This is Lori's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Lori's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Lori
Recent Activity
Oh, please do tell! I always get a bitter kind of amusement out of those kind of stories. It's a long, long story better suited to being shared over alcoholic beverages than over the internet, but here's the short version: At my last FT corporate gig there was a guy who provided one of the inputs that I needed to do my job. I did inventory management, and one of my tasks was to set Min/Max levels so that we'd get a signal when it was time to reorder. He did our forecasting, which is a major input for determining those numbers. He made my life a misery in part because his numbers made no sense. As a result our reorder was sub-optimal. He blamed it on me. I pointed out, with numbers to back up my claims, that his forecasting was problematic. He was a manager and had been at the company for years. I was a grunt and had been there less than a year. Voila! Lori is Not A Team Player. A rep which caused me no end of other issues at the company. Fast forward 2 years. The douchebag gets caught in a kiddie porn sting and loses his job (on the way to prison). He was out of there literally from one day to the next. (News broke on Tuesday. On Wednesday he came in to get his personal items and we never saw him again.) People then had to scramble to get his job done and found that, among other issues, his forecasts were total crap. He was basically just pulling the numbers out his ear.
Toggle Commented Jan 12, 2011 on Playoffs and rocking chairs at The Slacktiverse
Plus, if you took the money used to give (real) raises to CEOs etc. and put it into raises for the line workers and such, it probably wouldn't come out to more than a couple hundred dollars per worker, which wouldn't really cause inflation the way multiplying personal income by 2-3-4 plus times would. This is true. I've seen people argue that skyrocketing CEO pay doesn't really hurt workers since spreading it around would only give each worker a trivial increase in pay. That's actually why spreading the money around would be beneficial. It's too small an amount to cause problematic inflation, but workers would greatly benefit from having the money circulating in the real economy rather than chasing dubious investments.
Toggle Commented Jan 10, 2011 on Playoffs and rocking chairs at The Slacktiverse
I suspect that this shooter was less than intensely concerned about violating the law. He was alleged to have appeared in public with the gun last summer. At that time I presume he was a little more concerned about legalities. Also, if he had been seen in public with an M16 it's highly likely that there would have been some sort of investigation and I haven't heard anything about one. I'm going to assume that it was a legal and fairly easy to get AR-15 unless someone can prove that it was an illegal and fair more difficult to obtain M16. For me this is definitely a "pics or it didn't happen" thing.
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2011 on Playoffs and rocking chairs at The Slacktiverse
did I hear correctly -- one of the victims was a 9-month old child. Please tell me that that was reported incorrectly. I've seen multiple reports that one of the 6 fatalities was a child, but haven't seen anything about how old s/he was.
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2011 on Playoffs and rocking chairs at The Slacktiverse
It should probably be an AR-15. I don't think it's legal for civilians to have M-16s in the US. Even after the expiration of the assault rifle ban, I think it was prohibited by a '20s law (automatic weapon). Of course, he might have been breaking the law. Yes, the gun would have been an AR-15. I have no doubt that there's some number of civilians who have M-16s, but they wouldn't appear in public with them because they're illegal. An AR-15 is expensive, but legal. And I'm only semi-kidding, there. Increasing overall pay that much would have led to major inflation that would severely injure anyone with a fixed income (for instance). But just increasing the pay of the wealthy that much? Doesn't, because they don't spend as big a fraction of their income as the not-wealthy. The thing is, the PTB would at least pay attention to runaway inflation. One of the problems with giving ever more money to the rich is that they go in search of more & more places to invest. Which was part of the reason we ended up with the runaway derivatives market from hell. Which no one paid any attention to until it was too late.
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2011 on Playoffs and rocking chairs at The Slacktiverse
I heard, though now I couldn't tell you if it was on MSNBC or one of the news sites, that there was return fire. I'm sure that the Right Wing gun worshipers will figure a way to spin it so that it's still some evidence of Liberal wimpiness and lack of resolve. I'm not quite sure how*, but I've come to expect it and I'm rarely disappointed. *I often have trouble figuring out exactly what they're going to say. I think being constrained by logic is a real handicap in that regard.
