Shower thoughts on the New Year ...

1. 2040 is nearer than 1990.

2. January 1 is the only day of the year where I recognise 12am as a new day.

3. As we get older, New Year's Eve becomes more a celebration of making it through the year than the arrival of the new year.

4. Happy New Year! Time to screw up the date on paperwork for the next three to four weeks.


Saying exactly what you don't think at work

Keeping your cool when corresponding with difficult co-workers can be a big ask, but it's never a good idea to say exactly what you think; better to coat it in some passive-aggressive lingo. "I'm also a fan of laying out all the facts of where they have me confused and ending with 'please advise'," tweets one worker. Including the phrase "per my last email ..." makes a point, or you can slay them with "an effort to maintain clarity" or "if someone else is better suited for this request please direct me to them. Thanks!". If you want to be subtle try, "Any updates on this?" or "Please let me know if I misunderstood". And the most professional way to say "that's not my job" is as simple as "that's outside my scope of work".

Remove a rock at your peril

They say if you remove a rock from a National Park in the US you'll bring bad luck upon yourself. This idea is explored in the book Bad Luck, Hot Rocks. The blurb reads: "The Petrified Forest National Park in Northeast Arizona protects one of the largest deposits of petrified wood in the world. Despite stern warnings, visitors remove several tons of petrified wood from the park each year, often returning these rocks by mail (sometimes years later), accompanied by a 'conscience letter'. These letters often include stories of misfortune attributed directly to their theft: car troubles, cats with cancer, deaths of family members, etc. Some writers hope that by returning these stolen rocks, good fortune will return to their lives, while others simply apologise or ask forgiveness. 'They are beautiful,' reads one letter, 'but I can't enjoy them. They weigh like a ton of bricks on my conscience. Sorry.' Bad Luck, Hot Rocks documents this ongoing phenomenon, combining a series of original photographs of these otherworldly 'bad luck rocks' with dozens of facsimiles of intimate, oddly entertaining letters from the park's archives."