Discussion in 'January And Everything After' started by dermot, Jan 12, 2012.
You work in IT. I shouldn't really have to explain the fucking phonetic alphabet to you.
It's sd. It's going to look like shit no matter what you do with it. Might as well make it big.
Dear finance people, taking a week to crunch our numbers in access and excel is not 'flexible' any more than it is user supportable, that's why you've hired me for the past two years to try and stop the thing keeling over. SQL server taking 30 seconds to do the same thing gives you an extra 5 days every month to be the supposedly highly paid accountants that you are rather than minimum wage data processors. You know how it currently takes me the best part of a day to compare two months figures? I've written you an app that does it for you in under a second. Give me a few days and ill add some charts to it for you and if you stop fucking whining at me ill even let you output the numbers into excel which is basically what it all boils down to.
Anytime an accountant asks you a seemingly IT related question, not around sacking you and sending your job to India, what they are basically asking you is "how do I get some numbers into excel?" Now that I know this I will never justify a project on the basis of cost or scalability but rather on how much easier it will be to make a pie chart than it was before.
You may now consider this line to be shamelessly stolen IP.
It is true. If you end any pitch to accountants with the line "and you'll get data into excel 50% faster" they'll be happy, the whole project will make sense and all that white noise and pictures they sat through before will have been worthwhile. Demo a thing that does some interaction with excel, even if the chances of them ever understanding what the actual data means are negligible, and they'll come in their pants especially if it makes a pivot table.
When I was in IT I had to work with some Dutch chaps. Almost immediately I sent out an e-mail stating we were going to use the NATO phonetic alphabet from here on out because, good lord, the words the Dutch use to describe letters were not helpful to me. Amusing. But not helpful :)
"No, it's G for Chhhhrrrgharglecoughsplutter!"
Dutch people, I love ya, but your language is insane.
In my ancestors' defense, it sounds really cool when spoken.
To be fair, a lot of languages are insane. Like Norwegian for example. (we love ya too)
Estonian. Bless the people, but fuck the language. Good lord.
Speaking of language!
So my work decided to pass an 'English only' policy. All new employees will have to pass a written exam to prove they can read and write English. All company related business carried out on property must be done so in English. If you are on the clock, you need to be speaking English. If you stop and chat in the hall and you aren't on break, it needs to be in English. ("We weren't talking about company business." might be a good excuse, except the obvious response is, "Then it can wait for break.")
I guess some people got huffy about hearing Portuguese spoken in the halls around them, or hearing Indian spoken at the lunchroom tables, or Armenian in the bathroom. This doesn't affect many people in our offices, of course. I'd say that an overwhelming majority of us are English as a first language. It's the people on our production floor who are Armenian, Chinese, Portuguese and who are used to best communicating with one another in their home language.
I get the point and apparently as long as you are very, very specific in how you handle it, this isn't illegal in any way (and our HR guy is a lawyer, so I imagine he triple-checked) but man, this whole thing feels distasteful.
My first guess is that someone felt that others were joking or talking about them and bitched about it. For it to escalate to a matter of policy seems a little weird. This is also the kind of thing that if it were to escape into the Twittersphere I could see generating some outrage and maybe making management back down on it.
I can understand having a language requirement, you do want all your employees capable of communicating with each other, but that sounds a little draconian. Requiring that people be able to speak English and forcing them to do so when on company time are quite different.
I think there's a certain type of American who assumes that anyone talking in a different language must be talking about them insultingly. You see, English is the only language that isn't comprised entirely of insults.
On the other hand, as Americans who speak only English, we should be constantly insulted in other languages.
I just had to write both "majick" and "Eco-wisdom" in the same paragraph for a web design client. I'm either going to kill them or myself (by drinking).
My niece is 23. She wants a blu-ray player for Christmas.
She doesn't own or have access to an HD TV.
Ouch, is she just technologically inept? You sure she isn't dating a guy who has a nice big--wait for it-- HD TV.
Nope. It's one of two things-- possibly someone gave her a blu-ray as a gift (probably someone who had no idea it was different than a DVD) and when it didn't work on her DVD player she decided she needed a blu-ray.
Or she's heard somewhere that blu-rays are better than DVDs, so she wants one.