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2011 on Playoffs and rocking chairs at The Slacktiverse
Has anyone been grabbing screencaps of the more virulent right-wing websites before they took their stuff down? TPM and TheSmokingGun would probably have some hay to make out of them. There seems to be a fair amount of scrubbing going in RightWingistan right now, but they night as well not bother. Goggle cache is forever. It will certainly be interesting to see the spin from the Right over the next couple of days. Fox has already gone the classy route of victim blaming and licking their chops over the chance to gain further political advantage by replacing Giffords with a Tea Partier. I'm sure others will follow their lead. However, the Right's favorite post-violence talking point isn't available in this case because Arizona already has the Holy Grail---concealed carry with no permit required. I guess they'll have to go with more victim blaming---if Liberals weren't too wimpy to carry they'd have been able to stop the (concealed carrying) shooter before he got off so many rounds. Sigh.
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2011 on Playoffs and rocking chairs at The Slacktiverse
On the plus side, reports of Giffords death were apparently premature. Her condition is extremely critical, but the hospital says that she's alive and in surgery. My best wishes to her.
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2011 on Playoffs and rocking chairs at The Slacktiverse
Just turned to CNN after you posted and they were busy telling people that it was probably just because she was celebrity. Operation Whitewash is apparently already in process. Oh, of course. The fact that Giffords was one of the people on the infamous Sarah Palin crosshairs graphic couldn't possibly be connected in any way to her being shot in the head.
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2011 on Playoffs and rocking chairs at The Slacktiverse
Wow Lori, that book sounds really interesting, but I also don't know if I dare read it and spend the next month or two stomping about in rage. I found it more exhausting and sad* than rage-inducing, but I suspect that's because I already got my rage on reading Griftopia. YMMV. *The major reason that the meltdown was so widespread is that the subprime/CDO mess was so toxic that it sucked in even companies that had previously been run fairly well and radically altered the way they did business. Ironically, two of the names most synonymous with the disaster, Countrywide and Goldman Sachs, fit that profile. They started out trying to make money by looking after the best interests of their customers. By the end they were buying and selling pure garbage and they knew it because they didn't give a fig about their customers and were totally focused on making staggering amounts of money for their executives and shareholders. Oh and Happy Almost Birthday that Really isn't THAT close to Christmas so deserves some recognition. Just in case I don't get to it tomorrow... Thank you.
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2011 on Playoffs and rocking chairs at The Slacktiverse
This is one of many reasons I think the Stock Market needs to be destroyed. When a company goes public these days, it's like one of those parasites that makes animals behave in a self-destructive way so the parasite can move on. All sane policies get replaced by MAXIMIZE SHAREHOLDER VALUE. I haven’t formed a strong opinion about exactly what needs to be done about the Stock Market, but something needs to change. There were many times while reading All The Devils Are Here that I felt an eye twitch coming on. One case was brought on by what was really a throwaway line. It had to do with the changing emphasis at financial services companies. I think the comment was about Goldman Sachs, but it might have been Lehman. (Honestly after a while the evil BS all starts to run together and it’s difficult to keep track of which business did exactly which rotten and/or stupid thing and when. Ultimately it doesn’t really matter because the same basic thing happened at all the major firms.) Corporate debt had been a huge part of their business, but in the 90s it shrank to about 10%. That happened both because they were doing less of it and because all the company growth was on the CDO side, so the percentage of total business in handling corporate debt got really small, really quickly. IOW, a major Wall Street firm all but abandoned the business for which Wall Street supposedly exists---valuing companies and allowing them to raise working capital from investors. That happened because corporate debt didn't have a high enough profit margin. Especially after the financial services companies themselves went public and started chasing their own share price, solid profits just weren’t enough. They required explosive growth and as a result they focused on complex, risky (and frankly nonsensical*) debt instruments which in turn drove abuses and excessive risk-taking in the subprime mortgage market. That's pretty much the opposite of the role Wall Street is supposed to fill in the economy. And the one thing you can absolutely rely on is that unless there’s serious structural change it will absolutely happen again. *Anyone who still thinks that people on Wall Street are rich because they're just that smart needs to do a bit more reading. Look at the method used to turn the BBB- mezzanine tranche of a mortgage backed security into the AAA senior tranche of a second mortgage backed security without actually improving the risk profile of the underlying mortgages. Hint: this is every bit as ridiculous as an alchemist telling you he can turn lead into gold and yet the Masters of the Universe bought into it and threw billions of dollars at it.
