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Showing posts from February, 2008

Trust me... the donuts are here!

Dear Members and Constituents, I believe over ninety nine percent of everything you've ever learned is based on trust If you rob a bank you'll go to jail... have you ever tried it? Cyanide will kill you... have you seen anybody take a cyanide pill? The world is round... have you been out to space and seen it first-hand? The universe is 12 billion years old... really? We trust that our parents, professors, schoolbooks and news sources are tellin g us the truth. We take these truths and create rules which generalize and simplify to our own little reality. Everything has an explanation and falls in its place. This makes it so we don't have to think about most things ordinary. It also, however, means that if one of these truths or generalizations turns out not to be so true after all, we need to re-think our reality and adjust to what we've learned. This year (today, in-fact) February does not have 28 days. That beer you're planning to drink at 5 o'something may not


Dear Members and Constituents, Do you ever find yourself going through the same old routine when, suddenly, something unexpected happens? It hits you out of the blue and makes you see things in a different light. I find that, while these events don't happen as frequently as I'd like, when they do, they make my day. OK, I admit I'm easily amused, what else is new? Case-in-point 1 : This morning as I was walking from my car to my office (as routine as it gets), I noticed there was a bird singing. This beautiful blue sky morning had just gotten a tad bit better. I don't recall having heard birds singing for quite some time. I had not even been aware of the absence of that cheerful sound in days and weeks past, yet, when I heard it this morning it was like a void was filled. Case-in-point 2 : I had noticed some time back as I was driving to work that the field west of Simms and a little south of the airport has (for no good reason I've been able to decipher) no less t

Type O personalities

Dear Members and Constituents, In a hallway conversation this week, Katy Armstrong made a casual comment to me about how we [Level 3 employees] all have "Type A personalities". I have heard this same comment multiple times before and had always assumed it loosely meant "overachieving go-getters" (or workaholics). This time, however, I decided to look it up. Boy was I surprised. Granted, anybody can contribute to Wikipedia, however, they are usually pretty close to the mark. It turns out (according to Wikipedia, anyway) that Type A personality includes traits such as insecurity about one's status, hostility and difficulty exhibiting "non-pessimistic behavior". Apparently Type B (the other alternative) is not much better, as the term "lazy" appears to be best suited to describe this behavior pattern. That's it, I thought? Then I looked at the traits exhibited by most Friday Donut Club members, I would hardly think of them as having an "

Super Friday

Dear Members and Constituents, Did you ever turn the channel to a really bad reality TV show? You want to change the channel but are unable to turn away for some unexplained reason. You just have to keep watching, even though you know there is no possible satisfactory outcome. That was how I felt watching the Super Tuesday election coverage. So many statistics yet so little insight. I can't imagine being a news reporter covering the event. How do you talk so much about so little? -- I suppose it's the nature of the news business. I, for one, am glad all those states did not decide to make their elections coincide on a Friday. After all, Fridays are already Super. One of the reasons that make Friday's super are, obviously, donuts. The donut purveyor of today's Super Friday event is as predictable as the presidential nominee for a fist-term president's party. Yes, Christy Rygiewicz has called upon LaMar's today to represent all things sweet and yummy. So, come an

Donuts and Euphemisms

Dear members and constituents, We've all used them before. Short phrases designed to protect the sensitivities of others. They're called Euphemisms and for some reason the work world seems to be rank with them. Let's take "Human Resources" (formerly the "Personnel" department). We are managing resources, it's not... personal. Moving down the list is Opex Reduction. We all know profits are good and expenses are bad, so it stands to reason operational expenses are something we want to avoid like the plague... right? Pink Slip has such a nice ring to it (pink being such a delicate color and all). I must say RIF tops them all for me. We've created an acronym for a euphemism. Two layers removed from the act. RIF, of course stands for Reduction in Force. Surely, if you apply too much force you will break something. Reducing the force applied can't be bad. Force, we all know is short for Work force... this impersonal fuel that keeps the industrial m