Thursday, July 13, 2017

Anti-Company Policies

Or, How To Sabotage Company Meetings And Routines

Greetings:

Now, this is a topic with which we should all be concerned.  It seems that way back in WW II, the forerunner of the CIA published a document for the underground in Nazi-occupied territories on how to upset Nazi war efforts.  Believe it or not, many of these activities are still being carried on today in many companies in the free world by unknowing and well-meaning employees who do not know that they are unknowingly harming rather than helping the company.  Listed below are some of the "suggestion" from that WW II document:

Managers and Supervisors:
  1. Demand written orders for everything
  2. "Misunderstand" orders.  Ask endless questions or engage in long correspondence of such orders.  Quibble over them when you can.
  3. Do everything possible to delay the delivery of orders.  Even though parts of an order may be ready beforehand, don't deliver until it is completely ready.
  4. Don't order new working materials until your present stocks have been virtually exhausted, so that the slightest delay in filling your order will cause a shutdown.
  5. Order high-quality materials that are hard to get.  If you don't get them, argue about it.  Warn that inferior materials will mean inferior products.
  6. In making work assignments, always sign out the unimportant jobs first.  Always see that the important jobs are assigned to the inefficient workers of poor machines.
  7. Insist on perfect work on relatively unimportant products; send back for refinishing those that have the slightest flaw.  Approve others that whose flaws that are not visible to the naked eye.
  8. Make mistakes in routing so that parts and materials are sent to the wrong places in the plant.
  9. When training new workers, give incomplete or misleading instructions.
  10. To lower morale, and with it production, be pleased with inefficient worker; give them undeserved promotions.  Discriminate against efficient workers; complain unjustly against their work.
  11. Hold conferences when there is more critical work to be done.
  12. Multiply paper work in plausible ways.  Start duplicate files.
  13.  Multiply the procedures and clearances involved in issuing instructions, pay checks, andso on. See that three people have to approve everything where one would do.
  14. Apply all regulations to the last letter.
General Interference With Organizations and Conferences
  1.   Insist on doing everything through "channels".  Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.' 
  2. Make "speeches."  Talk as frequently as possible and at great length.  Illustrate your points by long anecdotes and accounts of personal experiences.  Never hesitate to make a few appropriate "patriotic" comments.
  3.  When possible refer all matters to committees for "further study and consideration."  Attempt to make the committees as large as possible - never less than five.
  4.  Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.
  5. Haggle over precise wordings of communications, minutes and resolutions.
  6. Refer back to matters decided upon at the last meetings and attempt to re-open the question of the advisability of that decision.
  7.  Advocate "caution".  Be unreasonable and urge your fellow-conferees to be "reasonable" and avoide haste which might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on
  8. Be worried about the propriety of any decision.  Raise the question of whether such action as is contemplated is within the jurisdiction of the group and whether it might conflict with the policy of some higher echelon.
In light of full disclosure, the original idea for this was taken from the blog of a friend of mine BUT he made the mistake of disclosing the location of the original document which, unfortunately, also gave many, many idea for sabotaging railway lines, bus lines, undergrounds, power plants, natural gas plants, bomb plants, ammunition plants, etc.  I think that ISIS has enough ideas of their own and that they don't need any more from us.  Anyway, this is supposed to be humorous and not REAL ideas for sabotage. 

Bottom line:  Do you know anyone like this?  (We used to call such folks "anal-retentive".)  Have you seen this kind of behavior in any of your meeting or office procedures?  If so, try to pass this around and discourage it.  Immediately.  It might just possibly make for better office and/or meeting behaviour.  Bon Chance!

jco

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Real Programmers

Greetings:

For those who regularly visit my almost hidden-from-view postings, I thought that we might revisit Bernstein's now-famous (infamous) take-off from "Real Men Don't Eat Quiche" book.  


REAL PROGRAMMERS DON'T EAT QUICHE

Real programmers don't eat quiche. They like Twinkies, Coke, and palate-scorching Szechwan food.

Real programmers don't write application programs. They program right down to the base-metal. Application programming is for dullards who can't do systems programming.

Real programmers don't write specs. Users should be grateful for whatever they get; they are lucky to get programs at all.

Real programmers don't comment their code. If it was hard to write, it should be even harder to understand and modify.

Real programmers don't document. Documentation is for simpletons who can't read listing or the object code from the dump.

Real programmers don't draw flowcharts. Flowcharts are, after all, the illiterate's form of documentation. Cavemen drew flowcharts; look how much good it did them.

Real programmers don't read manuals. Reliance on a reference is the hallmark of the novice and the coward.

Real programmers don't write in RPG. RPG is for the gum-chewing dimwits who maintain ancient payroll programs.

Real programmers don't write in COBOL. COBOL is for COmmon Business Oriented Laymen who can run neither a business nor a real program.

