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
$102.50
Apple Inc.
+0.25
MSFT
$45.43
Microsoft Corpora
+0.55
GOOG
$571.60
Google Inc.
+2.40

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Path Finder 6.5.5 - Powerful, award-winn...
Path Finder is a file browser that combines the familiar Finder interface with the powerful utilities and innovative features. Just a small selection of the Path Finder 6 feature set: Dual pane... Read more
QuarkXPress 10.2.1 - Desktop publishing...
With QuarkXPress, you can communicate in all the ways you need to -- and always look professional -- in print and digital media, all in a single tool. Features include: Easy to Use -- QuarkXPress is... Read more
Skype 6.19.0.450 - Voice-over-internet p...
Skype allows you to talk to friends, family and co-workers across the Internet without the inconvenience of long distance telephone charges. Using peer-to-peer data transmission technology, Skype... Read more
VueScan 9.4.41 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
Cloud 3.0.0 - File sharing from your men...
Cloud is simple file sharing for the Mac. Drag a file from your Mac to the CloudApp icon in the menubar and we take care of the rest. A link to the file will automatically be copied to your clipboard... Read more
LibreOffice 4.3.1.2 - 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
SlingPlayer Plugin 3.3.20.505 - Browser...
SlingPlayer is the screen interface software that works hand-in-hand with the hardware inside the Slingbox to make your TV viewing experience just like that at home. It features an array of... Read more
Get Lyrical 3.8 - Auto-magically adds ly...
Get Lyrical auto-magically add lyrics to songs in iTunes. You can choose either a selection of tracks, or the current track. Or turn on "Active Tagging" to get lyrics for songs as you play them.... Read more
Viber 4.2.2 - Send messages and make cal...
Viber lets you send free messages and make free calls to other Viber users, on any device and network, in any country! Viber syncs your contacts, messages and call history with your mobile device,... Read more
Cocktail 7.6 - General maintenance and o...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Rhonna Designs Magic (Photography)
Rhonna Designs Magic 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Photography Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Want to sprinkle *magic* on your photos? With RD Magic, you can add colors, filters, light leaks, bokeh, edges,... | Read more »
This Week at 148Apps: August 25-29, 2014
Shiny Happy App Reviews   | Read more »
Qube Kingdom – Tips, Tricks, Strategies,...
Qube Kingdom is a tower defense game from DeNA. You rally your troops – magicians, archers, knights, barbarians, and others – and fight against an evil menace looking to dominate your kingdom of tiny squares. Planning a war isn’t easy, so here are a... | Read more »
Qube Kingdom Review
Qube Kingdom Review By Nadia Oxford on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: KIND OF A SQUARE KINGDOMUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Qube Kingdom has cute visuals, but it’s a pretty basic tower defense game at heart.   | Read more »
Fire in the Hole Review
Fire in the Hole Review By Rob Thomas on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: WALK THE PLANKUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Seafoam’s Fire in the Hole looks like a bright, 8-bit throwback, but there’s not enough booty to... | Read more »
Alien Creeps TD is Now Available Worldwi...
Alien Creeps TD is Now Available Worldwide Posted by Ellis Spice on August 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Dodo Master Review
Dodo Master Review By Jordan Minor on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: NEST EGGiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Dodo Master is tough but fair, and that’s what makes it a joy to play.   | Read more »
Motorsport Manager Review
Motorsport Manager Review By Lee Hamlet on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: MARVELOUS MANAGEMENTUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Despite its depth and sense of tactical freedom, Motorsport Manager is one of the most... | Read more »
Motorsport Manager – Beginner Tips, Tric...
The world of Motorsport management can be an unforgiving and merciless one, so to help with some of the stress that comes with running a successful race team, here are a few hints and tips to leave your opponents in the dust. | Read more »
CalPal Update Brings the App to 2.0, Add...
CalPal Update Brings the App to 2.0, Adds Lots of New Stuff Posted by Ellis Spice on August 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Are We Now In The Post-Post-PC Era?
A longtime and thoroughgoing laptop aficionado, I was more than a little dismayed by Steve Jobs’s declaration back in 2010 when he sprang the iPad on an unsuspecting world. that we’d entered a “post-... Read more
Apple now offering refurbished 21-inch 1.4GHz...
The Apple Store is now offering Apple Certified Refurbished 21″ 1.4GHz iMacs for $929 including free shipping plus Apple’s standard one-year warranty. Their price is $170 off the cost of new models,... Read more
Save $50 on the 2.5GHz Mac mini, on sale for...
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 $300 on an iMac with Apple refurbi...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs available for up to $300 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. These are the best prices on... Read more
The Rise of Phablets
Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group, a businesses and technology consulting firm focused solely on the financial services industry, has released an infographic depicting the convergence of... Read more
Bad Driver Database App Allows Good Drivers t...
Bad Driver Database 1.4 by Facile Group is a new iOS and Android app that lets users instantly input and see how many times a careless, reckless or just plain stupid driver has been added to the... Read more
Eddy – Cloud Music Player for iPhone/iPad Fre...
Ukraine based CapableBits announces the release of Eddy, its tiny, but smart and powerful cloud music player for iPhone and iPad that allows users to stream or download music directly from cloud... Read more
A&D Medical Launches Its WellnessConnecte...
For consumers and the healthcare providers and loved ones who care for them, A&D Medical, a leader in connected health and biometric measurement devices and services, has launched its... Read more
Anand Lal Shimpi Retires From AnandTech
Anand Lal Shimpi, whose AnandTech Website is famous for its meticulously detailed and thoroughgoing reviews and analysis, is packing it in. Lal Shimpi, who founded the tech site at age 14 in 1997,... Read more
2.5GHz Mac mini, Apple refurbished, in stock...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2.5GHz Mac minis available for $509, $90 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included, and shipping is free. Read more

Jobs Board

*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
*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
*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
*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
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.