Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment First, Ask Why (Score 1) 429

The question lists What they're doing but barely speculates as to Why, beyond "to look good."

Most people I've seen treated this way get it because they've either badly or repeatedly screwed over colleagues.

From the description, it's an environment where people don't have much trust in management/HR helping. In such a situation, where the gaslighter may well have a legitimate issue with the victim but, in the absence of legitimate channels, taking away their ability to succeed until they go away remains an apparent only choice.

So first step is to consider if you've screwed then over. Not by your definition but by theirs. If so, start by mending bridges.

Maybe it is nothing to do with the victim. Still ask why.

Maybe they're a very insecure person, despite the rockstar talents the victim perceives.

Maybe they're scared of someone less talented but younger and hotter.

Or maybe they're hurting from other bad workplace drama, a bad manager, another bullying colleague, and lashing out where they can.

Get to know them, understand them, empathize, build their trust, make yourself an ally they want to build up not tear down.

Is that fair? Should you have to work with an unfair bully?

No. Back when mommy could talk to the teacher, it wasn't fair.

But this is the real world. In a good company, management and HR will help but this apparently isn't one. That leaves leaving (hurts you), fighting (often hurts you more) or being the bigger person to ensure you succeed.

You're going to hit lots of unfair in your career. Working out how to win anyway is at least as important a skill as any technical one.

Comment What is a CEO's job? (Score 4, Insightful) 176

A CEO's job is...

A) Run the company in the most successful way that returns the greatest value over the long run.
B) Run the company in the way that most benefits society and the employees.
C) Create the greatest short term growth in stock prices so the current investors, who control their hiring, can sell and realize a profit.

Given it's the involved, activist shareholders that determine most CEO's hiring and firing - and they're looking for a dramatic change in company value over the short term...

Any CEO who chases A or B is an idiot who's going to ultimately get replaced by shareholders who want a sudden bump in value and then to get the hell out. They don't give a damn about whether the company will be worth more money in ten years because they intend to have sold, bought again when value tanks, sold after a short term solve, bought again when the value tanks... and repeated many times.

How a company does over ten years as a metric of CEO efficiency is just a demonstration of completely missing what CEOs are rewarded for.

The CEO who created a massive short term growth, then left and left the company to tank for a while, is worth that large bill to the shareholders who are trying to get just that.

Also, we don't get ponies just because we really, really want one and it's only fair!

Comment As A Manager... (Score 4, Insightful) 765

If I'm doing my job properly as a manager, no one should ever be indispensable.

Highly valued? Sure. I want to build a team where everyone is exceptionally valued.

But if anyone ever becomes indispensable, I've failed in my job as a manager.

Why? The hit by a bus factor. That wonderful employee who loves me, who I love... can still get hit by a bus. Can still get sick. Can still have a loved one die. Can still have a relative offer to pay all expenses for a once in a lifetime six week world trip.

If I have any employee that I can't keep my team running without, even at zero notice, I'm not running my team well.

It may suck. It may be sad. It may require some juggling I'd much rather not do. But any indispensability means I've done my job badly.

This means, if someone quits with zero notice, I can handle it.

At that point, it's actually a good thing anyway. If they're so pissed off that they'd statement quit, I don't need them in the office, poisoning others, dragging their heels through their short timer's disease. Let's get them somewhere where they're happy and get my team of great people back doing great things. We'll live.

Strange thing? When you have a well run team that you can already be confident in, people rarely statement quit anyway. For some reason, they don't seem to feel the need. Imagine that. And when they do? You've got it handled anyway.

Comment Two Way Street (Score 3, Interesting) 765

Does the company give at least two weeks paid notice to everyone it terminates?
Then my minimum will also be two weeks notice.

Does the company usually just tell people to gather their things and pay out the minimum it's legally required to?
Then my minimum will be the same.

Does the company generally give a couple of weeks severance unless for cause?
Then my minimum is also two weeks unless I'm quitting due to their cause.

Does the company have a good standard severance package?
Then I will also give them the option to have my work out longer.

Note: I say minimums. I'm also aware that, as poor as their behavior may be, I've also got my own reputation to watch out for. They may be a bunch of asshats. But my next employer is likely looking for reassurance that they'll get a respectful notice period and my quitting without notice, unless it's really easy to justify, just makes me look bad to future employers who background check.

Comment Data Protection Act (Score 1) 371

"As if this isn't abusive enough, the candidates are not allowed to see nor challenge their report"

The data protection act, 1988, says they are.

You can naively write whatever you feel like into a ToS. But it won't hold us to the first even cursory legal challenge.

The ToS can say, "You grant the landlord the right to enter your apartment and invoke droit de signeur whenever you are passed out drunk." It doesn't make it true or remotely enforceable.

Comment Re: I'm sure Drump is all torn up over it (Score 2) 403

When you're referencing all Mexicans and call them murderers and rapists and some, you assume, are good people... You're a racist.

When you use the possessive to refer to African Americans... OK, then you're probably just ignorant.

When you call out Hiliary over Bill's infidelity yet the woman you're having an affair with gets caught screwing someone else under a lifeguard tower... You're a hypocrite as well as a cuckhold.

When you tell everyone how successful a businessman you are, having vastly lost money compared to if you'd just invested the money daddy gave you in the S&P500 and then claim the tax credit for earning UNDER $500K in NYC for each of the last three years, to go along with your many corporate and personal bankruptcies, you're a failure.

