Chip Your Boss

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips are used for tracking, as well as to store and communicate info on some biometric devices.

 So, last week, while we stood around at work, out of our cubes, at the designated congregation point, awaiting the “big boss” to show up and present an award, I got to thinking how much time we waste waiting for bosses to show up…to present awards, conduct meetings, give keynote speeches, etc.
 Why don’t we RFID these folks?  I’m not saying they should be implanted with chips, but that’s a possibility, too, I suppose.  A simpler approach would be a mobile, pocket-able dongle/card/clip-on/whatever that could track their whereabouts.  If you know they’re supposed to be coming into your area, you login to some system that shows their current location.  When they get close enough, you rally the troops so they’re in place for the dog and pony show when the boss walks in, but they don’t stand around, unproductive, hoping the boss is on time.
Now, the security nuts will scream that the system could be hacked and the location of the boss learned by people with potentially nefarious purposes.  Possibly.  So, maybe you have a handful of RFID trackers and the one assigned to the boss is chosen randomly every day.  Or, maybe the tracking system is only used on a closed network, removed from Internet connectivity…maybe even a standalone computer.  The person running that system would then have the task of alerting those expecting a visit of the boss’s ETA.  You could even have an on/off switch to only activate the tracker when the boss is on the move.
If there’s always someone with the boss, an assistant or an entire entourage, you might think it would be just as easy to chip (one of) them up, but here’s where you can run into false alerts.  Say the boss has a meeting somewhere in your building that’s near your office.  While the boss attends the meeting, the chipped up assistant runs to the restroom that’s near your office, or decides to give you a heads up about the boss being there soon.  You note the movement of the tracker toward your office, earlier than expected, and sound the *Code 10 to get everyone in place quickly…only to find out it’s the assistant.
It’s probably better to just stick with the boss being “chipped” and, really, how many bad guys are out there aiming to take out your boss vs. how much time is wasted by overly concerned under-bosses having their folks waste time waiting on the big boss?
*Code 10 scene from Lean on Me


Guilt Tipping

So, the impetus for this post was an article, supposedly a “news worthy” article, about whether or not Hillary Clinton left a tip at a Chipotle restaurant.

Here’s the Article.

I’m not a fan of Hillary Clinton by any means, but whether she left a tip in the jar at a Chipotle restaurant certainly isn’t news, unless she dropped a significant amount of money into it.  If she’d ordered something ridiculously complicated that required special attention over and above the normal orders at the restaurant, maybe….maybe, not leaving a tip would have been worthy of the equivalent of a small page three blurb.

Tip jars at Chipotle are ridiculous.  It may be slightly more upscale, but it’s still basically a fast food joint.  It would be like McDonalds putting a tip jar on their counter.  The workers take your order, put it together, and you go find your seat with your food.  Admittedly, I’ve not been to a Chipotle in a few years so procedures could have changed, but that process sounds just like BK, right?  Do you tip them?  Not likely.

Going a bit deeper than tipping at fast food joints, though, we get to a discussion of tipping in general.

Tipping, in my opinion, should be done when a service is rendered that you could have done, but chose to have someone else do for you.  For instance, having a bellhop unload your luggage and deliver it to your room, opting to have a valet park your car, having someone wait on you at a restaurant, having pizza delivered to your door, having a friend help you move/build/repair/etc, having our hair styled or colored are examples that warrant a tip.  In the final example, pizza and beer are usually sufficient “tips”.  Yes, the bellhop, valet, waiter, and stylist are employees (usually) and are being paid to do those jobs, but the tip used to be for good service…based on expediency, courtesy, accuracy, etc..

Unfortunately, we’ve gotten to a point that tips are expected whether those services are performed well or not, especially in the case of wait staff at restaurants. We are, more or less, expected to leave the minimum tip of 15%-20% (higher or lower ranges based on regions) for service that barely meets our satisfaction.  Regardless of how long we wait for the waiter to show up to take our drink and food orders, regardless of whether the orders are perfect, regardless of how long we have to sit around once we’re all finished and ready for the bill, we’re expected to leave a tip.

And we’ve been so “trained” to leave a tip, that most of us feel bad about not leaving one…to the extent that we never don’t leave a tip even when the service is horrible.  We tell ourselves that it wasn’t the waiter’s fault the food was wrong or cold and so we “Guilt Tip” the minimum.  We “Guilt Tip” the stylist who didn’t quite get our hair right because we must have failed to accurately describe what we wanted.

Now this won’t be popular, but I think it’s time we get back to expecting good service for our tips.  If we receive poor service, don’t leave a tip.  If the service is simply average, bust out your phone’s calculator and figure out what the accepted standard tip percentage is (calculated on the pre-tax subtotal, of course), and leave that amount.  If the service deserves it, leave a more generous tip.  As long as we continue to shell out our money for crumby service, we’re certainly going to continue to get it.

And by all means, don’t “Guilt Tip” fast food workers.  Anyone can slap a tip jar on a counter.  It doesn’t mean they deserve the extra money.

