Music Monday – Laborious Music

In honor of Labor Day, the focus of today’s Music Monday post is songs that are about work of different sorts or about not wanting to work.

The all day, every day, up early, work all day, worn out by the time you get home kind of drudgery of work was the subject of Lee Dorsey‘s Working in the Coal Mine, which Devo later covered.

Todd Rundgren also sings about having a job he doesn’t like with a boss whose head he imagines his drum is when he’s banging on it when he gets home while dreaming of not having to be at work in Bang the Drum All Day.

Cameo sang about how his woman made him work…and the daily grind wasn’t as bad as how tough it was to make her love him in You Make Me Work.

A big hit for Loverboy had them Working for the Weekend.

Finally, we have a group who are all about Business As UsualMen At Work.

Friday the 13th – Jan 2012 (P366D13)

Not that I’m superstitious, but as I run down the things that happened today, I have to think that Friday the 13th wasn’t such an unlucky day.  Traffic getting to work was smooth.  I only had two or three emails waiting on me, no phone messages.  Was able to take care of the few requests that came in via email fairly quickly.  Played soccer during lunch.  Made decent progress on a project I’m working..could be due to the lack of disturbance today.  Got to leave a little early.  Visited my aunt briefly, picked up Chinese food for dinner.  Snuggled and chatted with the fam before putting the girls to bed, then watched one of my favorite TV shows with my wife.  Started on this post just before midnight and will be heading to bed in a few minutes.

In all, the worst part of the day would be that I just couldn’t seem to put the ball in the net during soccer.  Made some great passes, though.

If that’s the only thing I have to contend with on Fridays the 13th, sign me up for future ones like this now.

Ideating: Forced March Chickens

originally posted 10/2/2009 2:35 pm

This is the first in what will likely be a series of posts that I’m going to name by “borrowing” from IBM’s ad wizards:  Ideating.  No, we don’t get paid to lie around in a dark room with a pillow just to think stuff up.  Our ideating is water cooler chat, coffee talk, but not scuttlebutt as gossip doesn’t count as ideating.  Most of these topics don’t just spring up as random thoughts; rather, they are the end result of a chain of thoughts or discussions about some news/article/etc. someone saw or heard.

Yesterday we somehow we got on the topic of the organic food industry and the lack of regulation by the FDA and the lack of regulation of the different terms used to describe these products.  This lead to a “free range” chicken discussion and that I’d read a year or so ago that as long as the chickens were allowed to roam free for only thirty minutes a day, they could be called free range.  A co-worker pointed out that if all you do is leave the chickens a way to leave the coop, but feed them in the coop, they simply won’t leave… no motivation.  In the interest of having the chickens hit the range, I suggested an old toothless fox be introduced to the chicken coop.  The toothless fox would still try to catch the chickens, forcing them to flee the coop and get some “free ranging” in while trying to escape the fox.  While the fox may scare the chickens, it’s ultimately good for them…they get exercise and if the fox catches one, it gets a massage as the fox tries to gum it to death.

**Please note that most of our ideating isn’t going to be based on hard scientific facts and we don’t actually advocate harming animals and/or people.  These are just things we talk/joke about.

Working Hard or Hardly Working

originally posted 3/16/2009 4:18 pm

I’m a geek!

I freely admit that I am, although I am way out-geeked by some folks I know.

Like millions of others, geeks and non-geeks alike, I am also on Facebook.  Like a smaller population of Facebook users, I play a number of the games created by Zenga for users to play for free.  I still haven’t joined the gazillions of folks playing the pay-to-play online games like World of Warcraft, but I digress.  The Zenga games I play involve a few basic actions:  create your persona, use energy to do missions, buy properties to increase your hourly currency so you can buy more abilities/weapons/etc so you can do more missions.  Throw in level increases based on experience and you’ve got a very rudimentary RPG.  I love RPGs (role-playing games) and am still playing Dungeons & Dragons with paper, books, and dice.  (I know, off topic again.)  So, these games also allow you to attack other players to gain experience and currency.  I don’t get into this much myself, but there are some folks I know who love to do this.

I hit my Facebook account a few times a day at minimum.  At least a couple times a day, I go to the games I play, do missions until my energy is gone, spend or bank my currency and logoff.  Yes, I am able to hit Facebook from my computer at work, and yes, I do hit it now and then (during periods of downtime, over lunch when I’m still at my desk, or for a two minute break from coding —see my job is even geek) to change my status or even hit the games quickly.  When I open the games I usually have notes that I was attacked by someone or someones, frequently multiple times if they beat me.

Recently, I’ve noticed an interesting trend which lead to this post.  When do you think the heaviest hits on my characters takes place?  Over the weekend or evening/night during the typical work week?  Nope.  I see very little activity on the weekend.  Almost all the real damage to my personas and their properties takes place during what would be considered by most to be the standard work day in the North American time zones.  Now, as I’ve said, I do ocassionally hit these games during the day, but the amount of time I spend compared to the amount of time it takes for all the attacks I suffer during the day is very small.

I know a guy who keeps one of these games open for a large percentage of his time at work so he can do missions and attack other gamers.  He also watches for when he gets attacked to that he can respond.  As far as I know, he is the only one in his office who does this, but I have to wonder how many of these guys are out there at work with their game of choice open all day.  Add this time to time spent reading news, chatting with co-workers, etc. and you can easily see where my title came from.

Now, some would argue that if we block sites so people can’t get to these time wasters, productivity would go up.  I fervently believe otherwise.  Block these sites and people will spend more time talking, reading print media, etc.  The only way to increase productivity is to have something productive for people to do and have a manager who makes sure they are getting the job done.  If the workers get their jobs done quickly, let them be rewarded by a few minutes of downtime.  Let them take a quick break from a stressful task to hit a leisure site (that’s tasteful, non-offensive, etc.) without having to take a coffee or smoke break.  It keeps them at their desk where they can still be reached by email or phone.

Of course, I’ve now skewed in a different direction than intended, but I guess that’s ok.  It’s my blog after all.


Old Bob wrote (3/17/2009 9:20 pm):
The last paragraph sounds like the basis for a Dilbert strip. All we need now is the pointy-haired boss and Catbert.

Dontcha Hate It When… The End Around at Work

originally posted 1/13/2009 7:58 am

…someone makes a request for you to do something and, as much as you’d like to help them out, it just isn’t the best idea –it doesn’t quite fit how or where they want.  You explain to them that it isn’t the best idea, make a suggestion on a better way to do it, and even go further by doing a couple things they hadn’t thought of to help further their goal, but that isn’t good enough for them.  They figure out who your boss is and go above your head.  Ok.  I understand, they just really want what they want, but when they go above your head, they suddenly have a slightly different story, more justification, more support, more authority, more whatever.


Dammun wrote (1/13/2009 2:35 pm):

I also hate going shopping, and just as I’m paying for my goods, I’m asked to donate to some Children’s or Homeless charity. And when I decline why I get stares from the employee as some sort of insensitive jerk? Not that I wouldn’t do would I could to help others, but maybe if you asked me before I spent my last $5 donating to some wildlife fund in the last store I was in 10 minutes ago I might contribute. I can’t keep doing this every store I go into otherwise I’m going to need my own benefit fund!

Old Bob wrote (1/13/2009 3:26 pm):
My recommendation is to go find them and threaten to rip their head off if they do it again…of course you may be looking for another job before long. People suck.

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