Add Value to your Job

At one time, I was a Crystal Reports consultant.  I got laid off on a Friday, as one company was sold to one of their big clients, so they could save on licensing fees.

A recruiter got me a contract for a company down the road doing Crystal Reports specifically.  I was seated within the call center, so the noise level was high.  Had to concentrate to filter out the noise.  My job was to build Crystal Reports.

While doing the reports, I got to know some of the systems.  So the manager was talking to another manager, and they also had a need for some reports.  So I helped out their group.  Then another group found out I could do reports, so the workload increased.

I was on 2 month contract, so the security wasn't there.  And since I was recently married, we sort of needed benefits.  So I pressed for full time.  The contract got extended and then extended another 2 months.  By that time I was helping out with an application to tunnel into cash register machines and grab some info, consolidate into a report.  Originally did it in Visual Basic 6, then they asked for to be re-written in Visual Basic. net.  I built a service to handle that.

And then I got an offer for full time.  While I was deciding, the company placed a hiring freeze.  So I asked the recruiter to find another contract and off I went.

Later I found out the reason they hired me was because I was quiet and they though I could knock out a bunch of reports.  When I got there, I became of value for understanding of the data, processes, people and technology.  Being a resident expert, they come to you for answers.  Which is what a consultant does.  Although technically I was supposed to do reports, I was troubleshooting slow SQL Server, writing code, and reports.

That's a good model I suppose.  Become a person of value using technology and business knowledge of process.

That's how I work as a consultant.  Although I'm writing reports, I also provide value to other departments, make recommendations on technology choices, streamline processes and business logic.

After 20 years of report writing, I still enjoy the daily grind.  Not bad when you can make a living off logic.

And there you have it~!

What Traffic Epidemic

Have you ever been stuck in traffic?  Sure, we all have.  The question I have is why is there traffic at all hours of the day on every single road across the entire country?

Well, the road system was originally designed to allow Military to transfer items across the nation easily.  And we piggy backed off the road system to get places faster.  And the number of vehicles skyrocketed.  As commuters take the streets to get from home to work and back.  And snow birds clog the roads to get early bird special dinners.  And school bus take kids to and from school.  And service vehicles doing their daily commutes to customers and back.

We went from one car families to two car families to every person in the house gets a vehicle.  That translates to a lot of people on the roads.

Now imagine this.  You sit at a red light, for minutes.  The light turns green.  Everyone slams the gas peddle to the metal.  Zero to sixty in 5 to 7 seconds.  Free at last.  For about 100 yards.  Upcoming light is about to change, speed up even faster, run the red light, for a few.  Rest of the crowd slams on the breaks to a skidding stop.  Sit.  Wait.  3 minutes.  Repeat cycle for infinity.

Each consecutive light will be red.  And the one after that.  And so on.  The lights are designed to prevent flow of traffic.  Luckily we now have red light camera's to tax people for running lights.  Except this really makes things dangerous.  As people are hesitant to actually go through the light for fear of ticket.

Traffic lights are designed to prevent natural flow of traffic.  They are not designed to keep things moving.  Why wouldn't the lights be programmed to allow flow of traffic?

Well guess what, one solution to the massive traffic congestion is to build toll lanes.  Even more profit, paid for by the people that can afford it.  So our traffic system is socialism for those at the bottom, who can't afford "tax" for faster lanes, and capitalism for those who can afford.  We are profiting from a service that should be free for all.  The downside, the toll lanes are now backed up for miles, which amplifies the problem.

The traffic problem we experience in every city across this great land, is by design.  If they wanted to fix the problem, I'm sure there are options to study traffic patterns, to program the lights to ensure maximum efficiency.  You have to wonder if the goal is to increase flow, or profit.  Seems like a no brainer.  Tax your time, or tax your wallet.  Only two options.  Third is to fix the problem, which we're not particularly interested in apparently.

And so it goes~!


Top 22 Complaints by Number

Nobody likes complainers.  Why?  Because they complain too much.

You can not convince someone of the truth using pure logic.

Based on those two factors, I've devised a technique, to simplify.

And it can be yours, today, for the very low price for a dollar, two, ninety eight.  Plus tax. And shipping. And convenience fee.  This offer does not apply to residents of Puerto Rica and Virgin Islands.

