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un-green this earth day April 22, 2010

Posted by That Guy in A Very Corporate Something, Seen Elsewhere.
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The 9-to-fried blog posted “7 ways to un-green your office this earth day”*. As I’m the kind of person that doesn’t go crazy about keeping green**, these types of articles really appeal to me.

1. Throw all paper, bottles, and cans in the regular trash- There is no room in the office for extra receptacles. It should all go into one big can that gets dumped behind the building every week. Look for a sewer, a running stream, or a car with the top down.

2. Make sure you’re using the most expensive and high powered light bulbs available- I’d suggest using either indoor tanning bulbs or just buying more lights for the office.

3. Make sure every light is on in the office at all times- Even in rooms no one uses like closets, conference rooms supply closests and the bosses’ special “nook nook with the intern” room. Keep the copier running at all times. Leave on all computers at night and download a huge file every day at 5 p.m. to ensure it never goes into sleep mode.

4. Always use disposable cutlery and plates- Use them as often as possible. A different fork for every bite of lunch. Use paper plates as memo pads. Use copy paper as napkins. Play games of “how many sheets of paper can you rip at one time.” Loser builds a life-sized plastic knife fort in the break room.

5. Take turns driving around the parking lot- See who can complete a lap in the fastest time. Buy an office car that uses diesel gas. In fact, pour the gas on the lawn and light it on fire so it makes a ring around the office complex. Then do laps like Evil Knievel.

6. Use aerosol cans as an element of illusion- Whenever you enter or leave a room, spray the cans like a mist, and then APPEAR. (cloud of Lysol) “I AM HERE! Start the presentation!” Also works well for leaving bosses office when you screw up. POOF!

7. Kill all office plants- Their time has come. All those days of mocking you. Laughing. It’s over Johnny. MICHAEL CORLEONE SENDS HIS REGARDS!!!!

In truth, I use the recycle bins (1), turn off lights when I’m not using them (3)***, drive as little as possible by not going out to eat (5), and only use canned air but freshen the room with Renuzit cone deodorizers (6). But if the Earth Day hoopla gets on your nerves, read this and know there are people out there who feel the same as you.

***

* I actually found this article last year, but it was well after Earth Day. So I saved it — way back in May of last year — to post this Earth Day.

** I recycle, and I drive a hybrid, and I try not to make too much trash, but I don’t go out of my way to use renewable resources or eat free-range food. That’s just too expensive.

*** Since I work in a 24/7 shop, it’s almost impossible to turn the lights off, but I shut them off in the gym and locker rooms when I’m done. And I turn off my monitors at night, but not the computer because I do occasionally have to log in from home and can’t do that without a CPU.

frustration vs defeat December 3, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Economic Downturn, Getting Fired, Seen Elsewhere.
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Overheard in the Newsroom:

Last year on my self-evaluation I wrote a lot because I was frustrated. This year I will write little because I’m defeated.

The right to make your voice heard on your self-evaluation is huge. It’s the one time during the year when you can get on record how you feel and what changes you want to make. It’s very freeing. You still have to be careful — you don’t want to badmouth your boss because your boss, after all, is the one who decides if you deserve a raise — but for the most part, if you hate the way your department is run ragged by another department, you can certainly say it.

The thing is, most people aren’t getting raises this year. They’re lucky to keep their jobs at all in most cases, what with the across-the-board layoffs and more people having to do more work but make less money. And they know that if they make too many waves, they’ll be tabbed for the next round of job losses.

Anyway, if you aren’t getting a raise, it’s unlikely you’ll get more than a perfunctory meeting with your boss where s/he tries to convince you that you need to stick around and do your best even though you’re not seeing anything good happening in your job. You may not even be asked to self-evaluate, and if you are, your boss is just as likely to throw it on file and be done with it. So why would you bother to write a lot? Or anything at all?

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“cloud computing” December 1, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Definition, Pictures, Seen Elsewhere, Technology Trouble.
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Dilbert.com

cloud computing
KLOWD kom-PYU-ting

If you want to get technical, cloud computing is a very cool way to keep all your stuff in internet-land, where you can access it from anywhere because you don’t own the media or servers upon which it’s stored. But if you want to get corporate, all you need to know is that corporations are likely to be very, very leery about implementing it despite how into it their tech folks are.

The problem with cloud computing, from a corporate perspective, is all about control. Most people have Google accounts, and already live somewhat in the cloud — if you have webmail, you’re doing cloud computing. Google is by far the king of the cloud, though Microsoft’s Office 10 is going to attempt to make some inroads into that market share. But whether it’s via Google, Microsoft, or even Yahoo (anyone remember Yahoo Briefcase?), the company doesn’t own the data. The data is held by the third party, who has their own set of terms and conditions as to the warranty of the data (T-Mobile Sidekick Fail, for example), the accessibility of the data (you can’t call Google and complain that Docs is down), and their right to read the data or be subpoenaed and hand the data over. And what happens if the third party suffers a hacking attack that ends with the data being taken by hostile parties? What’s the company’s recourse?

That’s why so many companies use VPNs instead of cloud computing — they let employees log into their work PCs using secure connections that they control. It’s way slower than the cloud, but it lets the corporations exercise their own security measures. And, I have to admit, as much as I love cloud computing (I do most of my first drafts on Docs), there’s a big difference between running a blog and running a multi-million-dollar corporation.

