Cafe Review: What Sort of Coffee did IE Expect in a Winebar?

IMG_0187-e1417399332844We happened to be catching up with some people in Bussleton recently and as always made a point of seeking out somewhere good for coffee. Usually “seeking” means a quick peek at Perth Coffeescape or Urban Spoon or even a cursory google, but in this case it meant driving past and thinking “that looks just the place for a coffee”. Sadly such drive by cafe selection, while ruthlessly swift, can result in unintended casualties.

Had I taken even seconds longer over the decision I might have noticed a few subtle clues. For starters, naming your establishment “The Firestation” doesn’t sound very coffee-ee. Given this establishment is, in fact, a renovated fire station, not an unreasonable choice of name, but also not one that screams “baristas work their magic here”. In addition, as I walked round the corner leading to its entrance, I saw, but didn’t really notice, a large pleasant outside area in which a number of people were drinking long amber brews and pale straw-colored fluids and seemed very cheerful. And finally, as I walked in through its firetruck sized entrance, I failed to notice there was no obvious source of caffeine … no prominently placed machine, no shiny grinder, no scent of freshly ground coffee on the breeze.

Sadly, I was oblivious to these clues and it wasn’t till we were inside and asking for a coffee that we realised we were not, in fact, entering a coffee establishment. That we were in a wine bar was hammered home by the response to our request for coffee. “We don’t do cappuccinos. Lattes are fine, espressos, flat whites … just no cappuccinos. We don’t have the chocolate.” It still hadn’t fully dawned on me that we were not in Kansas any more, and I made the mistake of asking for a Piccolo Latte. Yep, I know they are pretentious, but I like lattes and want less milk … sue me. In this case, I got a blank look and was shown the cups they make all their coffees in. One size fits all … latte size.

One laborious explanation later and I was sipping half a latte in a full-size latte cup, while others drank coffees that were definitely not cappuccinos. It was pleasant, comfortable, convivial even, and while I expect you would find better coffee in a place that isn’t a wine bar, we were pretty happy.

Coffee: Easily the best coffee I’ve mistakenly ordered in a wine bar
Ambiance: Very nice and relaxed with great styling
Service: Excellent
Business-ishness: Somewhat relaxed and if the meeting goes well, you could celebrate after with something with more alcohol and less chocolate than a cappuccino

Eros Kafe Adelaide – an Enjoyable Place to do Business

So, it’s taken me a while to write another blog for our blog site. No it has nothing to do with being scared off by new competition (tip of the hat to Ariel and her fantastic café review. Keep it up!) and more to do with that dreaded procrastination. It’s a disease I tell you, I really must get around to seeing a doctor about it.  One of these days I will, promise.


Anyway, I’ve been threatening the office and people the breadth of the country to blog about my recent business trip to Adelaide. I’ve been threatening for long enough now that it’s simply time to put pen to paper….or fingers to keyboard as it turns out.

Recently I had the privilege to be put on a plane by my directors and flown to Adelaide to see if some Adelaide companies would like to partake in some of the services Transparency IT has to offer. In addition to this I arranged to meet with a number of candidates to discuss roles both in Adelaide and in Perth. In total I was able to arrange myself 10 appointments over 2 days. Not bad going, but it was going to require some swift logistical brilliance to make sure I wasn’t late to any meetings!

“Eureka!” I cried, “I’ll ask them come to me!”

So with that mind-blowing, tip the world off its axis type lateral thinking I set out to find a central location to hold a number of meetings and interviews.

After about a half-dozen good suggestions by some Adelaide locals, a bit of Google-fu, a finger in the air and a case of “I’m running out of time…That looks good” I settled on Eros Kafe on Rundle Street. I called, let them know I would be working from their café for the day, promised to buy at least a coffee with every meeting and then, jumped on a plane.

All I can say is the gods of interstate business travelers was with me that day!

I don’t think I could have found a café that is more conducive to “casual business” than Eros Kafe in the time I had to plan. Dave and his staff were attentive yet not in an “in your face” kind of way. A nod from a distance was all that was required to get service and not one of the staff interrupted a conversation at an awkward moment. The coffee was great and boy was it fast. I remember the first coffee I ordered there. I ordered it at the counter and it met me at the table before I had managed to get myself set up.  This is exactly what I needed at 9am on a public holiday Monday after a weekend with mates at the Fringe Festival. Coffee stat! So laptop out, clients and candidates flowing through, the Eros Kafe staff kept my water-glass full and my coffee’s hot & fresh.

