OT: ethics

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We had an executive manager one time who, about 8:00 noted the cars in the parking lot and commented that these same cars would be there at 6:00 (and past). ...and that it was amazing that the parking lots filled from front to back and emptied the opposite direction.
TJ Watson Jr., when asked how many people worked at IBM, is famously quoted as answering "about half".
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I was thinking that it seems doubtful that many real slackers take up woodworking as a hobby. It looks like a lot of work! Not only that, one soon finds that it's more difficult than it looks! :)
Bill
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So, you've met him.
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"Ed Pawlowski" wrote

OK, I see your true story and raise you two true stories.
I had a good friend who was a radio engineer. He was responsible for all things technical for a number of radio stations. Everything from the transmission towers, the transmitters themselves and anything electronic in the place. And he was very good at his job. He was some kinda electronic genius from an early age. He had it in his genes.
A moron, managerial type was hired at a radio station he was working at. He noted that Marty was spending a lot of time drinking coffee and playing cards in the conference room. Which he immediately interpered as some form of laziness. So he set out to find all kinds of stupid grunt tasks for Marty to perform so "he could earn his money". Marty tried to explain to him that he followed a strict routine to keep the station on the air and insure uninterupted service. But drone manager was not impressed with facts or logic.
Soon, the predicted disaster struck. Marty was out running errands for the drone manager when the radio station went down. It took almost an hour to contact Marty because the drone manager wanted to save money by taking away his car phone. This was pre cellular phone days. And it took another hour or two for Marty to drive to the transmission tower and replace a huge tube in the transmitter.
And this is precisely the kind of thing he did on a regular basis before drone manager showed up and tried to "save money" and make Marty "earn his money". He got called on the carpet and elequently explained his procedures that were gutted by said drone manager. Drone manager was not fired, but he was stripped of all powers over Marty. Marty returned to his usual routine and the station never went down again as long as he worked there.
Story number two.
Had a friend named Mike. He was a radio operator in the navy aboard an aircraft carrier. He worked the evening shift. He brought a pillow to work. He slept most of the night. Every so often he would get a call on the radio. It was a routine thing to insure that all communications were working well in case operations needed to be started up. So Mike would just sleep untill that call came in. He would wake up, take care of biz and promptly go back to sleep.
Well, it had to happen. He got a young, fresh out of school officer in, who objected to his "unmilitary" approach to his job. Mike was very good at his job and tried to explain to young, brash officer why he did what he did. But young brash officer just had to assert himself and gave Mike the oldest grunt job in the Navy, scrubbing floors.
Sooooo....., Mke scrubbed the floors and ignored the call coming in. Which was easy to do, since Mike scrubbed the floor in the radio room and was sent out into the hall way to scrub those floors. He probably would have ended up scrubbing the whole ship down if this idiot officer would have been allowed to continue this lunacy.
Mike got called into the CO's office the next day to explain why he did not answer his radio calls. He explained what happened. The CO was shocked that this idiot thought scrubbing floors was more important and "more military" than insuring the readiness of the carrier battle group to conduct operations.
Idiot officer got reprimanded and Mike went back to his regular routine the next night. He brought his pillow to work each night after that. And nobody gave him any trouble after that.
Also posted from work.
And I have to make a personal call now to see about a present for my honey.
Ain't nobody here but us "unethical" folks...
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

An actual true story
At a big blue widget factory, there was a software type who'd been criticized steadily by his boss for his un-engineering approach to writing software, for working on an erratic schedule, for showing a strong preference for /little/ computers, and for his unstructured approach to problem-solving...
On the way out of the widget factory one Friday evening, the guy was stopped by his boss' boss' BOSS and asked how the current project (scheduled for completion six months down the road) was going because it was crucial that he be able to use at least a draft version of the package under development to produce a division budget early the next week. After about two minutes of increasingly stressed conversation, the two parted - the 4th level manager to his car, and the software type back into the factory.
The rest of his department had already left, and the computer room was locked up tight, but there was a lab with a minicomputer open. The geek called his wife, told her the situation, and sat down at the keypunch.
By six o'clock Monday morning the code was complete, test data had been generated to exercise every part of the package, the package had been verified bug-free, and was ready to crunch real numbers to produce a real budget. Each program's card deck was rubber-banded and laid out on a work table. The cards would have made a stack between five and six feet high. It was time for a coffee break.
On the way to his desk from the coffee machine, he left a note on the 4th level manager's desk that, as far as he could tell, the software was ready for a live data test. Back in his own office he got a yellow pad, put his feet up on his desk, and sipped coffee while he made notes about some possible ways to improve the existing package - until his boss stopped by to confirm information that he'd completed the package over the weekend. He was visibly upset and asked the software type to come to his office...
...where he chewed the guy out for screwing up the development schedule and "trashing" the department's mission. Even with the door closed, everyone within fifty feet could hear him shout: "You SOB - if I thought I could make it stick, I'd fire your ass! Now get outa my office!"
Very tired and very pissed, he went back to the minicomputer lab where he returned the rubber bands to the box they'd come from and tossed the decks of loose cards into the waste basket. That done, he returned to his desk and consigned his wadded notes to the trash basket and was wondering how he was going to make it through the day when the 4th level manager appeared and offered coffee and an invitation for an immediate one-on-one in /his/ office.
It turned out he already knew the whole story (presumably that's one of the reasons one is promoted to that level at that factory) and he managed sufficient gentle persuasion to convince the geek to dig the cards out of the trash and put the (unsequenced) decks back in order before reporting back to him.
When the geek reported back, he was told that the loud-mouthed manager had already been replaced, and that he would never manage another project at that widget company. His last words on the matter were: "Thanks for all your work. Now go home and get some rest - you look like hell."
Later that day (while the programmer slept) the package turned out what was submitted to widget headquarters as the division's annual budget.
This particular widget company's top management didn't like the idea of major applications being run on little 32K minicomputers, so they spent to have three (other) departments spend two years re-implementing that same software to run on "real" computers. When they were done, the only noticeable difference was that the runtime had increased from four hours to eighteen hours.
Gotta just love that big iron. :)
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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good storry snipped here>

