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Comment Re:Fucking WAAAA. (Score 1) 378

'While others take vacation and time off in December, remember we aren't allowed ever to be off in December. Ever,' said a 20-year veteran UPS driver on the UPS Facebook page. 'So when you see your family and complain that your package is held up, everyone who moves your package is working and doesn't get the Xmas experience you get, Be thankful for that.'"

Hey, fuck you, buddy. They told you that shit about not taking time off during the busiest shipping season of the year when you took the job 20 fucking years ago, and probably reminded you every year since, so don't try to play the fucking victim here. Plus, "Dur, I had to work" is a really, really piss-poor excuse for failing to meet your work obligations, now isn't it?

I don't really get to take a lot of time off, period, but you don't see me using that as an excuse to suck at my job.

Side note: My wife ordered me a new watch on Dec. 4, shipped via UPS.

The current arrival date is sometime after Jan. 4.

What is the tracking #? unless you can provide a tracking # I call BS. If the shipper tells you they don't have the tracking # its because they haven't shipped it yet... If it doesn't start with a 1Z, then your package was not sent UPS, and that alone could be part of the problem. Get me that #, and I'll show you how to find out where your package is, and who you need to talk to about it...

Comment Re: hey, seems like all my US Postal Service packa (Score 2) 378

True story: UPS has handed off a lot of its last-leg delivery to the USPS, especially in rural areas. Those routes were never profitable for UPS so now they only deliver as far as the local post office, which doesn't exactly put a priority on delivering someone else's packages, so they may sit for a while before getting loaded on the USPS trucks for final delivery. This happened to us 2 years ago - we'd ordered some stuff that would not arrive before we went to visit relatives, so (with their permission) we had it shipped to their house. According to the online tracking, it sat in their post office for two days before USPS deigned to deliver it. Fortunately, the packages were still "on time" that time, but we did have some worries over it.

What you are referring to is a specific cut rate service level that UPS offers to shippers. It is called Surepost, and FedEx has their own version of it. You can avoid this by ensuring that the shipper sends your package by ground, or one of the air variants. If the shipper is offering free shipping, or just says UPS shipping, then it is most likely the above mentioned shipping option. Neither UPS nor FedEx will ever downgrade any other shipment type to the USPS, so unless you are only paying for the cut rate shipping, your package will be delivered to you by UPS or FedEx.

Comment Re:Tough choices... (Score 4, Insightful) 378

'While others take vacation and time off in December, remember we aren't allowed ever to be off in December. Ever,' said a 20-year veteran UPS driver on the UPS Facebook page.

As somone in a similar position (not career, but limited vacation-time availability), that's a career choice each person must make. If you aren't happy with it, change careers.

And just what career do you think that a delivery driver (who I might add is not qualified to do anything requiring more than a high school diploma) is supposed to switch to? Remember, half of the people in the world have an IQ below 100 by definition. Should we just relegate all of these people to 2nd class citizen status with poverty level jobs (if any job at all)? Most of these people dont have any other options that offer any chance of paying enough to allow them to raise a family. Or is it your considered opinion that these people exist only to serve you? People like you invented slavery, and would have us return to it in the name of capitalism.

Comment Re:oh fucking cry about it. (Score 2) 378

Which means that if Amazon was promising it when their shipping providers weren't making that promise, Amazon should have been looking for alternative shipping methods that could meet the promise.

I'll give you a hint: There aren't any.

Why do you think Amazon has been making noises about starting their own delivery services. They are sick of the results they have been getting from *all* of the existing delivery companies. To Amazon I say, "Good Luck", let me know how that works out for you...

Comment Re:Understandable, but... (Score 3, Insightful) 378

"But they could have I think, for a nominal fee, booked more charter flights"

I'm afraid that extra flights, contractors, etc are just not available.

You are entirely correct that it is a management failure. Management should have their own extra equipment, and they should have sufficient personnel already hired to operate the equipment. But, you're simply not going to find a lot of planes, trucks, and temporary personnel to contract right at Christmas.

That extra capacity comes with a price. Are you willing to pay an extra $8 shipping on every order all year long to pay for the equipment that sits idle for 11 months out of the year?

Comment Re:Understandable, but... (Score 1) 378

Part of what you are talking about is mean capacity covering 90% ish of the cases and surge capacity which covers the unusual volume or weather cases. Surge capacity is expensive and hard to prove of value. So the bean counters don't like it. But they could have I think, for a nominal fee, booked more charter flights, contractors etc. on stand by in case of need. This is a management failure, surges happen and storms happen. Where was the fall back plan?

On a side note, a friend of mine is an ER worker. She said lack of ER and hospital surge capacity is her nightmare. Anytime there is a major event; e.g. large car pile up, plane crash etc.; the lack of capacity creates a nightmare for hospital staff and patients.

