Tag Archives: the Personal Journal

This Week’s Column: Bacteria at Your Fingertips

This week’s (paid subscription only; apologies) column in the WSJ.com (which runs in the Personal Journal of The Asian Wall Street Journal) is about the gunk in your keyboard:

An exhaustive poll of my friends reveals that all sorts of stuff is being spilled over the average keyboard: biscuit crumbs, mango, fizzy beverage, the odd stray cornflake, nail varnish, rice, soy sauce, coffee, wine (red and white), hand cream. Under your keys lie a faithful record of every snack, lunch and beverage break you’ve had at your desk since you joined the company. It’s like typing on a pile of week-old dirty dishes.

Here’s the permanent WSJ.com home to Loose Wire columns.

How To Get A Good Idea Part II

Nowadays I get three days in the office to do part of my job, editing The Asian Wall Street Journal’s print edition of the Personal Journal (great piece in tomorrow’s edition, by the way, on South Korean female blogging by Lina Yoon (I noticed the Sydney Morning Herald also did something on this earlier this month, as observed by Smartmobs’ Jim Downing).)

Anyway, three days in the office, two days doing my column. I’m not an office guy. No great idea ever occurred to me in the office. No great idea ever really occurred to me period, but especially not in the office. For me you’ve got to be outside. You’ve got to walk around, you’ve got to see things, you’ve got to talk to fresh people, observe weirdos doing their thing, be somewhere you can think. But it’s interesting how divided my colleagues are on this. They like to work late, but not take anything home with them. Others are like me, they look like they’re strangers in a cubicle, camping out until there’s a decent opportunity to flee. Others look like they live there. I find the office good for hammering things out, but mine isn’t really a hammering-things-out type job, so maybe it’s all about the kind of job you’re doing. There’s hammering, and there’s getting ideas.

Anyway, roundabout way of saying you can tell what day it is by the number of off-the-wall posts Loose Wire gets. If there are too many, it’s probably Thursday or Friday.