Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Database calls and customer service in a cab company

Here’s an example of I.T. affecting customer service.  Recently, I moved to a condo.  I had apparently used a cab company’s app before.  When I requested a ride to the airport with their website, I put in the new address and printed out the request.

Yet, when the cab didn’t come, I called twice and apparently found that their request still had pulled the old address from the app. Maybe it read my phone.  Maybe it’s a database “current of set” problem if it uses something like IDMS.

Then, when I rented a car, I had to talk to an agent by remote screen, and was given a contract for any compact car. When I walked there, there was none.  Finally one came, and I was told the car couldn’t go out.  I wound up with a full sized car after a 30 minute wait.  Why couldn’t they assign me a specific vehicle? 

Monday, November 06, 2017

Government contractor fires female employee over being seen on social media giving Trump motorcade the finger from her motorbike

A female associate of Virginia contractor Akima LLC was fired from her job for violating the company’s personal social media policy after a picture of her giving Trump’s motorcade the finger went viral on social media even though her face was not identifiable in the picture. She did admit to HR to being the person.  She had been riding a motorcycle when she encountered the motorcade by happenstance. 

The woman, Juli Briskman, held a “marketing” position at the contractor.  Perhaps it’s more understandable that could be viewed as bad for business.  There is no double life anymore. 
A typical story appears on the site AVClub, here.

Sinclair-owned WJLA also has a story today here

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

How to tell when you're slipping out of favor at work

On Oct. 24, Sue Sellenberger offered a tutorial on how to know when you are falling out of favor at work, and how to tell if your job is gradually falling into jeopardy.

You know the signs – not invited to all the meetings, boss seems indifferent.  I used to see this happen to other people, especially in the late 1980s at Chilton.  Then it happened to me after 9/11 at ING, although I think 9/11 accelerated it. External global politics matters. 


When you have a regular job, it becomes your universe until you lose it.  You don’t want to become a “loser”. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Given the waffling on carryon vs. checked baggage rules for electronics, what are the best laptops for travel?

As I may be traveling a lot more myself soon, I wonder what is the most reliable lightweight laptop to carry and get through the TSA. 

This article from Sept. 2017 from indietraveler recommends a Chromebook (very tied to Google).  

The high end high storage laptops that are super lightweight tend to be pricey, as one would expect (start with Surface). 
Right now, we’re back to not checking devices with lithium batteries in checked luggage at all, but I’d watch for some kind of innovation that doesn’t use lithium.

This is a developing topic. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

More on prepperism and manual labor, if we lose our civilization

Intellectual Takeout, a conservative site to say the least, has a lecture by Annie Holmquist, “Want to Raise a Capable Adult? Have Your Child Do These 5 Activities”.  
Again, there is a rising populist sentiment that people should not go out and pretend to be leaders in a digital world without some hands-on survival skills in case we lose a lot of our civilization.  Prepper stuff?

The point on doing your own oil changes is interesting.

Some of the points seem to work better for families that own their own homes.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

I find my own "amateur" sites blocked in another workplace

Today I was at an office for a business matter.  I had brought my ASUS laptop and Verizon hotspot. When I didn’t have the Verizon password with me, I had to use the office wi-fi.

I found that Sophos security under “” (which is not reachable) blocked my own “” site under category “politics/opinion” and blocked two of my own blogs (Blogger) with their own domain names under “uncategorized.”

It did not block CNN or the Washington Post.  I wonder if it would have blocked Brietbart.
It did not block Facebook or Twitter (even Donald Trump’s Twitter page).

It did not block blogs of mine that don’t have their own URL’s and are accessed by Blogspot (with https). Yet these would elicit politics or opinion.

There seems to be a question as to how workplaces should block “amateur” sites. 


When I worked at ING (to the end of 2001) my sites were not blocked. When I worked as a substitute teacher, school libraries did not block my sites.  When I worked as a debt collector in 2003, there was no web access through the company’s P2P access to its own servers (Unix terminals).

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Severe shortage of laborers in Houston hampers homeowners, exacerbated by Trump's immigration crackdown

It seems like manual labor (a great virtue with my own father during my own upbringing) is a real virtue now in Houston, as there is a severe labor shortage as homeowners struggle to repair homes from flood damage.

CNBC has a typical article here 
A major irony is that Trump’s immigration crackdown has reduced the labor pool available. A lot of homeowners would be glad to have the help of undocumented laborers (Chicago Tribune story). 
By Zereshk - Own work, CC BY 3.0, Link