Thursday, February 28, 2008

How are you doing?

It is going to be a good day......

I just recently started to change what I answer when people ask me "How are you doing, Adam?". Most people don't want to hear how you are 'actually' doing, so you'll often times get the normal 'fine' or 'good'. Who likes that!? Not me, here are a few that I am going to start trying out:

"Living the dream!"
"If I was any better I could hardly stand it" (thanks Nick)
"Doing better than most"


I'll have to think of a few other doozys. Maybe after that, I can get SUPER creepy and start growing out my eyebrows and wear big gold chains.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

:O

A few years back, I read an article that looked at the traits of middle managers. This article found that the use of emoticons by middle managers and, to a lesser extent, senior managers was nearly non existent. :( (How could I resist that?) They argued that the use of emoticons implied a lack of professionalism that was required to make key business decisions.

Overall, I disagree with this assumption. I think that the numbers have been a bit glossed over and we may have another case of coming to the wrong conclusion. What I wonder is what was the age of the middle managers that they studied? One would assume that they were older than say… 30. Since, most middle managers generally need 5-10 years of experience prior to being elevated to such a position, they would have likely not experienced IM while also in High School. So, is the cause of no emoticons the middle manager’s status? Or, is it their age?

Don’t get me wrong, I do think that emoticons should not be sent to clients (with few exceptions) and should certainly not be in reports. However, when actually IMing, how will you realize that a person is kidding or when they think something is really funny? :-D

Monday, February 25, 2008

Control

I recently received Scott Adams’ 3rd book and have started to read it (review will be forthcoming). Due to my extremely nomadic nature, Scott’s books are great for me to read. They mostly consist of a few hundred of his 1-2 page Blog entries. The subject for these entries varies slightly, but in general they focus on his observations of the human condition.

A recent entry struck me as being so funny and true that it bears repeating:

A maintenance man was moving the thermostat today and I spoke with him about the Thermostat Wars that that had been in my comics. He said that there were 30 women in the office who could never get the temperature correct. The solution was to install 20 ‘dummy’ thermostats around the office and tell everyone that they controlled the area immediately around them. The maintenance man never had a single complaint ever again.

Pure. Genius. The moral of the story, per Scott Adams, is that people mostly complain due to the lack of preserved control. Mostly, I agree with this statement. Although, I will admit that I think that the extra X chromosome that the participants in the above had in common may have had something to do with it as well.

It has mostly been my experience that people don’t complain if they think that they can control their surroundings. Why would they? They would only be complaining about a choice that they already have made. I find it quite interesting that this does not hold true with President G W Bush. I mean, someone voted for him, yet everyone that I talk to complains about what he has done. Maybe it has to do with the fact that we are ‘stuck’ with him for four entire years. I wonder what would happen if we shortened the term to two years. Maybe then CNN would be more interesting to watch even though they play those freaking ‘head-on’ commercials incessantly.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Book Review: The Perfect Thing

The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness by Steve Levy is a witty look at how the iPod has infiltrated our culture. In full disclosure, I have to admit that I have never owned an iPod and readily make fun of the people who do.

In his book, Levy looks at the development, the various generations, and all of the other peripherals (iTunes, iPhone etc) of the iPod phenomenon. Due to his journalistic status, he was able to gain some relatively difficult interviews that increased the authenticity of his book. He interviewed Steve Jobs as well as a number of other developers and marketing executives to gain their take on the explosion of the iPod and the digital music ‘revolution’.

Most interestingly, Levy explored the way that the iPod has enjoyed an almost cult-like following – even more so than other apple products. He explained how the iPod, iTunes, Podcast, and other terms specific to Apple’s product have become ubiquitous in our vocabulary.
The thing that I loved most about his book was how funny it was. As an example of some of the humor that Levy interjects into his book, to explanation to the failure of Microsoft’s Zune, Levy says that Microsoft was able to “develop a product that was more difficult to use and had less features – two years later than the first iPod”. Love it!

Overall, I give this book 4 (out of 5) Shakespeare heads. It is definitely a good addition to your “to read” list – even for us iPod cynics out there.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Leaving the Firm

Edit: I just realized that it is probably worth stating that I don't have any plans to leave the firm for the next ~5 years. But more on that later.

I got an email this morning from one of my coworkers (and friend for that matter) in my local office saying that she is leaving the firm. I’ll have to admit that it is a little saddening that so many people that I know have been leaving. Unfortunately I think that it will only get worse as I stay longer and longer.

She left to focus more on her family. Which, I can totally understand. But it, of course, raises all sorts of questions in my head. When should I have children? How long do I want to stay at my current job? The answer to both is probably the same – or similar: Let’s hold off on making any rash decisions.

Either way, I wish my friend the best of luck. Lord only knows that she’ll need it – trading client sponsored dinners for baby wipes and applesauce.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

New Role on Project

I believe that the main reason why these posts are not actually making it to the website is because I moved into a new role at the current client that I am at. I was previously in charge of the central US. Now, however, I am responsible for the entire program. This places 10 reports under my command.

I will admit, at first it was a bit overwhelming. There were a number of new aspects of coordinating with clients that I was not accustomed to. I am responsible for validating time sheets, making sure that the firm is making the money that they need to, cutting invoices to contractors, and making any staffing changes. *whew* makes me tired just thinking about it. But, it is a great opportunity, I have a great team, and I like the Accenture executive that I report to. So, overall it is a win win.

This should now get me caught up on posts. I am going to get better on posting these to the website WHEN I write them instead of posting 3 or 4 at a time all at once.

Running Issues

It is official. I F’ed up my foot. I finally had to admit it because I was not able to finish the long run that I wanted to this weekend. I started out wanting to do 7 miles, but once I completed 4, my foot was throbbing so much that I had to stop and limp my way home. The most frustrating part of this is that I am about a month into my training with no weeks to spare. So, I am going to test the advice “don’t be a slave to your schedule”. I’m going to have to take off two weeks to see if it will heal itself. I certainly hope so because it is really hurting right now. It is actually the first injury that I have had that hurts while not running.

Original creation date: 1/8

New Years Resolutions

New years resolutions are always difficult for me to set. I am not sure why this is. I tossed around a lot of ideas in my head and I think that I am pretty settled on “working out” regularly and trying to floss more frequently.

For those of you that actually know me, you may be surprised that I would want to work out more. The training for marathons that always seems to be going on would probably be workout enough for most people. I however do not want to look like a skinny dork forever. I would much rather look like a skinny dork with calluses on my hands from weights.

Flossing? You can't floss TOO much right?

Original creation date: 1/4.

Catching up

Ok, so I have been really busy with a new role at work (along with the holidays etc) and therefore have not had a chance to post to this Blog. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been WRITING Blog entries. So, here are a few of the posts that I would have posted and the approximate dates that they would have gone out.