I've created a numbering system to clarify my complaints.  Instead of going through the motions of reiterating every little thing, to people who don't give a hoot, I simply call out numbers.  Sort of like a verbal ouch from a non-physical pain.
  1. The phone rep really isn't interested in solving this problem.
  2. The phone rep transferred me to the wrong department.
  3. The phone rep disconnected the line.
  4. The manager taking care of the last issue is dumber than the phone rep.
  5. The bad service is because the person is tired.
  6. The bad service is because the person under employed.
  7. The bad service is because the person stayed up too late playing video games.
  8. The bad service is because the person is juggling 3 part time jobs with no benefits.
  9. The bad service is because the person can't afford the lawyer fees in order to file bankruptcy.
  10. The bad service is because the person doesn't like me.
  11. The bad service is because the person thinks I look like someone they don't like.
  12. The bad service is because the person isn't too bright.
  13. The bad service is because the person just realized they've made some bad choices in life.
  14. The bad service is because the person is late on the rent.
  15. The bad service is because the person is drunk.
  16. The bad service is because the person is sabotaging.
  17. The bad service is because the person is tired.
  18. The bad service is because the person dropped out the GED program, again.
  19. The bad service is because the person has health issues.
  20. The bad service is because the person doesn't know basic math.
  21. The bad service is because the person is a beauty school dropout.
  22. The bad service is because the person is a jerk.

I've got an abridged version I used from time to time.  The list continues to grow.  People say you shouldn't complain.  However, life seems to throw a lot of events that warrant complaints.  Since nobody cares and would prefer not to be bothered, feel free to interject a particular number or combination of numbers as needed.

Just shout them out loud.  You'll get if off your chest and feel much better afterword's.  Try it now.


See how easy that was.  Best of luck~!

As always thanks for reading~!


Is Ride Share Business Model a Fad or Here to Stay

Driving people from place to place, using your own vehicle has many positive aspects.

  • You become self employed.  Tax write offs.
  • You set your own hours.  Work any time you feel like it.  Day or night.
  • You get to meet interesting people.
  • You get to see the world, not behind a cubicle, but right in front of your eyes.
  • You can work part time or full time, you choose.
  • You get tips plus paycheck.
  • Revenue stream

There's a lot of freedom.

On the downside, you're car takes a real beating. 

  • Wrack up miles faster than one can image.
  • What does that do to the resale value.
  • What about frequent car repair.
  • Increases chance of auto wrecks, possible insurance increases.
  • No guarantee of riders.
  • What if your passenger takes you an hour away with no return fairs.
  • Increase competition as more drivers ready to pick up next ride.
  • Not sure if they get benefits, like days off, sick days, insurance, but I doubt it, freelancers.
I wonder what happens when the drivers require a new vehicle at the end of the year.  Wouldn't the cost of a new vehicle dip in to the profit stream worked so hard to get during the year.

Is ride sharing a good business model.  Definitely for the owners of the company.  Not much overhead, as they don't own the vehicles, the workers are not employees and the routes are selected via a derivative of machines learning and artificial intelligence.

Good model for the workers?  Perhaps.  Quick and easy revenue stream.  Just keep in mind, there are downstream hidden costs.

Will this model trickle into other segments of society?  Streamlined business model, keep the profits, place the burden of costs on the free-lanced workers.  If the goal in increased profits and decreased costs, seems like a no-brainer.

And there you have it~!

Get in the Flow

You can sit next to a flowing river or stream, watch the water flow by.  It doesn't care much for obstacles, just rushes right over, around or through.  The water flickers glimmer of sparks, a magical show indeed.

Our everyday lives are built on start, stop, wait, wait some more, wait.  There's no fluidity built into the system.  Hurry up and wait.  Red traffic lights one after another, on the road, supermarket, you name it.

When I was growing up, they said the communist had to wait in line for bread, hours every day.  We have to wait for everything.  I don't see the difference.

When life is flowing, constant movement, one event blended into another into another.  You can accomplish so much when things are flowing.

Some people are workers.  They want each task item mapped out, it sits and waits, until motivation kicks in, and the work is accomplished in sheer drudgery.  As if some force was preventing movement.  Those people apply same methodology to life.  If someone doesn't map out a specific plan, nothing gets done.

The other type of worker gets things done.  They don't wait for specific instructions, in fact, more times than not, they dive right in without much plan.  Once started, there's no stopping.  Flowing from task to task, getting ten times done than the average worker.  Flow is the key.