Created with Nokia Smart CamI will call myself unlucky that I didn’t get to eat more meals there than I did. I had breakfast two days running and I can tell you, they know how to cook some mean eggs. The baked beans with spicy sausage was my favourite, the beans were cooked to perfection in that they still held their shape, the spicy sausage similar to chorizo not over cooked and dry like you find is often the case with this dish in other restaurants and the eggs…oh the eggs…  Perfectly soft poached. Try as I might, I cannot avoid making an instant judgement on a cafe by the way they send out their poached eggs.

Eros, you passed with flying colours.

All in all, I spent 2 half days at Eros and it was time well spent. Location wise Eros is very central on Rundle Street a block or so from the east end of the Rundle Street Mall. Street parking might get a bit tight, but there are many multi-story car parks within a short walk. The ambience is great, no music was playing outside to make it hard to hear the person you are speaking to.

Thanks guys!

Business was very successful and I will be coming in for lunch or dinner when I am back in Adelaide in a couple of weeks.

Service and Ambiance: Fantastic
Parking: Convenient without being rock-star
Coffee: A solid 4 out of 5 (Great without being distracting)
Meeting-ability: One of the best on Rundle Street that I saw!

Kelly! Can we Help?


Today I was absolutely gob-smacked by something I read about a supposed leader in the recruitment and job search game. For those of you who are in the Recruitment & HR industry or active on LinkedIn, this might not be news to you. The rest of you however, here is a warning about what not to do when frustrated with someone while at work.

The article in question outlines the response Kelly Blazek, Founder of Job Bank in Cleveland Ohio sent to a young job seeker who sought to connect with her on LinkedIn.

For those of you who haven’t read it, here it is:

Poor Judgment on Your Job Seeking Strategy

We have never met. We have never worked together. You are quite young and green on how business connections work with senior professionals. Apparently you have heard that I produce a Job Bank, and decided it would be stunningly helpful for your career prospects if I shared my 960+ LinkedIn connections with you – a total stranger who has nothing to offer me.

Your invite to connect is inappropriate, beneficial only to you, and tacky. Wow, I cannot wait to let every 26 year old jobseeker mine my top-tier marketing connections to help them land a job.

I love the sense of entitlement in your generation. And therefore I enjoy denying your invite, and giving you the dreaded “I Don’t Know” [scribbled-out name] because it’s the truth.

Oh, and about your request to actually receive my Job Bank along with the 7,300 other subscribers to my service? That’s denied, too.

I suggest you join the other Job Bank in town. Oh wait – there isn’t one.

You’re welcome for your humility lesson of the year. Don’t ever reach out to senior practitioners again and assume their carefully curated list of connections is available to you, just because you want to build your connections.

Don’t ever write me again.

Just writing this I am dumbfounded all over again as to how Kelly ever managed to establish a successful business delivering employment services. Needless to say when the job seeker received this, then no response to her apology email she sent despite the request not to contact her again, she posted it on a forum or two so her friends could be as outraged as her at the treatment she has received from a complete stranger.

Who here knows what happened next? Everyone? Wow…Who would have guessed! It went viral on the internet and a self-styled titan of the recruitment industry, Kelly Blazek, is now fighting for her career. All within 48 hours.

You simply cannot treat people like this and expect to survive in a relationship game like recruitment…Period!

Now if you are one of the lucky few to absolutely love what you do so passionately you WOULD or DO work for free, then this isn’t directed at you. For the rest of us, who love what we do with a passion one day, and hate it just as passionately the next, this is a screaming example of why self-censorship is an essential attribute of anyone employed in a role where success is tightly bound to your reputation and your ability to play well with others.

This applies equally if you are a recruiter, an employer or an employee. I’ve been in sales for close to 20 years, and I’ve been in agency recruitment for 3 of those. In this job I have to sell myself to candidates, myself to clients, clients to candidates and candidates to clients. I can tell you, categorically, that this is the single hardest sales role you will ever work. There is no other product on the planet more diverse, no product on this planet as capable of both making you laugh or making you cry. And arguably no product on the planet less dependable than people. To me, this is also what makes it so rewarding.

