Monday, November 17, 2014

I Blog, You Comment Tue Nov 17, 2014

Thank you for the comments, opinions, and feedback.

There Are Many Children With Parents Like Mine blog was about adults who were raised by their parents similar to my parents. Lots of comments were related to our similar childhoods. I mentioned my parents lacked parental knowledge, inattentiveness to my problems, and played the "ignore the problems and hope they go away".

Yup, my brother, my sister, and I had dumb parents. My sister and I forgive them. My brother hasn't. He's not on speaking terms with our parents. --Francis Alvarez, Arlington, TX

Did your parents hit you? Did your parents ditch you? No? Then you parents raised you well. Sounds simple, yes. There are many children in abusive homes, foster care, and homeless who want your parents. --Leslie Owen, Fresno,CA

You could have been in a worse situation with terrible parents. You're not in jail. They did something right. --Debbie Jefferson, Cincinnati, OH

I agree with you blog 100%. Parents who failed on what you wrote shouldn't be parents. I don't care whether they have lots of money to bail you out of problems. Or to buy you out. Terrible parents. I'm feel pessimistic now after writing this. Finally, there should be government mandatory parenting classes teaching basic parenting. Want more jobs. Start these classes. --Teresa Harrison, San Jose, CA

I wrote a blog telling the world to relax. Take a deep breath. Rest and recuperate. The timing is perfect to read An Open Blog To The World.

I'm a secretary in a law firm. I've been more mistakes committed by the attorneys as the year continued. They're tired. They're prone to more mistakes. Imagine they go to court without me correcting their errors. They lose the case. --Edna Torres, Dallas, TX

My youngest in junior high and my oldest in high school. Dead tired after a long school day. My high school days were never this stressful. What's going on with the world? Take a damn break! Get some sleep! --Byron Murphy, Kansas City, MI

The reason we're tired is too much television shows. Stop watching television, or at least cut your shows in half. --Jody Miles, Buffalo, NY

The world is over-simulated. Be strong. Rest. Don't give in to all this simulation we see with technology and the tv screen, the phone screen, and the computer screen. --Corey Ferguson, Wichita, KS

When will the world realize the lack of sleep hurts everyone? One person is stressed affects the people around him/her. Is it really important to finish everything in one day? If it not important, it's not meant to be done today. The sun will come up tomorrow. --Brenda Burton, Baltimore, MD

There were mixed opinions when I wrote How I Buy DVDs.

Great advice. I sold half my DVD collection I never watched in years. Less clutter in the living room. --Bethany Gonzalez, NM

Good idea. I follow your advice when I think about buying a DVD. It's true what are the chances I watch 100s of movies a year? Not with my daily schedule raising children and keeping my wife happy. --Travis Summers

I can't wait when the DVD is released. I don't watch movies in movie theaters. I buy it to for a big collection. I'm happy with my big collection. Best way to relief stress. --Gilberto Mason, Seattle, WA

The worse blog I read. One, I don't have a DVD collection. I use NetFlix. Two, you're a cheap person. Three, a waste of space in my apartment. Waste of resources printing the paper and making the DVD covers. We have too much trash. --Jan Chan, Los Angeles, CA

Job candidates have a better chance getting a job with good social and conversation skills. I wrote a blog talking about The New Job Interview where the interview is a conversation.

The old school conversation Q&A is outdated and ineffective. If I can have a good conversation with you, then I hire you. --Doug Gill via email

I smile, you smile. We have eye contact. I'm comfortable being in your presence. I will hire you. --Noel Carlson, Chicago, IL

It's like asking a person out on a date. If I want to date you, you'll be hired. --Jessie Payne, SF, CA

I follow new life rules thanks to Mike. Read Mike's Rules to follow them.

These are basic rules. Overstated! Waste of time. --Danielle, Virginia Beach, VA

Fake it till you believe it and courage and comfortable were worth my time reading it. --Gerard Ross, Long Beach, CA

I'm a grade school teacher. I added a couple of Mike's Rules to my classroom rules. --"Miss Cookie" via email

All feedback for What Is Innovate Infinitely? stated it was terrible. There was no point of the blog. Stupid. Weak. The comment that summed up all the feedback in a cruel way:

Look, sir. You still live at home. You overeducated for a job in retail. You have no friends. That's enough to tell me your "innovate infinitely" is a bunch of bull shit. I bet you're an anime fan since you mentioned Japantown. The people who are geeks and anime don't know shit when it comes to living life. Losers. You're weak. You really need strength. You need opportunities. Yeah, right. You don't deserve opportunities. Prove to the world and the world will reward you. The world has a way to give good people good fortunes and bad people bad fortunes. You are lucky your parents let you live at your age. I kick my kids out if they were living at home over 40 years old. --Shawn Powell, Washington D.C.

