Monday, August 22, 2005

To Lighten the Mood...

After an odd couple of weeks at work, I thought I would write about something that has been on my mind for a while. I’m not going to lie, the following post isn’t meant to be read by everyone… only those with an interest in office strategies. I’m not talking about career strategies… I’m talking about the strategies you use in everyday office life. This post is about using the office bathroom.
Your first week on the job, you will find a stall in the bathroom that you prefer over the others. Yours might be the handicap stall; I’m not a fan, the toilet paper is usually in an awkward position… or just a long ways away. I personally like having the TP on my left hand side, and that is usually the tie breaker between equally clean stalls. Of course, a well-flushed and cleaned stall is the most pivotal thing.
Now, you’ve got your stall picked out. What next? Getting the timing right. If you go into the restroom… you want to make sure that stall is going to be available. Why? Because it looks weird when you walk into a bathroom then walk right back out. So, if someone is in your stall… you’ve just be subjugated to an inferior stall. As with almost anything, timing is everything. Avoid the morning rush. Everybody uses the bathroom first thing when they get to work. I mean, why would you use the bathroom at home when you could use the bathroom at work, and get paid for it? You’re going to avoid that pitfall though. Wait until at least 9:30AM, but 10AM is probably your safest bet. You also have to avoid the post-break rush too. So, give an hour or two after lunch to use the bathroom… I usually wait until about 2PM.
What if your stall is occupied? Here a few tips for picking a backup:
  1. Always leave an unoccupied stall between you and whoever is else in there
  2. Avoid choosing a stall that has a mirror on the opposite wall.
  3. Avoid the stall closest to the door, people will assume the stench is yours
  4. Check for TP.
What if your floor is big enough to have multiple bathrooms? This can be a hard decision, but I’ve found a very good way to decide which to use. Go to the one furthest away from the engineers. Engineers never change. They were the gross ones in college, and they’re still the gross ones as they approach retirement age.
And, if you’re really going to ‘let one fly’… go to a different floor where no one will recognize you.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Awaking the monster...

I've had a couple really crazy days lately... here is the brief rundown.

Thursday, ~9AM
I got a call from the Ethics department. Apparently someone "reported" this blog as a potential ethics violation. Honestly... who reads this and goes: "You know... I think this site is unethical". Bad grammar, poor spelling, and ignorant ramblings don't usually constitute an ethical problem. But apparently it is.
Anyways this is the jist of the phone conversation with the Ethics Dept:
Ethics: This is from Ethics. Someone reported your blog to us.
Adam: OK.
Ethics: You know you can't post limited or proprietary information on there, right?
Adam: Yeah. Is there anything questionable on the site?
Ethics: Well... no. Just be careful. No limited or proprietary information.
I guess they just wanted to call me to tell me to "keep on keepin on." *shrug*

I told my manager about my website, and about the call I got from ethics. He warned me that Boeing can be sensitive to stuff like this... and on his personal website, he makes NO references to Boeing. This seemed like overkill to me. So, I called a guy in PR. He said I what I was doing was fine. He gave me the name of the guy in charge of PR for my division.

A man with a security clearance shows up at my desk. This isn't a normal occurrence in the DBA world. Again, here is a wholly inaccurate but jistful description of the conversation:
Man: Are you Adam?
Adam: Yeah.
Man: Can I talk to you over here for a little bit?
Adam: Sure... Am I in trouble again?
Man: You've already been in trouble today? Anyways... Ethics called the Security department after your blog was reported to them.
Adam: Yeah. I've already talked to Ethics. I thought everything was OK.
Man: I just wanted to come visit, and have a little talk with you.
Adam: OK. Talk away.
[I'm going to abbreviate this, because I'm lazy. He said he read the entire site and could only find possible problem... but it was no big deal.]
He just wanted to stop by, and tell me to "keep on keepin on"

Then I made a couple of other calls to some folks around Boeing. They all thought I was safe to keep doing what I've been doing. And, most people think what I'm doing is cool.

I thought the whole situation was dead. My job was safe (for the time being).

Monday, 7:30
I get a couple of emails of congratulations from some friends for making BNN. BNN is the internal news organization for Boeing; they publish a few news stories about stuff going on around Boeing every day. One of the stories on BNN this morning was a warning to employees about the dangers of blogging. I'll spare you the details, but basically it cited all the company rules that could apply to blogging. All of which I've been complying with through the entirety of this blog.

Sometimes working for a big company can be annoying.

