Posts Tagged work
Found this in the goodbye mail of a colleague leaving Yahoo! I liked the philosophy!
Once when guru was travelling with his disciple, by the end of the day they arrived at a village, where they were treated with nice food, place to sleep, and overall hospitality. in the morning when they left the village, after coming out, the guru held his hands up to the sky and said – may they never live in one place for too long. may they wander the whole earth.
The next evening they reached another village where they were treated badly, like beggars and thieves and no one gave them any food to eat or shelter to sleep. as they left the village, guru again asked god to – may they always live happily in this village forever.
The disciples had somewhat accepted the last wish, but this one was too much, and one asked the reason for wishing prosperity to the second village.
Guru said – like a true sannyasi, good people should not stay too long in one place. how else will goodness spread in the world?
Got this email. No comments
Last night my spouse was berating me for wanting to check my
email as soon as I got home from work. “You know”, she
complained, “I think that work rules your life”.
“No dear,” I replied, “_you_ rule my life. I just prefer work.”
Inevitably my Goodbye post had to be followed up with another one on what I am doing presently. If you have me as your contact in any of the popular social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc., you would have already known about this. Anyway, here goes. I have joined Yahoo!.
My primary focus of work at Yahoo! would be on HiFi Prototyping. I expect it to be challenging and interesting. Let’s see what’s in store…! hmmmm…..
Btw… here’s a snap that my Wife fished out of this blog… From a very old post.
This was taken when I was in Sunnyvale. It does bring back memories from those days… I had completely forgotten about this photo. But my wife remembered!
Proud to be part of this!
- I can see your point, but I still think you’re full of shit.
- I don’t know what your problem is, but I’ll bet it’s hard to pronounce.
- How about never? Is never good for you?
- I see you’ve set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public.
- I’m really easy to get along with once you people learn to see it my way.
- I’ll try being nicer if you’ll try being smarter.
- I’m out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message.
- I don’t work here. I’m a consultant.
- It sounds like English, but I can’t understand a damn word you’re saying.
- Ahhh…I see the screw-up fairy has visited us again.
- I like you. You remind me of myself when I was young and stupid.
- You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers.
- I have plenty of talent and vision; I just don’t give a damn.
- I’m already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.
- I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you.
- Thank you. We’re all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view.
- The fact that no one understands you doesn’t mean you’re an artist.
- Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental.
- What am I? Flypaper for freaks!?
- I’m not being rude. You’re just insignificant.
- It’s a thankless job, but I’ve got a lot of Karma to burn off.
- Yes, in fact I AM an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.
- And your crybaby whiny-assed opinion would be….?
- Do I look like a people person?
- This isn’t an office. It’s Hell with fluorescent lighting.
- I started out with nothing and still have most of it left.
- Sarcasm is just one more service we offer.
- If I throw a stick, will you leave?
- Errors have been made. Others will be blamed.
- Whatever kind of look you were going for, you missed.
- I’m trying to imagine you with a personality.
- A cubicle is just a padded cell without a door.
- Can I trade this job for what’s behind door #1?
- Too many freaks, not enough circuses.
- Nice perfume. Must you marinate in it?
- Chaos, panic, & disorder – my work here is done.
- How do I set a laser printer to stun?
- I thought I wanted a career; turns out I just wanted a salary.
- Who lit the fuse on your tampon?
- Oh I get it…like humor…but different.
It sounds really scary out there…
New York: Less than three weeks ago, Saurabh (name changed) relocated along with his family from Edison, the Indian neighbourhood in New Jersey, to Silicon Valley in California as he switched jobs.
Before moving, he put his house, which he had bought last year, on sale and leased an apartment at his new work place.
One fine morning, two weeks after he moved with bag and baggage to Silicon Valley, he was quietly handed the pink slip by his boss in his chamber along with about two dozen of his colleagues.
Saurabh, who has two kids to support, is jobless.
"It is very difficult, these days. There are no jobs available," said Saurabh, requesting that his name and the name of the company not be disclosed. So did others interviewed for this report.
Luckily enough, he has a permanent residency visa, which is more popularly known as the Green Card, because of which he can stay in this country and search for a new job.
But many of his colleagues do not even have that luxury. They are getting ready to go back home as they can’t live in this country on an H-1B visa if they don’t have a job.