Pogo was right. "We have met the enemy and he is us"
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I'm self-employed and right now my boss is riding my ass about posting to usenet during work time.
Back to work!!
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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On Mon, 30 Nov 2009 12:37:33 -0600, Morris Dovey wrote:

Great story Morris. I think I knew one or two big blue employees like that :-).
Many years ago at a small blue plotter maker, my boss used to go out to the roach coach, buy my lunch, and quietly place it on my desk. He spent a great deal of time ensuring that no one disturbed me :-).
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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In any other context (say a furniture vendor sending a TV to someone who bought furniture for a company), this would be called a "kick back". -- Doug
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On Mon, 30 Nov 2009 18:44:58 -0600, Douglas Johnson

I don't have an counter argument, particularly now that fares vary so widely.
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On Sun, 29 Nov 2009 21:28:29 -0600, Larry Blanchard

Computers at work should never be used for personal effects, not email, not shopping, U-tube, music, dating or anything else that is not work related. Those who do are subject to termination. Frequent flyer miles can be used to upgrade a future business flight, but never for personal off-job use. These are strict morals and I know there are many companies that are very relaxed--but that can hurt more than help. Always best to keep business and personal as separate as possible.
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Phisherman wrote:

Hmm. How do you feel about personal telephone calls? Wearing clothes to work bought with your own money? Using the snack bar to eat your own personal lunch?
Just askin'.
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Phisherman wrote: ...

As someone else posted, computers at work should be used within the policies established by the employer--some allow the casual use as they recognize draconian policies can be counterproductive to morale. Most recent employers I've been at have even allowed browsing on the internet during lunch and or other break time as acceptable usage within obvious restrictions.
I'd say the "as separate as possible" is that it's almost impossible in a practical sense to not answer the phone and talk to the wife about the sick kid, schedule appointments, etc., etc., etc., entirely away from the office.
On the ff miles, what do propose when these miles have accumulated in an individual's name on trips for a specific employer and now they are working somewhere else? Are they to never be used? (As someone else also noted, "just askin' :) )
--
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dpb wrote:

When I was working as a mechanical engineer, if there had been an Internet then, I'd have likely sometimes spent days on it doing work-related stuff--mostly looking for off-the-shelf components to do a job and not have to reinvent the wheel.

If the employer treats them as a perk then there's no reason not to use them any more than there's a reason not to use the employer-paid medical insurance when you're sick.
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Phisherman wrote:

I'd not be quite so strict about music--if listening to music while you work makes you more productive, and it does for some people (I'm not one of them), then it's in the company's interest for them to listen to it.
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On Tue, 01 Dec 2009 10:37:12 -0500, J. Clarke wrote:

As long as other people don't have to listen :-).
I almost feel I should apologize for what's turning into a never ending thread :-).
But as long as I'm curmudgeon for the day, the above brings up another puzzler. Seems like everyone under 50, and a goodly number over that, are either listening to music or using a cell phone almost every waking minute. What gives?
Do they need constant mental stimulation? Is perpetual social contact required to keep them sane? Are they afraid that in quiet and solitude they'll find their brain has no worthwhile thoughts?
BTW, I love music. Mostly classical. But I don't use it as silence filler. I won't run the radio in the car unless I'm on a deserted highway because I find my attention gets too engrossed in the music. When I want music, I lean back in my recliner, close my eyes, and *listen*.
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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Larry Blanchard wrote:

I can't go to baseball games, anymore. The subtle sounds used to be part of the experience. Hearing the infielders punch the pockets of their gloves. Hearing them chatter to one another. Hearing *nothing* until there was something to hear, like the crack of the bat or a fastball smacking into the catcher's mit, followed by the grunt from the ump.
Now, there isn't a single, solitary second that is allowed to pass at a ballgame. They are constantly playing music... even *in between* pitches. Drives me nuts. Started with the organ thing years ago, which was ok, because it seemed to be dictated by the tempo and status of the game, itself.
But now, I don't know what they're thinking. What, if I'm not under a constant barrage of stimulation, I might forget why I'm there and walk out without buying another $5 beer or $15 program?
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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Then there are the back-ground rythm track fillers during news casts. They drive me nuts. If anyone is wondering why CNN is now dead- last...maybe that is why.
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Yep, that's a big-time annoyance for this baseball fan too. All is not lost, though: there's still high school and college ball. Certainly not the quality of ML or AAA professional ball... but it's still enjoyable to watch. And quiet.
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Doug Miller wrote:

They're doing the same thing in the younger leagues, Doug. Certainly not all of them, but I noticed the trend when I used to umpire.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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