TweetFollow Us on Twitter

December 93 - VIEW FROM THE LEDGE

VIEW FROM THE LEDGE

TAO JONES

[IMAGE 122-123_View_From_Ledge_1.GIF]

Dear Tao,

I'm nearing the end of my rope and have become desperate enough that I figure even a letter to you couldn't hurt. Over the last couple of years I've found myself working longer and longer hours. I pointed this out to my boss and she said that there's no way the company could afford to hire more people, and that I was going to have to learn how to "work smarter." Just what the heck is that supposed to mean? P.O.

Dear P.,

In order to work smarter you have to do two things: first figure out who is smarter than you, and then copy their actions and claim them as your own. This is a problem that's easily solved if you look at history.

Unless your name is Stephen Hawking, it's pretty safe to say that Albert Einstein was smarter than you. Let's see how he handled a similar situation.

Early in his career Mr. Einstein was working in a patent office, but he was having trouble keeping up with the ever increasing workload. Upon asking his boss for advice, he too was told to "work smarter." He was also advised that he'd be a little more presentable around the office if he wore a hairnet while he slept.

Very disturbed, he went home and contemplated these words. The story is told that after several hours of soul searching and a couple of Fuzzy Navels he was able to get in touch with his Inner Physicist Self: he quit his job, came up with the General Theory of Relativity, and as a result started a career as a professional smart guy.

Taking the cue from Al, I'd say the answer's simple: quit your job and never go back to anything even remotely related to it. True, it's not likely that you'll win the Nobel Prize for physics, but I'm certain that at the very least you'll find it much easier to balance your checkbook (a task that is quite a bit simpler when you don't have to worry about income).

As for wearing the hairnet, I'd say that's optional. On the off-chance youdobecome famous, you won't look nearly as cool when they make a poster of you if your hair is neat and tidy -- something always worth considering in any situation.

Dear Tao,I keep a pet hamster at work, and the guy across the hall has a rat. We're thinking of getting one of those cages that link together so that our pets can visit each other, but before we do I have a question: would it be possible for them to have babies? I think it'd be really cool and break up the monotony of the day.

Sign me,

Dr. Doverylittle

Dear Doctor,

It sounds like you may have not been paying very close attention to your biology classes for, say, your last ten years of school. The short answer is no, you can't cross-breed rats and hamsters. However, you'll get a brief but downright eye-opening demonstration of what food chains are all about if you decide to take the leap and give your pets a formal social introduction.

Speaking of rodents, it's worth noting that they can be of tremendous help in your company's advertising efforts. Let's say you have a list of possible slogans to use but are unsure which is best. Simply tape all the slogans you're considering on the side of your rodent tank and then watch carefully. The one your little beast walks toward will be the natural winner. Remember, advertising works on the most primitive portions of the brain, so a rat is as good as an ad exec for the task, and you get the added benefit of Purina Rat Chow being quite a bit cheaper than the cost of a two- martini lunch.

Can't even come up with a slogan? No problem. You can use single words just as easily and then string them together. It might take a few trials until you get something that makes sense, but keep at it. I tried this using random words cut out of the newspaper and came up with the ultra-highbrow "Price last, anybody's near Russia." It's got everything you need: concern for the customerandfaux concern for other countries. Even today I'll bet you could sell a few Lisas using that heady doublespeak.

Dear Tao,

I had a conversation with my boss the other day in which he accused me of "gross incompetence" merely because I was personally responsible for the failure of our company's last three products. I could use your advice on how to proceed.

Spud Boy

Dear Spud,

If what you said is true, your boss is right: you are incompetent. Don't let that bother you; competency is only one of several factors related to your job, and in some ways your future has never looked brighter. However, you should take action if you're interested in staying where you are.

The key here is to slyly change your company's employment guidelines. In the 1990s nearly all businesses of any size have a bylaw that says something like, "Sproutbud Software has a policy of equal opportunity hiring and we will not discriminate with regard to an employee's ethnic origin, religious beliefs, age, sex, sexual preference, marital status, or even if they wear brown shoes with a blue suit."

Obviously the phrase that you want added is ". . . will not discriminate with regard to ability," but that's going to be hard to get on the first pass. What you'll need to do is get very militant about something that seems relatively trivial. The next time you have a large meeting, hint that you have reason to believe that your company discriminates against people who like sherbet. Once they deny it (as they undoubtedly will), say "OK, maybe you're right, but I won't be comfortable until our employment guidelines are changed to reflect this." Next, insist there is discrimination against people who like the color magenta; then, those with a penchant for keeping more than a dollar's worth of change in their pockets. Eventually people will get so sick of you that they'll just say "Yeah, whatever! Just fill out whatever you like. Anything to get you to shut up!"