"Even retaining a job is a luxury these days," said Manish Gupta who works with another multinational company in mid-town Manhattan.
Some of his friends have already left for India after they received the pink slip last month.
While there is no official figure about the number of Indian Americans who have lost their jobs, in the US pink slips are being handed out in hundreds and thousands.
Anand Kumar, software professional, who works with a Swiss multinational in New York City, was informed by his HR department that his salary has been slashed by 10 per cent from the next pay cheque.
Still he says he is okay. "That is fine. At least I have my job so far," he said.
Stories of pink slips and losing jobs abound among the Indian American community here. In fact, this seems to be the only topic of conversation when two techies meet or at any of their social gatherings.
The reports that the economic meltdown will continue has made a large number of Indian American software professionals – who account for a majority of those holding the most sought after H-1B visa – edgy.
"People are being fired even from companies which were earlier considered safe. These are tough days," said Rakesh Tyagi, who lost his job last week. He was working with a chemical company in Buffalo, in upstate New York.
Rakesh, who came to the US just before the 2001 twin-tower attack, said the situation then was not as bad as it is now.
When contacted, officially none of these companies are willing to talk about job loss, but even a small chat with those working there indicates the grim scenario.
"Nothing is certain. We are now living on a day to day basis," said Ashutosh Sen. Several of his friends and colleagues have lost jobs in the past one month. "Hardly a day passes when I do not hear this story," he said.
[ source : IBN LIVE ]
From Flyyoufools.com … I love these comics
This one just made my day which started out pretty gloomy just as usual. After reading this, I laughing so hard that it brightened up the rest of my day….
Its kind of long, but totally worth it hyeah:
I can’t hold myself down. My FIRST day on the job!! And I like it already.
“Assistant Junior Deputy to the Vice Chairman – Manufacturing”. My dad was thrilled when he heard my designation.
“What the f!@#!!!” were his exact words. Oh I love it when my parents are happy…
Need to meet HR in half an hour. I can’t wait to get my first Employee ID Card and cubicle. I hope Parthasarathy Whatayblouse Crappers (PWC) is the beginning of great things.
P.S. I have brought my favorite textbooks back from the institute OD, OM and HR should help me grow rapidly in the organization. And I WILL handle soft issues before facing hard issues here at PWC.
Had a lot of fun with HR yesterday. The guy who had recruited me had left a month ago. So they didn’t know I was joining. We had a hearty laugh over that one.
I’ll get my cubicle in a few days time. For the time being I am sharing a nice one with Claire. She’s with Corporate Communication.
The phone doesn’t work though…
Met my boss today. He spent a lot of time with my CV and then asked me how I managed to get a job with them. (Even he knows how lucky they are to get me..) He told me to review our material ordering system in the err… umm… the… the “big yellow and blue noisy machine section” of the plant.
Claire is working on an “Our Employees Love Us” campaign. The office boy had just resigned. So she got me to pose with an apron and a tray of cookies for a photo. They are going to call me Ramon and use it for
ads. I am going to be famous.
My first breakthrough. I have decided to order nickel ball bearings using the EQO.. QEO… whatever formula. It takes into account item cost, holding cost and weight of ball bearing I think. The purchase guy gave me a funny look when he saw my annual requisition contract form. He is obviously not an MBA…
Claire resigned today. She told me carry on with the “Our Employees Love Us” campaign.
P.S. Lesson for the week. You cannot order 0.7564 of a ball bearing. It has to be in whole numbers.
I just got a shipment of 4384 ball bearings. I checked up with Engineering.
They said that should be enough for around 14 years of requirement. I gave them 3 and stashed away the rest in a cupboard in my room. If prices of ball bearings go up, I see a lot of potential savings.
I have decided to develop informal channels of communication. From tomorrow I will spend a little time next to the coffee machine to understand the unspoken messages within the underbelly of the firm.
(That OD book is good)
I sent my first official letter today. It was to our Facilities manager Merry Le Bian. She is a hottie. I told her that the Coffee Machine takes too much time to reheat between refills. Wrote it in a WAC format and all with a table of contents and everything. She is sure going to be impressed!! I spell checked it in MS word and emailed it to her an hour ago. No reply yet.
They scrapped the “Our Employees Love Us” campaign. The photo shoot was taking up too much time, and people were being forced to stay late without extra pay. Someone finally went and vandalised the banner.
