2156 Continuing Adventures

Comic Vote

Dad wasn’t feeling well this evening. I can count on my hands the number of times my father has been really sick, but when he’s sick at all it bothers me because it seems so incorrect. I mean, he’s in his 70s, under a lot of stress all the time. It’s reasonable for me to be worried about him. That’s a legit worry to have. It’s valid. It’s probably nothing, but still. I’ve always been a worrier. I think, since I’ve never reacted well to chaos, or change, or whatever, my brain is constantly trying to prepare me mentally for any disaster it can imagine, and it’s very good at imagining disasters. A lot of people rely on my father for their well being. I don’t think they really understand that. It’s not the kind of thing you think about unless you’re prone to stepping back & looking at the big picture of things. I’ve always been like that so I’m always a little overwhelmed by the scope of life.
It’s like when you catch a clear glance inside a house as you drive by. I don’t know what it’s like for other people, but I always have these intense flashes of conjecture about what the lives going on in that space are like. Things ripple out from us as we move through our days in so many ways no one can calculate all the outcomes, but you can kind of follow them back to a source sometimes. All the people my father employs, all the business he does in the area, it all contributes to this area a lot.
There was a guy who used to own a bunch of stuff out here, but he died of cancer several years ago. I remember how it shook everything up & a bunch of things just started to fail. He was this pillar that kept all this stuff going & once he died the deterioration he was holding back won. The hotel he owned slowly fell to ruin, the truck stop got worse and worse until we just sort of stopped eating there on the weekends, all the stuff he oversaw crumbled away. That’s kind of what successful people do on some level. They hold back the rot caused by lesser people. That’s not to say they don’t cause problems too, but in general they keep the success they have going. Apple after Steve Jobs has been declining grimly, slowly, inevitably… Not quite living up to the standards they set for themselves.
No one is irreplaceable, but having to replace a good person is often a disaster, because good people, talented people, competent people, are always in short supply.


It’s been a while since we saw Thomas interact with outsiders; I’d nearly forgotten his tendency to deflect scrutiny this way.

Thomas is a genius at Spin Doctoring for authority figures…
I don’t know but I think he might
have a pocket full of

For some reason your essay reminded me of a saying: “A people hire A people. B people hire C or below people.” The idea being that competent people like to have other competent people around them, but less-competent people like to have people who can’t give them competition.

I don’t think I would be a good boss. I’d probably let people walk on me until things blew up. You don’t have to like the bosses of the world but I guess we need them to keep things from crumbling.

I find it hard to believe, based on personal observation that A people hire A people. Anecdotal evidence at best so take this with a grain of skepticism. It is not so much that they are in short supply though they are a minority. It is more so hat an A just would not work for anyone if they could help it. Those who can’t help it do not get the opportunity and more times than not end up working under a C.

As for Bosses I do not like any of them. Why? Because they are a Boss aka official Bully. Leadership, competence and knowledge are all superfluous extras when it comes to a Boss. They are the overseer to walk down the aisle cracking the whip, keeping you in line and making sure you are busy doing something. They are the ones controlling the flow of information and everything must go through them and pity on the fool who talks to anyone outside their fiefdom or sounds an alarm when something starts to go sideways. They also are the ones making dumb-ass decisions or no decisions, claim accolades and rewards and pass on any flak. These people are like dandelions as they are always there and very difficult to root out once they are established.

What you want is a manager / team leader. What are their traits in comparison? They actually have some knowledge of what everyone does and has some actual interest. They ask questions and rely on the knowledge of the more skilled and experience people on their team because nobody knows everything or can do everything. They support and defend the team. They keep everyone informed and conversely they have everyone keep them up to date. They coordinate and support. These are the people who either thrive or burn out.

Well said! VERY well said, N0083rPOOF! :)

I just want to add that most businesses nowadays will try to euphemize “bosses” as “coaches” to make it seem like they are there to help you rise to the top in confidence and spirit towards your job but it’s no different from bossing. Don’t get fooled. “Bosses” and “Coaches” are pretty much the same thing. I should know as I worked under a boss with the label of “coach” before.

Jackie, I am minded of the case of newspaper comics, taken over after the main artist or author leaves/dies/gives it to his Kid to do…..
They change; just a little at first, then more, and in a year of two it is different in flavor as they put more of themselves into the cartoon and channel less of their Dad/mentor/originators into it. That is the grim of it.
The happy of it, is when a Kid takes what their dad started and makes a really big thing from its humble beginnings. I’ve seen that happen, too.