The Old Bait and Switch – Virtual Blog Tour style

Hello, and thanks for following from Walt’s Virtual Blog Tour post to mine, but I actually posted it on my reading/writing blog, Wanna Get Published, Write!

Since you’re here, though, maybe you’d like to look around at some of my scattered, seemingly random thoughts before continuing the Virtual Blog Tour.

My Virtual Blog Tour post can be found here:  My super creative Virtual Blog Tour title.

Thanks for stopping by.


The Garden of Children

I’ve seen the van for this day care service around town and each time I think “How creepy is that?” I’m sure that the title comes from a Bible reference or from the idea that each child is a beautiful flower that just needs a little nurturing to bloom.

My mind, of course, heads right to horror movies and a garden full of children…which is only a little further down the darkened path than the comedy-horror flick “Motel Hell“.


Nope, don’t think I could have sent my kids to The Garden of Children, but I’m sure, in reality, it’s a fine day care.

More Memory Problems

Earlier this year, I wrote a post, Memory Problems, in which I discussed my daughter’s inability to remember things that had just happened.

I’m not an authority on brains or memory, but my memory is pretty good.  I can remember the names of streets I lived on as a kid…and we moved a lot.  I can remember the names of a large majority of people with whom I’ve interacted personally.  I can remember events from early childhood.  I can remember what I did last night, last weekend, etc.

I have no trouble with my memory and recollection…EXCEPT for locking the car.

Frequently, bordering on always, after locking the car, I get no more than twenty to thirty feet away and wonder if I locked the car.  I turn around and press the lock button again and watch for the lights to flash indicating it has locked itself.

Why is this one function so difficult for me to remember?  I’ve been doing this for at least a year now and it boggles my otherwise perfectly good mind.

Heavy Sigh

(As defined by Merriam-Webster) Sigh:
intransitive verb
: to take a deep audible breath (as in weariness or relief)
2 : to make a sound like sighing <wind sighing in the branches>
3 : grieve, yearn <sighing for days gone by>
transitive verb
1 : to express by sighs
2 archaic : to utter sighs over : mourn
I’ve been doing a lot more sighing this year.  Maybe not.  Maybe I’ve just been more aware of it.
In an attempt to not raise my voice at my children as much this year, I’ve found myself sighing with a loud, long, frustrated tone, which they’ve come to realize is a step away from a trouble for them.  Why trouble?  Because the sigh is typically brought on by them not following instructions, not getting/acting like they’re not getting a concept I’m helping with on schoolwork, me finding dog poop or pee on the floor because of them not letting the dogs out long enough, etc.  This sigh happens at work quite frequently, as well.
Instead of the “heh” or “hmph” or other such vocalish (yes, I think I just made that up) sounds, when I see something amusing, I’m much more likely have a short, relatively quiet, sigh accompanied by a grin.
The sigh that got this post going, though, is the deeper, slower, thoughtful sigh…a.k.a. the heavy sigh.  It includes the lip pursing and usually a short head bob or slight declination of my head, much like Tom Selleck does here at the 2:09 mark.  I wonder if I started doing it after seeing him do it on the TV show, Blue Bloods, or if I’ve always done it and just noticed it since the show came out.
Blue Bloods, by the way, is a great TV show and Selleck frequently has multiple heavy sigh moments in an episode.

Congressional Lottery

I would like to propose a solution to part of the fiscal crisis hitting DoD and other federal agencies due to sequestration.  Maybe solution isn’t quite the right word.  What I’m proposing is more of an incentive for Congress to pass a budget and give some of the money back to the organizations who will be furloughing personnel.

My ‘Congressional Lottery’ is fairly simple.  The names/socials/uniquely identifying IDs of members of Congress, the President, and anyone else associated with this sequestration mess are imprinted on bingo/lottery balls and put into a big mixing ball to be spun and tossed around.  When a bill that can’t be paid because of sequestration comes due, a ball is allowed down the tube where the happy lottery lady identifies the lucky congressman/president/whoever who gets to pay that bill.  Their ball then promptly goes back into the pool for a chance to pay another bill.

Here are a few examples of bills that could be submitted to be paid by ‘Congressional Lottery’:

  • A federal employee’s home cable bill that they were able to pay before being furloughed.
  • The cost of a Soldier’s/Sailor’s/Airman’s/Marine’s college class that would have been covered by tuition assistance before that benefit was stripped.
  • The cost of a private tutor to teach a DoDDs school child what they will fail to learn this year because the school year is being cut short due to teacher/administrator furloughs.
  • The bill for office supplies a federal agency can’t afford due to cuts.
  • The court costs, hospital bills, lawyer fees, and any other costs associated with being the victim of a crime committed by any of the illegal aliens released from prison supposedly due to these budget cuts.

See?  Fairly simple.  It’s like a bit of man-made Karma….and it can continue as long as they fail to pass a budget.  Let them feel the pinch and maybe they’ll be motivated to do their job.  Until then, let them pay to help out the people they’ve screwed.

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