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Friday, January 7, 2011

What’s for lunch? I don’t know…yet

Problem: Today’s Dilbert strip hit pretty close to home. He has a conversation in which he is invited to lunch. He then learns that the inviters have yet to decide where to eat,so he bails in order to avoid the 15-30 minute hallway meeting on whether Panda Express is preferred to Jason’s Deli.

This used to be a regular occurrence around our water cooler.

Solution: I HATE that “I dunno where do you want to go” conversation that inevitably delays the mid day outing. We have a unique solution that you are free to institute in your own daily lunch routine.

Rule: We do not discuss where we are headed until we are in the car and out of the parking lot. This provides two things. First it gets us out the door and we can have that conversation in the car on the way to wherever the driver heads – which is usually in the direction of the largest group of options or known favorites. We already know we are leaving, why postpone that when we can use the time in the car to decide the destination. Second, it creates a forcing function on the getting the decision made in a timely fashion. This requires a sub-rule, the driver is generally free to force a destination if the group is not converging on an answer or is just not paying attention and discussing other topics. If you care, speak up or eat wherever you end up. If you don’t really care, shut up and enjoy not having to listen to everyone haggle in the hallway while they eat into your lunch hour.

This causes confusion of Dilbert’s kind if someone new gets invited because we don’t know where we are going by definition. But I can say one thing, its been years since I was rushed to eat my sandwich because of hallway haggling.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

But he said it too!

White man is fired using a word that his black colleagues have used without repercussion. Trial is set to determine

whether a double standard, if true in this case, would violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which deals with equal opportunity in employment.

When he puts it that way its hard to believe that he wouldn’t win. But I’m not so sure. The political correctness pressure is heavy in this area. Regardless of intent or correctness of grammar, using a certain word if you are not certain color is among the highest social crimes nowadays. Although I’m not sure how they could write the ruling if they were to find against the guy without creating a separate-but-equal situation.

Witness these two phrases which don’t even come close to the above but were still defended by the offended as extra offensive.

  1. I was kind of surprised at the number of hits for “niggardly” which is a word that when used properly seems to reduce one’s employment opportunity quite quickly.
  2. My all time favorite though is still the baffling demand for an apology for using the phrase “black hole” in the Dallas County budget discussion.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How’s your bank doing?

Isn’t this still a problem? You don’t here much about it in the press but its still going on.


No matter how you slice it, we still had more bank failures in 2010 than in 2009.

Even if we look at it month to month it doesn’t necessarily show any significant trend of driving to zero.


March of 2009 was the last time fewer than 7 banks went under in a single month.

As much as the talking heads like to put a rosy “we’re climbing out of it!” face on, I‘m not convinced. We still haven’t seen a full reckoning on the value of all the properties the banks are holding onto in the vain hope of not being stuck standing when the music stops.

[source: FDIC failed bank list]