Work 2007

Workin' 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin'...

Katie and I were watching the news the other day and they had a special about successful women in the workplace and how difficult their personal lives are as a result of their professional ones. It was so bad, in fact, that one of the five or six women that were part of this panel interview had actually started a Web site dedicated to successful women attempting to find meaningful relationships.

This floored me. I know that there are many men who are threatened by successful women. They look at it as though their manhood is being trampled.

But I had assumed that the tide had been changing for a while now so that, ideally, maybe it would be a 50/50 split between those guys who are threatened and those who are not. From the sound of things, though, it doesn't seem as though this is the truth. It sounded as though none of the women interviewed had been able to find men who could deal with what these women represented.

Now, clearly, five or six women is not a truly representative sample of the full population of women in the workplace. In fact, it's likely that the panel members were screened ahead of time to get a sampling that was skewed in favor of the viewpoint that the news channel was hoping to present.

But, even so, you have to figure that there is still some truth to it all. And I find this sad. I find it sad that men can't handle the concept of a woman having greater success than them.

Why is it such a sin for a woman to make more money?

Katie and I decided a long time ago that, when we have kids, the one of us that is making the least money with the fewest benefits or who has the greater chance at being able to work from home would stay at home. We're both fine with this decision even now. We talked about it after the news report and we're still find with this choice.

Have any of you made this same decision? How has it worked out? Or have you been in situations similar to these women? This can be answered by the men reading this post, too. Let me know how you would feel if you were in this position.

BTW, got a meme for you in the extended post...

Continue reading "Workin' 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin'..." »

The sky's the limit but my plane won't fly...

Paid Time Off...

Floating Vacation Days...

Personal Days...

Basically all are just different ways of noting that I have days off coming to me at work. But they're all designated differently. Some roll over from year to year, some expire at the end of a calendar year. With all this terminology, how is one supposed to keep it all straight?

I looked at my pay stub a week ago and discovered that I have one day's worth of personal days and three days worth of floating vacation days and they have to be used by the end of the year or I will lose them. Wait a second. I went on a five-day vacation at the end of May to Las Vegas. Why weren't they used up then?

Seems in my confusion over all this terminology, I marked the wrong box on my vacation request. I made the mistake of chalking up my time off to the only option that does not expire at the end of the year. D'oh!

And now I'm in the, I suppose, enviable position of forcing myself to take four days off before December 31. I know some of you are probably wondering why I'm whining. Wouldn't we all like extra time off? Well, yeah, and I've got plenty to do at home to keep me busy what with our wall project and everything. But I've got plenty to keep me busy at work as well. And trying to plan days off around my projects is never easy.

But I'll be damned if I'm going to lose these days. That's why I'm home today. I got to sleep in and, for the first time in a long time, was actually home while Katie was leaving for work. She's usually still asleep when I leave, so this is quite the change.

So I'll do some work on the walls, surf a bit, maybe watch Hot Fuzz since I got it from Netflix, meet Katie for lunch, work out, etc.

This grand list of potential accomplishments, of course, means I might get one of the above done. Probably the one about surfing.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): I was in a Starbucks the other day and I noticed a sign by the register advertising a recall on children's mugs. The notice claimed that if the mug fell, it would likely shatter and, thus, create pieces with sharp edges.

Well duh.

Are we going to recall all ceramic, glass, wood, Plexiglas, and plastic products now? They all create sharp edges when broken.

Does anyone else think the Consumer Products Safety Commission is going a little overboard these days? A lot of these very same problems existed throughout my childhood and I like to think I turned out okay. I almost think the CPSC exists so people can be slack-ass parents.

Don't leave me high...

This is an excerpt of a conversation I had yesterday with my office mate (MyOM)...

Me: So I discovered why the break room has three different coffee pots. One decaf is for full strength and one is for half strength. The regular pot is for full strength caffeinated. They use one and a half packets of grounds for full strength and one packet for half strength although that doesn't necessarily add up mathematically.

MyOM: Sounds a bit too complicated for me.

Me: I agree. I think they should all be the way I like it... black, regular, and strong.

[awkward silence]

Me: Umm...

MyOM: Yeah, I'm not going to touch that one.

Me: It really didn't sound quite so bad in my head.

MyOM: It never does.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): It was announced a few weeks back that Radiohead was going to ditch iTunes when they release their new album, In Rainbows. Their complaint was that, on iTunes, people could buy just a song or two and not the entire album. They feel their album is one complete narrative and that it should be purchased as an all-or-nothing deal.

Artistically, I can understand where they're coming from. But, as a fan, I think they're being selfish and bullheaded. That's the beauty of iTunes and other online music stores, you can buy what you want when you want it. And you'll own the music legally.

Then Radiohead made another announcement... In Rainbows is being offered up on their Web site in either discbox or download format and you pay what you think it's worth to you. Whether the amount is $0, the normal $10-15 for an album, or even more, you pay what you feel the album should be valued at. It's an interesting concept and one I'm willing to try. I'm especially willing since I'm not as big a fan of Radiohead's newer tunes. I much prefer their old stuff like The Bends and OK Computer. But, with that offer in place, I'll definitely give this new album a shot.


