Category Archives: Humor

Oppositional Thoughts Volume 5 Amusing sideways looks at Careers, HR and Life Advice

Oppositional Thoughts Volume 5 Oppositional thoughts are designed to gently puncture some of the slightly precious life advice out there, and to complexify overly simplistic homilies, that make life appear a lot simpler than it is in reality. I tweet them @thefactorypod as time, inspiration and opportunity arise.  We are now up to Volume 5, meaning up to 250 oppositional thoughts! Earlier volumes of oppositional thoughts You can find Volume 4 here and  Volume 3 here and Volume 2 here and Volume 1 here

  1. Oppositional thoughts…Career Advice: How to Spend the First and Last 10 Minutes of the Day…Career Advice? Personal hygiene surely…
  2. Oppositional thoughts…there were too many pricks in my last job,so I quit growing roses. All jerks in the next job, Tug-of-war not for me.
  3. Oppositional thoughts…I quit my job when they stopped serving free booze on my regular flight. No point continuing as an Airline Pilot…
  4. Oppositional thoughts…”personal branding” fixes an idea of person and limits the creative possibilities of people who change and emerge
  5. Oppositional thoughts…what’s so great about a balanced scorecard? It means its a draw, nil-nil,no winners. I want an imbalanced scorecard!
  6. Oppositional Thoughts…Planning pays. Noah built ark before rain..but it hasn’t stopped raining since they built the desal plant in Sydney
  7. Oppositional thoughts…Be true to yourself…only yourself?  What and lie through your teeth to everybody else?
  8. Oppositional Thoughts…Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second…unless you are eating curry
  9. Oppositional Thoughts…I’ve always been conflicted about self-actualising ever since a teacher caught me doing it in the bike sheds…
  10. Oppositional thoughts…to jump straight to the front of the queue, just phone the person on the desk and walk forward – phones trump people
  11. Oppositional Thoughts…you feel better if you let others have the final word, but what if they don’t say anything?!!
  12. Oppositional thoughts…“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.”…and get arrested….
  13. Oppositional thoughts…You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who can never repay you…like the banks did
  14. Oppositional Thoughts…How do you push forward your best ideas? Break through the barrier of skepticism….hmm not sure about that
  15. Oppositional thoughts…Those that talk down to you…probably haven’t thrown their 1970s platform heels out of their wardrobe….
  16. Oppositional thoughts…”Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off your goals.”…and opportunities and better alternatives
  17. Oppositional thoughts…if my #newyearsresolutions are to break my new years resolutions does this increase the chances of me keeping them?
  18. Oppositional thoughts…I was told I was called and gifted..sounded great till I found out what they were calling me and what the gifts were
  19. Oppositional thoughts…Life is 90% how you handle it…of course you might get life for handling it in the first place….
  20. Oppositional thoughts…”Without goals, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination”.which allows a wonderful exploring cruise
  21. Oppositional thoughts…Only 3% of people are truly born to sell: Gallup…97% are falsely born to sell and do far better at it…
  22. Oppositional thoughts…I pulled out all the stops, but I couldn’t get the church organ to budge let alone go the extra mile
  23. Oppositional thoughts…I once saw two Professors come to blows in a corridor.  Is this the purest form of emotional intelligence?
  24. Oppositional thoughts…an exhausted Professor staggers out of a bar after a long drinking session.  Tired and emotional intelligence?
  25. Oppositional thoughts…there is no “I” in team, but I can find “U” in “bully and coerce a person to perform unnaturally close to coworkers”
  26. Oppositional Thoughts…I starting living the life I imagined, and then the owners returned from vacation and called the police…
  27. Oppositional Thoughts…I was encouraged by my counselor to tell the story of my life, who on hearing it remarked “it needs work”…
  28. Oppositional thoughts…To improve your career you need to change the story you are telling yourself, so I employed a team of scriptwriters.
  29. Oppositional thoughts… I had a flow moment at work, I went with it as my boss flushed my job down the sewer….
  30. Oppositional thoughts.”Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today”James Dean…for more driving tips see #rebelw/oaporsche
  31. Oppositional Thoughts… We all got a motivational talk about driving growth, so I got going driving the undergrowth
  32. Oppositional thoughts…I am trying to escalate my performance to the next level by drilling down, leaving holes in my elevator pitch
  33. Oppositional Thoughts…I was told to hit the ground running so I went jogging with a croquet mallet…
  34. Oppositional thoughts…customer focus can be bad. After I got glasses I could see my customers and realized I was in the wrong job
  35. Oppositional thoughts…I returned from my vacation recharged…I confess I thought my attorney had managed to get all the charges dropped
  36. Oppositional thoughts…how come we never hear about strategic subjectives? Does it feel right? Are we proud? Is it good?
  37. Oppositional thoughts…the ratings company Nielsen says teenagers are more likely to text than call…a phone poll presumably….
  38. Oppositional thoughts…”there is so much power in self-awareness”…unless your realization is that you are powerless….
  39. Oppositional thoughts…”become the change you seek”… I wanted to change weather, and became a windy depression with a slow moving front.
  40. Oppositional thoughts…”You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do”…I could if you only knew what I was going to do!….
  41. Oppositional thoughts..“Knowledge changes: to see us through an uncertain future is our ability to ask questions” … question..!
  42. Oppositional thoughts…Interview tip. Always wear a tightly fitting gag to job interviews…it will stop any negative self-talk #jobsearch
  43. Oppositional thoughts….No one has ever made himself great by showing how small someone else is…try tell that to a Microbiologist
  44. Oppositional thoughts…Adversity allows us to go where we otherwise wouldn’t have gone…like prison..
  45. Oppositional thoughts…You can do anything if you have enthusiasm…what about being enthusiastically idle?
  46. Oppositional thoughts…Fools rush in…when they think they’ve spotted a New York Times bestseller bandwagon jumping opportunity
  47. Oppositional Thoughts..Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it…does that mean I shouldn’t retweet this?
  48. Oppositional thoughts…I tried an elevator pitch.. a curve ball that bounced off the doors and hit a passenger below their expectations
  49. Oppositional thoughts… A poet must leave traces of his passage…I doubt they’d agree with this in his laundromat….
  50. Oppositional thoughts…It is all very well to encourage letting go, but when I let one go in the lift, the looks were not encouraging

