TweetFollow Us on Twitter

September 93 - VIEW FROM THE LEDGE

VIEW FROM THE LEDGE

TAO JONES

[IMAGE 115-116_View_From_Ledge_r1.GIF]

The brain trust that makes up the heart, soul, and spleen ofdevelop recently got together to have a few beers, pat each other on the back in a team-building-while-not-being-too-aggressive way, and just generally -- as Albert Einstein once said -- "figure it all out."

Two interesting things came out of the meeting. First, it's very difficult to pat each other on the back in a team-building-while-not-being-too-aggressive way after you've had a couple of beers; and second,develop has a serious flaw. A flaw as wide, as gaping, and as socially repugnant as the space between Alfred E. Neuman's teeth.

As by now I'm sure you've discovered,develop is thebest source for "how to" articles on Apple technology. It's the literary equivalent of an overprotective older brother in a strange neighborhood. Yet all those back issues ofdevelop , combined with that big stack of CDs you save but never use, are doing nothing to help you survive in the day-to-day workplace. You may be able to write C++ in your sleep, but it's not going to do you any good if you don't know socially important things like who your company's CEO is or the finer points of water cooler etiquette. The raw philanthropic nature of this journal, combined with the necessity to fill a couple of extra pages, compels us to offer some useful office survival tips along with the gripping technical articlesdevelop has always delivered.

From this point forward for eternity (or until I'm fired, or until the hate mail reaches unbearable levels), I'll be your tour guide through the political jungle of the modern office. Like any good companion, I'll be pointing out the nasty baboons from the safety of our digital van, helping you step around the virtual guano while we roam the electronic terra firma, bellowing at you when you try to feed your little sister to the lions, and pretending to know what I'm talking about when I don't have a clue.

To offer the ultimate in customer service, and to provide snappy repartee, I'll be answering questions sent in by inquisitive readers and hand-picked by our crack staff. Rest assured your questions will be held in the utmost confidence, unless they have good blackmail potential. Everyone "fortunate" enough to have their questions printed will receive an incredibly cheap, yet heartwarmingly collectible, gift. Interestingly enough, questions arrived even before this column was announced. Leaks are everywhere, I guess.

Dear Tao,

As a product manager at a major U.S. software company, I often find myself losing in negotiations with my colleagues for our company's internal resources. I always go into meetings prepared and well rehearsed, and I always come out with less than I'd hoped for.

The situation is growing desperate. I have yet to be promoted, and I'm afraid I'll need to call in the loans I've made to my children so I can pay off my BMW.

Please help,

Distressed in Denver

Dear Distressed,

You say you're a product manager yet you got your point across in fewer than ten pages. My guess is you're being too direct with people in the workplace. A rule of thumb: When dealing with people in the workplace, never be direct.

There are several disadvantages to saying what's on your mind. One is that people will know what you're thinking. If you're dealing with someone who isn't direct, they'll automatically have an edge on you; they'll know what you know, but not vice versa. If you're dealing with someone who is truly malevolent -- the kind of person who bites the heads off marshmallow bunnies before eating the rest, or worse, someone who wears suspenders -- your directness can be very detrimental to what you're trying to accomplish.

As you've already learned, being direct can be especially harmful when dealing with management. Let's say you have some idea that you present honestly and forthrightly to your boss. When your boss responds with, "It basically seems like a good idea; let's see if we can work something out," what this really means is you're heading straight into a nightmare commonly referred to as "negotiation." This is bad news in a big way, because Boss School has taught your manager to (1) verbally whittle your idea into a headless monstrosity doomed for failure, and then (2) either take credit for your superhuman struggles in making the plan succeed or, more likely, crucify you mercilessly for failure.

Just like everything else in the '90s, the answer to your problem lies in a combination of inner awareness, macrobiotic diets, shaky mutual funds, and self-help. Not being direct will seem unnatural at first, so I give you this as your homework: Put a marble on a table. Study it closely until you really begin to understand what that marble is all about. Then, for the next half hour, describe the marble without using the words "round" or "sphere." Once you think you've got it, ask some friends in and describe the marble to them. If they have no idea what you're talking about, you'll know that you're well on your way to honing one of the most important of your office survival skills.

As for calling in those loans from your children: Mom, Itold you that I'd pay you back when I got a chance.

Dear Tao,

I have an employee who is perpetually late and always uses the excuse "my dog got loose." I've always been a bit suspicious, and upon checking I discovered that he doesn't even own a dog! What should I do?

