Thursday, August 14, 2008

Television, the drug of the nation

The Dell W3201c was a good TV. Too bad it only lasted two years. Too bad I have to admit that I was on the team that brought this TV to market. Too bad that when I bought the TV, I didn't choose to buy the extended warranty that I myself marketed. Too bad. Looks like I'm not the only one.

My four year old did not greet me with her usual hug yesterday. She was quite somber and quickly told me, "you need to call Dell." Well, I called Dell and, as expected, the only option is an out of warranty repair that will cost $300. Good money after bad? Time for a new TV? Or maybe it's time for no TV at all. How would that be? I work at Comcast and get free cable, but don't have a TV? My four year old is not amused. "But you like to watch Sound of Music," she quipped. (Let the record show that while I do enjoy Sound of Music as much as the next guy, I haven't watched it in at least a year.)

Janean isn't convinced either, especially with a new baby coming (new babies love TV.) But she is willing to try.

I just wish the TV had waited until after the Olympics to die on me.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Radiohead Rocks Philadelphia!

The last of the rock stars

The Guardian reports that a recent poll discovered 20% of British workers would prefer being a rock star to their current career.

What? Only 20%? I like my job, but would I rather be wealthy for being able to express myself musically? Of course I would!

Bands most interested in joining: U2 (of course), Radiohead, Beck
Bands least interested in joining: Menudo, Poison, Kiss, WASP, GWAR, Musical Youth, Milli Vanilli

How about YOU?


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

That's what she said...

As a manager, one of my primary goals is to have as few Michael Scott moments as possible. I'm so oblivious to the reality around me that eliminating them entirely remains on the distant horizon. But I came across some inspiring words today from a piece in the Times-Union of Albany, NY. What do you think? Who has been your best manager? Your worst? Did s/he follow the model outlined in the article? I'll include my favorite bits:

"Managers hold the key to improving performance. That's because the strongest driver of employee engagement is the relationship with one's supervisor. Having a strong rapport with a manager who communicates effectively, provides feedback on personal performance, and matches skills to tasks builds an employee's trust and heightens job engagement.

Employees want recognition and appreciation for good work and innovation. Using clear, reliable standards to measure performance assures employees that productivity and effectiveness will be rewarded.

Employees want to use their talents and grow through increased responsibility. This is especially true for the younger generation of employees entering the work force.

Offering opportunities for employees to build skills, take on new projects, or advance in the organization encourages motivation and commitment."

I try to do this for my team, but often fall short. If anyone on my team leaves comments to this post that are an inch short of praise-worthy, you're fired. (Just kidding.)

Monday, August 04, 2008

Stream of Bono-Consciousness

Rolling Stone's David Fricke had some nice things to say about U2's recent reissue of their first three albums, Boy, October and War. So nice, it seems, that Bono saw fit to write a lengthly reply. True to Bono's typical style, it's rather 'stream of consciousness' in its delivery. I liked this bit toward the end:

"You can have everything the songs, the production, the face, the attitude but still not have “IT”…U2 had nothing really, nothing but ‘IT’… For us music was a sacrament …an even more demanding and sometimes more demeaning thing than music as ART, we wanted to make a music to take you in and out of your body, out of your comfort zone, out of your self, as well as your bedroom, a music that finds you looking under your bed for God to protect your innocence…"