Real programmers don't write in FORTRAN. FORTRAN is for wimp engineers who wear white socks. They get excited over the finite state analysis and nuclear reactor simulation.

Real programmers don't write in PL/I. PL/I is for insecure anal retentives who can't choose between COBOL and FORTRAN.

Real programmers don't write in BASIC. Actually, no programmers program in BASIC after reaching puberty.

Real programmers don't write in APL unless the whole program can be written on one line.

Real programmers don't write in LISP. Only sissy programs contain more parentheses than actual code.

Real programmers don't write in PASCAL, ADA, BLISS, or any of those other sissy computer science languages. Strong typing is a crutch for people with weak memories.

Real programmers' programs never work right the first time. But if you throw them on the machine they can be patched into working order in a few 30 hour debugging sessions.

Real programmers don't work 9 to 5. If any real programmers are around at 9 A.M., it is because they were up all night. 

Real programmers don't play tennis or any other sport which requires a change of clothes. Mountain climbing is OK, and real programmers wear climbing boots to work in case a mountain should spring up in the middle of the machine room.

Real programmers disdain structured programming. Structured programming is for compulsive neurotics who were prematurely toilet trained. They wear neckties and carefully line up sharp pencils on an otherwise clear desk.

Real programmers don't like the team programming concept. Unless, of course, they are the chief programmer.

Real programmers never write memos on paper. They send memos via mail.

Real programmers have no use for managers. Managers are a necessary evil. They exist only to deal with personnel bozos, bean counters, senior planners and other mental midgets.

Real programmers scorn floating point arithmetic. The decimal point was invented for pansy bedwetters who are unable to think big.

Real programmers don't believe in schedules. Planners make schedules. Managers firm up schedules. Frightened coders strive to meet schedules. Real programmers ignore schedules.



Real programmers don't bring brown-bag lunches. If the vending machine sells it, they eat it. If the vending machine doesn't sell it, they don't eat it. Vending machines don't sell quiche. 

I added the emphasis but thanks to http://www.bernstein-plus-sons.com/RPDEQ.html for the "real deal" quote.  Loved it.

Ya'akov

Monday, June 5, 2017

73 Years Ago Today - D-Day -1 !!

Greetings:

[Note:  I write this same article every year with only slight revisions and changes.  But it is always important.)  73 years ago today, at around 0000Z tonight  (UK Time, or GMT) or about 1800 EDT - not adjusting for Summer Time - here in Texas, the greatest armada that the world has ever seen is just steaming out of all of the ports in England, both on the eastern and western side, northern and southern sides.  The ones on the western side started early, probably about an hour ago.  The ones on the eastern side are just casting off their ropes.  The invasion fleet was drawn from eight different navies composed of 6,939 vessels (far greater than the Spanish Armada) that included:
  • 1,213 warships
  • 4,126 transport vessels (landing ships and landing craft), and 
  • 736 ancillary craft and 
  • 864 merchant vessels.[17]

On board the ships are about 130,000 men with rifles, pistols, sub-machine guns, machine guns, tanks, jeeps, bazookas, Bangalore Torpedoes, ammo and nobody has a bullet-proof vest.  Most have on a Mae West, a life jacket of sorts that will not, contrary to what they have been told, keep them afloat with all of the stuff that they are carrying.  But, they trust in the CO and faithfully put on their Mae West hoping that they don't have to use it.  If anyone has to jump into water over their heads, they will sink straight to the bottom and stay there.  By the end of 11 June 1944, (D + 5), 326,547 troops, the Allies had brought over 54,186 vehicles and 104,428 tons of supplies.  By 30 June 1944, (D+24) over 850,000 men, 148,000 vehicles, and 570,000 tons of supplies had been ferried over from England.  By July 4th (the anniversary of American Independence) well over one million men had been landed at Normandy. 

Meanwhile, on the other side of the English Channel, most of the German officers and generals are taking a bit of time off.  Genral Irwin Rommel, the man in charge of the Normandy defense, has gone home to see his wife and Der Fuehrer Adolph Hitler.  You see, most of the German weather boats have been sunk or captured but, for some reason, they are absolutely sure that in this foul weather that nobody can mount an invasion.

But the Allies have better reporting.  They have a forecast that there will be a small break in the weather on the 6th of June.  So, betting on a spotty-at-best forecast, General Dwight David Eisenhower orders the invasion.  Having all of the troops already on the ships and planes, having followup troops already staging and on the way, it would have been impossible to call it off.  Looking back, early May would have been the absolute best time to have invaded.  The Allies were just fortunate that they got a small, one-day break in the weather.  And, above all, it was the best kept secret of WW II.  Nobody in England had a clue WHEN the invasion would happen, but it will happen in a few hours.