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2011 on Playoffs and rocking chairs at The Slacktiverse
That's actually the reason why my boss is a Manager, even though the person she replaced had been a Senior Manager. That prefix would have placed her in the upper echelon of people who actually deserve what they earn, and, having gotten out of paying one person that kind of money when my former boss moved to a different group, he wasn't about to start paying it to someone else. I've seen the same thing at places were I've worked. I assume the same basic reasoning is behind his belief that no one can exceed expectations. If an employee is doing more than you expect then there's really no excuse not to give a raise over and above what would be earned by someone who merely meets them. Can't have that. Better to crush employee initiative by refusing to acknowledge hard work and success than cut into the executive bonus pool by giving the little people decent raises. And just in case Robyrt is reading this and thinking that Jon's company is not some sort of corporate freak---no, it's not. This is how many, if not most, corporations are run. And yes, many companies run this way are considered very successful--because the only measure of success that anyone pays attention to any more is the stock price and investors love it when management screws workers. Along with no rewards, and no good rewards, there's also the phenomenon of lottery-style rewards. Things like "Go for a whole month without missing a subscriber, and be entered in a company drawing for free theme park tickets!" or "Receive a small bonus if a secret shopper just happens to enter your line and sees you up-selling!" I think most workers will decide the odds aren't very good and fail to care. They did this at my last "real" job. Raises were weak and benefits were a mess, but at the company holiday party they had a raffle that included big ticket items like trips to Europe and Australia. I was surprised by the number of my coworkers who were so dazzled by the possibility of winning that they failed to notice the bogus lottery aspect. Ask me how I got a rep for not being a "team player". [shudder] There is no greater epithet in corporate America than Not A Team Player. Which roughly translates to "can be seen to notice our bullshit".
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2011 on Playoffs and rocking chairs at The Slacktiverse
Heh, riiiiight. I guess I should have specified that he means "everybody who isn't part of upper managment. Funny how I knew you were going to say that.
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2011 on Playoffs and rocking chairs at The Slacktiverse
He also believes that everyone makes too much money as it is and that no one deserves any more, regardless of how the company is performing. Does he include himself in "everybody"?
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2011 on Playoffs and rocking chairs at The Slacktiverse
Gah... and re-reading my post I am reminded why my professors got me in the habit of doing footnotes to begin with. >< Because I greatly abuse parentheses if I don't stop myself. Blergh. @Joel: That's one kind of abuse for which no slacktivite will judge you. Too many of the rest of us are also guilty :) I hope that you get the library job and that things improve for you soon.
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2011 on Playoffs and rocking chairs at The Slacktiverse
Hey, you can fit a camel through the eye of a needle if it's minced finely enough. And if you're rich you can pay some poor sucker to chop it up for you so you don't have to wear yourself out or get your hands dirty. Another problem solved by the wonders of the free market. And the fact that he didn't think that being poor means GOD HATES YOU puts him one-up on entirely too many self-proclaimed Christians these days... Credit where credit is due.
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2011 on Playoffs and rocking chairs at The Slacktiverse
Hence his firm belief that helping the poor was important, but becoming rich himself had to come first. Jesus must be so proud. /sarcasm
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2011 on Playoffs and rocking chairs at The Slacktiverse
What Arania said. At this point I'm also motivated almost entirely by money, or more precisely the lack thereof. It would take a huge improvement in my circumstances to allow me to worry about much of anything else.
