Wednesday, August 30, 2006

If you're thinking about writing...

This is the most dangerous post I've ever written. Why? Because I'm about to tell you things that absolutely drive me insane. Mostly, it involves email etiquette and writing style.
First off, I am not your manager. Do not write to me in business slang. Example: My schedule won't support that activity.
Replace with: I'm busy.
Example: In addition to providing visibility and access to our organization and key business areas, the site includes several new communication tools designed to inform, enable, and engage employees.
Replace with: We made a new site. Its pretty cool... check it out.

Second, make sure you don't overdo your punctuation. A single exclamation point can usually convey how excited you are. I don't need a string of 10 exclamation points to know it.
Example: We're going to lunch at Cucina Cucina!! You're totally invited!!!!! It's going to be super yummy!!!!!!!!
Replace with: You want to go to lunch at Cucina Cucina?

Third, people who reply-to-all... watch yourself. I don't mind getting 3 or 4 emails sent to me unnecessarily... but sometimes it can get crazy. I'm just asking you to be a little more mindful when using <ctrl>-<shift>-r (yes, that's the hotkey combination for reply-to-all).

The fourth way to drive me insane: be the second or third person who replies-to-all to say: "quit replying-to-all."

Those are the big ones. I know I'm going to get about 1000 emails tomorrow with all 4 of these annoyances in them... but whatever. I feel better after getting that off my chest.

Side note:
Seattle Mind Camp 3.0 is on! I already bought my ticket. You in?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Performance Evaluation Extra

We have other bards in Boeing! A software engineer in Wichita, Kansas emailed me a poem he wrote last year around the time of his Performance Evaluation. Now, with out futher ado:

Performance Evaluation Extra (PEE)

How did I do in Two-thousand and five?
Achieved that perfection for which we all strive?
Perfect? Well… no.
The “process” was too slow,
But my pulse says at least I’m alive.

Towards that perfection I try,
But the restroom made all go awry.
I arrived at the “head,”
But the auditor said,
My process was not CMMI.

So now in the restroom I stay.
I expect that I’ll be here ‘til May.
But committed I am
To finish this plan,
Though the peer reviews cause some delay.

Each time that I schedule a meeting,
The duration is typically “fleeting.”
I’m not sure of why
But my suspicions are high,
It’s the smell of the urinal seating.

Returning to where we began,
I’ve become quite the powder room point man.
Though my future seems bright,
Each flush does rewrite,
My Performance Development Plan.

~Steve Ware 12/13/05