Sign me,

Flea-Bitten

Dear Flea,

As a manager you're probably already aware that chronic lateness is usually only a symptom of some bigger underlying problem. Situations like this are sensitive, extremely volatile, and prone to disaster if not handled by properly trained professionals.

First, you should make a detailed accountin writing of all the incidents as they happen. Then call both the local animal shelter and the police department, stating that you believe one of your employees is running an illegal dog-racing operation. Don't forget to mention that you think it's likely your underling will "do something" (make sure to use that exact phrase) with the dogs if he finds out that the authorities are after him. As you watch events unfold, it may seem like a painful and arduous process. But believe me, once it's all over, your employee will be so choked with emotion that he won't be able to find the words to thank you.

RECOMMENDED READING AND LISTENING

  • Gojiro by Mark Jacobson. The auto biography of everyone's favorite Japanese monster.
  • Cool Tricks by John Javna. It's high time you learned how to tie balloon animals, isn't it?
  • Dead Man's Party by Oingo Boingo. Play it loud, and when your boss comes in, say "It's symbolic."

TAO JONES is the pen name of an Apple employee so afraid of speaking directly that he can't even get up the nerve to introduce himself here.*

Tao Index: In the computing industry, people who refer to themselves as "guru" or "wizard" usually aren't. *

Tao would like to thank Sarcasmo for rewriting most of this column without trying to claim authorship, Cindy Jasper and Caroline Rose for their unnerving faith, and Mr. and Mrs. Jones for his existence. *

Tao needs questions to keep from dropping into a nasty blue funk. Please send them to AppleLink DEVELOP. *

 
AAPL
$96.13
Apple Inc.
+0.53
MSFT
$42.86
Microsoft Corpora
-0.30
GOOG
$566.07
Google Inc.
-5.53

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Data Rescue 3.2.4 - Recover lost data on...
Data Rescue is a robust and reliable hard-drive recovery solution for your Mac. Recover lost or deleted files, mount corrupted drives, and more -- Data Rescue offers complete relief from crippling... Read more
Adobe Lightroom 5.6 - Import, develop, a...
Adobe Lightroom software helps you bring out the best in your photographs, whether you're perfecting one image, searching for ten, processing hundreds, or organizing thousands. Create incredible... Read more
OneNote 15.2 - Free digital notebook fro...
OneNote is your very own digital notebook. With OneNote, you can capture that flash of genius, that moment of inspiration, or that list of errands that’s too important to forget. Whether you’re at... Read more
iStat Menus 4.22 - Monitor your system r...
iStat Menus lets you monitor your system right from the menubar. Included are 8 menu extras that let you monitor every aspect of your system. Some features: CPU -- Monitor cpu usage. 7 display... Read more
Ember 1.8 - Versatile digital scrapbook....
Ember (formerly LittleSnapper) is your digital scrapbook of things that inspire you: websites, photos, apps or other things. Just drag in images that you want to keep, organize them into relevant... Read more
OmniPlan 2.3.6 - Robust project manageme...
With OmniPlan, you can create logical, manageable project plans with Gantt charts, schedules, summaries, milestones, and critical paths. Break down the tasks needed to make your project a success,... Read more
Command-C 1.1.1 - Clipboard sharing tool...
Command-C is a revolutionary app which makes easy to share your clipboard between iOS and OS X using your local WiFi network, even if the app is not currently opened. Copy anything (text, pictures,... Read more
Knock 1.1.7 - Unlock your Mac by knockin...
Knock is a faster, safer way to sign in. You keep your iPhone with you all the time. Now you can use it as a password. You never have to open the app -- just knock on your phone twice, even when it's... Read more
Mellel 3.3.6 - Powerful word processor w...
Mellel is the leading word processor for OS X and has been widely considered the industry standard since its inception. Mellel focuses on writers and scholars for technical writing and multilingual... Read more
LibreOffice 4.3.0.4 - Free Open Source o...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Bio Inc. is $0.99 for the Weekend, Recei...
Bio Inc. is $0.99 for the Weekend, Receives Small Update Posted by Ellis Spice on August 1st, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Happy 7th Birthday Readdle! Thank You fo...
Happy 7th Birthday Readdle! | Read more »
Sharknado: The Video Game Review
Sharknado: The Video Game Review By Lee Hamlet on August 1st, 2014 Our Rating: :: SHARKNA-DON'TUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Sharknado: The Video Game brings the craziness of the movies to iOS, though it quickly... | Read more »
Clima (Weather)
Clima 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Weather Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Clima show you all weather information, just beautifully simple. A series of color bars can tell you at a glance exactly current... | Read more »
Sticky Soccer Review
Sticky Soccer Review By Andrew Fisher on August 1st, 2014 Our Rating: :: STICK THIS GAMEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Sticky Soccer puts too much emphasis on the ‘sticky’ and not enough on the ‘Soccer’ or ‘Fun’.   | Read more »
Graphics-less Apocalyptic Adventure A Da...
Graphics-less Apocalyptic Adventure A Dark Room Goes Free for a Limited Time Posted by Rob Rich on August 1st, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Fraud Tycoon Review
Fraud Tycoon Review By Rob Thomas on August 1st, 2014 Our Rating: :: UNHEALTHY CREDITUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Fraud Tycoon is a half-baked, messy, promotional tie-in that does their sponsor no favors whatsoever... | Read more »
Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal W...
Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon is on Sale for the Weekend Posted by Rob Rich on August 1st, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Mister Beam Review
Mister Beam Review By Jordan Minor on August 1st, 2014 Our Rating: :: ILLUMINATINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Mister Beam’s puzzles are great. But its platforming? Not so much.   | Read more »
Hook Some More Fun With MapHook’s New Up...
Hook Some More Fun With MapHook’s New Update Posted by Jessica Fisher on August 1st, 2014 [ permalink ] iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

