Friday, June 23, 2006

where the hell is matt
my friend normie sent me a link to this youtube video of a guy doing the same dance in a ton of different places (machu picchu!). the video and his website are here: http://www.wherethehellismatt.com/index.html

i absolutely love this video and i love the idea that he just quit his job and travelled the world. i can only dream.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

i just finished reading company by max barry. this book is a must read! if you liked office space, this book takes similar corporate lingo and situations and puts it in a quick page-turning, 2-page segmented, hilarious novel that makes it perfect for a commuting corporate monkey like me.

the book follows a new grad, jones, as the "new chimp" who never asks questions, starts asking questions about a company which he realizes doesn't know what it does. the book has many twists, which i will not mention here otherwise ruining the key storylines in the book, that make you think about how corporations work, especially with regard to management.

the book covers terms like the golden handshake (bonus upon signing), the golden parachute (severance pay) and the golden handcuffs (staying on because of a promise of a bonus). but more importantly (for me), it covers situations like the dreaded "re-org."

now being exposed to a recent re-org of late, barry's take on a re-org is definitely implausible, but does expose some issues of a re-org. the excitement of what it may bring, employees getting the boot, chaos ensuing after its implementation, and the the "shake-out," where employees that are put into meaningless positions leave the company. all of this is easy to relate to, which made the book a much more interesting read.

the best parts though are the interactions between the characters. my favorite character was the main character jones because of his youthful naivete and drive. i found that i really wanted to strive to be like him -- to challenge the corporate structure and make my place in the company; to not be the chimp that does things because that's the way things are done.

barry makes some great observations of corporate life, such as how projects are managed. if four people are put in a room and are not allowed to leave until they complete a task, but their tasks change every few hours, will they ever finish? no!

i am inspired by this book, but i'm not sure what to make of it. only time will tell. just a disclaimer -- if you work with me and read this, don't read to much into it. but do read this book. ;-)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

google's world cup feed
has anyone else noticed that google's world cup notifier links to si.com, instead of worldcup.com? wouldn't this make perfect sense?

note that worldcup.com is owned by yahoo. while si.com, which is associated with cnn, is owned by timewarner which owns aol, the company that google has a 5% stake in.

ahh the world of conglomerate media companies.

nyc: most polite city*
*according to reader's digest

reader's digest did a study where they determined out of all the world cities, nyc is the most polite (can you believe it?).

they performed three types of tests: "door tests" (would anyone hold one open for them?); "document drops" (who would help them retrieve a pile of "accidentally" dropped papers?); and "service tests" (which salesclerks would thank them for a purchase?).

i propose another type of test: "subway tests."

in all these cities, almost all of them have subway systems. why not perform a test to see what the frequency is that a person would give up his/her seat to allow a pregnant woman or a disabled or elderly person to sit. it's interesting to note the type of people who would give up their seat.

i was reading in lonely planet that when you're in prague, you're not supposed to give up your seat on the subway. maybe it's just not a customary practice in czech culture to do so? i think it's messed up.

i remember when moving from boston to nyc i was shocked to how impolite and discourteous people were. barely anyone held the doors open, people never said excuse me, and i rarely saw people give up their seats. however, whenever i do see this happen, i tend to be surprised and it actually brightens my day. there actually are nice people in this world!