How does one get into the groove.  As soon as your feet touch the floor, you're moving.  From task to task.  Until bedtime.  There's never a time of "no-flow".  Unless you're stuck at a red light.  Or waiting in the supermarket, or what have you.  The biggest detriment to getting stuff done, is to sit and wait, ragged movement, never getting full steam ahead.

At work, do you ever have meetings.  Sometimes meetings last from 9am to 5pm.  How does one get work done when sitting in meetings all day.  Also, some meetings are staggered throughout the day.  Also, do you ever get interrupted at work.  People stop over chit chat, bathroom breaks, listening to the other 100 people residing on the floor, doors slamming, you name it.  There are more interruptions during a work day than you can imagine.  How does one get into the flow when the environment is designed to prevent flow?

It takes concentration.  A distant observation of things off in the distance, while remaining focused on the specific task at hand.  There's no sense of starting or stopping, just movement.  From one task to the next to the next.  You lose track of time.  Almost tunnel vision.

Some of the best musical performances I've seen, the musician was flowing in the zone.  Aware of the environment, yet lost in their world, as if nothing else mattered in the Universe.

One of my old bosses, said I put a lot of pressure to accomplish, even if I did the work of 5 people, that would be enough.  However, you have to have work stacked up, ready in the queue, to keep the flow moving.  If there're lulls, you lose the steam, the concentration, takes a lot of effort to get back.

In the world of IT or Data specifically, concentration is key to writing code, tracking down bugs, why don't the numbers add up.  How does one accomplish many difficult tasks, when start stop all day long.  Concentration, observation, flow.  Also, having the ability to juggle multiple thoughts simultaneously.

That's what I've observed over the years.  Flow, can be applied to work, sports, music life.

And so it goes~!


Universal Global Unique Identifier or U-GUID

The Universe is based on energy.  That energy aligns and clusters and disperses.  Similar to a swarm of bees.

We align and cluster ourselves.  Pick a favorite sports team, we align, unite, form a bond, have an agreed upon adversary.  Pick a Country.  State.  City.  Political Party.

We cluster and form an energy unit.  Aligned on beliefs and values.

Yet some of our cluster mates, may actually be antagonist in another cluster.  We may align with USA, but we like the Yankees and you like the Mets.  Another cluster may like the Mets, yet they are Republicans and Pro-Choice while you are Democrat and Pro-Union.

We partake in different overlapping clusters and form alliances accordingly so long as the group does not further cluster within the outer cluster.

Try for a minute, to remove all your Clusters.  No favorite team, political party, country, religion.  What have you.  

That's your true self, without the layer upon layer of aligned clusters.  Now that you've found the core, you have past memories and experiences that make you unique.

Now remove those.  At this point, how much different are you than anybody else?

Do you have a unique signature that defines you specifically, a Universal Global Unique Identifier or U-GUID?  If so, does that stay with you after you depart this planet?  Has your U-GUID been to other realities in other parts of the Universe?  Has it been to this planet prior and will it return, where does it go when it leaves?  Are there different levels of U-GUID's as far as Spiritual Growth.

Is the U-GUID your "soul"?  An energy field that never dies?  Simply transforms dimensions and realities and learns with each new life.  If so, how important is that new big screen plasma television or Ferrari, material pleasures or distractions from our true calling?

That's the question on the table.  Were we placed here on Earth at this point and time to further our evolutionary growth of Spirit, to experience physical reality in order to learn and grow?

And so it goes~!


Riding the Storm Out in Florida

We weathered Hurricane Irma with minimal impact.  We were fortunate to have power all day and night with constant flickering, along with internet connection.  The winds howled continually throughout the evening and picked up gust around 1am.  I stayed up until 3pm then went to bed.  When we awoke, went outside to assess damage.  Mostly downed branches and limbs.  The trench dug on the side of the house did its job and pushed the water out of the backyard.  And we brought in all the stuff from outside so no flying debris.

Then I raked up the leaves, went on the roof to rake some more, assembled a pile out front.



Had a chance to strum the guitar while the storm howled, riding the storm out around 1am on the back patio...(video quality ain't so great).  I basically finger pick the notes, with no song and no idea what next note will be at any point.  Just random strumming, using index and third finger and open strings mostly.



Hurricanes are part of living in Florida.  First direct hit since we moved here in 1982.  I hope everyone who stayed during the storm was safe and damage to property not too severe.

And so it goes~!

Add Value to your Job