Thursday, January 14, 2010

You Want to Know Why AT&T's Network Sucks

Quick post, I checked my AT&T wireless bill today. For those who didn't know, I recently upgraded my beat up Blackberry to a sweet new iPhone.

While I loved my Blackberry, the iPhone is freaking amazing. The only hesitations I had were battery life (not an issue at the moment) and network coverage. Everyone in NYC talks about iPhones dropping calls on AT&T's network.

Well, knock on wood, I haven't had any so far. But, when I was looking at my bill, it was obvious why AT&T's network may be at a breaking point (or at least not as good as Verizon's)

The chart below illustrates my personal cell phone data usage over the last few weeks.

See if you can figure out when I got my new toy...

Yeah, that's probably why.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Proper Ettiquette

I've had a few conversations recently with some close friends, close enough to be readers of this blog anyway. They have expressed concern that I hold no regard for my career safety, due to the nature of some of my posts.

In an effort to assuage their concerns, this post will have nothing to do with my work, although it will have to do with office conduct. Don't worry, I'll keep it respectable.

The topic for today is urinals and the mens' room.

More specifically, about the all too frequent breaches in decency that occur within.

Now I know, it's a mens' room, and we can't expect very much, even in a professional environment.

People will still throw their garbage on the floor. People will still make a mess of the soap dispensers. And for some god unknown reason, sober men will continue to...umm...let a couple pitches get away from them.

But that pales in comparison to the fact that some people, and I won't say who, but some, feel that it's perfectly acceptable to talk to you when you're in there.

Now, I'm not talking about some chit chat while you're both at the sink, and I'm not referring to a casual how's it going when you cross paths at the door.

No, I'm talking about full on talking while you're, um, occupado.

The official urinal rules for men are quite clear on the subject. They aren't officially printed anywhere as far as I know. I think it's just one of those things you're supposed to naturally understand, like how people getting hit in the crotch is funny. No one tells you it's funny, it just is.

Similarly, there are a few simple rules.

1 - When entering a mens room, if there is someone at a urinal, then you go occupy the urinal that is absolutely furthest away. I don't care if that far urinal is on fire and shooting poison darts...that's where you go.

2 - When you are at the urinal itself. There is exactly one direction to look (forward) and exactly no things that are necessary to say. None. Not negotiable.

I mean sure, we've all probably blurted out a few words when we've had a bit to drink. I'm not saying we're all perfect.

But in a professional setting, please don't approach the urinal as if it's a water cooler or coffee machine to be talked around. One could argue it's the exact opposite. Now that I think about it, if you are drinking whatever you're standing around, then feel free to chat. And if that thing happens a urinal, then talking in the bathroom will be the least awkward moment you have that day.

I say this because my peers at the firm and I have had long debates on the subject, and it frequently comes up because people keep chatting away.

Today, as I was in what I'll term the 'disengagement' phase of the process, a senior member of the firm gave me a cheerful hello. It surprised me, because I was obviously in full-on back out mode and was even giving the reverse counter-clockwise spin to avoid facing him.

Of course, he was a senior guy at the firm, so I returned his greeting, and got the hell out of there (don't worry, it was after I washed my hands)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Quick Vacation Wake Up

Today was the first day back at work after a little over a week of relaxation. My girlfriend came in from the windy city, and managed to bring the wind with her (it was absolutely freezing in New York).

We spent a week doing touristy New York things, because she hadn't spent a ton of time here, and I hadn't spent a ton of time here actually doing stuff besides working and sleeping. We did the ice skating thing, the broadway thing, we even mugged some tourists late at night just for fun (Of course, we had to pick someone we could overpower easily, which is why I'm the proud owner of a new Hello Kitty backpack)

We also ate our way up and down the island, sampling the best pizza, donuts, cookies, and cupcakes the city has to offer.

Which is why I did a double take hopping on the scale the other day. And I'm pretty sure I heard the elliptical machine groan 'Wow you're fat' under my weight as I jumped up on it this morning.

But that's not the quick wake up from vacation I was referring to. No, this one is work-related, in another tale of things that probably happen a lot in consulting.