Upon further examination, you are subject to a transaction fee if you order the download as opposed to the discbox version. Not sure how much that is yet, but we shall see. Plus, if you order the discbox, you get it a week ahead of those who buy the downloadable format.

So what is Radiohead worth to you?

Call me...

More snippety goodness...

There was regular coffee in the breakroom today! Yay me!

Here's a quick note to anyone who knows that I am a Cubs fan and would like to tease me over the fact that the Cubbies are now down by two games to the D-Backs... yep, I realize it. And no, it doesn't phase nor upset me in the slightest. I am so desensitized by disappointment that any Cubs failure really does nothing to me. My expectation for success is about as high as my expectation that a Will Ferrell movie won't annoy me. Yeah, pretty low.

Now you know.

And knowing is half the battle.

I love how the Apple iTunes Store gives stuff away for free. Most of the time, it's a B-side to a new album, or a music video, or some song by an artist or new TV show you've never heard of in a hope to give them a popularity boost. Whatever. The key is that it's free.

However, when the freebie is something that I know and love, it's all the better. Take, for instance, the free episode of American Dad that is currently being offered. It was this past Sunday's "Vacation Goo" episode which I thought was brilliant and left me in stitches. And to make it free? Score!

I know it's common for areas to be "redistricted," for lack of a better way to word it, in terms of area codes for phone service. Heck, since I've lived in Illinois, I have had four area codes. The reason for this is because the proliferation of new technologies like fax machines and cell phones over the past couple decades has necessitated more numbers within an area code and, thus, the coverage area must shrink and new area codes must be added.

But what I hate is when overlay area codes are applied. This occurs when a single geographic area has two area codes working in it rather than redividing the area. This has already happened in other parts of the Chicago suburbs and now it will affect my area as well. We will soon see the 331 area code work in our 630 zone and all phones, faxes, cells, etc., must be reprogrammed because we must now dial the full 10 (or 11, if you need to use the 1, but cellphones don't need them) digit number to make a local call.


I'm pretty sure I mentioned this on here somewhere recently, but I am going to make the jump to WordPress pretty soon. My hope was to have all this done by the middle of this month, but it doesn't seem to be happening. I've got so much crap going on that doing anything to my blog other than posting is just an impossibility. Heck, I haven't even transferred my domain over to a new host yet and that's really the first thing I need to do to make it a reality.

But I do think I finally have a photo in mind for my banner. That's one baby step in the right direction.

Speaking of redesign, I have two sites that I worked on in the past for friends and family to which I need to make some stylistic tweaks. Imagine my chagrin when I discovered that all the source files for these sites are nowhere to be found. Original raw images? Nothing. Layered Photoshop images? Nada.

This ticks me off. Now I have to recreate the images from scratch. So not fun.

They've given you a number and taken away your name...

Have you ever looked at yourself in the context of where you work and what you do for them and wondered if there was an ulterior motive behind your hiring? A more nefarious purpose for you at your place of employment?

Do you mean like that little catch-all tagline on your employment contract that reads "and other duties as assigned"?

No, no. I'm talking much darker. Far outside the scope of what would normally be considered a reasonable job expectation.

Like when Jim Carrey was promoted to serve as a scapegoat for his tech company in Fun With Dick and Jane?

Closer. But still much more evil.

Oh, do tell.

I shall.

I'm a Web designer and my willingness to adapt and learn other skills has resulted in me doing some graphic design work as well as writing, proofreading, and photography on the job. But I wonder, sometimes, if maybe my current job has really hired me to be a payrolled assassin.

What?!?! Have you lost it, dude?

Perhaps. After all, I am holding up two ends of a shared conversation within a single post.

Good point. So what evidence do you have to support this theory?

Well, only one bit of evidence so far. But it may just be enough.

Okay, give it to me, big guy.

Here you go. It's my ID badge. Well, more specifically, the cable winder that attaches the ID badge to my belt loop. This thing is a weapon. I don't know if it's a purposeful or an unintentional weapon, but I've seen enough spy and assassin films to know just what kind of damage this sort of thing can do.

If I pull on the badge, a thin, 2.5-foot-long string is exposed.


I always thought that the purpose behind this is so you don't have to detach your ID badge to scan it or show it to security.

Uh huh. That's what they want you to believe.

This should be good.

I think this device exists for the sole purpose of strangling an enemy at a time to be determined later by one of my higher ups.

Please stop it now. This really hurts.

Wait, just hear me out. It's kinda like The Manchurian Candidate... I could just be sitting there typing away and then a message will be received subconsciously by my brain which will trigger the killer instinct that has clearly been programmed in me by our HR department during those "sensitivity training sessions."

Yeah, some good that "brain" has done you to this point.

What did you say?

Oh, nothing. Don't mind me. You haven't thus far.

Anyway, they want you to believe that it's nothing more than a convenience item... make life easier... riiiiiight. They also want me to believe I'm just a Web designer, but I've uncovered the truth! I have seen the light! And it has an eerie blood-red glow to it.

Sorry, buddy, I'm outta here. I just can't take this.

Wait, you're supposed to be my moral compass!

Pal, you're beyond my help now.

Hey, got a meme for you in the extended post...

Continue reading "They've given you a number and taken away your name..." »