Jul. 19, 2016 Pokemon Open Office

I was visiting a friend at a Fortune 500 company’s downtown San Francisco office. I saw a young man wandering around playing Pokemon Go. Annoying as that was, the office was more distracting. The company had ripped out its cubicles and replaced them with what they called an open floor plan. It consisted of six conference tables with ten people crowded around each, jostling their laptops and big screens. They were shouting over each other just to talk on their own phones. It reminded me of TV’s Mad Men, except that at least in that show the employees had their own desks.

My friend apologized about the bedlam as we rode the elevator down to the street. They said the worst part about the open office was the inability to adjust the desk height for different people. The poor ergonomics were hurting their backs. They complained to management and considered suing for reasonable accommodation, but decided to go work for a competitor who not only paid more money but still had cubicles.

Another friend in the East Bay hated their new open office affect on productivity. Their old cubicles had three large screens to display all the information they needed to make split second decisions. There was only room for two screens in the new open office. Now they had toggle between windows on the remaining screens, causing them to miss important data. Management did not seem to care about the literal loss of one third of their company’s income. My friend is updating their resume.

A South Bay company has squeezed employees jostling elbows trying to use their laptops. More than one employee wears noise cancelling headphones like they wear at an airport. Unfortunately they miss phone calls which slows important decision making.

One of my friends recommended a Pokemon Open Office where people would work at home and the management could create whatever virtual hellish work environment they want while the employees create their own and actually get something done.

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 17, 2016 Blumbers

Curtains For Curtains

How far in the future do you live that curtains are obsolete? One of the places I live needed curtains for a kitchen window. Nothing fancy, just white curtains about a meter across. I went to several discount chains and big mall department stores. None of them carried curtains. They all carried sheets, pillows and even shower curtains but nothing that could cover a window. I thought about going to a fabric store and make my own. I considered buying two pillow cases and holding them up with clothes pins. I thought I was going to have nail plywood boards across it. Finally, in small discount store that was going out of business, I found exactly what I was looking for. I bought another set, just in case.

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 16, 2016 Ghostbusters In Silicon Valley

The latest Ghostbusters movie was fun and actually said a lot about today’s workplace. The actors were hilarious and there were lots of cameos from the first movie. The special effects were okay. Maybe it was too close to home for fanboys here in Silicon Valley. It is funny to listen to men who have no trouble with technological change freak out over social change. They seem threatened by a story about  women over forty with technical skills working as a team and trying to manage their own careers. Well guys, get used to it or watch the original on VHS.

Despite them, things are progressing. Smart companies are hiring women in senior technical positions at above market rates.  One hiring manager said it was a good idea to hire now than scramble for talent after November. Get used to that too.

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 10, 2016 Blumbers

Pet Pix

In celebrating the tenth anniversary of this website, someone pointed out that I never posted anything about household pets. No pictures. No stories. I considered posting a shaggy dog story about my pet giraffe and how I had to buy a car with a sunroof just to take it to the vet. I figured there was enough pet stuff on the web.

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 4, 2016 Independence Day

DJClineSQ8050

American Bucket List

1. Clean air to breathe.

2. Clean water to drink.

3. Food that is safe to eat.

4. Clean energy for all.

5. Affordable housing for all.

6. Medicare for all.

7. Education for all.

8. A living wage or support if you cannot.

9. Infrastructure for all means jobs for all.

10.  Everyone pays a fair share. The more you benefit, the more you give back.

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 3, 2016 Blumbers

Elie Wiesel

The Nazis killed millions of people. They failed to kill Weisel. He survived the Holocaust and dedicated his life to finding peace and justice. He lived as a constant reminder to the guilty and hope to survivors. Wiesel said “Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant.” He would not let the world forget. We will not forget him.

Which brings me to the Brexit. There has been a lot of talk about the British leaving the European Union. Some Britons do not like people emigrating from other countries. I remember a story of Jeanette Jerome, a woman from a former British colony. She grew up in a country suffering from deforestation, ethnic cleansing, human trafficking, unregulated industrial development, and a civil war. She wanted a better life and came to Britain. She married a local guy and had a son. His name was Winston Churchill. Imagine what this timeline would be like without him.

Here are some more people not born in Britain but managed to get there and make their mark. Queen Victoria’s mother was born in Germany. Joseph Conrad was born in Poland. Rudyard Kipling and Salman Rushdie were both born in Mumbai. George Bernard Shaw was born in Ireland. Stanley Kubrick was from the Bronx. If people want to move to your country, be flattered. You must be doing something right.

 Note: Elie Wiesel was born on September 30, 1928 and died  on July 2, 2016. Dates are funny things…

 

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 1, 2016 Events To Attend

Here are some events you might want to attend. Check with the respective organizations for more information.

Date: Jul. 1, 2016 6:00PM

Org: STC San Diego

Topic: Watch, Discuss, and Win during Summer Webinar Mania

Speaking: Alice Brzovic and many others

Venue: Online

Date: Jul. 13, 2016 6:00PM

Org: STC Berkeley

Topic: Usability Testing: Why and How

Speaking: Jeff Johnson

Venue: Highlands Country Club, 110 Hiller Drive, Oakland, CA 94618

Date: Jul. 18, 2016 6:00PM 

Org: STC Silicon Valley Chapter

Topic: Summer Schmooze

Speaking: David Hovey

Venue: Sam’s Bar-B-Quemore, 1110 S Bascom Ave
San Jose, CA 95128

Date: Jul. 19, 2016 6:00PM

Org: STC Orange County

Topic: Summer Networking Event

Speaking: Chapter Members

Venue: Brio Tuscan Grill, 774 Spectrum Center Drive
Irvine, CA 92618

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jun. 30, 2016 The New Yorker

On Jun. 30,  2016 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “The Case For Free Money” about universal basic income or UBI. The Canadians tried a Mincome program in the 1970’s. Every month the government sent poor people enough money to live on. Economist Evelyn Forget discovered that mothers stayed home to care for their children. Young men finished high school and got higher paying jobs that helped their families out of poverty. Today this kind of Social Security for all may help people deal with permanent technological unemployment. Conservatives and progressives may be surprised that both Milton Friedman and Martin Luther King supported it. Citizens have to vote for candidates who support it.

Ryan Lizza “Occupied Territory” abut Republicans embarrassed by Trump. They are worried about losing control of Congress.

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

 

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For Future Reference