But! I have my down days. Everybody does. Days where I want to tear my hair out because a candidate or a client have pulled something out of left field which results in days, weeks or months of hard work going down the drain. It’s not fun. Sometimes it’s even enough to put me off my game for the rest of the day.

Like Kelly *shock, horror* I even get people requesting to link with me on LinkedIn who aren’t, on the surface, able to help ME.

And this is where she went wrong. It isn’t about her. She built her business helping people meet other people. Why does she think, due to a moderate amount of success (I say moderate, because until this happened, I’d never heard of her) that this formula has changed? That the formula of meeting new candidates, identifying or helping to grow their potential or actual skills, capabilities and experience, then matching them to clients’ needs; that this no longer applied to her. Was it because there is now a couple of degrees of separation between her and the “coal face”?

On a daily basis here at Transparency IT, I, and my directors, engage in growing our candidate potential. More often than you can imagine, this revolves around giving job hunting advice, CV writing advice and hell, even career advice to people who we cannot place in our current roles. The reason we do this is because even if we never place these candidates, they will remember us as the agency who gave a crap, the guys who gave advice when they didn’t have to and the guys who helped them perfect their job hunting skills that eventually landed them a job.

Here’s a hot tip for you Kelly: Candidates become clients. It’s a no brainer really (like Kelly it seems).

The days of waiting 20 years to be promoted to a management position is over. This can happen within a few years if you are talented at your role. Social marketing is on the way in, crikey, it’s already here in big way and if you are a smart manager, you are already asking your employees to help source your next lot of employees. I want Transparency IT to be the first name thatemployee gives to their manager when asked about good talent for their business. I want the manager to go “Oh yeah, I had a great experience with those guys…..and that James bloke writes a fantastic blog!” Then get on the phone to us. Our reputation for fantastic candidates, awesome clients, transparent processes and helpful, friendly staff is what makes our business successful. Without any one of these our business suffers or fails completely.

…and last, but not least… Treat others as you would like to be treated.

Kelly, give us a buzz! We don’t know you. We’ve never done business with you. But we’d love to help you straighten out your CV now you are looking for a new job!

Because that’s what we do!



Cafe Review: Door to Door Salesmen, Small Terrorists and a Visit to Hoopla Cafe

So, I confess to being the sort of WAG who reads her husband’s work blog. But, before you start imagining Rebecca Judd and a certain red dress, take an abrupt u-turn and start thinking Hilary Rodham Clinton, all steely-eyed determination and way too many brains. And with that (sort-of) flattering smoke-screen obscuring the real me, let’s move right along to the point…

Why, you might be wondering, this foray into blogging for Transparency? Particularly as I don’t exactly work for them, aside from the occasional design contribution (such as the world’s heaviest custom-made boardroom table…oh but doesn’t it look amazing?). Well, you see, I noticed recently that James Curnow is attempting to take over the world, one blog post at a time. So, before he dons his sparkly crown and starts prancing around the office chanting ‘Blog King of the office, nah nah nah nah nah,’ I thought it was time to swoop in from left field and have a go at toppling Jimmy from the blog throne. Yes, I thought it might be amusing, give you all a chuckle. Then I realised I don’t have anything particular to write about. At least nothing that might interest hard-working professionals such as yourselves. So, following in the fine tradition of café reviews, here’s the rap for Hoopla, South Perth. Oh, and here’s pretending that I went there power-suited, laptop in hand, Smartphone buzzing with work calls, so you get the right frame of reference.