I got sick big time in May and June. I wrote Top Ten Ways I Lower My Chances Getting Sick to share my mistakes and to remember what I do to avoid getting sick. Some people agreed with my ideas. Some didn't.

I agreed with a clean house, taking your time, and staying hydrated. I disagreed with the soda is your best friend. --Cesar Holt, Baton Rouge, LA

Good article. I adapted the stay hydrated. I should use it to motivate me to drink more water. --Chelsea Mann via email

These are life changing ideas. You're not even a doctor. Good job. --Elisa Fuller, Vancouver, BC, Canada

My goodness. What a bunch of bull. Soda for spicy foods. Nope. Eat three meals. Not for my body. Too much sleep is bad for you. --Jeremiah Griffith, San Diego, CA


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Top Ten Lessons I Learned Working At My Last Job

I worked at a wine store from Nov 2013 to Sep 2014. It was my first job after graduating at De Anza College. I remember the experience working with alcoholic beverages 40 hours a week for the rest of my life. I learned wine. I also learned more job lessons and life lessons.

Today's job market continues to be tough. It's hard to find a job. I never complained. There are some unemployed people who want my job. There is somebody out there who takes my job any day. I'm not complaining about my new job I started on Mon Nov 3.

Here are the top ten lessons I learned working at my last job:

10. Shipping and receiving are not common sense. There are skills and knowledge involved in shipping and receiving. For example, I learned some basics loading and unloading a dolly. The employee moves and stacks boxes. Simple? There are do's and don'ts when arranging boxes of wine. Some do's and don'ts aren't common sense.

9. 100% customer service is a myth. 100% customer service never existed in retail. The customer is not always right. Some customers take advantage of a store's 100% customer service policy. Stores are not breaking the bank for a 100% satisfaction rating. Everyone experience being screwed in customer service regardless of fault. Sometimes being screwed is beyond the customer and the retailer's control.

8. The wine business. The people are in the wine business for the love of the wine. The people aren't in the wine business for the money.

7. Supported from my co-workers. Good people are available in times of trouble. I realized most of my co-workers supported me. They backed me up when I needed help. I should have realized many co-workers backed me up when I worked at Colliers. I was never lonely.

6. Get out when there are signs of trouble. My company started going downhill in May 2014. However, the company hired a new employee with a broad knowledge in wine and beer. He submitted his two week resignation two weeks later. He spotted trouble and mismanagement quickly. I started looking for a new job in June 2014.

5. True workers. Retail workers are true to themselves for better or for worse. There is no reason to fake something about ourselves. They don't need to be somebody else. The retail workers are the lowest beyond the low in the career industry totem pole.

4. Seek first to understand. One of the managers became annoying. He shut himself out. He became weak. He was a coward. What happened? I asked other co-workers. They shared the same experiences. We concluded it was too much stress. I understood the situation. I acted accordingly. I behaved accordingly. I minimized contact with the irritated manager.

3. Stress can change a person. The manager became a different person because of stress. It was the first time I experience how stress changed a person. Frightening. I take better care of myself to avoid stress taking over my life.

2. Learn the back story. Acquire the history. The back story and the history are more examples of seeking first to understand. For example, I asked the assistant manager how the co-owners of the second store met. I also asked her the history how long the first store opened. I had a better understanding of the company and the people.

1. Egos and stubbornness. Some people have egos to protect. They never admit they're wrong. They never recognize a good idea. Avoid stubbornness. There are people who never listen to good ideas. Ownership and management egos and stubbornness can result in a company halting growth.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Work Sat Nov 15, 2014

The work blogs are back. I started working at Palo Alto Networks as a Data Entry Specialist contractor. Here we go.

