Say my name, Say my name

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Dale Carnegie 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 sound 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 torturous is the person is speaking in front of a large crowd and is using a microphone.

How to enjoy your vacation from work

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Your inbox is flooded

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 timesheet 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.

Guide to Giving Praise to Portly People


Everyone is already tolerant of race, religion, ethnicity and gender. If you have an obese coworker or employee that is really good at their job, stay away from these accolades.

  • “Really stepped up to the plate”
  • “They are a big influence in my life”
  • “Always bites off more than they can chew”
  • “Brings a lot to the table”
  • “He left big shoes to fill”
  • “Well rounded person”
  • “That fat-a$$ son of a b!+c# will be missed”

Not saying these things will show you are tolerant and keep you out of the Human Resource Office and employed. Really, you are better off not complimenting anyone.

How to win at Conference Calls

No roll call!

Start with “Who’s on the call”, that way everyone can start talking over each other. You could also let everyone annouce themselves once they beep in even if they are five minutes late and someone is already talking.

Arrive Early

Condecend as people join with phrases like, “Nice for you to join us” or “We’ve been waiting so we can get started”. You know, sayings to make them feel bad

Don’t use the mute button

Yell at your other coworkers to keep it down. If you work from home yell at your family. But if you must use the mute button, use it as a stall tactic so you can think of something to say when you are called upon.

Have a snack

If some schedules a call during breakfast hours (8am to 9am) or really anytime after, have nice crunchy snack. Don’t forget to leave your mic off mute.

Arrive Late

Tell everyone you just got the meeting notice even though it’s been on the schedule for days. You could also blame it on another meeting or that you were “heads down” working on a tough problem. Be prepared for passive agressive statements

Make sure people can see your screen.

Don’t trust the techology, after you share your screen make sure you ask the important followup question of  “Can you see my screen”.

Question the Question

Ask a follow-up question anytime someone tries to call you out. Redirection is your ally. Alway blame your faults on an insufficient functional spec or someone not on the call.

How to use a public restroom

I’m so lonely

Whenever I’m on the road and see a travel center, they seem to tout the cleanliness of their restrooms. You will see a glowing red sign which reads “Clean Restrooms”.  As it turns out, it’s actually a notification that the restrooms are in need of care. It seems like everyone is following the same rules when using a public restroom.

  1. If there is no toilet paper use the paper towels, use extra as to clog the toilet.
  2. Don’t pick up any paper products from the floor, even if you dropped it. Gross
  3. Never flush the toilet, even if you have to pile on. Who knows how many people touched that handle before you. This will encourage the owners to upgrade to autoflush. What are we living in, medieval times?
  4. Don’t lift the seat, even with your shoes. If you have to B-1 Bomb it, make sure you lay a few paper towels in the water as a landing pad.
  5. Don’t bother washing your hands, the door handle will just defile them
  6. It’s not your job to wipe down the sink, what are doing near the sink anyway?
  7. If you must wash your hands and they don’t have a Dyson Airblade, now is a good time to practice free throws into rubbish recepticle. Don’t forget rule #2.

One day, I hope to live a world where everything is automated.