Aside from the ludicrous opening hours (who closes at 3pm on a weekday, really?), Hoopla is a smashing little café. Fab coffee, ticks all the boxes on the Transparency coffee snob list. Great food, with an all-day breakfast menu (featuring, oddly, baked bean tortilla wraps), and a zucchini slice that is truly one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. The counter features an appropriately large selection of cakes and sweet stuff, presented in the kind of cluttered, farmsy, old school style that is very on-trend at the moment. And yes, they have some of those Rawsome treats that are one of the better attempts to feed the latest health food craze (please, oh please may it end soon). I thought the décor was cool, but then I like exposed red brick with sections of plaster chipped off all over the place. You might think it’s a Melbourne trend that’s probably on the way out already over East, and hey, you might be right. As for the fabric canvases around the walls, I suspect they help with sound control, as it is a surprisingly quiet spot for a small room. There’s some acceptably comfortable couches, and the outdoor seating is well shaded and anti-breeze-controlled by roller shades. Sure, you could do a business lunch, interview, or coffee catch-up with a client here in good style, as long as the place is not full of door-to-door salesman like it was the last time I lunched there. But, on reflection, that was just a weird day anyway. I mean, I almost took home someone else’s child, seriously! My son hit the toy corner after lunch with this other child who I realised was basically his doppelganger. So identical were they, his mum and I looked at each other with this crazy ‘Do I know you?’ kind of stare. Suspicious, perhaps… This is all too bizarre. Then, seeing as my table was littered with bits of bread, banana and egg all over the floor (I continue to maintain my innocence and point the detectives at a certain sub 2 year old terrorist who has been pursuing me), I asked for a dustpan and brush to clean up. It was then that the staff said ‘Sure’ when the correct answer was, ‘No, don’t worry, we’ll do it, but thanks for offering!’

So Hoopla … close to perfect but not quite …  Anyway, give it a try. If you don’t like the zucchini slice, perhaps you’ll bump into your long lost twin who was carried off as a child by door-to-door salesmen…

Parking: Very convenient
Food: Outstanding
Service: Excellent right up until the small terrorist began destroying things
Business-ishness: Looks good to me

A Timely Warning to all Australians

Hi All, this is a repost of a blog I wrote a few weeks ago. It was misplaced in a recent blog site refresh so I’m positing again.

Slippery Sam

I just got stung by my bank today and it’s very likely you have or will be stung in the same way at some point in the future unless you are onto it.

Some of you may have been aware of the “Great Unclaimed Super Clawback” the Australian Government did last year. I know I wasn’t quick enough to roll over a number of small value super funds from my hospitality days. We all remember those days right. So anyway, with a frown and a mutter I let those dollars go with a promise not to be lazy like this again in the future. After all, I got warnings from the ATO every year and didn’t act on it. However… Were you aware that the same claw back applies to Share Fund, Life Insurance and savings accounts as well?

Here is my experience today:

I had a low transaction, high interest savings account with a well known Australian bank for the last few years with a sum of money in it and while I haven’t been as diligent in putting my spare dollars into it as I should have been (who has spare dollars these days?) I was using it, was earning interest and did intend to continue using it. Today when logging into my online banking noticed the account, funds and all, had gone missing. Needless to say I was a little concerned, but initially wrote it off as a technical glitch with the online banking portal. I jumped on the phone to the bank and was advised most respectfully that along with the lost super claw back last year, my savings account had been closed because it hadn’t registered a transaction in 6 months (6 MONTHS!) and all funds transferred to the Unclaimed Funds Department. I was astounded at the audacity of this very modern day, apparently legal bank robbery that had befallen me.

I maintained my calm knowing that getting upset at your uninterested and not-responsible-for-your-problem customer service representative will only result in whatever they could do for you in your that-must-be-terrible-for-you situation, very rapidly not being done for you… I asked in my nicest tone, “Oh, how did that happen without me knowing about it in advance?” and was promptly advised a letter had been sent to my last registered address….in Geraldton where I haven’t lived for just over 3 years. I asked if they had tried to contact me at the email address they send my statements to?….No. Or perhaps on the mobile number they send the transaction pin numbers to?…No. Or if they thought to transfer the funds that had been in my savings into either of my other two accounts that have thousands of dollars worth of transactions every month?…No.

“That’s not the process. All funds go to the Unclaimed Funds Department from which you can apply to have the funds returned to you.”

When I asked how to go about doing this, it was suggested I go to Google and search for “unclaimed funds Australia”. It seems like my attempts to be nice to my customer service rep had about the effect of yelling at them, but without the satisfaction of unloading on the disinterested, nail file wielding, nasal toned, 90′s-puffed-hairstyle-with-sweeping-fringewearing customer rep…..well at least that is how I always picture them when I’m frustrated.