You can find Volume 4 here and  Volume 3 here and Volume 2 here and Volume 1 here

Diary of a loser – by Simon Says, Motivational Speaker, Coach & Horse Doctor

Coaching – Simon Says, Motivational Speaker, Coach

I have received an unusual request by a motivational speaker, who I must confess I have never heard of, but assures me is an International legend.  He asked me if he could use this space to share his year with you. So Dear Reader, thanks for reading me in 2010, please come back in 2011, and for now in the spirit of seasonal generosity I hand over to this interloper…

demotivation motivational poster

Diary of a loser – by Simon Says, Motivational Speaker, Coach & Horse Doctor


Simon Says is the world’s leading self-acclaimed thought and feelings leader.  Having spoken to many people including psychiatrists, correctional officers and judges, he is well placed to share his insights and wisdom, which are always at the leading edge of recently published self-help guides and tweets.  He brings his extensive knowledge culled from channel hopping and waiting at the Dentist and packages it neatly into a 45 minute powerpoint template.  Simon Says will leave you speechless, and if you think you know nothing now, just wait until you’ve heard Simon Says!

January. Kindly invited to give a Keynote to the Dumfrieshire, Scotland Octogenarians Annual Gymkhana.  The title of my motivational talk, kindly sponsored by Viagra, was “Up and At em!” Unfortunately, in attempting some of my engaging team bonding exercises, the lady at the top of the human pyramid, Agnes bunting, 87, fell 10 feet headlong into the green chartreuse punch.   She put up a brave fight as paramedics tried to drag her out of the punch bowl, and managed to break free several times returning to the bowl and consuming half its contents before passing out.  Alas George Windbreak, 92 and Harold Bongers, 97, who recklessly formed the bottom of the pyramid were unable to keep it up giving us the rare sight of a synchronized coronary.  The organizers, rather rudely I felt, prevented me from proceeding with the high ropes exercises but at least they offered me a bonus if I would leave immediately.

February. On to outback Australia and the Lightning Ridge Opal Diggers Annual Fossicking Fete and Chutney judging contest.  I gave them my “Success? In you dreams” talk. I tried to get creative, like Norm Amundson, by using a metaphor.  My metaphor linked the opal prospectors to truffle pigs. Curiously my use of metaphor did not elicit the same overwhelming positive audience response that Norm routinely enjoys.  Although some of the audience laughed and clapped as I was chased from the stage by a pack of dingoes let loose by some miners who evidently hadn’t got into metaphors in a big way.

March. Was invited to speak at the Trappist Monks Biannual Variety Performance and Telethon.  The title of my talk was “Brain Science: a whole new income stream for motivational speakers”.  My speech was greeted with silence, which I took as a positive but the telethon was not such a success as the several callers made police reports about hearing nothing but heavy breathing on the lines.

