Thinking and work (was: Lisas)

From: R. D. Davis <>
Date: Sat Jun 2 21:57:00 2001

On Fri, 1 Jun 2001, Adrian Graham wrote:
> Losing your job has a fun effect on your brainpower :) Still, I got a

Most definitely! :-) Many employers don't like people to think, it
seems; they just want 'droids. (BTW, best of luck with finding a new
job!) Since I lost my full-time job a couple of months ago, I've been
able to spend a lot more time thinking and actually getting things
done -- like lots of research and writing; installing a new, tall, set
of bookshelves and filling them up; finding some classic computer
documentation that I couldn't find; adding more disks to one of my
Suns; learning more about JavaScript; collecting enough cables with
DB-25 connectors to last me a few years; figuring out a fun way to
change my web site into something that I like better that may provide
me with some income; taking more photos on horseback; figuring out how
to make room for my VAX 4000-200, if the seller _ever_ sends it (I
should have paid more attention to the e-bay feedback, but I wanted
that VAX... has anyone else here dealt with a company in Texax called
Techs-R-Us? It's been over a month now since I sent them the check,
and still no VAX.); etc.

...of course, the paychecks are useful. :-)

Now, a few hopefully helpful hints for people who are, or aren't,
employed, from some valuable lessons that I learned this time around:

Do NOT accept a position where nepotism exists (e.g., the boss'
brother and nephew are your only other cow-orkers, and watch out when
the nephew loses his private office and you have one, and he wants
yours) and where you know what changes need to be made in order to
make things work right (Just keep yout mouth shut and don't try to to
make helpful suggestions, and don't grab the bull by the horns like I
did and go ahead and start to implement some of them...). For
example, suggesting the ditching of SCO OpenServer and installing a
real database (e.g. Oracle or PostgreSQL) to replace, or interface
with, BASIC code written by hand every time a new report needs to be
created, and creating a user-interface that will interface with the
system's data, and a real database to provide custom reports on demand
over a closed network (needed for confidentiality).

Be very, very, cautious, when they do not understand, and don't want
to learn about, or be taught about, technology that you're familar
with that could be helpful. As the old saying from Lost in Space
WARNING... ***

Be especially wary when a supervisor, or her/his hired relatives, say
"What's wrong with SCO?," "Oracle is too slow," "What's MySQL or
PostgreSQL?," "BSD is the same as Linux and originated at the same
time as Linux," "What's FreeBSD or OpenBSD?," "BSD isn't useful for
anything serious," "What's wrong with the fact that we re-wrote all of
the company's software (a complex system), that was written in
proprietary BASIC, in BASIC (which also requires a dongle to be on the
system for it to work)," "The programming interface---a set of C
library files, is useless; what do we need those, or the use of
sockets, for?," "Our software is fine the way it is, and the
physicians who work here don't need custom reports on demand even
though you understand they want them---we can just copy data files to
a Windoze PC from the main server and someone can use database
software on that to generate special reports once a month if needed,"
or, "We don't need our own e-mail server, we're just going to buy
large blocks of Hotmail addresses to use with our domain name for the
doctors and other employees to use."

Oh, yeah, if you think the end is approaching, don't hand over, to
your boss, or other cow-orkers, that thoroughly cross-referenced
300-plus page document that you created which explains what all of the
programs on their system do, which were never documented until you had
the idea to document them along with all of the library calls, etc.
Get rid of it; destroy it; delete the files, burn/shred the paper
copies, unless you want to keep a copy of the documentation for

Life's a great learning experience, what? :-)


Copyright (C) 2001 R. D. Davis The difference between humans & other animals: 
All Rights Reserved            an unnatural belief that we're above Nature & 410-744-4900 her other creatures, using dogma to justify such   beliefs and to justify much human cruelty.
Received on Sat Jun 02 2001 - 21:57:00 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:33:56 BST