Mon Nov 3: My first day. The commute was terrible. The total drive is 20 minutes to and from work during non-commute times. I drove 35 minutes. I felt good working in a tech company the minute I walked inside the lobby. I felt good going back to a cubicle work environment. Everyone wears photo ID security badges. The work hours are flexible; however, contractors work 40 hours a week. Overtime must be approved by my two managers. I support an engineer and a risk manager.

My orientation started a 9am. I met two other contractors. The first was a Business Analyst for a marketing department. The second was a marketing assistant for the Executive Briefing Center. The contractor liaison verified our I-9, reviewed contractor procedures, and toured the two buildings including the gym, cafeteria, breezeway connector, game room, and break rooms. The break rooms include free bottle water, sodas, snacks, coffee, Keurig coffee, tea, milk, and string cheese for every floor. The snacks included raisins, chips, trail mix, chocolate covered pretzels, cookies, granola bars, and protein bars.

I met my engineer. His cubicle is next to mine. He, another co-worker who trained me, and I went to the Tech Oasis to get my laptop. The Tech Oasis is a walk-in IT helpdesk. I was assigned my laptop, docking station, phone number, and network password. My laptop is installed with Office 2010, Chrome, and Microsoft Lync.

We use Shoretel 230 phones which are the same phones when I worked at Colliers International. I cleaned up the surface and arranged my monitor and docking station. I acquired pens, notepad, and Post-It notes from the supply room. Each cubicle has a whiteboard, an enclosed storage bin, and small shelf on wheels. There are no black markers for the whiteboard because the Sharpies are black colored. I need a desk fan, plants, and a keyboard wrist rest. The air is stagnant, warm, and dry for the entire fifth floor.

The rest of the day was training from my co-worker who transferred to another department tomorrow. I was not her replacement. I replaced an intern. The database used is SAP.

The commute home was too long. I drove for 40 minutes. My 8am-5pm work schedule allows me to see the sunrise when I wake in the morning and the sunset when I drove home from work.

Tue Nov 4: My second monitor arrived. I ate at the cafeteria for the first time. The hours are 11:30am-2pm. There are three stations and a salad bar. Each station features a special of the day. The coffee bar hours are 7:30am-3pm. The seating area is open for the entire day.

One of my buttons on my pants broke when I went to the restroom. I sew it back on later.

I must close the blinds from a window section because the sun shines directly at me at 4pm. I open the blinds before I go home.

My engineer worked at home today. I used the downtown to map the data fields.

I talked to the test engineer in our team. He worked at the company for at least three years. He told me the company is averaging one new hire a day. He started as a contractor. He's full time now.

Wed Nov 5: The morning commute was 20 minutes. The commute on Mon Nov 3 must be an anomaly. I learned each day's commute is different when I worked at Artisan Wine Depot. There must be an accident that prolonged Mon's longer than expected commute.

I placed my plants and fan on my desk. The Vornado Flippi Fan is on my left side. The two plants are on my right side to the right of my phone.

My engineer showed me the tech lab. He continued my training in the database. The data was terrible. I should have expected poor data. It was somewhat similar at Cisco.

I brought Couples by John Updike book to read after lunch.

I drove home using Monroe St. and Scott Blvd. I use the route if I need to shop at Target. Total commute time was 40 minutes.

Thur Nov 6: The morning commute was 20 minutes for the second day in a row. It seemed longer. I met another co-worker named Frank. Another co-worker in the supply-side department let me borrow her spare desk fan and an extension cord. I accepted the extension cord.

My engineer created an upload template to increase efficiently. The more I learned the data, the more complex the data to understand and the more poor the quality. I felt less likely my contract is going to be renewed because the company is paying too much more for someone to maintain poor data. There is too much unnecessary work.

I watched a two-part Magnum PI episode titled "De Ja Vu". I mentioned the two TV episodes because I should have stopped watching after part one. I needed extra sleep. I had difficulty adjusting to my new 8am-5pm work schedule because I slept 6 hours or less each night. In addition, I had experience periods of my stomach growling. I ate Famous Amos cookies and Nature Valley Granola Bars. I choose not to each the protein bar.

I drove home using Lafayette Boulevard. The long signal light at the Central Expwy. intersection and El Camino Real intersection convinced me they were not worth the wait time. I use the route if I need to shop at Costco. Total commute time was 40 minutes.

