March 94 - VIEW FROM THE LEDGE
VIEW FROM THE LEDGE
Before we get rolling here, I have a confession to make to those of you who have read this column in
the last two issues. I feel I owe it to you for being so faithful. Due to lead times, publishing deadlines,
and attempts to appear organized, develop authors actually write their MacNuggets of wisdom months
before you read them. You've already had a chance to be in a New Year's Day fight with your
significant other, yet I'm writing this before Hallowe'en.
How do I put this? I've been lying to you. The questions in my earlier columns were fakes. I made
them up for my own self-aggrandizement. Which is bad enough, but I also gave myself the
heartwarmingly collectible gift that's supposed to be given to the dedicated readers who write in.
Like Richard Nixon in the seventies, I guess the only defense I have is: I misspoke myself.
But that's the past, and now my head reels because I've received four letters. (Well, actually I received
three and develop's editor got a piece of hate mail.) Now I know what it's like to be 1/150,000th of
Help! We have a power-hungry team member who is making the rest of the team thoroughly miserable! What
can we do? Mutiny has crossed our collective minds, but after reading Mutiny on the Bounty none of us
fancies suffering the fate of Mr. Christian.
In general you'll find that the world is in turmoil for no reason other than intolerance. If people
simply were more tolerant of each other's beliefs, values, customs, and driving skills, the world would
be a much more hospitable place. Typically you should try to live in as much harmony as possible
with your office workers in an effort to spread peace and happiness in the world. This, however, is
not one of those times.
You may be surprised to learn that the answer to your problem was at your fingertips; you just failed
to dig far enough for it. All you needed to do was ask yourself a simple question: Whatwas the fate of
Historians have actually tried to cover up thereal reason there was mutiny: it had nothing to do with
ill-tempered leadership. Rather, Mr. Christian couldn't stand being in an island-sized sauna with the
obese Captain Bligh any longer. To remedy the situation, Mr. Christian decided to send Bligh on a
crash diet the old-fashioned way: by making him row across 3500 miles of open ocean.
Shortly after Bligh left, Mr. Christian got out his Apple I computer with cassette tape backup
(remember, this was along time ago) and discovered that, by Jove, Bligh might actually make it. The
last thing Mr. Christian wanted was to witness a size-6 Bligh parade his new physique around the
island. So, he gathered up a bunch of Tahitian babes, sailed over to Pitcairn Island, burned the
Bounty, and lived the rest of his life sipping coconut juice in a tropical paradise. The only penalty was
that he would never be able to go back to a country where they serve a dish called "Spotted Dick" for
dessert. To say it was a fair trade is a gross understatement.
Taking a cue from Mr. Christian, I'd say the following actions are in order: First, get a detailed plan
of your building(s) and find the spot that's the furthest from where the mutiny will actually take
place; this will be your equivalent of Pitcairn Island. Due to twentieth-century building layout, it's
very possible that you may have to choose someplace like a boiler room. This gives you the tropical
climate by default, but I'd add some sand and a few posters just to spice the place up a bit. Don't
forget to stock enough coconut milk to last until your management turns its attention to some other
crisis. Two weeks worth is probably more than enough.
Then, mutiny to your heart's content. Start by issuing a new org chart, and when your troublemaker
comes to protest, just do whatever seems to be most natural. Be as loud and obnoxious as possible,
and don't forget to throw in lines like "You call yourself a ship's Captain?" and "From now on you
get your own breadfruit trees!" Burning things to the ground is optional. I wouldn't recommend it if
your paycheck is important to you.
There's a good chance you'll be set for life. Just be sure you don't get so carried away that you start
sending postcards to your colleagues from your island retreat. Nothing gives away a hiding spot like a
Every time I get up quickly I become dizzy. Everyone thinks I have a drinking problem. What can I do?
Spinning in Sacramento
You're in a situation that has very serious physical and sociological implications and needs immediate
attention. First and foremost, you should get yourself to a doctor. You may have something as
complicated and life threatening as transient ischemic attack, or you may just be a ditz. Only a
licensed physician will be able to tell for sure. By no means should you rely on self-diagnosis from
watching reruns of "Marcus Welby, M.D." Remember, the guy who played Dr. Kiley tried that and
he ended up inThe Amityville Horror.
Whatever you do, if you go to a university to get checked, becertainthe person you're talking to is a
Medical Doctor. You can't swing a dead cat in that environment without hitting someone who is all
too willing to be called "Doctor" yet thinks that "throat culture" has something to do with opera.
These people have the title "Doctor of Philosophy," and their specialty is to heal problems with
philosophical ideals. If you believe your dizziness is caused by an inability to understand dialectic
materialism, this type of doctor is perfect; otherwise, steer clear.
Unfortunately, getting fixed physically won't heal the seeping sociological wound that has opened by
everyone thinking you're intoxicated. To tackle this part, first you should decide whether you deserve
any time off from work. If you think you do, tell your boss you believe you have a substance abuse
problem, and ask to have at least a month off to get yourself treated. If you happen to acquire a tan
while you're gone, say that you had to have minor UV therapy for jaundice.
If you don't want the time off, or you want to squelch those rumors once and for all, simply stand up
in your next company meeting and say something like, "I know many of you think I have a drinking
problem due to my dizzy spells. This simply is not true. I just have a very strange habit of having my
head reel whenever I get around a corporate back-stabbing weasel."
RECOMMENDED READING AND LISTENING
- The Red Couch by Clarke, Moon, and Wackerbarth. Surprisingly, it's lots of pictures of a red couch.
- War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. Good book. Great monitor stand.
- Godzilla, on Star Child records. The original soundtrack; makes all other music sound great.
TAO JONES was stunned when he discovered that the actual lyrics to The Beatles' "Let It Be," were, "and in my hour of
darkness, she is standing right in front of me." He thought the line was, "and in my oblidoplous. . ." and spent the next
ten years trying to figure out what an oblidoplous was. *
Tao Index: Roughly 50% of the lawyers in the world graduated in the bottom half of their class. *
Have you seen this polar bear cub?*
Tao needs questions to keep from hoarding the freebies he is supposed to be sending out to you, the devoted reader.
Send your queries regarding all aspects of office survival, or just that funny little thing we call "life," to AppleLink
DEVELOP, and there's a possibility that you'll end up even cooler than you are now. *