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Comment "You're hired! Seeya!" (Score 1) 299

Not a sign of a bad manager, but kind of a pair of horror stories:

Twice in the last five years I've been hired by a manager I got along great with during the interview process, only to be informed during my first few days that this person had resigned and his departure from the company was imminent. In my current role it meant that I was the lone person on my team left in the Boston office, with the rest of the team in an office thousands of miles away. In a role I was hired for five years ago, I was brought into a role I didn't have the skill set for, with the promise that I'd be given training to fill it. With the manager's departure, that promise was broken, and it was obvious that his replacement, who arrived some months later, expected someone in the role who actually knew how to do the job, and had no desire or intention of training someone.

I can hardly blame someone for leaving for greener pastures, but, both times, it's certainly left me in a difficult position. I'm someone who values good working relationships with people, and, in both cases, the loss of promising relationships with a manager has subtracted significant appeal from the job.

On a serious note, how do I avoid this in future roles? After the first time it happened, I joked that I should ask prospective managers, "Do you still see yourself at this company in six months?", but now I'm seriously thinking about asking that.

Comment Re:Never give a number (Score 4, Insightful) 435

Exactly. Salary negotiation is a game and the first person to name a number loses. Asking someone their complete salary history is like saying to someone, "Let's play poker, only, i get to see all of your cards and you don't get to see any of mine." You wouldn't play poker with someone like that, would you? Similarly, don't go in to a job interview with someone like that. And furthermore, it's a red flag for how the company treats their employees. Run far, run fast.

Comment Lack of residential charging infrastructure (Score 1) 468

Right now plug-in cars are mostly pretty expensive (e.g. Tesla). The primary market for them seems to be people who are wealthy enough to own single-family homes or townhouse style condos in urban environments, where it's easy enough to add a charging port in the garage or on the side of your house. What do people propose doing for charging infrastructure when plug-in cars move their way down the price scale, within reach of people who rent apartments and have to park on the street far from the nearest electrical outlet? Even if you're lucky enough to rent a place that has an off-street driveway spot for your car, good luck getting your landlord to add anything like that. Or are there going to be "public" charging ports that exact exorbitant rates for charging your car, creating yet another way in which being poor is expensive?

Without a good plan to provide equitably-priced charging infrastructure for the masses, the whole thing bears a distinct whiff of champagne socialism.

Comment Dump FacePlant (Score 1) 426

This entire contretemps is what has led me to finally dump FacePlant entirely. I was considering getting off of it until after the election, because a goodly number of my friends' postings are "all politics, all the time", and (1) that's plain boring to read and (2) it's detrimental to my emotional well-being to be in a space where peoples' outrage levels are cranked up to 11 all the time, even when I agree with them. This is just the straw that broke the camel's back. My friends know how and where to get in touch with me, if they're so inclined--I have a presence on other social media, and they can always pick up a phone and call, or text.

Comment Re:high school mentality (Score 1) 206

The parents of those kids, who got accustomed to their kids' "academic elite" status through twelve years of schooling, will also have to adjust to the fact that their children are no better than average in their new environment. Lay off the kid FFS, stop treating a "B" like it's an "F", and realize that they'll do OK in life if they manage to graduate.

Kids also need to be taught how to cope with parents who still act like a "B" is equivalent to an "F".

Comment Re: This will do WONDERS for Yahoo's image! (Score 1) 328

Seconded on Unchecky. Another thing crapware installers commonly do is obfuscate below multiple layers of double-negatives: "Are you sure you don't want to not install Crapware Toolbar now?" So even the reasonably savvy and aware can be misled into making the wrong choice. Unchecky helps greatly with that. Another option is to use Ninite for installing all sorts of useful stuff, including Java. Ninite automatically unchecks all the crapware checkboxes as well.

Comment Rescue tool (Score 1) 278

I have a small rescue tool that includes a seat belt cutter and a spring-loaded punch for shattering a car window (e.g. if you get trapped in a car that's gone into water). My girlfriend got me that after the father of a mutual friend died when his car went off a dock into Cape Cod Bay.

Comment Re:Good Luck (Score 1) 331

"Good will" is part of what you sell when you sell a business. If I have a store called "Joe's Bakery," and I sell it, then past customers are going to continue to patronize that store under its new owners, based on the expected quality of the merchandise sold. This is why businesses sell for more than the sum total of the fixtures, inventory, receivables, and raw materials on hand less liabilities--that extra is "good will". Another example: let's say I work as a hairdresser at Jane's Hair Salon and Day Spa. Lots of Jane's customers make appointments with me because they like my work. One day Emma comes in to get her hair cut, and "Hey, where's Frank?" "Oh, Frank doesn't work here any more." Emma does some research and finds out that I'm working at Vera's Coiffure, in the next town over. Emma then starts coming to Vera's so that I can cut and style her hair. These are the kinds of "good will" that CNCs are meant to cover.

Comment Re:Interesting, Given Age (Score 1) 292

I'm coming up on five-oh soon. It's been fun, but the party's over. I'm semi-retiring from the field, buying a house outright for cash in a large square state in flyover country, and settling back while I figure out what my next career is going to be. It's probably going to be something fairly low-level, enough to pay the property taxes on the house and keep the lights turned on, and probably won't involve doing systems work or programming. I'm pretty mechanically ept. Were I thirty years younger, I might go into auto repair, but I don't really have the body or the physical stamina for that any more at my age. We'll see what happens.

Comment Re:If you're in the United States, get a lawyer (Score 2) 230

I agree. We all like to think we're being responsible citizens and good Samaritans by alerting people to dangerous situations. In an ideal world, that would be true. With the trend of treating whistleblowers in the U.S. as criminals, criminal prosecution is a very real possibility. Think about what happened to Randal Schwartz. I would absolutely not move forward with something like this without benefit of legal counsel.

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