Fri Nov 7: 18 minutes from home to work on my first foggy day commute. It felt like 25 minutes. I accept an 18 minute to work and up to 40 minutes driving home commute. My average total commute time working at Artisan Wine Depot was 60 minutes.

I saw the Nespresso machine next to the sink in the break room for the first time. The company takes care of their full time and contractors in terms of food and drinks. I was told the company subsidizes the cafeteria prices.

My engineer assigned me cleaning up data.

There was a celebration at the outside quad. The celebration was recognizing a successful fiscal quarter. My engineer's boss plays in a band. The band provided the music. I didn't attend.

Mon Nov 10: I still had problems getting enough sleep. I drove to work at 8:01am. I arrived at work at 8:19am. I still had my parking spot I choose to maximize shade from the trees. The morning was foggy.

My engineer assigned me a new project for his upcoming presentation. There were over 1,000 records to enter. My engineer and I agreed to concentrate on the approximately 250 new records which needed to be entered.

I purchased my lunch at the cafeteria for the first time. I ordered the Carne Asada tacos with rice. The Churros were hard for dessert.

I walked around the gym after lunch. The gym looks good. I can work out here after work. The men's locker room is outside the gym at the walkway next to the game room entrance. Towels and water are provided.

I wonder are engineers terrible at explaining. The manager who trained me at Artisan Wine Depot was terrible. He was an electrical engineer. My engineer told me instructions too late. I started over again. I'm fortunate my limited SQL and past Access experience helped. I admit I'm still rusty at database administration. I also admit I need more self-training. Everything was coming back to me. I must be professional. I must be strong.

Tue Nov 11: The Veteran's Day holiday made the evening commute easier. 26 minutes total time. I continued working on the project which is taking much longer than expected.

I met with the risk manager I start supporting soon. We met for one hour. She introduced me to the database tracking all the suppliers. The database is purchased from an outside company.

Wed Nov 12: I arrived to work at 10:40am because my car needed new front breaks. I found a better parking spot with more afternoon shade.

I brought a clothes hanger to hang my jacket. I didn't want my jacket on my chair. I used three pins to hang my clothes hanger with my jacket inside my cubicle next to my whiteboard. I need more pins when I wear a heavier jacket. One pin couldn't handle the weight. I plan to visit a store to purchase an appropriate cubicle clothes hanger soon.

My first project is stupid. Bad timing was likely. Bad data. Missing data. I'm still learning the meanings for all the data. Perhaps the bad data is the reason why the company hired a data entry contractor instead of a database administrator.

New hand sanitizers stations were installed next to the elevators and next to the break rooms.

I kept my laptop on the docking station after work because Windows 7 updated 28 new updates.

Thur Nov 13: There was a buzz sound inside the break room. The water cooler needed a new five gallon water jug. Another worker told me to open the door on the bottom of the cooler. The water jug is on the bottom of the cooler. The cooler is not the traditional take the jug, turn it upside down, and rest on top of the cooler. There is a pipe inserted inside the jug to pump water.

My late lunch allowed me to hear the beginning of the company's 2015 benefits presentation for their employees. An employee gave me the 2015 benefits book.

Fri No 14: The project was completed before lunch. Most new records were successfully uploaded. My engineer and the SAP administrator were aware some records failed to upload. There were lots of headaches. I worked on UAT after lunch. The SAP Administrator installed new features in the database I was assigned to test.

I talked to the receptionist regarding the policy on personal mail and packages. She said workers must be courteous by picking up our packages after we receive an email stating our packages arrived in the front area. She also said personal packages have already increased for the holiday season. The 2013 holiday season was too much to handle. There are more people in the front reception and in the shipping & receiving today. They are ready handle the anticipated increase in packages arriving. USPS, UPS, and FedEx are acceptable postal services for mail and packages.

I need a mouse pad. My surface gives me problems when I use my mouse. I thought laser mouse don't need a mouse pad. It appears I'm wrong.

I discovered there was an accident when I arrived home. I made a left turn on El Camino Real because traffic stopped moving. Good move. The rest of the drive took around 12-15 minutes. The total commute home was 47 minutes.

I created a personal rule. I must make a left turn at El Camino Real if I anticipate waiting three or more signal cycles to drive through the El Camino Real intersection.


Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Seeing Ordinary People Living Their Lives

I shopped for a desk fan and two indoor plants after work today. I blog my new job bringing back my work blogs soon. In the meantime, I want to share an observation when I shopped.