This time of year, all rental equipment is in short supply, because the rental places dont like to keep over-sized fleets around just in case delivery companies want to rent extra equipment during the holiday season. You can have all the planes in the world, but the world-wide supply of pilots is somewhat limiting. You dont just take someone and throw them in the cockpit of a DC-10 and let them loose. It takes a lot of training to be allowed to fly these machines, and its just not the sort of thing you can whoop up, even with a few months notice. The excess used to be taken up by simply working longer hours, but a more stringent enforcement of DOT hours of service rules has created a hard limit on how many total delivery and transportation hours are available.

Couple that with the realities of on-line sales, and the problem is very complicated. 15 years ago, holiday package volume was only about 60% above "normal". With the advent of online shopping, holiday delivery volumes are now 300% or more of normal delivery volume. It is very difficult to stretch the infrastructure to that degree. As mentioned, the only way to cope is to keep excess capacity, but that excess capacity is very expensive. Would you still be interested in shipping if it cost twice what it does now? How about if it cost you double all the time, just so that bargain hunter shoppers could wait until the last minute in the hopes of squeezing an extra 10% off the cost of their Christmas shopping?

Comment Re:Incentives. (Score 1, Insightful) 397

This will never change. Articles like this one, and counter-articles, will be written in perpetuity, because neither side is objectively correct. Or rather, both sides are correct even though they are in direct disagreement.

That only holds true if one assumes Capitalism and all of its social consequences are an absolute given. Under other less traditional economic systems, those assumptions do not necessarily hold, and working process' can be created that do not maintain this insane tension. The fact is that we are getting closer and closer to absolute Capitalism in the United States, and as we get closer, we are seeing rising poverty, rising unemployment, the elimination of the middle class, and a massive increase in the wage gap. Lets face it, Capitalism is really only unquestionably good for the top 1%. Everyone else is as likely to be hurt by it as helped.

Put another way, if every company took Netflix approach that only the top 10% are worthy of a job, what do the other 90% do to eat? A person cant just will themselves to be smarter. They can work harder, but that often causes them to make more mistakes, not less, and is really only valuable to jobs that require manual labor (the kind that will be / are being replaced by robots).

I propose that we better solve this dilemma, and right soon, or the fallout will destroy our society. The ultimate consequence of continuing down the road were on is civil war.

Comment Re:Let's take them at their word, and count bodies (Score 1) 199

Therefore society should totally abandon enforcing laws against bank robbery until it has reduced gambling losses from $92 billion to something close to $29.5 million.

We have already effectively done that with smaller personal robberies. If a house or car is robbed, unless the owner is rich, or politically connected, the closest the police come to an investigation is to take a statement over the phone. There has to be an injury or fatality to get an officer to show up. Our society already made that choice, the bar is just a little lower than your example...

Comment Re:I doesn't matter (Score 1) 199

Not to put too fine a point on it, but I find it interesting that so many are willing to sacrifice MY freedom in the interests of THEIR (illusion of) safety, then the safest (real safety) place I can think of would probably be an isolation cell inside a SuperMax prison. Barring any suicidal tendencies, you'd be pretty damn safe sitting in one of those rooms.

Maybe we just need to divert some tax dollars to building "safe facilities" for the cowards who think they need to be protected from all of the dangers their imaginations cook up.

We have many such places, and every so often, all of our elected officials are scurried into them. Now we just have to figure out how to keep them there...

Comment Re:Of course it didn't. (Score 2) 199

Why hasn't he gotten in trouble legally? Probably because Congress had already been informed of the truth, and Wyden asked a highly inappropriate question in an inappropriate place as a form of grandstanding.

Wyden’s Stunt Was Congress at its Worst

The question Wyden asked is only inappropriate if the programs Clapper was being asked about should have legitimately been classified. If the programs themselves are being protected under the national security act inappropriately, then there is no issue. The simple fact is that one of two things is at play here, and the courts /congress will likely have to sort it out in the weeks and months to come.

Option 1: The national security act did in fact allow for the programs which clapper was asked to speak about, in which case, clapper was prohibited, by law from speaking about it. In that case, the national security act itself is demonstrably unconstitutional, and needs to be / hopefully will be struck down as such.

Option 2: (the more likely option) The NSA's programs extended beyond the authority granted by the national security act, and as such, no national security protections should have been afforded to Wydens questioning. Under this scenario, there is no question that Clappers responsibility was to fully disclose the programs in accordance with the will of congress, although, ironically, it may have been in Clappers best interests to plead the fifth... All in all, Clappers choice to lie to congress was about the dumbest thing he could have chosen to do, but it is in keeping with an agency that believes itself to be above congress, above the law, and most dangerously, above the constitution of the United States of America.

Comment Re:Mod Parent Down (Score 2) 141

Hell, our graduates who can barely communicate in english are getting great jobs.

That's because the first thing an employer thinks when they find someone with broken English is "Cool, temporary worker, I don't have to provide benefits!", A 70k job without benefits in Boston or Silicon Valley is basically equivalent to a minimum wage job in other parts of the USA. You can live on it, but its got no future.

