Funny


– The Star Trek Zone –

Have you ever been watching the news about a social ill or sitting at work puzzled over a productivity issue and said, “I thought we already had a handle on that.” If you were wrong, as it turns out I have been as well, you may be living in what I call ‘The Star Trek Zone (STZ).’ Many might say, come on now, you don’t really believe transporters and replicators exist. The answer to which is obviously no, but I do have a certain expectation with regard to our technological level that may be overinflated by too many hours of Star Trek and Babylon 5.

What is this magnificent zone where all of societies problems have already been solved? I was reading a post about the worst IT worker in the world and wondering why it was that some members of the IT/IS staff share so much contempt for non-tech employees. Sure there are always those who forget their password, can’t see the network printer or think the mouse is used like a remote control, but then there are those special circumstances where they want the impossible from the current system, hence living in the STZ.

– Full Automation AI –

My personal expectation is the belief in a fully automated factory. “Why are hands touching this product at all?” I’ll give you an example, my wife used to work for a pharmaceutical wholesaler. What a surprising number of people do not know is that the backbone of shipping and receiving of drugs is handled not by the manufacturer, but two to three large wholesalers. Anyone who gets a great deal of spam for discount Viagra and Lipitor or who has paid any attention to the practice of importing drugs from Canada, is familiar with the governments warnings on counterfeit drugs. Some states such as Florida have gone so far as to introduce paper pedigree systems to ensure drug purity. Another problem stems from some shipments, particularly narcotics, “falling off the back of the truck.” My initial thought, where is the automated factory with materials going in one end, products being loaded via robot onto truck and delivered factory sealed to the end user.

– How William Shatner Changed the World –

It turns out there may actually be something to this effect as Discovery recently had a special on How William Shatner Changed the World. Now it is highly unlikely that those who are non-technical watched much Star Trek, yet the fact remains that many continue to expect more from technology than is currently possible or probable. At the very least maybe this will provide a humorous idea the next time someone wants the impossible from IT.

Now that football season is over, I wonder how much productivity increase there will be with the decline in fantasy leagues and Monday morning quarterbacking.  Regardless, here is one football player we can take with us year long.

Dealing with change management, I’ve lost count how many times I wanted to add an office linebacker to my team.

Earlier this week State Farm Insurance stated it would no longer write new homeowner’s policies in the state of Mississippi given the losses they suffered during Hurricane Katrina and the lawsuits it settled. Now the state Attorney General, Jim Hood, who believes insurers are responsible for hurricane damages regardless of the cause or policy statement, is seeking legislation aimed at blocking this move by the insurance giant.

He said the plan is modeled after actions by Florida and would require any company that writes automobile insurance in Mississippi to also write homeowners policies. Hood said Friday that he had asked Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Insurance Commissioner George Dale to issue emergency orders requiring insurance companies to continue writing home policies until the state legislature can act. He said he had not had any response from either Barbour or Dale.

So now apparently the government can dictate what service offerings a company must participate in, when will they start telling us what career we must pursue? Just hold out your hand, the chip won’t hurt a bit. Besides, you gotta do what you gotta do!

chip.JPGgotta-do.JPG

Again, I don’t like to deviate much from my typical topics here at The Higher Bar but some things are hard to ignore. In the near future I will be contributing to another blog where I will cover such social issues on the media, policy and religion just to name a few. This particular post has to do with the popular media and their drastic need for improvement.

Who: CNN Headline News

When: 02/16/2007 -9:56am

What: Following the story covering a South Korean woman who sang 59 straight hours (Monday through Valentines Day) of kareoke for her dying husband, they transition to a story of a 4-ton rampaging elephant in Sri Lanka.

Segue: “They weren’t songs of love, but screams of fear as a a four-ton elephant went wild.”

I don’t normally write about entertainment issues outside the realm of research or societal interest, but all the trouble the “devices” caused Boston last week, I couldn’t resist. So without further ado The Aqua Teen Hunger Force Movie Trailer.

Warning: Could be considered an Al-Qaeda training video in Boston

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Cartoon Network Chief Resigns

I had another post I was preparing for today until I ran across this question on Slashdot.

An anonymous reader asks: “I work at a large hosting company in Texas, and recently decided to go work for a smaller competitor. I had a great relationship with my employer and wanted to leave on good terms, and I hadn’t signed any non-compete or employment agreements . I felt my old company had just gotten too large and I didn’t like working there anymore, so I gave them two weeks notice in writing. They were really upset when I insisted on leaving and one week into my last two weeks the V.P. of Sales told me the company was suing me for leaving, and they were also suing my new employer for hiring me. I was shocked, and they then escorted me out of the building. Has anybody ever heard of this happening? Do they have any legal basis for suing me?” It shouldn’t have to be said that seeking professional legal representation, in such a situation, is the first thing one should do.

Worst HR (2007) #3

Category – Worst Exit Interview

I think a majority of us have been in situations where we leave an organization and secretly hope they won’t be able to survive without us. Then we slowly come to the realization that like many, we are replaceable. This may be one of the rare exceptions where this employee is indeed worth the cost of a legal suit.

This item seems almost positively absurd and I certainly hope if the organization goes forward with their suit, they are thrown out of court and hit with a hefty counter-claim. It almost seems this is a tactic to keep the rest of the staff in line. My guess, these actions are going to result in employee and contractors not showing up for work one day and not being heard from again. So much for the traditional exit interview where companies look for reasons to justify your leaving.  Oh one last thing to The Planet:  Texas = Right-to-Work!

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Worst HR 2007 – The Flounder Award

HR on Notice

This steps outside my normal routine of business and social issues. If you have been following my blog you know I use a variety of clips from popular commercials and animated programs to illustrate my point.

This morning one of the first stories I came across was about a high school student in Westerville, OH. Apparently he stripped naked, rubbed himself with grease and ran through the school cafeteria. Police had to taser him twice since they couldn’t get a good grip on him.

Killian is in jail and charged with inducing panic, public indecency, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. A message seeking comment was left at Killian’s home.

School officials reported that Killian was a good student, Gaylor said. There was no indication
of substance abuse or a medical problem.

I’m sure if there were any people under the age of 16 in the room he will also be labeled a sex offender. Remind Family Guy fans of anything?

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