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Category Archives: Often Dopey

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 »

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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 »

When you get someone else to do something for you, that doesn’t mean it’s not being done, or that getting it done is not important, or even that you don’t have to worry about it any more. And when you get someone else to do something for you that’s critical to your business, you’re going to want to manage it carefully! Read More »

I don’t understand why people and organizations sometimes stop thinking halfway through a problem. We see something that costs money and we avoid it even though we know it’s needed. Or we get rid of it without wondering why it was implemented in the first place, then have to replace it with other, less effective tools and processes that cost more. I’ve done it myself – remember, I’m Often Dopey!

But it’s one thing to make a mistake and another to wilfully look the other way when we know that a decision that’s good in the short term or narrow view is bad in the longer term or broader scheme of things. We should all expect ourselves to place the long-term good of society above that of the enterprise, and of the enterprise above the division or department and so on down the line. Whatever level we work at, we should expect our managers and leaders to do this even more as they rise in responsibility and seniority. The more we move up the organizational ladder, the more we should be expected to demonstrate breadth of vision in both time and space. So it upsets me when I see any organization make a decision that is good for one area or the short term, but bad for the larger enterprise or the longer term. Sadly, it happens all the time in governments and corporations and even homes. And people wonder why I’m Always Grumpy.

Chargeback, or cross-charging, or internal billing if you prefer, is one of those things. Read More »

Oh, this is going to be a good one. I’m going to let loose one of the biggest, meanest bees in my very full bonnet. This is one of the things that makes me Always Grumpy, but you know the old saying: the bigger they are, the harder they fall! This won’t take long to describe so it will be a shortish post.

If you’ve been reading my blog you know that I work in I/T. I work in an “enterprise shop”, which is some people’s way of saying that the corporation I work for has a large I/T footprint. It’s true! And like most large I/T shops we have many kinds of CPU, from big, blue mainframes down to servers under desks. We also have many kinds of network switch and router, but we won’t get into that here.

Servers are often categorised into three groups: Read More »

Always Doc? Who’s that? We’ve heard that I’m Frequently Happy, Sometimes Sneezy, Often Dopey and Rarely Bashful. And we know I’m an I/T guy with lots of outside interests. But Doc? Really?

No. I’m not Doc. I’m Never Doc. I have only Bachelor’s degrees and I can only name a few of the cruder body parts and I’m not a medical practitioner of any sort, so you can count me out on that score.

Always Doc is my Dad, and this post is an homage to a man with a purpose. Dad turned 82 this month and he’s not feeling very well. So after over 56 years of practicing medicine as a General Practitioner on the same street corner in Toronto, my Dad is hanging up his lab coat and taking down his shingle. This is a sad moment for Dad and his patients and it’s a bittersweet moment for my step-Mom and all of our siblings, children, nieces and nephews &c. Dad could have more time to spend with us… but he’s not feeling well, so he won’t at least for now. There’s nothing to complain about here. Way back when we were little, Dad was often scarce for one reason or another, but that’s the way it was with Dads back then. Since we’ve reached adulthood, and gotten our own spouses and little ones, Dad has always made time for us in his home and life and swimming pool. Read More »

Hi there! It’s nice to meet you. I’m Always Grumpy – all sorts of things get me going. I’m not totally one-dimensional – I’m Frequently Happy, Sometimes Sneezy, Often Dopey… but I’m almost Always Grumpy. It’s usually about I/T, where I make my living and spend unconscionable amounts of my time even at home. But maybe it’s about traffic or politics or friendship or family. Why? Because I trust human nature. We can count on ourselves to behave consistently badly. For thousands of years, as long as we’ve recorded our myths and legends and histories, our stories are overwhelmingly all about what’s happened when we’ve lied and cheated and stolen and killed and just been plain thoughtless. We’re greedy yet kind, envious yet loving, self-absorbed yet generous, and all of the above all at once. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s tragic, sometimes it’s just plain perverse; the only thing we can be sure of is it’s always very human. Read More »

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