I graduated in the 2001 meltdown, and was unable to get engineering work. I took whatever work I could get, but ultimately, I joined a start-up instead. Where I currently live, there is nothing in engineering jobs within 200 miles in any direction. I'm not saying there is nothing worth having, I'm saying there is nothing at all. I went looking to find out what I should offer when i needed to bring on my first employee, and discovered I could offer 30k with minimal benefits, and I still got over 300 applications. I ultimately ended up paying 45k with somewhat better benefits, because I was impressed by the guy, but I probably could have held my ground and still got him anyways. Down the road, I expect he will transition well to a leadership role as we grow further.

If you look on monster.com, or dice, for "engineering", there are remarkably few postings. For the geographic northeast USA, there were only 35 new postings per day, for all jobs matching the term "engineering". That is out of a population of 50 million people. By contrast, my school graduated 2000 engineering students the year I graduated. In the US, every year, more than 50k engineering students graduate. That's only enough jobs for the existing graduating class for this country, add to that the 600,000 Chinese graduates and 350,000 Indian graduates who are all competing for these same jobs, its no wonder everyone wants to increase the H1-B visas. If we could expand the labor pool to include both of those labor sources, we can thoroughly unbalance the supply and drive labor costs down. The labor supply in both China and India dramatically outweighs the demand, in large part because of the belief in the ability to enter the american job market. These people do not want to live in the states permanently, just stay a decade or so, and save up to retire "back home". An Indian worker can earn enough in the US in fifteen years to effectively retire when they return to India. For rural Chinese, the duration is even shorter, although the cost of living in China is increasing rapidly. These are people that american companies do not have to pay benefits, nor retirement expenses for. This effectively cuts the payroll expense in half, even if the worker earns the same wage.

As a former job seeker, I fully understand how it sucks. As an employer, I am in a position to pay an american worker, but largely because in my current line of business I have no effective competition yet. When that changes, and I have to compete, I will be taking the least expensive option.

Comment Re:I actually learn at work (Score 3, Interesting) 308

Not OP. It's one of those positions that make sure your project doesn't turn into healthcare.gov, which is what happens when you don't design the system before you start writing code.

It is a position that is made necessary because many coders cannot handle co-operation on a large project without an authority telling them how their piece of the project should work. A small group of fully competent coders could have built healthcare.gov in a couple of months. The problem is that the task was given to the lowest bidder, and the coders involved did not have the experience (among other shortcomings), and the project clearly lacked leadership of any kind. One or the other was required, and both were absent.

I have seen a 10 man group finish a project that ultimately ended up being about 200k LOC in three months. The project was completed early, and was fully functional on completion, including the B and C priorities. The group did not have a leader, and each member of the group had their own area of expertise. In theory, each of them had authority over their own piece, and the others could collectively override decisions made by one member. In practice, no one ever got overridden, because if the decision was bigger than their own little piece, they built informal consensus first. The group held no formal meetings, and management was terrified of messing with the group because of their long track record of success. No manager wanted anything to do with the group, and being assigned as their manager terrified everyone, because if the group ever failed to perform, it would automatically be assumed that it was the managers fault... In the end, some dimwit got the bright idea that breaking up the group, and "seeding" other groups would somehow create 10 groups with the capabilities of the original. Didn't work so hot, As you can imagine it didn't take long for the people to leave. Last I heard, two of them were still there, but the other eight had moved on.

At the end of the day, the best products are made by *very* small groups of highly capable people. You cannot make people like that, they are born. Experience can improve the quality and performance of all coders, but intuition cannot be manufactured, only purchased. The moral of the story is if you have a powerful working group, don't mess with it, You are overwhelmingly more likely to do harm than good. If you are trying to assemble such a group, all the coding tests in the world will not help, because their strength is not in how experienced they are, nor how well they can solve problems, but how they interact with each other to amplify their productivity. You need a group of people with varied points of view, that can cooperate. They don't have to be super-stars. They don't have to have 30 years of experience. In fact, ego is the biggest impediment to a successful team.

Comment Re:Next job? (Score 3, Insightful) 308

There are a million examples of people moving up through the ranks, most promotions happen from within organizations, not from outside. Just look at the new Ford CEO.

Which is exactly why companies eventually collapse under their own weight. Companies are first and foremost a hierarchical organization. This automatically makes them a political organization, and where politics goes, groupthink goes. After that it doesn't take much to make the leap to mediocrity. Any group of individuals that is capable of working against this trend is going to leave and start their own company, and reap the benefits for themselves. End result is that the only people left are the ones who cant think for themselves, and an organization that spends a great deal of time and money reinforcing their own prejudices. The only real way out of this is a massive upheaval, like a hostile takeover, or a bankruptcy, and even those tend to be temporary solutions.

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