Saturday, August 06, 2005


One of the best things about Boeing is REACH. I don't know if I've mentioned them before... but it is one of the best things a company can do.
What is REACH? It stands for Regional Events and Activities for College Hires. While trying to make a cool acronymn it seems like some of the "meaning" of the organization was lost in translation. REACH is really just all the young people in Boeing. And once a month we have official events. Like, last night we had a huge BBQ and bonfire (well... a fire at least) on the Beach. REACH is at every major Boeing site too... and right now we're having a "cross-site visit". What does that mean? It means there are some young-Boeing-folk from St. Louis, Long Beach, and Philadelphia hanging out with us in Seattle this weekend.

Anyways, when you graduate college and move to a completely new place to start your job... it can be tough to meet new friends. REACH basically fixes that. We have weekly unofficial Happy Hours (which, in Boeing, we refer to simply as HH), and I spend a lot of time with other REACHers anyways, because they're a good portion of my friends now.

Fortuntely, there are people that are WAY more into REACH than I am... they're called the REACH Officers, and they organize everything (along with some of the more motivated members). So, I get invites to go to the Horse Races, to Beach Parties, on wine tasting tours, Rafting, and all sorts of awesome events.

But apparently not everyone had as much fun as I did last night.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Career Fair advice...

I got an email the other day about how to get hired by a company, even if you have a low GPA. I don't want to brag, but I didn't have a low GPA, so I'm not sure I'm exactly qualified to speak about this... but here goes.

The only way you're going to get your foot in the door is by impressing the hell out of a recruiter. And, the only place you're going to get to talk to a recruiter is if you go to a career fair. So, step (a): go to a career fair.

Here are my tips for going to the career fair:
GET THEIR EARLY. If the career fair starts at 8:00am, get there before 9:00am. You want to give the recruiters time to drink some coffee and wakeup, but you want to get there before everyone else. Plus, recruiters tend to be in a better mood in the AM. By the time the afternoon rolls around, they're getting antsy to get back to the hotel bar.

Only print 7 resumes, and think that you only have 5. Your resume is NOT on fire... you're not trying to get rid of it as fast as possible. If you only have 5 resumes, you will treat them like gold, and will only give them to places that you're really interested in (this will happen automatically... if you've taken economics, you'll recognize this as "scarcity of resources").

RESEARCH the companies before you go. This will take at least an hour. There is ALWAYS a list of companies that are going to be at the fair. Go to the website of your top 5 companies and learn some of their basic philosophies (i.e. "Don't be evil") (you should also notice a correlation between 5 resumes being printed, and 5 companies being researched).

Now, you're ready to talk to your 5 recruiters. Because you're early, there won't be a queue to talk to them, so you're golden. If a line starts to form behind you... ignore it, you're working on getting a job and today is about you (just like going to a spa).

The recruiter is going to ask you about school project that are relevant... so be prepared to talk about that. They will also ask you these 2 questions (gauranteed):
  • What do you want to do at my company?
  • What draws you to my company?
HAVE DETAILED ANSWERS! If you're talking to a recruiter from Boeing, say: "I want to be a Systems Engineer on the J-UCAS project because I think it's cool... also because: x,y, and z".
And: "I want to work at Boeing because there isn't a job at Boeing that is insignificant. You build planes, missiles, satellites, next generation everything... "
The last comment will really score you some points, because the recruiter will remember why THEY love working at their company. And any positive feelings that are associated with you are good things.
Just be ready to talk! And be interesting. If you've got a low GPA, explain all the cool projects you've worked on.

The recruiter will try to dismiss you without giving you some contact info. Don't take that... you need to get an email address or something. Having a point of contact in the company is pivotal. A good chunk of recruiters are actually normal worker-bees that have left their normal job for a week to go on the road... so they may even know about positions available in their group.

Thats all the tips I can think of right now. But, I want to share a few thoughts about low GPAs. Lots of people say that a GPA isn't a good reflection of your ability to perform. Which could very well be true... but there is SO much more crammed into that 0.0-4.0 number.
Over the last 4+ years, professors have been testing, prodding, and teaching you. And in the end, its almost always the professors opinion of you that ends up in your final grade. I've gotten an A where I, based on pure points, should have gotten a B or even a C. Why? Because I'm easy to get along with, and teachers appreciated that. If I didn't understand something I wouldn't throw my hands in the air and give up... I would go ask for help. And lastly, I made wholly inappropriate jokes during class... and instructors like humor because their lives can be pretty dull.
So, I may place a bit more stock in GPAs than other people... but thats because I think its more than just you ability in a subject, I think its a combination of many things.

Ok, welp thats a decent rambling for tonight. If you notice a spelling or grammar mistake, make sure to email me immediately.

You can be like me!

honoring myself
Originally uploaded by adamb0mb.
I got an email from a friend of mine today that works at the American Heart Association. The "Heart Walk" is coming up, and they are looking for people to donate to the cause.

I was the first person to donate, so... I got my name plastered all over the "honor roll". You should donate too.