April. LA international airport.  Nasty moment in the Airport motivational bookstore as five self appointed ‘thought leaders’ tried to blind each with their laser pointers while squabbling over the last copy of the international bestseller(self designated) ” Emotionally intelligent customer focus/leadership/life lessons/parenting/logarithms and everything: lessons from Brain Science” by renowned thought leader and Master Major General in Fijitsu-based Neural Pathway Nerve Architecture(r) and Baltimore’s most preferred plumber, Trent Triteman.

With all of them going for the only win win that counts, things got dirty. Fred Facile-Bender, could not make his voice heard and died of Lack of Attention Deficit Disorder.  Sheena Simple-Sooths temporarily blinded by her own PowerPoint projector stumbled into a remainder pile of her own book “I know better than you, you idiot” and choked to death on indigestible prose.  The inevitable Gen Y expert Pieter Band-Wagon, made it clear he wanted it and he wanted it right now, and promptly wet himself and was sent to sit in the Naughty corner (quite appropriately on top of an unsold pile of Tony Tonsure’s “ 7 Lessons God learned from me”).  Mary-Lou Touchy-Feel saw her opportunity, and with fangs bared (recently upholstered in Beverly Hills) and ears pinned back (also care of Beverly Hills) dived headlong at the remaining copy, and was concussed when she collided head on with the ego of George Monetized-Banal-Utterings  III Jnr.

Luckily for me I managed to distract George with the old ruse of a fake dollar note and a mirror.  George was unable to resist the lure of an easy dollar and an admiring audience in the mirror.  I was about the grab that last copy of the book, when George was hit by a bolt of lightning. It was a close run thing, and the lightning had to spend a week in hospital recovering.

Sadly the resulting clash of ego and lightning released so much energy that last copy was completely obliterated.   So I suppose it is back to the Reader’s Digest and Christmas Crackers for my key messages for my keynotes.

May. Went to a Himalayan retreat in Wembley, North London to learn from the great Teacher, His Holiness the Lada (aka Monty Parsons, second hand car dealer and silver dealer).  Was most impressed by the Lada’s teachings. First he said that there were four planes:  the back plane (where we obsess about money); the premium back plane (where we delude ourselves we dont care about money); the business plane (where our Managers control our money) and the front of the plane (where the Lada likes to sit after we have given him our money).  He says spiritual enlightenment only comes after spiritual boarding which apparently involves making a left turn on entering the plane.

June. Was invited to MC the “Get a Grip” Skydiving Challenge for the terminally anxious.  Unfortunately my impromtu speech in the jump plane entitled “Failing Successfully: if you are not failing you are not trying hard enough” was taken to heart by several of the audience on the first dive.  However at least this freed up some spare chutes for the subsequent dives.


July. Rejection!  I was invited to speak at the Beating Your Own Online Addictions Conference held in MoneyBags Casino, Las Vegas.  Would you believe the organizing committee withdrew their invitation saying my proposed talk “Getting Off Online” was not what they had in mind.


August. Received a huge number of invitations to the top parties.  Elton’s Annual Ball, the Oscar’s party, New Year’s Eve in Times Square, and the opening of the Empire State Building.  It is amazing what memorabilia you can pick up on ebay


September. I was on television!  I didn’t realize they’d started televising local court matters.  Anyway I thought the fine was a little steep, especially as I had no previous convictions for streaking at a sports event, and still have no memory as to how I managed to end up in the middle of Fenway Park Baseball Park in nothing but Red Socks.  At least what attire I was wearing was appropriate and probably a good thing I didn’t pull that stunt at the Giants stadium…


October. Spent the whole month on Twitter.  Now suffering from Twitter twitch.


Nov. My last gig of the year. School speech day.  My children are no longer speaking to me though, as they claim it was the Principal who was supposed to be giving the speech and I was supposed to sitting with the rest of the parents.  None the less I think they appreciated my talk “Why education is for losers: don’t waste your time”.


Dec. Had planned on spending a relaxed and happy holidays with the family.  Embarrassingly the family I had chosen challenged me on the second day and I had to admit that they did not know me.  However they did not throw me out immediately. Oh no!  They insisted on searching my room and luggage beforehand.  I felt this was an outrage, as I had planned to gift the silverware they discovered to my self-managed charity – Largesse Intended To Totally Lousy Engagement Speakers of Distinction – LITTLE SODS.