Hey, Quick Question…

Yes, the question is always quick, but the answer and the amount of work involved is always exponentially larger. After a few quick questions you find yourself digging a hole with a backhoe, but filling it back in with a teaspoon.

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Work trash…

Instead of throwing your trash in the break room garbage, walk by someone’s cubicle and toss it in their personal trash receptacle that’s near the entrance. Chances are they won’t get up and look who did it. They will enjoy the aroma from the leftover onions that you didn’t eat from your salad. If they complain just report them to HR because they are not being a team player.

Psychic Programming is the Future

Developers simply need to be able to read the minds of their users and develop software in anticipation of the unspoken needs. One of my favorite responses of an end user is when they say “Well, it’s not working the way I thought it would”. Well, maybe next time, why don’t you tell me how you want it to work and it will be much easier for both of us.

It really doesn’t matter how well you build or anticipate the needs of the end user. You can make it as bullet proof as you want but within the first few minutes of go-live there will be a catastrophic event that will bring the entire process to screeching halt. Well, from the users perspective anyway…

Say my name, Say my name

Dale Carnie once said "Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language". Unless that name is said over and over in a debate or argument. For instance you are trying to defend your belief or position on a topic and the person keeps interrupting you and saying your name. "But Bob, you know…." and "Bob, you don't realize." Or the best of all when they chain your name together. "Bob, Bob, Bob…"

I don't know if that bothers anyone else, but I stop them and ask them why they keep saying my name. I say, "I know my own name, did you forget who you are talking to and you have to keep reminding yourself?" Stop being so condescending.

Most Annoying Sounds…

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Crunching Ice

I used to have shared cubicle space with an ice cruncher. She even brought ice in from home to work, all day long, every day.

Shuffling Cards

I don’t even like the computer game solitaire because of the sound of shuffling cards. Shuffling cards once is ok, but when you get all OCD and start shuffling them over and over, that’s enough.

Popping Gum

Some people never learned how to chew gum and I’m assuming they are just as bad at eating food, or they crunch ice. Blowing a bubble then inverting it into your mouth as you pop is several times

Chewing Food

This goes along with ice crunching, but there are some people who sound like they are eating rocks no matter what the food type is. The sound rattles around their skull until it sounds like they are breaking off their teeth at the gum line. Sometimes, you can hear people eating beans and the sound of the bean paste sticking to their teeth.

Mechanical Keyboards

They have a great feel and feedback, but they sounds like marbles being spilled on a tile floor. It doesn’t matter if they are a great typist or a hunt and pecker, both are equally annoying.

Cotton Mouth

Hearing someone speak who has a dry mouth is probably one of the worst sounds anyone can make. It’s even more tortuous is the person is speaking in front of a large crowd and is using a microphone.

Do you enjoy your vacation?

When you take time off do you enjoy yourself or do you worry about what work awaits you when you get back to the office? Do you check your email while you are on vacation? How do you break this habit?

It’s a difficult habit to break in our “connected” world. I only have one mobile phone and I use it for work. I remember a professor of mine complaining about his beeper. He felt like he was a dog on a leash and didn’t like the “chain jerking”.

Here are a few tips that I don’t follow whatsoever.

Delete your email accounts

Just temporarily, I know it’s a pain to set them back up, but put it on your time sheet as “Admin”. Don’t try to sneak into your email from the web access either. You won’t like what awaits you.

Leave your smartphone at work in a locked drawer

Remember when you were a teenager in the 90s and didn’t have a smartphone and no one bothered you? Yeah me too. Take a trip down memory lane and ditch the smartphone for a week. Your wife and kids will eventually find you.

 

Off to greener pastures…

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This is usually said when someone goes off to a new job. But you need to be careful. There may be a ton of cow manure that is causing the greenness. The greener pastures idea is nice, but eventually the greenness will fade and you will start looking for the new and shiny again. Learn to be content, unless your life is in danger with your current job or it’s causing you to lose your family. Money isn’t everything, flexibility and PTO though, that’s another story.