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. *

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

How to become the ultimate robot warrior...
Chrono Strike is a delightfully immersive beat ‘em up with a sense of humor (any game with a good Sims reference gets points in my book). [Read more] | Read more »
Tips and tricks to get a higher score in...
Snow Roll is a devilish endless runner very much in the vein of Flappy Bird. It revels in its dastardly level of difficulty, and doesn’t really care how angry you get at it as it knows you’ll keep coming back for more. [Read more] | Read more »
How to win big in Slots Deluxe
Cheating while gambling is illegal and morally wrong, and in some parts of the world it leads to men with names like Vinnie "Six Knuckles" Manchenzo beating you to a pulp in a dark alley. [Read more] | Read more »
How to take over the world in Dictator 2
Running a country isn't easy - especially when you're a dictator who wants to take over the world and crush everyone in your path while you do it. [Read more] | Read more »
Tips and tricks to get a higher score in...
Tank.iois - you guessed it! - another multiplayer arena battler likeAgar.io and Slither.io. It does differentiate itself by putting you in a tiny tank though, so it's not exactly the same. To help you get that all-important high score, we've got a... | Read more »
How to unlock characters in One Tap Tenn...
As the title suggests, One Tap Tennis requires only a single tap to play its particular brand of tennis, and rewards you with a ton of unlockable characters if you perform well. Fortunately for you, we at 148Apps have got a few tips and tricks to... | Read more »
Grab it now: Game Craft’s Legend of War...
The real time strategy game is now available for you to sink your teeth into, through the App Store and Google Play. Combining elements of skill, strategy and empire building, Legend of War is a real gamers’ game. [Read more] | Read more »
Skateboard Party 3 ft. Greg Lutzka (Gam...
Skateboard Party 3 ft. Greg Lutzka 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Skateboard Party is back! This third edition of the popular sports franchise features professional skater... | Read more »
Cubious (Games)
Cubious 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Cubious – How smart are you? How high is your IQube? Solve the impossible puzzles to find out, and help a lost little cube find his... | Read more »
Goat Simulator Waste of Space (Games)
Goat Simulator Waste of Space 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: ** IMPORTANT - SUPPORTED DEVICESiPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPod Touch 5 or better.** | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

12-inch 1.2GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook avai...
Amazon has the new 12″ 1.2GHz/512GB Space Gray Retina MacBook (Apple model #MLH82LL/A) available for $1549 including free shipping. Their price is $50 off MSRP. B&H has the 12″ 1.2GHz/512GB Space... Read more
Apple refurbished Mac Pros available for up t...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac Pros available for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The following... Read more
Enterprise Workers Pick Technology Over Perks...
New Adobe study shows surprising attitudes about office jobs and where the future of work is heading. Adobe has released survey findings revealing that a surprising 70 percent of U.S. office workers... Read more
Memorial Day Weekend Sale: $50-$100 off 11-in...
B&H Photo has 13″ and 11″ MacBook Airs with 256GB SSDs on sale for $50-$100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 11″ 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air: $999 $100 off MSRP... Read more
Memorial Day Weekend Sales: Apple MacBook Pro...
B&H Photo has 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $210 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799 $200 off MSRP - 15″ 2.5GHz... Read more
Memorial Day Weekend Sales: Apple iMacs and M...
Take up to $150 off the price of a new iMac or Mac mini at the following Apple resellers this Memorial Day weekend: iMacs: B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP... Read more
Apple refurbished Retina MacBook Pros availab...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $380 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free... Read more
Apple refurbished 11-inch MacBook Airs availa...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 11″ MacBook Airs (the latest models), available for up to $170 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is... Read more
Goal Zero and OtterBox Partner to Expand iPh...
Goal Zero, specialists in portable power, have announced a partnership with OtterBox, brand smartphone case protection, to offer the Slide and Slide Plus Batteries as modules compatible with the new... Read more
15-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $210 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799 $200 off MSRP - 15″ 2.5GHz Retina... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Project Engineer - Smart Source Inc...
SmartSource is in need of an Apple Project Engineer for a 12 month contract opportunity in Pittsburg, PA. Role: Apple Project Engineer Location: Pittsburg, PA Read more
Senior *Apple* Engineer - Signature Technol...
One-year contract for an Apple consultant. The resource should be an Apple Certified Technical Coordinator or get the certification within 60 days of starting Read more
Senior *Apple* Engineer - Signature Technol...
One-year contract for an Apple consultant. The resource should be an Apple Certified Technical Coordinator or get the certification within 60 days of starting Read more
*Apple* Architect - AECOM (United States)
**Requisition/Vacancy No.** 132759BR **Position Title** Apple Architect **Job Category** Information Technology **Business Line** Government **Country** United Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - APPLE (United...
Job Summary As an Apple Solutions Consultant, you'll be the link between our future customers and our products. You'll showcase your entrepreneurial spirit as you Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.