Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Sad Effects of Hunger When Writing.

Have you ever been so hungry that you could feel your backbone through your belly button? Now the only reason I have my finger shoved into my belly button is to poke my grumbling stomach into quiet submission. I had to skip lunch and dinner to meet the rewarding demands of work. So here I am - 13 hours after breakfast - jones-ing for some food.

"Jones-ing for food." I wondering if cannibals ever say that or, "I'm jones-ing for some Joneses. Do we have any?" "No, they got away." "What?! How many times have I told you that we have to keep up with the Joneses."

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Slap To the Face...Book

I didn't mean to cause any trouble last week. But I could only get in touch with my friend was through her Facebook page. I only wanted to post my condolences and comfort her after she had been fired that day by our employer.

If she hadn't taken so much time to care for her daughter who is dying of lupus, my friend would still have her job. She did put in extra unpaid overtime hours whenever she could. But it didn't matter. In fact, with our company being run as it is, do such efforts really matter?

I asked this because, earlier that day, I had been called into an ominous meeting. Apparently, our customers don't want what we have to offer. It's up to us engineers to rush development of more products - similar to what the customers aren't buying now. The top VP told we weren't putting in enough 12 and 14 hour days. And if we didn't start giving the company more unpaid hours, there would be "some serious bloodletting come January".

So that night, I commiserated with my unemployed friend on Facebook. I told her that a lot of us would probably be joining her in the unemployment lines soon.

A few days later, our HR person discovered my posting. Outraged by my legitimate remark, she sent a screenshot of it to the company president. The next day, one of the VPs paid me a visit. He spoke of an upset company president who would probably be calling me into his office in a matter of days.

I expressed my sincerest regret for publishing what I thought was an sympathizing observation; I immediately offered to delete the offending comment. That action seems to have helped since I haven't been called to the principle's office yet.

So this week, as I hear more reports that the company is actually making money – just not enough money to satisfy the bankers and investors - I repeatedly bang my head on the concrete floor of my work space until the urge to laugh hysterically passes. Of course, I put on my OSHA-approved head gear because our health insurance won't pay for self-inflicted brain damage any other way.

Maybe if my brains suffer enough traumatic stress, I won't care about the good people that I work with. Maybe I'm just a few blows-to-the-head away from becoming upper management material. Nah. I'm still stuck with the annoying condition called a moral conscious. And I don't think employees are a necessary evil when running a business.

How To Program Politically Correct Software.

At work, the policy on political correctness has gotten much tougher. I have to be very careful what I write in my programs now.

Before, I could set a button on the screen as "Disabled and Grayed Out". Now, I have to show it as "Physically Challenged and No Longer A Member of AARP".

Friday, October 12, 2012

2012 Nobel Peace Prize.

Congratulations to the European Union for winning the Nobel Peace Prize. A special thanks to Germany for behaving all these years.

So, 500 million people get to split 1.2 million euros ... before taxes. Hmmm. Just a thought but have you all considered spending it in wild abandonment while visiting Greece? I can't promise that it will make a difference.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Traveling Across America

This week, my sister is traveling with her husband as he pilots his 18-wheeler across the country. After reading her emails, I want to quit my job and travel to all those places that aren't 'here'.

I don't know if I would take anyone along. While it may be easy to find a travel companion, it's got to be much, much harder to get rid of one - sort of like a disastrous marriage. What would be the proper etiquette for traveling divorce? Maybe fling open your companion's door while driving fast, then give them a good shove while shouting, "Tuck and roll, Baby!"

Yes, I know it's not the best of ideas to travel alone. Although, most of the time, I drive by myself. It's not bad. If my singing gets too annoying, I tell myself to shut up. If I feel lonely, I just hug the road.

Still, given my car's condition, perhaps I should have a mechanic follow me in his auto parts truck. I wonder how exciting it would be getting towed across America?

Sieving Your Internet Experience

What would compel you to click on a link such as Affordable sieves, of course, as opposed to unaffordable sieves - like the kind we get to vote for next month.

Regardless, aside from those rare individuals under a strain to complete an important filtration project, what would make you forego adorable cat videos for links outside of your comfort zone?

According to the book "Trust Me, I'm Lying", media manipulators appeal to our overwhelming sense of curiosity by using the old standbys: fear, uncertainty, and doubt. You probably know the difficulty in answering "Where were you last night?". Depending upon where you were - or weren't – you may find yourself trying to address all three concerns.

The idea is that, when you strongly relate to certain phrases, you find it almost impossible to ignore them. For those of us with health concerns, we would click on the enticing but completely bogus link of "Can Metal Sieves Cure Cancer?" History buffs would go crazy over a book link to "The Pope's Gold and The Gold Rush: Holy Mass versus Holie Mesh". For those of us faithful to the Church of Oprah and Romance, we couldn't stop ourselves from following "How Sieves Saved My Marriage". And, for entrepreneurs, how can you resist "How to be Siftless for Fun and Profit"?

I can think of many more inept phrases that you could screen. But the point is, with the right words, you can filter your audience into clicking on almost any phrase. As long as you don't strain yourself.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Let Us Reflect On The Shininess of Our Heads.

Would you shave your head? Given the length of their mustaches, most of those women would obviously say no. So on to the men.

"Guys with shaved heads are also seen as taller, stronger and having greater potential as leaders, researcher Albert Mannes has found." This according to a study done by a University of Pennsylvania lecturer, who just happens to be ... wait for it ... a balding man.

Mr. Mannes arrived at his shiny findings after showing pictures of bald guys to 60 people. Amazing. Out of 7 billion people, his highly-subjective study only needed 60 to reach a conclusion.

Also having no bearing on the research were the subjects in the photos: guys with looks that melt the underwear of women everywhere. So if you happen to see Marilyn Manson sporting a shiny chrome-dome, you would find him as equally rugged as, say, Bruce Willis.

Perhaps, there is hope for me then. I could shave my head and advertise "This space for rent. Ask me how." With the right ad, I could get lots of pretty women to look at me and smile.

Nah, the truth is some guys look great bald. My good friend's clean-shaven head gives him the sophisticated look of Damon Wayans. Ever time we go out for lunch, women always come up to him and flirt.

That wouldn't happen with me. I'd shave my head only to have women approach me with, "Oh, I'm sorry. Chemo? I'll keep you in my prayers."

Maybe I'll just grow a mustache.