So off to Google to do some research on the way to get my funds returned to me I came across this site called ““…  Did your eyes narrow like mine did when you read that? Oh the frustrating irony of that website name…I watched Saving Mr Banks recently and for those of you who don’t know it, it’s the story of the Author of Mary Poppins at the time that Walt Disney was trying to turn the book into the movie we all know and love…anyway the point I’m getting to was that I remembered a particular song in Mary Poppins this afternoon while I was working out the size of the rigmarole I would have to go through to retrieve my lost money…and I wondered what George Banks would have to say about this.

OK, so onto the process of retrieval of misappropriated funds. Apparently I have to submit a claim via the website, wait for paperwork to be sent to me, complete the forms then take it to the branch I set the account up with to have the funds returned to me…. You did read that right…the branch you opened you account with. So for me, that’s a drive to Geraldton or some long hours on the phone hoping someone gets it. There are others in far worse scenarios I’m sure. At this stage the branch goes back to the Unclaimed Funds Department and asks for your money back.

So, if you have moved recently, have any of these types of accounts, or have noticed something missing get onto it now.

Can you imagine the grief of trying to reclaim money left to you in a will after it has been claimed by the gov’t?

Don’t let this happen to you. Find your money, get it back, keep your accounts active and warn everyone you know.

There is currently $677 million dollars of peoples hard earned money sitting in someone else’s pocket. Go get yours back.

Deadpool vs Deathstroke… a Marvel vs DC Ramble that is Bound to be Divisive


So I’m doing a bit of reading up on superheroes looking for some inspiration for new ads I have to write. I had a look at a bit of the Deadpool background to see if he’s a useful character to use for an ad…he’s not…he’s too “Adults Only” for the “Fun & Wholesome” brand we have here at Transparency.

BUT….I found out some really cool stuff.

I am a late bloomer, I admit it, I wasn’t a comic book reader as a kid so am just discovering some of the amazing characters created by DC, Marvel et al. Now in my mid-30’s I’m coming to appreciate the complexity of the characters, the rich mostly parallel universes created and the very real need society had at various times in our history for a character to help them believe in something better. Cue Superman, Captain America and so many others.

Now I hadn’t heard about Deadpool till last year, so some of this stuff might not be news to you, but it is news to me… My ignorance of this awesome character even lead me to gloss over Ryan Reynolds playing Deadpool’s genesis story in X-Men: Origins. Looking back now it’s so obvious, but at the time, he was just some random enemy created to compete with the main focus of the story…Wolverine & Co.

But enough about me and my failings. Did you know Marvels Deadpool is a direct rip off of DC’s Deathstroke? To the point where Deathstroke was drawn first with a real name of “Slade Wilson” and Deadpool, his real name is Wade Wilson… From what I have read, Deadpool was never really supposed to go anywhere, drawn by Marvel as a nose-thumb at DC, the “Merc with a Mouth” was meant to be a laugh. A bit of Comic Book Giants tête à tête it seems. Again, this may not be the revelation to you it was to me… (…don’t roll your eyes)

Who knew his popularity would grow so quickly?

BUT! Deathstroke is coming back! There is a character being developed in Arrow (TV Show) at the moment that will become (is almost there) Deathstroke. In other news Barry Allen (The Flash) also made an appearance in Arrow recently. Looks like DC is planning a Marvel Universe-esque return to battle against Marvel who’ve reigned supreme in the TV and Movie space for the last decade and a half….with the possible exception of the Batman series….and hell, let’s tip a hat to the latest Superman flick…The Watchmen wasn’t half bad either…but still, by volume and quality, Marvel have held the upper hand.

As far as my personal preferences go, I’ll be honest, the Hulk has been my favourite comic book hero most of my life. I mean a science experiment gone wrong, a genetic freak is created that just gets stronger the more *ahem* splenetic he gets (that’s a new favourite word for me BTW) …and he goes and makes a mess…of everything…all over the place…

Seriously, can you get a better recipe for instant gratification!?

