The other day, an old friend was touting my availability around where she works. Which was kind of her. Among other things, she made a point of calling me an "iconoclast", something she thought would be an asset to a company about to embark on major cultural change.
This reminded me of an incident from my past. A conversation with my boss when I worked for a large Insurance Company many years ago. Dressing me down over something or other, he sighed and said, "Gary, the trouble is you're a bit of a maverick." It was obviously meant as career-ending feedback but I have to admit I found it quite flattering.
At lunch I recounted the conversation to a few of my peers. One of them burst out laughing. "Yeah, that's right. I mean look at your employment record. 12 years. One Insurance Company. Some maverick."
My sister-in-law has persuaded me to join Twitter. Something I've avoided for several years.
She's of the opinion that it will help me with my profile, work-wise and dream-wise. Given that I've just got a smartphone (which remains switched off most of the time), I may as well give it a go.
Apparently attracting followers can be a touch dispiriting in the early days, so please come and join me!! @GaryTwynam (apparently).
WH Auden said that names are a form of proto-poetry. The name you are given at birth is just a starting-point. If your name doesn't suit you, the people around you will find a new one for you that does fit. Your best hope is that your parents gave you a name that can be carved up many different ways, a Michael or a Catherine say. Otherwise you'll end up being called Stretch or Slim or Toilet John, or something.
The names we're given are just that – given to us. We have no say in the matter. I'm always fascinated by people who insist on being called a specific name. I was in a meeting once where someone addressed the new consultant in town as Joe. She was being friendly. The consultant said sniffily: “My name is Joseph actually.” At the time I remember thinking that was all I needed to know about him.
A self-employed training consultant muses on the world of work.