and the Iphone 3gs coincided with my terminal frustration at my Palm Treo constantly reinstating appointments that I had deleted because they had been cancelled (leading me to make a series of pointless journeys around London). The Berlin Ubahn map, London a to z, Wifitrack, Bento, Facebook and an interactive map of Cambridge have been quite handy, and courtesy of Handbreak, I have a couple of feature films to watch, but my old favourite Mac game Myst is now available for the iPhone. I discovered this game with the whole family gathered around our newly purchased CD rom drive when the children were so small they went to bed before I did. Now this lovely game has been ported to the iPhone with all the beautiful graphics and lovely music. The interface is perfect for the fingery approach of the phone.

Work, managerialism etc

The week before last we suffered two demoralising ‘awaydays’ at a swanky hotel in Hertfordshire at the hands of my mystery employer who gathered together all the professors and senior managers to hear talks from some consultants about the characteristics of academic leaders (it can all be represented in a couple of concentric circles), we learnt a song together and played an intergalactic game where I got to wear a baseball cap which I have never ever done before. We discussed ’employer engagement’: employers say ‘we need 100 more hangmen’ and we work out how to provide them as quickly as possible.

What I find uncomfortable about such events is how they blur the border between being a good employee and a good human being.

The day after tomorrow is another ‘awayday’ at what looks like an equally swanky hertfordshire hotel. Mercifully it is only 5 hours instead of two full days, and if the weather is dry I will ride my recently renamed Brunhilde the Beamer there. At the end I have my appraisal. When I told my 19 year old son that I get marked A, B or C, he couldn’t believe that these kind of indignities seem to last throughout life.

So, here are a couple of nice examples of the way my employer (and probably many others) manage to treat their workers as children.

BMW tours

I just read this from the World of BMW website under their ‘next years tours’ section:

Q: Which of the far-away tours are set to run in 2010?

RH: The magnificent Discover South Africa tour sold out very quickly this year and we will definitely be running it again in 2010 with a similar itinerary. Customers were attracted to the spectacular scenery, fantastic food and the visit to the Private five star game lodge and the chance to see the big five. At this stage, however, we are not sure if we will be running one or two trips to South Africa in 2010.

The Moroccan Desert Experience will also take place again next year with more of an emphasis on nice hotels, swimming pools, and spas also with lower mileages. It is suitable for couples or solos on touring bikes.
I think I get the idea of who are the market for these tours. It won’t be long before they forget the motorbikes altogether and just get a bunch of affluent mature Brits to lunge from one luxury hotel pool to the next.