Category Archives: Business

for matters relating to business

Finally?

I have been looking for full-time work for all too long. Today, I think I finally have a position. I knew that it had been warping me, but even so, I did not realise quite how much. I have been unable to really relax for a long time.

If you know of someone who is looking for work and having difficulty finding it, please do not just ignore him. Please give him a hand.

Unnecessary Change

The computer field has a lot of change. Personally, I think that there is too much. Quite often, changes appear to be made for the sake of change. When this breaks something that was working, it is somewhat irritating.

My local corner store is a combination Esso/7-11. I have an Esso loyalty card.

It used to be that I would be prompted to swipe my card; the swipe would then be acknowledged with a message.

Obviously, this was too easy.

Now, there is no prompt. There is an acknowledgement of the swipe (I think): the display blinks once.

Who thought that this would be better?

It is not as if there are not other changes that would be more useful. For example, if I wish to redeem points and make a purchase, it has to be done as two transactions. My Petro-Canada loyalty card does not have that limitation.

Computer Stuff Can Be Invisible

It is easier to deal with things when you can see them. While computers are very useful, sometimes, they hide things.

A note attached to a fridge works quite well. The note on the fridge is in your face. If you have a notes file on your computer, you have to explicitly look at it. If you do not, you do not see it.

A local company has been running an ad on the Web that I have seen many times. It is a very nicely done ad, but it is about a winter need. Spring is nearly half over. It was too easy for them to miss this. I sent an E-mail yesterday letting them know.

Job Fairs Are Fairer

These days, it can be very difficult to get any response from a job application. Many employers only reply to those they short-list.

Last week, I attended a job fair. It was the first time in quite a while that I had the opportunity to speak to employers about employment.

It felt good to be treated as if I mattered.

I think that employers should do this more often.

Stuck and Being Stuck In

Have you ever noticed how eager people and systems are to stick you in a role and keep you there forever? For example, I see many jobs advertised where one has to have experience even though a reasonably intelligent would already know the general parts and could learn the rest rather quickly.

It has been pointed out that some models of business structure are based on WW II militaries. There were few people who knew how and a lot of people had to be trained up fast. It is not the same situation in an office yet this same model gets used over and over.

If you had to do something that you did not know how to do and you really wanted to do it, how long would it really take before you could get a decent product out? I suggest to you and employers that the answer is much shorter than most think.

Ripoff by Budget Car and Truck Rental

I have dealt with Budget Car and Truck Rental for several years. That has now come to an end as, recently, I was ripped off by them.

I wanted to rent a van. I made the reservation on the phone with their central reservation office. I asked what the price would be after selecting my options and got a number. I thought it a bit dear, but I could see how it was reasonable.

I was very unpleasantly surprised when I got my credit card bill. The charge for the van rental was about $100 more than the amount I had been told.

I called to complain about this and was given excuses. I had not been given a figure including insurance, and, of course, I had signed the papers. I had been dealing with Budget for years and was not expecting to get ripped off. The more fool me.

The point was made repeatedly that I had signed. Beware of people who insist on the letter of the law.

I was offered a compromise of being ripped off for only one-half of $100. I declined. I asked to have the manager call me; no such call ever happened.

I ended up paying, because it was less trouble that way. I would have had to file a police report, and there still would be no guarantee that I would not have to pay.

Enjoy your $100, Budget. I hope you lose thousands from this blog entry.

Economics as a Hidden Factor

Have you ever wondered why so many bands have four members?

My answer is economics.

Four members is enough musical ummph that the band can be appealing, but the pay is not spread too thin. There are exceptions, but four is a very common number.

What other things work that way with economics being a hidden factor?

Experience Needed

I recently got turned down for a job partly as I do not have experience working as part of a larger development team. I do have over 25 years experience in programming, but this is not enough.

The old saw about having to have experience to get experience is not just for those starting their careers. Sigh!

Kids (and Many Others) Can’t Use Computers

I recently came across Kids can’t use computers… and this is why it should worry you. It is a blog posting by Marc Scott about difficulties he has encountered with people who supposedly can use computers. Many of us who do computer support can tell similar stories.

The trouble is that many people can not use computers as well as, say, cars. You know that you have to go to a gas station from time to time to refuel a car, but somehow, when it comes to computers, many people do not have the corresponding knowledge.

What is worse is that many people are proud of their ignorance. Try to tell them how to avoid a repetition of the problem you just dealt with, and they do not want to hear it. (It really is a relief when someone does listen.)

It is also thought that kids are digital natives and so they know all this stuff. That is not true either. By using a computer, you do not learn the technical side of computers any more than by driving, you learn auto mechanics.

This makes it difficult for those of us in computer support. Dealing with the same problem over and over because someone can not be bothered to learn is somewhat demoralising.

Please do not act as if computers are something you can not learn about. You can learn.

Really.

And it will make it easier for the both of us.