You want us to do what?

hand drawing light bulbI am sitting in a meeting listening to a presentation to our leadership about how we want to change some technology we are using. It isn’t a small thing we want to do, it is massive. There is some apprehension as to how we will be able to make this all happen in the time frame our company needs it to happen. Oh, by the way it has to be a global solution, and it will have to be fast and give us a little bit of everything. How is the decision made? Who is going to raise their hand and say “do it”! These meetings can be strange, a large group around the table waiting on a decision trying to share what we think is our best guess as to how we can get it done. What I am really glad about is that I get to sit in the back and listen and not having to lead the project or make the decision. Let’s just hope they don’t look to me for any answers.

Computer Competency Test.

I don’t want to be mean, but I have a job which puts me in contact with computer users of all kinds. Not all of them should be allowed to use those computers. Yesterday I installed a brand new copier and some of the features were not the same as the old one, which means a lot of people are calling me today because they don’t know how to use the new features. Not to ay them all one user figured out how to make something work for his very unique process and asked me to change the default setting so it would do it automatically. This user is awesome to me because he figured it out and all I had to do was make some changes to make his life easier. Another sent the same fax, who knows how many times because it didn’t print out a confirmation sheet, so it must not have sent! I can see the company at the other end wondering why they have thirty copies of the same invoice. I get that not everyone has aptitude toward computers but there has to be a minimum level of competency for the job, right? I am not asking for genius, that would put me out of a job, but can’t we agree that the minimum should be that you can fax from an unfamiliar copier.

You aren’t paranoid, your being watched!

Businessman Holding Looking Telescope WoodcutI own a cheap set of golf clubs I bought twenty-five years ago at a going out of business sale. I think I bought a driver a few years ago but that is all I have and I didn’t spend over a hundred dollars on them. I figure if I go play maybe once a year they are good enough. The other day I went on to Amazons website and decided to look what a set of clubs would cost. After choking on the prices I went about something else knowing I wasn’t going to buy anything. The ramifications have been that every website I go to with ads on it, is now for golf clubs. Even the daily Amazon emails show me which clubs are on sale. I can laugh about it but what if I had looked at hemorrhoids cream this could cause some awkward situations! I get the marketing engine and how they are doing this but I don’t think everybody understands just how tracked we all are? If you think you are not being followed you aren’t paranoid enough! Today they know everything about you and  what you have bought and what you are looking at, any illusion of privacy is long gone. So consider yourself informed and act accordingly!

Corporate distraction!

If you haven’t seen any of the new Weird Al Yankovic videos you are missing out on some good stuff. My favorite now is the one called mission statement, you can watch it below. In this video they list out many of the buzz words I have heard in many of the jobs I have held over the years. Company leadership love to hold meetings to tell us what they are going to do, or who they want the company to be, when in reality the best way to get the desired behavior is to live it out themselves. I have worked for great companies whose leaders lived out the character traits and inspired us to do the same, and I have also worked for crazy people who wanted us to be one way but treated everyone else like dirt. Each of these bosses got the best and worst out of people by their actions. These mission statements may be good as a reminder but actions get the long-term desired results.

Signs of vacation!

Pool depth sign at the edge of the swimming poolWhen you go on vacation you hopefully get to go to a place full of new and wonderful sights and sounds. The beach for example, is full of sand and birds maybe even sea life that make it wonderful and adventurous. Some places you stay on those vacations are magical or exotic, some have great views or depending on the money available you might have to go with a more modest establishment. No matter the price these places have signs, which direct you to not do something or be sure to do something else. My favorite from this weekend was the sign at the pool which asked if you have had diarrhea or a stomach bug over the last few weeks to not swim in the pool. I found this oddly direct and very specific to the nature of the request. Thou I had not had any of these ailments over the time period mentioned it did have one effect on me, I really didn’t have any desire to swim in the pool. Which is probably what they hoped for when they posted the sign in the first place.