It now reads “Our Employers Shove Us“. I offered to model for all the snaps and videos. They called me a ********. I was delighted. ******** is internal slang for “Big Stud”. HR told me. Everyone calls me that…
P.S. One more shipment of ball bearings came. Again 4384. The contract can’t be changed now. I dont have too much space left in my cupboard.
My letter came back. It had a pink post-it on it from Merry. “Please proofread” it said. It was CC’d to my boss. How was I supposed to know MS Word would spell check her name and change it to Merry Lesbian????!!!!
Where’s natural justice?
Today five minutes before a meeting the cupboard door broke open. It took me ten minutes to pick up all the ball bearings from the floor. I had to run to the board room for the meeting and slipped on a bearing which rolled under the door. I fell on the coffee machine and tipped coffee powder into the polymer mixing matching tray. No one saw anything.
P.S. Sorry for the long break. My computer crashed. There was a mail from an old friend. She’s now married into the Welchia family I think.
Crashed after that. Strange name that Welchia…
My boss told me I may not last the probation period. I was mighty thrilled to hear that. Imagine!! Permanent in less than three months!!
That should be some sort of company record.
I made a presentation to all the staff yesterday. Some 300 people were there. I think I sent good vibes. Everyone was smiling and nodding their heads during the presentation. Someone later told me my fly was open the whole time. But I don’t think anyone noticed. The presentation was on “An Open Culture: Let the feeling show!!”
p.s. 17156 ball bearings. I floated a scheme to give each employee a ball bearing for every year of service. The HR manager immediately convened a meeting with my boss. Every suggestion counts here at PWC.
I have been transferred to the office in Sub-Saharan Africa . I will be heading the Room Heater and Hot Water Geyser products division. They have also told me to pay for all the ball bearings I bought. I think it speaks much of the entrepreneurial spirit. I have been told to leave immediately for Kujumbinana.
P.S. A foreign posting in under a year!!!
I am in Kujumbinana. We don’t have a branch here…
Here is a very nice post on a talk by Jason Fried of 37 Signals at Web 2.0 Expo on 9/17/2008.Very interesting and inspiring. Must read for all stake holders and managers.
Has its hands in just about everything and is incredibly important. Esp for morale. Most typical projects are really exciting at the beginning and then people tend to lose interest and fade out. Long projects eat at you and you’re not even looking to do good stuff you just want to finish things and they don’t turn out well. Create a situation where projects are short and there’s excitement and it’s a short 2 week project and it leaves people in excited mode. Break big projects into as many small projects. 2 week rule.
- Planning is Vastly Overrated
37Signals doesn’t do road maps, specs, projections. They have rough ideas internally but these aren’t shared externally. Even internally they’re not set in stone or written down. Think about what’s being done now and maybe what’s next. You set expectations too soon and things changed. Don’t want to be boxed into decisions you made 18 years ago. They don’t do design docs and functional specs ‘artifacts’ that don’t push back enough. A spec doc contains 1000 yes’es. Leads to an illusion of agreement. Everyone can read the same paragraph and think you agree. Don’t do projections like financial projections.
- Get rid of abstractions
Focus on what’s real right now. Not something that represents real. The actual real thing. That’s what’s most important. Don’t worry about the things you might do.
- Decisions are temporary
Companies are often paralyzed by big decisions that they believe are permanent. They think that what they decide today has to be that way forever. At 37Signals they’re going to do 4-day work weeks and pay for the hobbies they are interested in. They posted it on the blog and they got feedback “you guys are fucking crazy”. 37Signals has 12 people right now. Half are in Chicago, half in other cities. “If we have to change we change. Not the way it has to be always. For now this works.” Optimize for now. Don’t worry too much about what might happen. Focus on today.
- Red Flag Words
They chat a lot and do a lot of collaboration by typing. The more they collaborate the more they use certain words. The words don’t sound that dangerous to begin with: “need”, “can’t”, “everyone”, “easy”, “nobody”. “We need this feature.” A lot of needs but very few necessities. When you run into situations where everyone has needs that’s where animosity arises. “Can’t” is on the opposite end of the spectrum. “Can’t deliver this proposal unless we do X,” the truth is you probably can. Maybe you do but you probably don’t. “Easy” is a word you use to describe other people’s jobs. It’s pretty loaded and presumptuous. Watch out for these red flags. “Everyone” and “nobody” are words used as words to move towards decisions.
