Posted by: Chelsea Novak | October 28, 2004

The note at the end is his head falling off

During a meeting today someone suggested that we try and find a name for our work style. Something that embodies the nature of our work and how we get our tasks done. Considering that my job, which I won’t say much more about, is 90 per cent chaos, 5 per cent order and a final per cent having arguments about grammar, I have decided to name my work style guillotine.

The aim of the guillotine work style is to do what ever is humanly possible to prevent the guillotine from slicing your head off. There’s very little order, a whole lot of adrenaline and only one goal. Get it done right as getting your head slightly out of the guillotine is hardly a success.

Let me take a moment to say that despite the challenges at my work, I do love what I do and really enjoy the people I work with. Guillotine didn’t come to mind because of fear or anything like that. I think I thought of it because I tend to cut deadlines awfully close, yet still have my head in tact.

Since I came to that revalation, one that may be peppered by my rising fatigue and stress levels, I’ve had Berlioz’s Marche au Supplice from Symphonie Fantastique in my head. The fourth movement of this wonderful programmatic symphonie describes the moment when the protagonist is being marched to the execution block after having killed his lover in a jealous rage, or at least he dreams it’s all happening. It’s a quick little march that was constantly in my head as I was dealing with the French a month or so ago. There were many times that I was sure I was doing my own march to the scaffold, but thanks to the guillotine work style, all is good, and my head remains.

Today’s sing-a-long song: ‘Head over heels” by Tears for Fears




  1. But do you pronounce the L’s or do you say “Gee-ya-teen”?

  2. I say it sans the “l”. I have no idea if that’s correct, mind you.

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