Now I’m hardly a lifetime fan boy so my knowledge of the competing universes is hardly encyclopaedic…but my housemate Karl’s is. He has been a Comic book fan his whole life and with his son finally reaching an age (8) where he can revisit these comics with interest our house, needless to say, is full of figurines, movies, Saturday morning cartoons and many MANY debates on who would win in a death match between which super heroes. So far with the help of some Hulk gloves…to beat up an 8 year old…with inbuilt speakers yelling “Hulk Smash!” and “GRRRRRRRR!” at every strike, my Hulk has still won all he has been matched against (only because I won’t give Bruce Wayne 6 months to plan) but he’s becoming less fun…he’s a one trick pony so to speak… It’s a hell of a trick, but one that’s rapidly getting boring.

My eyes have been opened!

My preference is now leaning towards DC and away from Marvel… Their stories are grittier, their decisions harder…there are shades of grey and doubt in DC where in Marvel, a dose of morals and a maiden in danger always decides their actions. That said, Marvel have done a fantastic job of taking some of the polish off their heroes of late too and if they continue down this path to the same level as DC they might achieve some truly “believable” characters that have the same inspiring effect on adults as they do on kids….Geek much?

…and with that, in a very round-about way I come to the point of my blog. Our ads and inspiring adults. We have been getting an increasing amount of positive attention due to our ads (for which we’d like to say thank you) and will apply every effort to continue to generate interesting, engaging, fun ads that stand out from the crowd like The Juggernaut at a baby shower.

Deadpool v deathstroke

We like to pick our superheroes so their attributes work well into real life (not AFK) employment scenarios for our creative minds to weave into an appealing cry for the right candidates to step forward. On our Wall of Doom (or destiny if you like) we have The Green Arrow, Spiderman, Wolverine, Mr Fantastic and maybe even the 6 Million Dollar Man in our sights as potential inspiration.

Any fan requests for characters you’d like to see mentioned in our ads? List their names and key attributes below and maybe you’ll get a nod in a future ad!

Look forward to reading your ideas.

Eye-Catching CV Ideas for the More Creative CV Writer

Red-dot-200x300Ok, so one of my most read and most commented on blogs is my 5 to 7 seconds, 3 part series on how to write a good CV. I thought it about time to do an update and add some more flavour.

So with a tip of my hat to a LinkedIn article I read today, here’s some amazing CV’s that have been written that will definitely keep the recruiter reading for more than 5 seconds!

I would like to caveat this blog with this: If you can’t do creative well, don’t do it. If you think you are good at creative stuff, but aren’t (your friends should be honest enough to tell you) don’t do it. Better to stick to a standard, well-crafted CV like I originally suggested. A poorly executed attempt at a creative CV like below, regardless of how right you are for the job, is pretty much a deal breaker for any recruiter.

Origami CV anyone? David Mahoney doesn’t mind if he does: Click Here

Philippe Dubost thought Amazon was the best way to sell himself. Check it out here: Click Here

Here’s Margot’s CV. She’s obviously done her homework on the company she is applying to and has been said to have “the best resume ever.” Click Here

And last, but not least, here’s Robbie Leonardi’s CV and my favourite CV to date: Click Here

Now all of these are awesome CV’s. They each show individual flare and creativity. There is however, a danger in doing this type of CV. The best and most creative CV in the world won’t get you the job if the company you are applying to doesn’t value this approach. It’s one thing to send an computer game CV to a digital design company and another to send it in for a position as a lawyer writing T’s & C’s for an international business brokerage firm.

Pick your audience, be smart, be relevant and you’ll give yourself the best chance you can of getting that all important call back.

Please share any other great examples of creative CV’s you have seen out there in the public domain!

Productive Procrastination: Oxymoron or Gritty Reality for Suffering Student

So those of you who know me might be aware that I have recently decided to take the plunge back into formal education. I’ve decided to follow the herd and do my Master of Business Administration….or “e-MBA” as one of my Director Dan’s likes to call it. He says this with a studiously straight face every time. By nature he’s a very expressive man, so the game face in this circumstance generally means he’s hiding a guffaw at the idea of educating yourself in anything less than an international top 5 university, but doesn’t want to hurt my feelings. My touting’s of “But CEO Magazine rates them in the top 4 internationally for their Distance MBA!” falls on deaf ears…generally followed by a verbal pat with something along the lines of “but look at you having a go” or “and when you are ready to get serious, UWA might even give you some credits!” I don’t know if he has done this deliberately but every time we have this conversation at work, I come out of the other side of it even more determined to show him what an “e-MBA” can do! Maybe it’s a purposeful and not unwelcome act based on his thorough understanding my psych profile. (They made me do one of those, “are you a psychopath?” tests before they let me start) I tend to be one of those “If you hit me with the stick, the carrot tastes so much better!” personalities. Easy wins are boring right?

