Thursday, April 10, 2008

On Not Being Stupid

Good news is I just hired my first employee.

Bad news is that his name is already in some HR database, and "the system" wouldn't let me enter another employee with the same name. I had to ask him for a middle name before I could proceed, but not before being told that it would cost millions to fix this, and that it doesn't bother most people.

Programmers, please use your brains just a little bit while designing database schemas that would cost "millions" to fix. A person's name is not a unique key, period. Not allowing a second employee with the same name - two different people can even have the same middle names, by the way - is infuriatingly stupid.


Oh, and one more thing: don't underestimate how popular some names can be. On an old version of ICQ, the "search user" function only returned the first 40 matches. If you have a name like mine, not being in the first 40 means that I can't be found at all.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Under My Dictatorship...

The Federal Reserve recently committed US$30 billion to save Bear Stearns from collapse. Since that's partly my money, I feel I have the right to make some demands.

I want the Board of Directors and every officer from Vice President and above to be permanently barred from the financial industry and government employment. They are heavily involved insiders who are either utterly inept, knowingly took unreasonable risks, or lacked the moral fiber to blow the whistle (or even the minimum self preservation instinct to distance oneself) before it was too late. Whichever is the case, I sentence their careers to death. Find another job elsewhere. You're highly educated, have some money, and probably already white. You'll be fine, except for your golden parachute, which is null. And void. And Moot. And Academic.

I want all other employees to take a pay cut. If you were stuck on a mountain because of your own foolishness or ignorance, you usually have to pay for the helicopter rescue. The same way, the people are taking 20% of your base pay (and all of your raises and bonuses) to help defray the costs of the bailout. You get to keep your job, but you may not seek employment elsewhere in the financial industry for the next two years if you decide to quit.

Or we can just pretend none of this ever happened, which is what we seem to be doing.