Of course, all companies have to do their due diligence and pretend to be interested in cloud computing, as illustrated by the above Dilbert strip. The tech guys always get excited about it, hoping they can link their tricked-out Google accounts to their work life. Just remember — if the company does go with the cloud, you’re going to have to make all your Google stuff available to them upon request. You know it’ll show up in the IT policy. I’d certainly put it there.

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the time for exchanging gifts November 30, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Observations, Pictures, Seen Elsewhere.
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I saw this bit of hilarity on Passive Aggressive Notes.

I’ve never had any major problems with corporate bathrooms, but I’m told that the ladies’ rooms in my building are nightmares. The worst that happens in the men’s rooms is a little splashback on the floor, but from what my coworker told me, the women leave things on the walls and the seats, find ways to arrest the automatic flushers so they leave little presents, and are generally unclean and disgusting.

I’m really glad I’m not on the maintenance staff, if that’s true.

When I worked in retail, each stall in the ladies’ room (which I had to clean some nights) had a small trash can for non-toilet trash. (I think you know what I mean.) They were never really unpleasant, either; the hardest part for me was convincing the managers to store-use a box of gloves so I could protect my hands from the mess. Maybe it’s just my co-workers, or maybe it’s just the ones on my floor.

This sign, though, suffers from the main pitfall of posting semi-amusing signs: people don’t listen, make fun of the person who posts them, rip them down, or post retaliatory signs of their own. It’s too bad because it really is a pretty funny sign.

you’re not being professional November 25, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Pictures, Seen Elsewhere.
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I’ve checked out every woman I work with. All of them. That’s just the way it is.

Don’t give me that look. You’ve done it too.

violated November 25, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Pictures, Seen Elsewhere.
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I wouldn’t know; I’ve never had a colonoscopy. But I have had…

…y’know what? You really don’t want to know.

From Surviving the World.

printer signs November 24, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Seen Elsewhere, Technology Trouble.
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Refrigerator signs aren’t the only signs you find at the office. There’s also the collection of exciting missives pinned up around ever printer.

from Passive Aggressive Notes

The printer is an interesting place. It’s somewhat replaced the water cooler as a kibitzing zone, since more than half the time the damn thing doesn’t work anyway, or you’re stuck there rifling through someone else’s jobs, or you’re busy reading all the signs.

Most common is the “pick up your printing promptly” sign, which is pretty understandable. The average office printer can hold maybe 100 sheets in the output tray, though there’s no safety that says “if you hit an obstruction, stop printing”. Instead, the printer keeps shoving pages out through its slot, crumpling them up and losing them amid contracts and documentation and coupons and personal e-mails and funny pictures of cats and, of course, signs asking people to pick up their printing promptly. These can be ignored because if you see them, you’re not the culprit, and if you’re the culprit, you’ll never see them.

Next-most-common is “don’t remove others’ print jobs” or something similar. Admittedly, I’ve done this. It happens sometimes; I’ll print four or five documents, pick them up, and realize five minutes later as I’m sorting that I’ve got someone’s travel plans in between copies one and two. Usually I’ll just bring the pages to the person’s desk; it gives me a chance to waste some time at work chatting, which is always a plus. The thing is: if your print job isn’t there, odds are good you’ve already reprinted it. Unfortunately there’s no way to be sure someone else has taken your printing. I wish there was.

You’ll also find retaliatory signs, such as the one above about robots learning about love. Wherever there are office signs, there are retaliatory signs — signs that make fun of the signposter for his or her spelling, grammar, bad jokes, repetitiveness, or anal-retentiveness. These are fun to make, but don’t do it. Everyone knows it’s you.

And, finally, there are the helpful signs. I tend to make these. For example: about four years ago, I figured out why one of our printers kept jamming: the rollers that controlled tray 3 messed things up for some reason and told the printer it wasn’t working, even when it was. So I hand-lettered a little sign that said something like this:

Do not put any paper in Tray 3. This will cause the printer to think it is jammed. Use Tray 2 instead.

See? Nothing snide or snarky. Just a simple note.

I also found a way to fix my printer settings so that the computer wouldn’t even look for tray 3, because that particular model of printer would try tray 3 before every page, thereby making the print jobs take five times as long as they should have. Not everyone got the fix… just people I liked. You know who you are.

What kind of signs are up by your printer? Anything interesting? Send in your photos; if I get enough, I’ll do a “printer sign week”.

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can I hear those choices again? November 20, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Pictures, Seen Elsewhere.
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Dilbert.com

It’s always interesting to me how the choices are always bad.

i gave up November 20, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Pictures, Seen Elsewhere.
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Dilbert.com

It’s surprising how many times I’ve had to talk to new people about stuff that I’ve already figured out because the staff has changed or the vendor’s been bought.

it’s your job November 18, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Management, Pictures, Seen Elsewhere.
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cs_reportWhile this is generally true, there are times when delegation of reports can be a good thing. My old boss asked me to start doing monthly reports for the sales staff and the executive team, and I figured, why not? I’m good at research and I’m always interested in how we’re doing as a company.

Turns out that I was not only way better at it than him, but I could get it done faster because I didn’t look at it as a chore.

However, it’s highly likely that when you’re asked to put together a huge report, it’s because it’s something your boss should’ve done but is just too lazy to do right. And it totally resonates; why else was it a major point in the first Harold & Kumar film?