I hope your father will be well. I suffer from anxiety. There is seldom a bad scenario that I have not rehearsed in my head over and over. For almost any bad thing that I have ever been able to imagine, my mind has decided that I should waste time formulating a plan to deal with it. Very few of these horrible things have ever come to pass. The wars have been fought, won, and lost, all within the confines of my skull. The best I have been able to do is to learn to keep my face passive while I tell others everything will be ok. I don’t know what it is like to go through life not being like this. I try to give everyone a bit of a break, because what if they have their own battles raging in their heads, and perhaps they are trying to be the best human they can be… I have been here a long time…

POOF,there are all kinds of bosses, managers too. Had to do both. Trying to be fair to people who thought they should have my job because they didn’t want to do theirs, trying not to be the ‘bully’ when they refused to do what they were hired for. Listening to ‘how they would do things’–ego without logic. Having to assuage fears of the owner who borrowed millions to start the company with no collateral other than their own expertise and past business experience, when payroll seemed to be providing 0 return. Trying to balance a team who were too happy to stand back and let one coworker do 80% of the team’s work. When the company got decent contracts and relocated to larger facilities out of town, having to explain to employees that we were only taking 4 out of 26 with us–the only 4 who didn’t act as though the company had no purpose but to give them a paycheck.
The looks I got in stores for being the monster who fired everyone’s friends–the worst group-think lying thieves I’ve ever seen in my life. At the new place, I got to vet all hires, put them on probation. Place ran well. Till our #2 died, owner retired, new owner ran it into the ground. Turns out running it wasn’t something ‘anyone’coul do.

“[..] as though the company had no purpose but to give them a paycheck”

But that is how it is for many people. Me included.

I wouldn’t ruin my mental and physical health in the shitholes i’ve worked and currently are working in if it weren’t for the goddamned money. I’d rather do things i like instead of running in a pointless hamsterwheel doing the equivalent of praying to the capitalism god so i may survive another month.

Worst example: Worked as a software engineer in avionics which was pure insanity; The standard there is DO-178B aka “senseless braindead horror bureaucracy Cthulhu style process straightjacket” – That is supposed to make things safe but can be extremely easily circumvented by incompetence (no, i didn’t work for Boeing, but i bet my quatloos that there wasn’t much difference) and creates all kind of ugly apeshit; Certified software for example. “Hey, you want to make a 32 out of an 8 in that one variable? We have to recertify the network stack. 57.000€ (>64.000$) please.” – And that was one of the lowest ripoff numbers in that project.

And the horror show that i’m currently part of isn’t much better. There are morons out there who really think it is feasible to create a self driving car that only works when its permanently connected to the internet while using as-real-time-as-possible map data that has to be pre-cheweded and updated constantly… My last car got to an venerable age of 26 before it was so broken down that is was much cheaper to buy another used one. Pretty sure my current one won’t last that long aleady, and this thing is ‘only’ 16 years old. How long is one of these self driving software shitcans supposed to last? Keeping an infrastructure up and running for 5 years is already not easy, and Corona currently shows everybody exactly why. But no, i’m paranoid and don’t know what i’m talking about, projected lifetime is supposed to be 15 years. Hah-ha. Even that is a poor value for a car that likely will refuse to work when the servers go finally down. And repairs? Forget it. Getting the software versions right so everything won’t do the bluescreen equivalent during startup works will be close to impossible; We have enough trouble with that kinda stuff on the production lines already, and the pieces arn’t even in the car yet (where there will be many, many, *many* more).

Even worse, these companies even resist every spark of enthusiam that i could bring along. I love automating setups (compiling, uploading, testing), and i like sharing my toys with other people. But it basically never comes to that. Horrendously malconfigured corporate Windows straightjacket which kills 95% of the automation/setup replication potential compared to Linux, hopelessly overpriced propritary useless bullshit tools as well as a general resistance over making things more efficient. And of course you fucking always have to work in these goddamn fucking “barn egg” scenarios with 20 to 100+ people crammed into a big room, where poeple are always blabbing, are always making it impossible to properly focus, where it is even difficult to properly follow a Skype-Meeting due to 3 or 4 talks going on syncronously nearby.

And these are the kind of jobs one shall put his soul into?!? I think not…

So switch your job you say? I’ve tried. Moved 3 times the last 3 years (not including the other stuff before) across Germany in an attempt to improve my situation, but its always the same bullshit. And even if i could take the lower paying ones in small companies (my student loans are quite against that), i’d still have to drive into the middle of the biggest shitholes (München, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Berlin) in Germany, which would be swapping one mind breaking mental horror against another one. I have massive problems with too many people in one place, and i *H-A-T-E* big cities and public transportation. Problem with Germany is? Get out of the big cities and you might as well sit in a rusty shack in antarctica. No jobs. No internet. No anything. I could deal with the latter but the first two are kinda problematic.

Perhaps i can escape my “home”land one day, really have difficulties imagining to live the rest of my life here. Sadly switching countries is easier said that done… would love to to jump to Canada or USA, someplace where i can work AND have a home where poeple arn’t constantly terrorizing me with their noise and idiocy… but that is so far out of reach for me…


And with that i’ve realized how much i’ve written here. Holy triggered anger venting hell.

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