13-inch MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSR...
B&H Photo has the new 2014 13″ MacBook Airs on sale $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. They also include free copies of Parallels Desktop and LoJack for... Read more
16GB iPad Air on sale for $399, save $100
Best Buy is offering the 16GB WiFi iPad Air for $399.99 on their online store for a limited time. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Choose free shipping or free store pickup (if available). Price is for... Read more
All Over For Tablets Or Just A Maturing, Evol...
CNN’s David Goldman weighs in on tablet sector doom and gloom, asking rhetorically: “Is this the beginning of the end for the tablet?” Answering that, he contends that hysteria and panic are... Read more
Letterspace 1.0.1 – New Free iOS Text Editor...
Bangkok, Thailand based independent developer Sittipon Simasanti has released Letterspace, a new text editor for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. Letterspace is a note taking app with an... Read more
Save up to $130 on an iPad mini with Apple re...
The Apple Store has Certified Refurbished 2nd generation iPad minis with Retina Displays available for up to $130 off the cost of new models, starting at $339. Apple’s one-year warranty is included... Read more
iPad Cannibalization Threat “Overblown”
Seeking Alpha’s Kevin Greenhalgh observes that while many commentators think Apple’s forthcoming 5.5-inch panel iPhone 6 will cannibalize iPad sales, in his estimation, these concerns are being... Read more
Primate Labs Releases July 2014 MacBook Pro P...
Primate Labs’ John Poole has posted Geekbench 3 results for most of the new MacBook Pro models that Apple released on Tuesday. Poole observes that overall performance improvements for the new MacBook... Read more
Apple Re-Releases Bugfixed MacBook Air EFI Fi...
Apple has posted a bugfixed version EFI Firmware Update 2.9 a for MacBook Air (Mid 2011) models. The update addresses an issue where systems may take longer to wake from sleep than expected, and... Read more
Save $50 on the 2.5GHz Mac mini, plus free sh...
B&H Photo has the 2.5GHz Mac mini on sale for $549.99 including free shipping. That’s $50 off MSRP, and B&H will also include a free copy of Parallels Desktop software. NY sales tax only. Read more
Save up to $140 on an iPad Air with Apple ref...
Apple is offering Certified Refurbished iPad Airs for up to $140 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. Stock tends to come and go with some of these... Read more

Jobs Board

Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** The Apple Store is a retail environment like no other - uniquely focused on delivering amazing customer experiences. As an Expert, you introduce people Read more
Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** At the Apple Store, you connect business professionals and entrepreneurs with the tools they need in order to put Apple solutions to work in their Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Sr. Product Leader, *Apple* Store Apps - Ap...
**Job Summary** Imagine what you could do here. At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring Read more
Sr Software Lead Engineer, *Apple* Online S...
Sr Software Lead Engineer, Apple Online Store Publishing Systems Keywords: Company: Apple Job Code: E3PCAK8MgYYkw Location (City or ZIP): Santa Clara Status: Full Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.