LowComDom Performances Presents
The Crapolla According to Fek'Lar
You Know You're DOOMED When...
Germany is viewed by the world as a pacifist nation.
You've stumbled onto another issue of The Crapolla, a journal written for software professionals. No not the managers; I mean the people who do the work.
This Crapolla is sponsored by...
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In This Issue...
Wadding up the temperature of your motherboard.
Have you noticed this? You go to a fast-food place, or the gas station (sometimes they are one and the same), or even a movie theater, and you need a napkin or paper towel, only to find that who ever loaded the dispenser over-loaded it? You can't get one out without shredding it because the tensile strength of the paper is less than the force required to free it of the container?
What the hell is the purpose of this? Have these business cut their staff so much that they need to get 24 hours of paper into the dispenser in one filling? I've resorted to opening the dispenser, removing a wad, and leaving it out on the table.
If you don't think you're hooked on computers try going without for 10 days. Recently, my iBook 700 started acting strange. All of the pixels on the screen appeared to be the correct values, but the computer was putting them in the wrong place. (New encryption scheme?)
Over a Diet Coke, we discussed what might be wrong. I was sure the video card had died. In any case I was informed that all iBook problems must be sent to the Apple repair facility in Texas. It turns out this is where the Keebler Elves who work on laptops live. No one else has fingers small enough to do this work.
Sending the computer to Texas for repairs would take a good week. There went my hope of a speedy repair. In fact, I bought the computer from this dealer because they had done my repairs in the past extremely quick. Since everyone charges the same price for iBooks, the speed of repair seemed a good way to decide who to swipe my credit card past.
It was a long week. I had bills coming due. Normally, I would run the bills through Quicken, and not only would I stay on budget, I wouldn't be writing the check either. This time round I had to find my old checkbook. In the date field I scratched out the century (19) and over-wrote 2003. it was like living in the stone ages.
I also wasn't picking up email. At the end of the 10 days, there were 3068 letters waiting to be delivered. This caught my eye. Last April I was out of the country for 23 days and had 2800 emails waiting for me. This means the amount of SPAM I receive is up way over 100 percent in 9 months. (I'm not going to figure it any closer. After all, I was a Liberal Arts major and am immune to math.)
In a piece called Is It Possibly Getting Better? I wrote in crap200211, I was speculating since WTHAIS had started handing out chachkas that maybe it was a sign of better times. Well I'm on the fence about this indicator. Although since that writing WTHAIS passed out another chachka, there has been another round of layoffs in The Valley. This begs the question, "How will we know this nightmare is over?"
I'm not so sure I would know myself. When it comes to economic predictions (and picking stocks) I'm as good as the blind man feeling up the elephant. There's always something I can not see. I suspect we are near or at the bottom. The layoffs tell me times aren't great. The masseuse I go to weekly tells me of all the business she is loosing from these layoff. She even asked me if we could do an hour next week rather than the usually 30 minutes. Now I know she needs business. Every time I suggested doing an hour has always resulted in groans from her in the past. My back full of granite needs a very deep tissue massage.
But there is a little stirring in the start-up arena. A friend has landed a job at an un-funded start-up. (This means you're only paid in stock.) This is quite a morale booster keeping her busy, and if funding comes through, she might even become filthy rich. The company logo embossed into the martini glass WTHAIS passed out tells me the chachka industry wasn't completely wiped out.
As I mentioned earlier, I suspect we're near or at bottom. I think the worst thing that could happen is a mid-east war that drags on, and/or another terrorist attack. It's not that either act would directly drag on the economy, but the mood swing the populous will go through in either case. If either of these happen the only industries that will flourish are the arms manufacturers and the duct tape cartel.
In crap200212 I mentioned that I have a philosophical opposition to MBOs. I believe they pit the financial interests of the employee against the needs of the company. Lately, I have been noticing in more and more companies another drag on the bottom line. It's people wasting a lot of time telling you how busy they are.
It seems not a week goes by without someone mentioning to me how busy they are. I am truly sick and tired of this. We're all busy. But I'm not so sure everyone is working as hard as they can. I've boiled the "I'm very busy" conversation down to two interpretations.
If you are fortunate enough to be employed, and if your company has a lot of work to do, everyone needs to understand the firm's priorities. Some work will not be done... ever. It's not important enough. As long as we all understand this, we'll be fine.
If you're just sitting at your desk marking time, I think you're pushing your luck.
Jacko on Strike!
Nothing Weird to Report This Week!
Let's play, "Who said this?"
Heard in the halls of various software companies.
"After three clicks, I loose interest."
"This is where it got weird."
"Active Sync is like a birth control device. If you can get the PDA to work, you're never getting laid."
"Let's continue the interruption a little bit longer."
"All of our product code names are based on destructive verbs."
"I miss Super Chicken."
"Why don't we go to a bar as a team building exercise?"
"At least he planned the emergency."
"You never come to lunch with us."
"I have to listen to you whine all day long."
"Never let a vegetarian order your pizza"
"This will be fixed in the next release."
"When is the next release?"
"Two and a half years."
"I'll let you go to the meetings when the product starts smelling a little more like lemonade."
I need another roll.
(The Last Honest Geek)
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