Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Fender Girls

Yesterday morning I was on my way to work and I ran into congestion on a street that shouldn’t have been half as busy as it was, despite morning rush hour. I was bumper to bumper the entire way until finally I came upon the incident that was slowing everything down. Two women had apparently gotten in a fender bender, and to say “fender bender” is quite honestly an overstatement. These women were in the middle lane of a three-lane street, SUVs stationary, exchanging information while citizens on their way to work attempted to maneuver around them. Are you kidding me? It absolutely boggles my mind that these people didn’t have the common courtesy, sense or anything even remotely close to rational thought to think to themselves: “Gee, maybe we should move off the side of the road and into one of the 50 parking lots that lined this street!” I don’t get it. Forget the idea of human error in the lady who bumped (lightly tapped, blew a kiss) into the other, but what on earth were they thinking on having a pow-wow in the middle of the street in the middle of morning rush hour traffic in the middle of a very busy metropolitan area? Idiots.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Number crunching v. Analyzing

I think there’s a major difference between number-crunching and analyzing. Number-crunching involves monotonous, methodical, mundane, mindless routine with no substance to drive it. Number-crunchers can easily have a conversation or rock Pandora while performing their tasks. To me, analyzing numbers or a particular dataset is completely different. You have to truly understand all sorts of angles and dimensions to what you’re doing. On the front end, objectives need to be clear in order to truly define the direction you wish to take in examining a situation. One has to know exactly how to execute this in order to best deliver those objectives. On the back end, interpreting the results as more of a story instead of sheer characters on a page is critical in helping drive strategy moving forward. Data-driven decisions are becoming a necessity in cut throat organizations that want to track every penny out, and every penny in. Number-crunching is one thing, but legitimate analytics is something entirely different.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

E-mail Signatures

I recently received an e-mail from a friend of mine who just landed a job in the real estate industry. I got to the end of the e-mail and noticed a chunk of verbiage that resembled the format of a haiku poem. It was a signature, and it dominated ten lines of the e-mail letter.

Thanks to this unnecessary amount of information provided at the end of an informal, short e-mail note, I am now entirely capable of reaching my friend on his cell, on his direct line, through a fax, through an e-mail, through a website, through paper mail, in person at the address or through the means of a carrier pigeon. I mean, really? The direct office line and e-mail I can understand, but the rest is complete garbage. However it still makes me wonder as to why the e-mail is in the signature to begin with: don’t you have to get the e-mail from that address to see it anyway? Fax? Organizations that aren’t paperless or on the verge of becoming paperless need to get with the program. It’s almost 2010.

Anyone external to the organization doesn’t need all of that information provided in the signature. I’d be willing to bet that e-mail is preferred and utilized ten times more than any other medium. And for internal folks, all of his coworkers would most likely have access to his cell phone, underwear brand, fax line, etc. via some company intranet or directory. Are the signatures there as a means of professionalism? Are they there to look cool? Signatures can be important; I get that – but ten lines important?

I love you, friend… these are all just thoughts.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Interesting experience

Last night I was on my way home and ran into very slow-moving traffic. It was 10:00p on a Thursday night, so there shouldn’t have been any congestion. A group of about 50 people riding “crotch-rocket” motorcycles were toying with drivers on the road. They would group together, forming a line across the highway, and then slow down to a 30 mile-per-hour crawl, causing a ripple effect down a major interstate. I was at the very front, so I got to see these folks on their motorcycles, most likely snickering underneath their helmets. Many were doing wheelies, others talking amongst themselves.

I’m not sure what my opinion is on this. One side of me thinks “idiots” while another side thinks “geniuses.”

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Guilt as an alarm clock

Guilt can be an effective alarm clock.

“Falling back” from daylight savings time has forced me to get up to run in the mornings, instead of after work, because now the sun beams on full-power at 6:30a and is essentially shut off at 5:30p. So unless I want to run with a headlamp and a flashing vest, I'll have to do it in the a.m. Less than twelve hours of sunlight… depressing.

I had decided that this morning was to be my first trial at pre-work running, as I gear up for a marathon in December. My alarm clock went off at 6:15a and I immediately shut it off; I didn’t even give the ‘snooze’ button the benefit of the doubt, I simply thought another hour and a half of sleep trumps any deal I had made with myself the night prior. I shut my eyes to go back to sleep until the guilt pulled me out of bed, out the door and onto the road with my running shoes. Knowing that I a) had made a deal with myself the night before and b) have a training deadline for an up-and-coming 26.2 mile haul was enough weight in the guilt section of my brain to get me up.

Going out on a weeknight and deciding to sleep in and be late for work or class hardly ever happens, even if you don’t set an alarm, the guilt of missing either of the two sets its’ own alarm clock. Staying over at a special someone’s house when it wasn’t in your best interest will not only wake you up and get you out of bed quickly, it will most likely happen way before the average person gets his or her day going. Being on vacation in Europe is hardly a vacation, you don’t ever sleep in! And it’s not because you’ll truly miss out on anything but because you’ll feel guilty for sleeping too long while you’re in Europe (God forbid).

Just a thought.