- Interruption is the enemy of productivity
When Jason and DHH were across the pond from each other they were super productive and they did work. When DHH moved to Chicago they got a lot less done. Proximity invites collaboration. Interruptions: tap on the shoulder with a question, required meetings, shouting someone’s name, “Hey Check this out”, phones & blackberry’s. Great quote: “Average work day has been traded in for work moments.” Most people get work done in the mornings or late at night. Not that there’s more work today – just that there’s less time in the daytime. Fragmented day is not a productive day. Strategy: on Thursdays nobody talks to each other. Passive collaboration instead of active collaboration. If someone is busy they can put it aside and come to it when they’re ready. Interruption points screw your days up.
- Focus on what doesn’t change
The technology and software business seems to obsess with what is in flux and changing. Always new stuff. New languages and frameworks. Focus on what doesn’t change and think about the things that matter today and will matter 10 years from now. “Speed is a really important thing for our products. 10 years from now people will still want speed. We could make a Facebook app or we could just make things faster – so we make things faster.” Reinvest in the things that don’t change. Competitors will chase the next big thing.
- Worrying about things that don’t matter yet
Happens to people in business all the time because people are paying attention to things that don’t matter yet. When you’re a designer and working on initial ideas. Jason finds that it’s better to sketch with a sharpie rather than a pen. With a sharpie you can’t get lost in the detail. You don’t want to worry about the details too early. Don’t spend days on a sketch, spend minutes. Polish may be important later but don’t worry about it now. The longer it takes to develop something the less likely you’ll launch it.
There is a cold war going on in the software world where everyone is trying to one-up everyone. If they’re spending X you have to spend XX. It’s like an arms race. Very expensive and very difficult to win the cold war. Usually only one winner and the other collapses. They under-do. They create the simpler product. Target nonconsumption. There is a group of people called nonconsumers who want to be consumers but are, for some reason, not able to be because of expense or complication. Problem is most companies move too far upmarket. Lot of people building office software, don’t build something that takes on excel head-to-head, but takes on something much more down market. Solve the simple problems because the big guys who have all the money won’t even notice you – you’re in a market they’ve already moved in.
- Find the right size
There are only two things whose soul purpose is to grow forever: business & tumors. Grow, grow, grow for no reason other than to grow. Best off figuring out what the right size is for your company. If you’re making a few mil or a few 100k a year, you’re doing pretty damn good. You want to grow slow and make big skips you may skip right over the right size. Figure it out as you go. “Maverick” Ricardo Semler has a great example: Oxford University is one of the world’s best universities. Why aren’t there tons of them? Because the Oxford that exists is the right size.
- Follow the Chefs
Lagasse, Batali, Flay, Child, Oliver. What they do is they out teach, out share, and out contribute their competitors. They’re out there saying “hey look, I’m a chef, I’m going to give you all my secrets, here they are.” Not afraid to put their ideas out there and let people learn from them. Not afraid that people will take their ideas and build a restaurant right beside of them. Think about “what’s your cookbook?” For 37Signals it was all about “Getting Real”. In the business world people ask “why would you want to give this away, won’t your competitors use it?” Give the idea away and get the message out. Company is lucky if it has customers, very lucky if it has fans, incredibly lucky if it has an audience that comes back to hear what you have to say every day.
- Always be Questioning
“Why are we doing this?” “What problem are we solving?” “Is there actually something wrong?” “Are we adding value?” Is this actually useful or is it just cool? Everything you add to your product dilutes everything else. “Will this change behavior?” Be thinking about is this additional piece of information going to change behavior? ”Is there an easier way?” The easy way is probably more than good enough.
- Give up on hard problems
Tere is nothing wrong with being lazy. There is an abundance of easy problems that need to be solved. The really hard problems are probably better left to your competitors. Solve a bunch of simple things. Most people’s problems are simple and you can probably solve 10 in a month over 1 in 10 months.
- Work less
This industry is plagued with people who work too many hours. At 37signals they find if you work people less, their work is usually better. 32 vs 40 hours has shown that the work is just as good and people are generally happier. People are more motivated and more refreshed when they come back on Mondays. Most of the week is “wasted on shit that doesn’t really matter.”
Check out the original post here. They followed up the talk with Q & A session which is also covered in detail.