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For the past few years, I’ve given the same gift for Fathers’ Day over and over: tickets to see our local major-league baseball team, the Toronto Blue Jays, play a couple of times over the summer. My Dad and I went to our first game a little while ago. As usual, I drove to his place and we walked, took the subway and walked again to the stadium downtown. Along the way, we chatted about family, friends, work and life. Our conversation turned to health, as it often does: my dad is Always Doc, which is probably a whole lot nicer than being Always Grumpy like his son. And along the way, I discovered an interesting parallel between our very different career choices. Read More »

I heard a story the other day, about a guy I know. He and I have crossed paths several times through the years, over golf and business and car shows and more business – you know the way it goes. This guy had been at IBM Canada for a long time – more than a couple of decades. He served loyally, and now, not too far from retirement, he’s been offered a package to leave. So far so good! I’ve seen lots of people very happy to be in this position. A decent severance package can be something you were hoping for, or jostle you out of your rut. It can make a nice bridge to retirement or to a mid-life career shift. So what’s making me Always Grumpy? The package they offered my friend sucks! Read More »

(With apologies to John Lennon & Paul McCartney, to the tune of A Day in the Life)

I saw a note today, oh boy…
the author’s writing, it was horrible.
And though the note looked rather sad,
well I just had to laugh;
it’s just another gaffe.

No one seems to care any more about literacy, and boy does it make me Always Grumpy! Here’s what that note looked like: Read More »

[With apologies to Supertramp.]

Every now and then (read, once or twice a week) I’ll see an article or mention of the “crisis” in mainframe skills. “The workers are getting older and retiring!”, shout all the Chickens Little. “How will we ever replace them?!?” This is crazy talk. As though all those recalcitrant mainframers had a choice, and could simply remain young and vibrant until their employers lay them off, at which time they should simply disappear. It makes me, well, Always Grumpy… and also Very Surprised at the short-sightedness of the chickens. Silly me.

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“It’s new and it’s shiny! I want some! The cool kids all have it!” Unless you’re not yet quite six, hearing this kind of thing sets off all sorts of alarm bells. For me… well, it’s just another thing that makes me Always Grumpy.

Over the past week or so it’s occurred to me that some of our corporate decision-makers might have become infected with the Agile bug. It’s a horrible thing! Like some plants (or people) it’s exactly what you want in one small part of your metaphorical garden, and a noxious weed everywhere else. Read on, there’s a song coming up!

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Once upon a time I wrote something on my whiteboard. I wrote it there because I really wanted everyone to see it. I repeated it in advisory councils and technical presentations and executive briefings, in staff meetings and vendor negotiations and user groups… and I still do. It’s a lesson that bears repetition. “Faster, Better, Cheaper. Pick One. Sometimes Two. Never Three.” People who try to ignore this make me Always Grumpy.

OK… if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: I shouldn’t exaggerate. It does happen – rarely – that you can get two of these benefits in one swell foop. And once in a blue moon you might even get all three. But don’t let on, or your boss will expect you to do it three times before breakfast, and that’s on Sundays. Most of the time, any change you make will give you one, usually at a cost in both of the other two. This is called a trade-off. Read More »

Really, the picture says it all. As the Patent Wars continue to make me Always Grumpy, the Apple seems to have the Little Green Man by a very sensitive part of his anatomy while Windows is just background. On careful inspection you can see that this makes the Android very sad. Yes, my colleague Simon and I were busy at our desks again!

 


With the great reviews BB10 is getting (see here in IT World Canada and here in The Register), maybe we need to add a fourth ecosystem to our little dioramas.

Jonathan Gladstone is alwaysgrumpy at jbglad59@sympatico.ca or follow me on Twitter @jbglad59.

Back in April I wrote a post about What Googorola Needs. At the time, I suggested they needed an Android Accelerator, which a colleague of mine and I designed and photographed. They never took us up on our offer to sell our device, and by June it had become obvious that they needed more. Commentators were observing some of the reasons that development of apps for iOS had continued to outpace that for Android: see this article in IT World Canada, for example. In a fit of premonition between bouts of throwing small objects at one another, my colleague Simon and I repurposed the parts of the Android Accelerator. Since then, the events of the Patent Wars have made it obvious that Googorola’s little man is locked in an Android Prison, pictured here:

Poor little green man!

The Patent Wars. Ah, now that makes me Always Grumpy! Read More »

That’s “ineffectual communications”… if you use your spell-checker and maybe, just maybe, engage your brain.

Earlier this week I rejected a document at work. I rejected it because the grammar and syntax, the spelling, the punctuation and the general composition were so poor that I had to struggle to guess what the writer meant. So what am I, someone’s fourth-grade teacher? No, I’m just Always Grumpy.

That’s right, it’s me; I’m back after a long summer hiatus: Frequently Happy, Sometimes Sneezy, Often Dopey, Rarely Bashful and always, Always Grumpy.

As a cube-dweller in a sometimes sensitive position in a large corporate environment, I review documents all the time. I reject them when I feel I need to. When I do, it slows people down, delays their projects and makes them work harder. Read More »

If you’re chanting along with that, the volume and pitch should rise to a demented and enraged scream towards the end, accompanied by the sound of machine-gun clatter and mortar fire / shattering glass as some device flies through a window  / a rude thump as I pound on my desk and shatter the calm of my fellow cube-farm inhabitants. Read More »

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