Be careful. Once you have this power you'll feel like flaunting it by saying something like ". . . will not discriminate against people whose last names end in y." It sounds catchy, but it's a sure tip-off to your plans.

RECOMMENDED READING AND LISTENING

  • The Airline Passenger's Guerrilla Handbook by George Albert Brown. Get the lowest airfares and learn how to open that bag of peanuts.
  • Shakespeare's Insults compiled by Wayne F. Hill and Cynthia J. Ottchen. Gives you the weapons you need in case you're ever called a "flinty Tartar."
  • John Lee Hooker, The Ultimate Collection, Rhino Records. It's time to get blue, irrespective of your day-to- day color.

TAO JONES, in a high school English class assignment years ago, was asked to describe his ultimate fantasy. Although the exact details are now forgotten, it had something to do with huge castles, large bicycle tracks, and "The Gong Show." When he discovered that the rest of the class had described things like "a long weekend with Farrah Fawcett," he immediately started working on an all-encompassing philosophy to explain the rest of humanity. It's taken years to perfect, and today this philosophy is commonly referred to as his "bad attitude." *Tao Index: Do not trust those who have their jeans pressed. *

Used chewing gum? Place it here.*

Tao needs questions or he may be forced to do his real day job. Please send your queries regarding the social and political aspects of office survival to AppleLink DEVELOP. If your question is published, he'll reward you with an incredibly cheap, yet heartwarmingly collectible, gift. *

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

ExpanDrive 5.4.6 - $49.99
ExpanDrive builds cloud storage in every application, acts just like a USB drive plugged into your Mac. With ExpanDrive, you can securely access any remote file server directly from the Finder or... Read more
Apple Pages 6.1.1 - Apple's word pr...
Apple Pages is a powerful word processor that gives you everything you need to create documents that look beautiful. And read beautifully. It lets you work seamlessly between Mac and iOS devices, and... Read more
Apple Numbers 4.1.1 - Apple's sprea...
With Apple Numbers, sophisticated spreadsheets are just the start. The whole sheet is your canvas. Just add dramatic interactive charts, tables, and images that paint a revealing picture of your data... Read more
Apple Keynote 7.1.1 - Apple's prese...
Easily create gorgeous presentations with the all-new Keynote, featuring powerful yet easy-to-use tools and dazzling effects that will make you a very hard act to follow. The Theme Chooser lets you... Read more
Espresso 5 - Powerful HTML, XML, CSS, an...
Espresso is back. For people who make delightful, innovative, and fast websites -- in an app to match. Espresso helps you write, code, design, build, and publish with flair and efficiency.... Read more
Vitamin-R 2.47 - Personal productivity t...
Vitamin-R creates the optimal conditions for your brain to work at its best by structuring your work into short bursts of distraction-free, highly focused activity alternating with opportunities for... Read more
Dash 4.0.3 - Instant search and offline...
Dash is an API documentation browser and code snippet manager. Dash helps you store snippets of code, as well as instantly search and browse documentation for almost any API you might use (for a full... Read more
Posterino 3.3.6 - Create posters, collag...
Posterino offers enhanced customization and flexibility including a variety of new, stylish templates featuring grids of identical or odd-sized image boxes. You can customize the size and shape of... Read more
Together 3.8.3 - Store and organize all...
Together helps you organize your Mac, giving you the ability to store, edit and preview your files in a single clean, uncluttered interface. Features Smart storage. With simple drag-and-drop... Read more
iClock Pro 3.4.9 - Customize your menuba...
iClock Pro is a menu bar replacement clock for Apple's default clock. iClock Pro is an update, total rewrite and improvement to the popular iClock. Have the day, date and time in different fonts and... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Minimalist puzzle game, Cuts, free on iO...
If you're looking for a gorgeous puzzle experience on iOS devices, developer Gamebra.in's aesthetically interesting puzzler, Cuts, is discounted to free on the iOS App Store right now. [Read more] | Read more »
Anime tactical RPG, War of Crown, comes...
If you're looking for another tactical RPG fix to go alongside your Fire Emblem Heroes campaigns check out Gamevil's newest, anime-inspired tactics RPG, War of Crown, which comes out tomorrow. [Read more] | Read more »
Fantasy MMORPG MU Origin adds new modes,...
MU Origin, Webzen’s highly popular fantasy MMORPG is getting ready to shake things up for the second time this year, as a new update makes its way to the Google Play and App Store from today. Introducing new systems, modes, and events, the land of... | Read more »
Blizzard is looking to hire a mobile dev...
A new thread on the popular video game rumor forum, NeoGAF, uncovered an interesting job listing over at Blizzard Entertainment. It appears the studio behindStarCraft, World of WarCraft, Hearthstone,andOverwatch is looking to bring on a new hire... | Read more »
Legend of Zelda meets Cooking Mama in ne...
Dungeon Chef is what happens when you mix the RPG elements (and style) of a Legend of Zelda game, with cooking elements. Although, now that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild also has cookingelements, so maybe the gameplay is not so novel.... | Read more »
ChordFlow (Music)
ChordFlow 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: ChordFlow is a chord sequencer with a unique 4-track polyphonic arpeggiator, extensive chord library, MIDI out and Ableton Link... | Read more »
The Walking Dead: A New Frontier is out...
The newest season of Telltale Games'The Walking Dead is well underway. After the release of the third episode, "Above the Law" about a month ago, episode four, "Thicker Than Water" is hot and ready for more zombies and gut-wrenching emotional... | Read more »
Best games we played this week
Another week, another new wave of mobile games do dive into. We've dug through the list of apps that came out this week to tell you which apps are worth your sweet time. And while there weren't too many games this week, there were some big ones.... | Read more »
Vignettes (Games)
Vignettes 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: Vignettes is a casual but unique exploration game without text or characters, where objects shapeshift as you spin them around... | Read more »
Get Me Outta Here is an 80s retro shoote...
Are you ready to fight some aliens? Because Crescent Moon Games has released the retro shooter Get Me Outta Here on iOS devices today. [Read more] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

