Friday, December 19, 2008

The Universe is Random

One of the contractors in my Division was struck by a car.... while in a clearly marked pedestrian crosswalk.... wearing bright, obvious clothing in early morning daylight... at around 30mph (apparently she flew some 10 ft in the air when hit).
Luckily she was not killed (though 2 hip bones and her femur were busted. She was in surgery the next day to have pins put in).

It does make one pause. That sheer dumb, random chance that will strike you, even if you do everything right and still have something bad happen to you. I think this one of the most frustrating things about the world we live in. That luck plays such a factor (not that I am one to complain... I would say that I am a pretty lucky guy).

The funniest thing is that so few people are even willing to acknowledge that luck plays a factor in their lives. So many people claim that their rewards/results were from hard work, dedication and their own skill. But when it comes down to it those items just facilitated an environment that enabled them to fully exploit the opportunity that was presented to them. If they didn't return that call, reply to that email, get that workout in (or heck, get born to the right parents or get the good DNA).. then the opportunity passed them by. But we as humans like to believe that we are in control, so we minimize the fact that there is so much out there that is out of our control...

BTW, the coworker? Just got out of the hospital today... And promptly slipped and fell again. (nothing major, still went home)

Thursday, December 18, 2008


First Oboma's recently vacated Senate seat goes up for bidding.....
Now Caroline Kennedy is being mentioned for the replacement of Hillary Clinton's Senate Seat.

Ah, the Kennedy family. Pushed into greatness by primarily by the death of a mediocre President (reference, Vietnam escalation, Cuban Missile Crisis). Most recently trying to get acclaim for Ted Kennedy (*cough* killer *cough*). Lately bemoaning the fact that with Ted soon to leave the Senate there won't be a Kennedy in the Senate for the first time in 50 years..

Really, the Kennedy's are the Democratic royalty. There is very little that they can do wrong and very rarely criticized.

Now along comes Caroline. Its hard to find an article that doesn't speak reverentially about this plan to place her into Clinton's seat. Words like "legacy" and "aura" are all tossed about. But really, lets use the correct word... "connections", "nepotism", "crony-ism"... This woman has no place in Senate. She has never served in public office or ran for one in her life.

So NY, (in particular Gov. Richardson), it seems that the media has crowned another of the Kennedy clan to public office. So mote it be.

I think it's funny that Americans seem intent on recreating the House of Lords here in the Senate.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Really people? Whatever happened to the one of the best underpinnings of society? Treat others as you yourself would like to be treated. (Or, “Do unto others as you would want done onto you”) This rule seems badly fraid in todays world. Where things are pretty much all about you… To take the time to pause for a second and contemplate what you are doing and the effect on others around you…. Saying “please” and “thank you”

But C’mon…. This rule should be even more in effect when it comes to the workplace, where there are even more protocols in place. Let me give you the jist of a conversation that took place yesterday afternoon… And let me preface this by making the positions of those involved
Me: Federal Employee with significant responsibility (branch/section chief with 30 contractors working for me)
FBG-SA (Formerly Big Guy, Still Asshole): Contractor who works for one of my peers in another division in the same Office
Also present, my Divisions Program Manager – COG (Cool Old Guy)

Me – (coming in and asking questions about the topic of the day that interests our Office Director)
FBG-SA – What are you doing down here? (without even standing up or making any effort to talk FTF)
Me – (ask legitimate business related)
FBG-SA – (eventually provides answer to question… in most pompous, arrogant manner possible)

Never in the conversation was any attempt made to talk with me or COG like we were people… at all times the most condescending tone and mannerisms were used. Implications about other personnel in the office were made in dismissive manner.

I wouldn’t treat anyone this way. Not a peer, not a subordinate and most definitely not 2 people who are higher in the chain than he was. While I stayed on target, COG was definitely stewing and stuff like that (getting someone senior to you PO’d at you) is not good for your career, no matter how technically capable you are (or at the very least it will limit how far you will go).