Work Conversation

  • JO: You would think that if a phone has a feature called an address book, it would let you add an address.
  • Me: I think it’s a misnomer.
  • JO: Then they should call it a phone book instead.
  • Me: I wonder if mine will let me add an address.
  • JO: Yours will probably google map the address for you.
  • Me: [type type type]
  • Me: It does.
  • JO: It will probably show you a street level view too.
  • Me: I don’t think so.
  • JO: Piece of crap.

[Did I mention how cool the iPhone is yet]

Your Share

  • Tech Writer (TW): I read that the mortgage bailout is going to cost like 800 Million dollars.
  • Me: I think you mean 800 BILLION.  800 Million wouldn’t even be news worthy at this point.
  • TW: You are probably right.
  • Me: Still, a billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you’re talking about real money.
  • TW: Anyway it said that with that with this year’s deficit, the national debt will be close be 10.6 Trillion.
  • Me: $10,600,000,000,000.00 seems like a lot of money to me.
  • Me: Let’s do the math…
  • Me: It says here, the population of the US is about 304 Million.
  • Me: Let’s see… 10,600,000 M divided by 304 M
  • Me: Your share of the debt is $34,868.
  • TW: Are you telling me that I’m $35,000 more in debt than I thought.
  • Me: No, $70,000.  You forgot about your wife.
  • TW: Damn her.
  • Me: Well assuming you get a decent interest rate, you can pay $420/month for the next 30 years and your share will be paid off.
  • Me: If I pay off my family’s portion, the bill would be $1049/month.

Work Conversation: Collection

  • Ben: Hey Jim, you know how I’ve been putting aluminum can tabs on your desk for your daughter?
  • Me: Sure…
  • Ben: Well my kids are collecting State Quarters, so if you could leave any of those on my desk, I’d appreciate it.
  • Me: No problem.  Did I mention that my kids are collecting 20’s.
  • Me: They want to collect one of each serial number, so you can just leave those on my desk.

Email exchange w/ Tony

My friend Tony, from a previous employer sent me an email.

Last week I was walking through the halls in the new Engineering building for a “little” local brewery downtown. The conference rooms are the latest in fashion, glass walls, built in LCD screen projectors, etc. Well, what should I see when I passed one of those rooms but a curious X-Y plot on the board, Vertical axis labeled “Time to Resolve Issues” and horizontal axis labeled “Complexity of System”, with two curved lines on the plot that intersected at 0,0. One line curved out then up, the other line curved up then out.

I poked my head in the door and asked of they knew what that was, the leader responded “It’s the Hofer curve” but I’m not too sure why he knew it was called that.

You should have gotten a patent on that thing.

Cheers, or as they say in Belgium ‘Op uw gezondheid’.


My response:

So someone I’ve never met was doing a presentation about a concept I threw out in a conversation over ten years ago!?

That is funny.

I guess that was my 15 minutes of fame and I didn’t even get to enjoy it

Boring background for those who care: Continue reading Email exchange w/ Tony


The following things were actually heard in high level meetings last week*

  •  By definition it’s not defined.
  • I’m going to make things more complex for a minute so we can simplify them.
  • Then we can have a “I give a shit” button.
  • We need to be playing Sesame Street.
  • His strawberry is much bigger than mine.
  • We need to attach it to something that we don’t know if it exists.
  • If you think your speedometer is broken, you shouldn’t black out your windshield.
  • I’m not very good at explaining myself right now…where right now is since I was born.
  • This is fun for me, this is the only fun I’ve had in this meeting.
  • Requests don’t need to be fun and joyful, but they need to be tedious and painful.
  • It was a really fancy restaurant with bizarre foods, like a lobster shoved up a sheep’s butt.

Conversational tidbits:

  • VP: In China they don’t have napkins, they wipe their hands on little….[pause while rubbing his fingers]
  • Me: children?
  • Person 1: The worst interview question I ever had was “You are given an elephant, what do you do?”
  • Person 2: I’d sodomize it.

* I was the low title in the meetings.  Everyone else had titles that started with the words “Vice President” or “Director”, or ended in the word “Manager”, with an occasional  “Senior” added in here or there for flavor.