HyperX Ships Pulsefire FPS Gaming Mouse, Winn...
Your reporter is a longtime fan of gaming mice for general purpose coomnputing use, finding them typically superior in comfort and performance. HyperX, a division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc... Read more
Penske Truck Leasing Unveils “Penske Fleet” M...
Penske Truck Leasing has introduced a free mobile app called “Penske Fleet” to benefit its full-service truck leasing and contract maintenance customers. The mobile app enables Penske’s customers to... Read more
DEVONthink To Go 2.1.3 For iOS Adds New Declu...
DEVONtechnologies has updated DEVONthink To Go, its iOS companion to DEVONthink for Mac. Enhancements and bug fixes in Version 2.1.3 include DEVONtechnologies’ new decluttering service for clipping... Read more
Use Apple’s Education discount to save up to...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad using Apple’s Education Store and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free: -... Read more
Apple refurbished Apple Watches available sta...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished Series 1 and Series 2 Apple Watches for 14-16% off MSRP, starting at $229. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each watch. Shipping is free: Series... Read more
15-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros, Apple refurbi...
Apple is offering Certified Refurbished 2016 15″ Touch Bar MacBook Pros for $360 to $420 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 15″ 2.6GHz... Read more
13-inch MacBook Airs on sale for up to $150 o...
Overstock.com has 13″ MacBook Airs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP including free shipping: - 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (sku MMGF2LL/A): $869.99 $130 off MSRP - 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air (sku... Read more
15-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for $1...
B&H Photo has the new 2016 15″ Apple Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar... Read more
15-inch 2.7GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale...
Amazon has 2016 15″ 2.7GHz Apple Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for $150-$200 off MSRP. Shipping is free: - 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pro Space Gray (sku MLH42LL/A): $2599 $200... Read more
Apple now offering Certified Refurbished 13-i...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished 2016 13″ Touch Bar MacBook Pros for $270-$300 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.9GHz... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Engineering Specialist - CSRA (Unite...
Apple Engineering Specialist All times are in Eastern Daylight Time Requisition ID Job Locations US DC Washington DC Posted Date Category Engineering Sciences Read more
*Apple* Mac Computer Technician - GeekHampto...
…complex computer issues over the phone and in person? GeekHampton, Long Island's Apple Premium Service Provider, is looking for you! Come work with our crew Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple (United...
# Apple Solutions Consultant Job Number: 56881986 Middletown, NY, New York, United States Posted: Apr. 17, 2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** As an Apple Read more
*Apple* Mobile Master - Best Buy (United Sta...
**489879BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobile Master **Location Number:** 000402-Utica-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Buy Apple Mobile Master do?** At Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.