The encouragement I get at work aside, I have found myself signed up and 2.5 units into an accelerated, 12 month, distance learning, Master of Business Administration course trying to balance full-time work & 20 hours of study per week with everything else a single guy with a dog has to do. I know, I know, there are people out there doing this with jobs AND a family AND a job coaching the local little league kids 2 nights a week and one day on the weekend, but they are obviously SUPERHEROES or cheating. There, I said it and I won’t take it back!

Here’s the big question! How the flippingbluecheeseburgerwaffle do these Super-people settle down in the evening and concentrate to the exception of everything else on the subjects in this course? Any course for that matter!

This is how a standard night in my house is for me: I start the subject, I read the unit intro on for example, Strategic Operations Issues, I get to the part where they suggest I read a few (hundred it feels like) pages of the text-book, I read the executive summary and GET IT, it’s cool, my brain starts zinging off into the ether about all the ways I can integrate Operational Operations and Procedural Procedures into our business. Improving peak supply network efficiency by co-location with outsourced suppliers and, and, and…then the second paragraph blows all my thoughts to tatters. Nope, sorry, you were almost there, but if you’d read on before letting your brain run wild you would have understood this is what we are telling you NOT to do…unless you happen to be in business, in which case you might actually consider doing it. (As if not letting my brain run wild is something I consciously control. Seriously, my brain’s calling the shots, I’m just along for the ride and occasional beaten carrots). It’s at this stage my brain grinds to a halt and decides it simply can’t read another word until the pair of jeans on the floor is folded and put away. (I study in my room because the rest of the house has too much cool electronic entertainment to focus effectively “out there”) Meanwhile I’m standing at the dresser having put away my jeans, and I notice I probably have enough washing to justify a load so go and do that, then on the way back past the kitchen I turn on the oven to pre-heat because I do believe I feel like a roast something tonight. So back to the fridge to pull out the marinated lamb shoulder (that I marinated last night when I should have been studying) and back to the kitchen. I really should get back to study, and I will just as soon as I’ve cleared the clutter in the kitchen to allow me to most effectively and efficiently put the roast in the roasting tray and into the oven…ah! What a mess I’ve made, I’d better do the dishes and scour every room in the house to be sure I’ve got them all…Oh look, those books aren’t in alpha-numeric order…

Is this starting to sound familiar to anyone? I really hope so, because this is my every night nightmare when it comes to trying to study and I need some help to do it right! I get home about 5:30pm, I get changed, grab a glass of something cold (non-alcoholic, I have good intentions at this stage) maybe hit Facebook or watch the latest episode of New Girl or The Crazy Ones (don’t judge me, I’m a poor student) and by 7pm I am ready to hit the books. It’s about 8 pm when I actually start to study and about 8:15 when I decide I want a coffee to help me study etc etc, so on and so forth. I get to bed at about 11:30 having completed MAYBE 1.5 hours of study out of the 4 I have allocated myself.

But my house is surprisingly tidy (Karl if you comment that this is a lie I’ll kill you…I’m only joking….am I?) At the very least I’ve debated the pros & cons of the new Coalition Government or the efficacy of some kind of new treatment for some obscure genetic disorder I’d not heard about until this evening, and done it in a very educated manner with a minimum of 6 references to peer-reviewed documentation in the Harvard referencing style.

AAARRRGGGHHHH! So why can’t I give my study the same focus to my study that I can give to a conversation about string theory? I arguably know a lot more of the basics to my MBA than I do about that subject. Studying and passing my MBA will improve my current work performance and my future career opportunities (in a least 5 – 10 years’ time if my bosses are reading this) yet I still can’t get motivated.