Though, actually, to be fair, I doubt he is a racist. To be a racist, you have to hold those beliefs. He's just hitched his wagon to those who hold them. He fits the definition of a sociopathic narcissist, a very scared and shallow little man who'll say and do whatever it takes to get what he needs.

In that regard, I actually feel sorry for the racists who do vote for him...

Those who vote against him always knew he was a sociopathic narcissist.

Those who vote for him, who really hoped he meant whatever he spouted to get their vote, are going to be the ones left with a far nastier shock when they no longer empower him and he needs to chase someone else.

When he bashed the Muslims, I said nothing because I wasn't a Muslim.

When he came for the Mexicans, I said nothing because I wasn't a Mexican.

And when he came for my guns, there was no one left to speak up for me.

Comment Re: Obamaism (Score 4, Insightful) 403

I'm going to agree with you but only in the hopes we can become friends and you connect me with whoever sold you what you were smoking.

Neither party is who they were in twenty years ago. If you look at the degree of polarization, even then, there were some who could work across the aisles.

Go back as far as St Ronald and you get someone with more in common with current democrats than republicans.

Go twenty years further back and you have broadly un recognizable parties pivoting on some of their traditional issues as other of their traditional issues drove them to do so.

Go back half a century more and you've got parties no modern zealot could agree with as each held political territory that deeply appeals and deeply disgusts each of the current parties.

Just because a party once did something the better part of a century or two ago really means nothing in a world where 20-30 years can make a party unrecognizable to many of its old stalwarts.

Or, you know, whatever your talk radio of choice tells you.

Now can I get some of that weed?

Comment People In Need (Score 5, Interesting) 127

"The other more obvious risk is that such a system could take jobs away from those in need."

Social Media Nipple Checkers Local 857, like my father and his father before him.

It's hard work on the Internet nippleface but we're a proud people.

Some people might say it's false drama, lamenting the decline of an industry that only goes back a dozen years but we original "ought fourer families" as we like to call ourselves have never known any other way.

I have friends in who were Internet Radio DJs for the four hours that was a thing until smart playlists replaced them. Many of them have never found employment since.

Comment Finally! New Functionality! (Score 5, Funny) 304

I've got a few years old Samsung Smart TV.

Every month or two, I get a notice about another service being discontinued. I think I'm down to maybe three whole apps that still work on it.

Sure, these are invasive ads that weren't a part of the product I bought. But at least Samsung is finally adding in place of their constant stripping of functionality.

When you're a Smart TV owner, you take victories where you can find them.

Comment Be Careful What You Wish For (Score 5, Interesting) 207

I spent several years trying to get help for dyslexia. A lot of school counsellors assumed it was what I was dealing with.

Right up to the point one caught that what I was actually doing was self taught speed reading everything and couldn't switch the damn thing off.

You have no idea how annoying it is to know a piece of information MUST exist within a passage but no amount of rereading, trying to slow yourself down, will get you to stop skipping over it because your brain has already decided it knows what is said.

As a simple example: Bob has $10. He pays dollars in tax. What percentage does Bob pay?

It's a standard question pattern. You know damn well that there must be an amount of dollars Bob paid in tax. You know the question likely has something like TWO in there and the answer would be twenty percent. But you read it over and over and the TWO never reveals itself because your brain has already decided it knows what the passage says.

It made chunks of my degree miserable. I knew the concepts, could study faster than most others, yet kept missing key parts of often simple questions in the exams.

Once I learned what I was doing, a hell of a lot of practice has weeded most of it back out at the expense of reading slower.

So, yeah, speed reading is great. Until it isn't. And then really isn't when you can't stop it.

Comment "Correct" Is Subjective (Score 4, Insightful) 154

Having worked my way up through every level, the biggest thing I've learned is "correct" is amassively subjective concept, based on value statements people at other levels don't see.

To take a deliberately simple case:

I would have declared a manager insane for buying Office365 licenses. After all, you can buy copies outright for less.

Except, as that manager, any savings I get are dwarfed by the pain in the ass of keeping licensing info. Some idiot loses the info and you're out far more than the difference when you have to re-buy. Or you don't re-buy and you're vulnerable to huge fines. Or you have someone dot every i and cross every t and you pay more for their salary than you save. Or Office365 keeps everyone licensed and demonstrably so.

Same goes for commenting.

Earlier in my career, commenting was slow. I could understand my code just fine without it. It was clearly readable after all. What idiot manager wants less productive code after I jumped through hoops?

Now I've paid the price of countless devs who write code no one else can follow. If watched countless more declare they have to rewrite everything because the previous guy who swore his code was readable wrote something the next guy swears is not. My perspective is completely different. I'd now rather each person codes a little slower so the company moves faster overall.

Who's right? Everyone has a good perspective but each is colored by the values that they weigh in.

I know my devs often think my calls are "wrong" because they assign different values to those I do... But I also know I've been put in the position exactly because I have the perspective I do. The best I can do is try to explain and help them understand, listening when they genuinely see something I've missed.

Comment My First Death (Score 1) 363

"The first cause of death for New York City children under 13"

How many deaths do children get in New York?

First cause of death: Traffic.
Second cause of death: Silver bullets.
Third cause of death: Staking.
Fourth cause of death: Beheading.
Fifth cause of death: Kill it with fire.
Sixth cause of death: Exorcism.
Seventh cause of death: Dream Warriors.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Pascal is Pascal is Pascal is dog meat." -- M. Devine and P. Larson, Computer Science 340