You better buy that Elephant some flowers!

elephant-1113tm-pic-439My television choices don’t tend toward the educational, the only time I watch PBS is when they are showing a concert or something on the civil war. Last night however I stopped on PBS while a show I had never seen before called “Sex in the Wild” was on. The particular episode was on elephants and how this team of experts were trying to control overpopulation by creating birth control for the males. To do this they were “collecting” samples from the males. Since this is a family oriented blog I cannot describe what these team of “experts” were doing but lets just say that they left nothing out of the show on how they went about the job. Once they tranquilized the elephant it took six people to complete the job. The part I found un-real was that this is a paid job because whatever they are paying it isn’t enough to get me to do that job! I almost died laughing as they talked as if this was something you see every day! For me it is something I can never scrub from my mind and when ever I think I have a horrible job, I can think back to this show and remember how go I have it.

Thanks for filling my box with spam!

Spam Definition Magnifier Showing Unwanted And Malicious EmailMost of the time the spam I get in my inbox is annoying. Many times it is just ridiculous, I am not going to buy a watch that looks just like a watch I wouldn’t buy, or any pill which would require me to see a doctor or lay naked in a bathtub in the middle of a vineyard. If I want any of those drugs I am sure I could see my doctor and get him to prescribe them. I don’t speak Chinese or whatever language some of them are in, so why would I click on it? My favorite from lately is luxury cruises and safaris. Truly these people don’t know whom they are sending these to or they would send the cheap trip around the block email. I would have to be delusional to think I am going to be able to afford a safari in Africa or even crazier to think someone is willing to sell me a trip for the price of a tank of gas. If I want to get ripped off I could just drive to the bad part of town and wave my wallet around, until then I think I will let the spam filter do it’s job.

The love hate with my cars!

10-1013tm-cart-transportationI am pretty sure that all my cars hate me! In the last three weeks three of them have been in the shop. Luckily this weekends troubles I could fix for myself or this would have been another week of waiting. The starter went out so I could call around and get one Sunday and I put it in last night. I hate taking my car to someone who is too busy to look at it for a few days and then tells me it is something I could have fixed but it will cost me multiple hundreds of dollars for him to do. The problem is if I don’t have the time to fix it I have to pay him to do it. I think of the stuff I could have done with the money I just paid. I could get the car a new paint job for what they charge to replace the starter. Except I would have to paint over the dents because I can’t afford to get them pounded out. This is why I drive a car from 1990, if it gets dented it is seen as character not a dent. Try that with a prius!

I just like a good pair of socks!

Wool SocksDoes it make me weird if I have a favorite pair of socks? Whatever your morning routines we get up maybe make the coffee, if you are really organized you have it setup so when you get up it is made. I take care of dogs and cats, letting them out to go to the bathroom and give treats to the dogs, get a cup of coffee and try to figure out what to have for breakfast. After breakfast I go back to my room shave and take a shower. I then go to the closet pick out and put on what I am wearing for the day. Then I sit on my bed, open my nightstand where my socks are not all of them are created equal; there are maybe three pair that are my favorites. They are the ones that when they are in the drawer are worn. If none of them are available I will dig a little in the drawer to see if they fell to the bottom. If I find them I get a small smile, it isn’t like they give me great joy, I just like a good pair of socks.

The smoke break replacement!

glyphicon_no-smokingSince I work in a cubical farm I get the pleasure of hearing the conversations of many of my co-workers. The white noise pumped in can only cover so much of the talking so often you are the fly on the wall so to speak. Unlike the dreams we may have of hearing something juicy from others who don’t know you can hear most of what I get is rather dull. Today is the great discussion of which fast food burgers are good for the money. Is Wendy’s too expensive, is Five Guys worth the few more dollars? These deep philosophical treasures more than not are just what has replaced the smoke break. In the old days these same people would have fired up a cigarette and spent ten minutes cancering up. They now can talk over the finer points of killing themselves with greasy food and then return to work not wreaking of smoke. I think I like the new smoke break better and the odds are their body likes it better too.