If this is the same condescending t-shirt niece that you've posted about before you should definitely go all P-P-P-PowerBook on her "blu-ray player" gift.
You should buy her a Betamax.
Well obviously the HD TV is a required accessory implied in the request for the blue-ray player. Like batteries. You don't want to be the guy that gives a gift without batteries do you? Same deal here.
People who call a complete e-commerce environment such as Magento a shopping cart.
People who call shopping carts something ridiculous. Like e-commerce environment.
...is distasteful. Like, not-very-crypto-bigoted-and-probably-by-implication-racist distasteful.
That was my reaction too. A "let's conduct company business in English by preference, please" guideline seems entirely reasonable. "You will never speak any language but English when you're on company time, worker" well more than crosses the line for me.
Same niece. Also, she went out and bought a used Mac for herself, so I am totally off the hook as far as tech support is concerned.
She's been asking her mother to get wifi at home (she lives with her mother). They only have a land line, no cable, so my sister asked me if she could get wifi through Verizon. I told her that she could. Apparently when she calls Verizon on her cell they put her through to cell-phone sales and those people can only fiddle with her cell phone account. They tell her to call back on her land line to get changes to that account. But she's always at work when the Verizon sales office is open, so she can't call them from the land line.
My sister has told my niece that they can't get wifi because Verizon won't sell it to them.
I tried to look up her address and account online, and I got to the "Is internet available at your address?" I put the address and phone number in, it churned for awhile and told me to call customer service for additional help.
Where my parents come from, they're buggies.
When my grandfather came over to America he spoke English, dammit! Sure his accent was pretty bad and he was kind of hard to understand sometimes, but it was 100% English all the time!
OK, yes, he was from Scotland, what's your point?
That means either they are too far for dsl, out of range for decent cell tower internet, or in an area where the land line may actually be owned by someone else and they are getting their service through verizon anyway.
Do they have cable tv..
It's kind of scary that someone that young is so technologically inept. Maybe they need to add that as part of basic studies in high school, in addition to the home ec, keyboarding (touch typing), etc.
My wife is similar, not as bad, but she just has really weird ideas of how she thinks a computer works
They don't have cable.
They're in the city of Easton, PA. My parents are in a suburb of the same city and have gone through RCN, Service Electric, and Dish. A quick google shows that Time Warner and Comcast are also available.
Maybe Verizon isn't available? Who would've thunk?
FWIW, we don't have "available service" for Charter, even though our landlady (who is in the same building--we're in a multi-family house) does. The website tells us we can't get service, even though we could if Charter was actually competent.
It may be a matter of "we just haven't run a cable to that building/unit yet."
Dear nice young tech support woman at hosting company: "Drupal" does not rhyme with RuPaul.
Or does it?
So my 17yr old son sent me a list of t-shirts that he wanted for x-mas and several of them were knock-offs of Calvin and Hobbes. I'm not even going to do them the favor of linking to it, but they called it "Malvin and Cobbes".
I told my son I would never buy that as it a slam in the face to Bill Watterson and proceeded to tell him (and show him from a Q/A I found on the web) where Watterson never wanted to merchandise Calvin and Hobbes.
He understood & removed them before sending it out to relatives.
Good kid. Too bad he can't get any genuine C&H stuff, because he has good taste.
Excel is king. Excel is god. All bow to our lord Excel!
Pivot tables? Now you're talking sexy talk.
Websites (such as investment managers) that have "shopping carts" in which the only items one can order are things like free prospectuses.
This is why I got out of corporate finance and back into money management. Corporate finance people (who are really no more than a glorified A/P department despite their lofty titles) are remarkable luddites for whom the catch-phrase "work smarter not harder" means upgrading to Excel 2007 before doing all your manual data entry. At my last job, I frequently said to groups of executives "if only we had automated computing machines to handle this work" in a non-humorous tone. The job description when I started included MBA/other advanced degrees, now that I've left they're reposted it as "bachelor's degree would be beneficial" because it's that fucking mind numbing, pointless, and base. Job security through intentional intransigence. Frankly I have tons more respect now for accountants than I do corporate financial people, in general.
Separate names with a comma.