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2011 on Playoffs and rocking chairs at The Slacktiverse
Why do boards of directors want to keep CEO salaries so high? Is it just cronyism? Why don't shareholders revolt? What an easy way to cut costs. As far as I can tell, for boards of directors it's a combination of cronyism and internal politics. A board position is actually a great deal. You get paid a lot of money and don't do much. (Theoretically a board is supposed to do quite a bit, but in practice these days most of them just rubber stamp decisions made by CEOs.) No one wants to risk being forced out and loosing their cushy gig. Shareholder revolts are far easier to talk about than to actually make work. The only time one really gets anywhere is when it's backed by large institutional investors. Which they almost never are because the people controlling those investments are part of the same culture and feeding at the same trough as the people who are making the crappy corporate decisions, like paying the CEO a gazillion dollars a year.
Toggle Commented Jan 7, 2011 on Playoffs and rocking chairs at The Slacktiverse
I try and keep it 9-5, but when I do work extra, it's because I'm working to support my co-workers, not the company. It's teamwork. And I've been in situations where it's obvious that the company is using that peer guilt to ensure results, rather than the employment hierarchy which is supposed to. So you approach your job with pretty much the same attitude as an infantryman in a war zone. Sounds about right. And exactly what we should be striving for in our domestic economy. /sarcasm
Toggle Commented Jan 7, 2011 on Playoffs and rocking chairs at The Slacktiverse
I 2nd the recommendation to read Taibbi and Krugman on the recent mess (although I would say avoid Taibbi is you have a low tolerance for foul language. Or improper use of the term "crazy" and it's variants. God I wish he wouldn't do that.) I just finished another book that I can recommend: All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera. Nocera writes a financial column for the NY Times and McLean's last book was about Enron. IOW, neither of them are naive or unfamiliar with greed. I think the fact that even with their prior experience their book ended up taking it's title from that particular Shakespeare quote* pretty much says it all about what has gone wrong with our economy. The book is fairly easy to understand (some of the stuff they're explaining is just complicated and therefore difficult, but their writing makes it as clear as possible). They cover the whole range of bad actors, poor decision-making and hubris that led us off the cliff. No matter what your position on the meltdown is, you'll almost certainly find some of your assumptions were wrong. It was really frustrating and disturbing to see how the Wild West atmosphere in subprime mortgages and CDOs created a race to the bottom when it came to ethics. *The Tempest, Act 1, Scene 2---'Hell is empty, And all the devils are here.'
Toggle Commented Jan 7, 2011 on Playoffs and rocking chairs at The Slacktiverse
One time, I suggested, jokingly to my manager "Well, you could pay everyone more." I did not exepect the reaction to be one of *abject horror*.) Or hire enough people so that everyone in the office is assigned an amount of work that they can reasonably be expected to complete it in 40 hours/week. As opposed to cutting staff to the bone and expecting everyone to simply pick up the slack.
Toggle Commented Jan 7, 2011 on Playoffs and rocking chairs at The Slacktiverse
Congratulations, wintermute and family! Lillian is beautiful. For future reference:remember--no combo presents :)
Commented Dec 27, 2010 on It's Christmas Eve, babe at The Slacktiverse
The piece I'm looking at is a china cabinet, with glass doors on top and four drawers below. Probably not too difficult at all---you're basically just building a bunch of boxes. The trick is making sure that you have all the pieces oriented correctly, but things like unfinished edges and door hinges do provide pretty good clues. I assume that your husband will be in on the project. You'll definitely want at least 2 pairs of hands. My guess would be that it would take a couple hours start to finish since you haven't done an Ikea project before. As a rule I plan for twice my guesstimate just so I didn't feel pressured, but it really shouldn't be terribly complicated.
Commented Dec 27, 2010 on It's Christmas Eve, babe at The Slacktiverse
Also, does anyone have much experience with IKEA? Is their stuff really that hard to assemble? Once you figure out what to do, actually doing it is really easy. However, figuring out what to do can be a challenge--depends on the piece. Ikea instructions only have pictures--no (or very, very few) words. If the piece is fairly straightforward that's not a problem. If it's less obvious (to you), it's a total PITA. I've owned quite a few Ikea pieces and the only one that was ever a serious problem was one of the chairs. For some reason assembly of that piece was not intuitive for me and it took me forever to figure it out. By contrast, I can put together a large Ikea bookshelf in less than 20 minutes, box to wall.
Commented Dec 27, 2010 on It's Christmas Eve, babe at The Slacktiverse