I saw ordinary people living ordinary lives. They don't need lots of money. They don't need lots of fame. They live another day being grateful for what they have. Most of them don't take their good fortunate lives for granted. The other people must discover to stop taking their lives for granted.

I saw the workers at the stores I shopped taking it easy. There were few customers. They were being their best staying busy. Some of them conversed with each other. Good. They didn't want to be bored; moreover, most were eager to engage in customers. I believe many counted their blessings they have a job. Everything is going to be okay.

Finally, I saw lots of cars on the road driving home in the later commuter hours. The work day was over. Rest, relax, and recover for another workday tomorrow. Some of these commuters work in mediocre jobs. I believe most of us commuters are grateful for our jobs like the retail workers above. They counted their blessings. Everything is going to be okay.

We're ordinary people. Take a deep breath everyone. We don't need lots of money. We don't need fame to be happy. We live our lives to the best with honesty, strength, and dignity.


Saturday, November 01, 2014

Wine On Fourth Of July

A new hiking shirt for hiking. A new knife to open wine crates. I didn't play Mahjong and I didn't ride a bus to school in 1989. The Chinese restaurant was empty because a few customers needed their car's breaks repaired. The Fourth Of July was spent looking at Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and a full moon. Too early to buy school supplies.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bringing Home Meals

There are many ways to determine if a person, a couple, a family . . . a group of people is happy in a household. One way is bringing home meals. Is the meal coming from a grocery store requiring cooking or the meal already prepared such as take out from a fast food restaurant? The exception is a household with people who agree to be responsible for their own meals. Otherwise, I have a thought relating meals and happiness.

I believe cooking meals is a happiness sign. Cooking demonstrates caring and thinking about everyone's well being. Cooking meals is beyond duty. There is satisfaction you and everyone else are happy eating a cooked meal. Lazy cooking is unsatisfactory. There must be effort, hard work, time spent, and thought preparing meals. There is no put the meal in the oven, bake it, and forget it until the meal is finished baking. There is creativity. The hands are working with food, spices, ingredients, the utensils, a chopping board, and the stove top.

On the other hand, unhappy people never cook. Meals are purchased at a restaurant, a deli, or in a supermarket's frozen food aisle. The attitude is "here's the meal purchased, let's eat, done." Cooking meals is a duty completed no more. The time spent cooking is being used for their own personal and selfish liking.

There are exceptions such as parties, too busy with responsibilities, unexpected events, and some senior citizens who eat out more often. I hope the too busy with responsibilities is temporary. Bad habits of eating out more often can develop because a sense of buying meals is easier and time saver than cooking at home. Show happiness. Be happier. Cook for yourself or cook for your household.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

My Thoughts On Game 7 Of The 2014 World Series

The Baltimore Orioles was the last road team to win Game 7 in a best of seven World Series defeating the home team Pittsburg Pirates 4-1 in the 1979 World Series. The 1982 St. Louis Cardinals, 1985 Kansas City Royals, 1986 New York Mets, 1987 and 1991 Minnesota Twins, 1997 Florida Marlins, 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks, 2002 Anaheim Angels, and the 2011 Cardinals won Game 6 and their clinching Game 7 at their home stadium since 1979. The road team Cleveland Indians tied the series 3-3 in Game 6 of the 1997 World Series against the home team Marlins; in other words, the Marlins could have clinched the World Series in six games.

The road team San Francisco Giants were shutout by the home team Royals on Game 6 10-0 yesterday. I have mixed feelings and confused emotions today. There is a sense of urgency. Giants fans want the Giants to win the World Series. We remember past Game 7 World Series; in particular the 2002 World Series when the Giants were up 3-2 in the series against the Angels. History is against the Giants. The best Giants fans do is hope for the best. Stay positive. We believe the Giants change history. Support the team. Giants fans cheer for them. Have faith timing and luck are in favor of the Giants.

The 2014 baseball season ends today. One team wins and another team loses. Tomorrow is back to normal life.

Side note: I remember starting pitcher Josh Beckett of the Florida Marlins pitching Game 6 of the 2003 World Series on three days rest. The road team Marlins clinched the 2003 World Series against the home team New York Yankees. I understand the reason Marlins manager Jack McKeon made the choice to start Beckett because he didn't want to play a game 7.