Who else is working and studying or have done? What are/were your secrets to being able to focus for a number of hours with minimal, personally generated interruptions? Who else has a preternaturally clean house and regular panic attacks that you won’t pass your exams?

If someone can give me a tip that works you will find yourself not only in possession of a limited edition, Transparency IT backpack / laptop bag, but you’ll have a smarter, friend with more letters after his name than you did before!

Looking forward to hearing your suggestions!

Gordon St Cafe Review and Surfing the Wave of Designer Coffees…

mmm… ‘Pour Over’ coffee… mmm… I think I am in love with coffee all over again, or we have taken our relationship to the next level…or something..

Gordon St Garage was the place, November 7th 2013 was the day… we all remember where we were on September 11, 2001 (except for my millienial generation candidates) or the day Princess Diana died (except for my gen y can140_GDWC250HDSA_800x600didates) but today was the day I experienced ‘Pour Over’ coffee at Gordon St Garage and its going to be hard to forget.

I know what you are thinking… another new designer coffee, you guys are just coffee snobs (guilty!), if its not cat poo coffee its coffee poured at midnight on an auspicious day for Tibetans on top of Mt Everest… well Pour Over coffee is not particularly expensive or overly exotic, but it tastes goooood.

So here’ s the thing, the normal short black – a standard 30ml shot of coffee – is made by pouring hot water through tightly packed finely ground coffee for about 20 – 30 seconds. The ‘Pour Over’ Coffee method uses a filtering process which filters the coffee over a longer time period at a much lower temperature. The result being a cup of coffee with fruity, light and even sweeter flavours and without the bold bitterness that you traditionally experience with an espresso.

The guys and gals at Gordon St Garage are really friendly and will gladly answer any questions you have on it – and they have other coffee brewing methods as well and write ups on the process on their coffee menu.. cool!

I really enjoyed my cup of Pour Over, I reckon it was about 100ml of black coffee, which normally would be too bitter and strong for me to handle but this tasted fruity and light and was smooth to drink. It certainly didn’t feel like it was putting hairs on your chest with every sip and still has a higher caffeine content than brewing coffee almost any other way.

As for what we thought of Gordon St Cafe – just go and see for yourself. What they have done with that old garage is truly remarkable. Very hip, very cool, very funky. The guys I was there with – Chris and Alfa from Reseau ( Cisco specialists to the stars, certainly appreciated it, being style meisters themselves!

Gordon St Garage – – Great service, Beautiful Food, Spectacular Coffee roasted onsite and brewed various ways – and the most awesome little cakey, petit four type things to have with your coffee.

Competition… at Last!


This just in from an anonymous source in a major IT recruiter:

For the sake of anonymity “Ted,” as he has asked to be called, has come forward from within the bowels of “Snaxus” or “Smays” (or which ever IT Recruitment firm he works for) to advise he has recently been questioned then soundly and thoroughly “…smack[ed] on the back of the head…” after he was found to be reading the edgy and off the wall writings by the lads at Transparency IT. Known for the witty and not-so-witty way they place one word right after the next in a semi-ordered yet extremely horizontal fashion, and their deliberate misappropriation of imagery to tell rollicking yarns of caffeine induced lunacy.

“To be a name scratched onto the backs of the doors in bathroom stalls of a company as well respected as “Snaxus” or “Smays” is a high I never thought to see my little company achieve!” states Dan Linden, Director of Transparency IT. “Now that we are here, be sure to watch for us lurking, waiting to strike on any unsuspecting opportunity like a blowfly in a Ferrari!”

“What do we want? Transparency IT! When do we want it? NOW!” chant the randomly shuffling protesters who are audibly oozing excitement at the proclamation.

In the car park conveniently located at the rear of the Trans I.T. headquarters cheerleaders are being flung in ever increasingly complex permutations of co-ed derived aero-acrobatics; all to the foot stompingly brassy sounds of a marching band flown in from St Louis just for the occasion.

“It’s enough to say we are quite happy with the outcome. It’s not like it’s rocket scientists or anything…and there is more to come, watch out INFinite IT, you’re next!” proclaims Dan Jolly the other Director Dan of Transparency IT.

Business Development Manager to the Stars James Curnow while giving no direct comment was later overheard to say to his dog.

“That’ll do pig. That’ll do.”