I think about this every year.  You see, my Dad (MSgt Carl P. Owen of the First Special Service Forces - precursors to the Green Berets) and my Uncle Bill (TSgt William L. Leach) were both in WW II.  At this point in time, Dad was battling his way up through Italy having started at the Anzio beachhead.  My Uncle Bill was in the 82nd Airborne and he had already geared up and was in the plane by this time.  Nervous as Hell and, like all of the other men (despite what Holly would have you believe) NONE of them would admit to being scared.  That kind of namby-pamby BS happens only in the "modern" army or in Hollywood.  Back then, you did not show fear.  Fear is contagious and NOBODY showed that he was scared as hell.  And all of them, except for the "crazies", were scared.  Personally, I think that Uncle Bill was one of the "crazies."  I know that Dad was.  :-)

In about six hours, midnight my time, the Allies will open up with 15" and 16" battle ship guns.  The shell was almost as big as a Volkswagen bug.   When it went over the boats going ashore, the men in the boats said that the small landing craft would literally lift up out of the water because of the tremendous vacuum created by a shell that big going going that fast just overhead.  (OK, maybe so, maybe not - but it really was a huge shell!)  But the German bunkers were built really, really stout.  Very few were destroyed by the shelling.  However, when that 14", 15" or 16" shell hit those bunkers it deafened those inside.  No sound deafening had been provided.

The American forces landed at Omaha and Utah beaches - the most heavily defended coast line.  The foul weather had prevented the Allies from pounding those defenses as much as was needed and most were still intact.  And the Allies paid dearly for it.  Rommel had done an excellent job of ensuring that not a single foot of the beach could not be raked with 9mm and 10mm machine gun fire as well as 20mm and 40mm rapid-fire cannons.  The British and Canadians landed at Sword, Gold and Juno beaches.  These were not quite as heavily defended.  Most of the gun emplacements did not even have the guns mounted yet.  However, they paid later when they ran into the interior German armies.

Intermixed with these assaults (usually with the English landing parties) are the Canadians, Australians, Free French, Belgian, Czechoslovakians, Netherlands, Danish, Greek, New Zelanders, Norwegian and Polish.  No mention of the Swedes, Spanish, Turkish, Mexican nor any other South American nation has ever been made.  Probably there were some, but not enough to have been mentioned.

To quote from Wikipedia:

---------
The Normandy landings were the largest seaborne invasion in history, with nearly 5,000 landing and assault craft, 289 escort vessels, and 277 minesweepers participating.[183] Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on D-Day,[29] with 875,000 men disembarking by the end of June.[184] Allied casualties on the first day were at least 10,000, with 4,414 confirmed dead.[185] The Germans lost 1,000 men.[186] The Allied invasion plans had called for the capture of Carentan, St. Lô, Caen, and Bayeux on the first day, with all the beaches (other than Utah) linked with a front line 10 to 16 kilometres (6 to 10 mi) from the beaches; none of these objectives were achieved.[32] The five bridgeheads were not connected until 12 June, by which time the Allies held a front around 97 kilometres (60 mi) long and 24 kilometres (15 mi) deep.[187] Caen, a major objective, was still in German hands at the end of D-Day and would not be completely captured until 21 July.[188] The Germans had ordered French civilians, other than those deemed essential to the war effort, to leave potential combat zones in Normandy.[189] Civilian casualties on D-Day and D+1 are estimated at 3,000 people.[190]

Victory in Normandy stemmed from several factors. German preparations along the Atlantic Wall were only partially finished; shortly before D-Day Rommel reported that construction was only 18 per cent complete in some areas as resources were diverted elsewhere.[191] The deceptions undertaken in Operation Fortitude were successful, leaving the Germans obligated to defend a huge stretch of coastline.[192] The Allies achieved and maintained air superiority, which meant that the Germans were unable to make observations of the preparations underway in Britain and were unable to interfere with bomber attacks.[193] Transportation infrastructure in France was severely disrupted by Allied bombers and the French Resistance, making it difficult for the Germans to bring up reinforcements and supplies.[194] Some of the opening bombardment was off-target or not concentrated enough to have any impact,[149] but the specialised armour worked well except on Omaha, providing close artillery support for the troops as they disembarked onto the beaches.[195] Indecisiveness and an overly complicated command structure on the part of the German high command was also a factor in the Allied success.[196]
---------

There are several really good links that tell about this day.  Some are
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normandy_landings
http://www.history.army.mil/html/reference/Normandy/asltforce.html
http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/d-day

Two GREAT movies about D-Day are
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Longest_Day_%28film%29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saving_Private_Ryan

And then there is D-Day, the movie
http://en.dday-normandy1944.com/D-Day-1944-the-film/home-2.html


Check out some of the other references at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normandy_landings#Further_reading

But, remember of these men who went ashore close to 10,000 men died on that day and close to 1 million Allied military men died by the end of the June - died so that we could live in peace.  If you see a soldier, marine, coast guard sailor, navy sailor or airman, THANK THEM for being there then and here today.  Buy their breakfast, lunch or supper if you see them in a restaurant. 

See you in December:

Shalom
Ya'akov