Sleeping on the Job

We all suffer from that dreaded afternoon hour drowsiness when coffee can’t seem to lift us up from that slippery slope toward slumber city – don’t we ? 😉 I admit I have been guilty of napping at work myself but I make sure I do it discreetly at the confines of my office, where I pretend to appear intently glued to my PC monitor yet desperately keeping my head erect 🙂 I might look normal from the outside but my senses are in lala-land and a phone ring may actually startle and paralyze me for a minute 😉

What if you work in customer service and drowsiness strikes you like rum and coke stirring your brains, slowly diffusing all the sensory functions of your body? Well, here’s a case of a TTC transit ticket collector who dozed off in his counter. A frustrated passenger used his cell to take a photo of Sleepy Joe and posted it on YouTube. It made the headlines. Even Jay Leno gave Sloppy Joe a ribbing. I have taken Sleepy Joe’s station many many times. It is at the end of the light rail transit line in the east end of the city and which you would expect to be less travelled than the ones in the heavy traffic areas in the middle of the city. But that doesn’t give the collector an excuse, more so that the transit commission had just raised the fares this new year. Given that the commision is government owned, expect a severe backlash from taxpayers who think their money is being spent on lazy slobs who sleep on the job. A couple of years ago another ticket collector made headlines for raking in $100K in wages . Sleepy Joe’s dozing antics certainly didn’t help. It fueled the fire even more and made the tax paying public even more irate to think that these highly paid collectors are sleeping on the job !

Would you fire this guy or give him the pass ? His union defended him saying that passengers should have been worried about his state – they should have first established if he was sleeping or dead 🙂 He could have had a medical condition for all we know according to them. Reportedly Sleepy Joe is on heart and pain medication and to most people, that’s enough to gain their sympathy and give him the pass. But many think that is not quite the case. Sleepy Joe fell asleep on a customer service counter and must face disciplinary action for it. Of course, the union will defend him from being fired like a criminal lawyer would. That’s their job. In your opinion, does he deserve to get more than a warning letter given that he has embarrassed the transit commission to the max and made taxpayers furious ?
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Shopping Is Healthy… Really ?

I heard on the radio the other day that shopping makes people healthy and women spend on the average some 5 kms ambulating around a mall on an average shopping trip. I’m not too sure if this stat had to do with Christmas time shopping or reflective of a typical day at a mall.  In giant malls like Mall of Asia or Mega Mall perhaps, where getting from one store to another can be physically challenging. In playpen sized malls like what we have here, 5 kms is circling around the entire mall many times over 🙂  The physical health benefit of walking is for certain and it is also true that men walk lesser than women because they don’t spend time twiddling their thumbs deciding on the purchase 😉

Here’s a graph that sheds a bit of light on the real deal with people’s consumption habit. At some point, the impulsive habit of shopping becomes akin to a drug induced euphoria, if it transcends beyond need and comfort and strays into luxury and extravagance. Fulfillment appears to be highest when desire for comfort is at stake in a purchase. Sure enough shopping makes a person feel better  but when the credit card bills come in the mail, the euphoria might turn into misery – for some, that is. Banks and credit card companies team up with stores and establishments to induce people into a spending spree.  Add to the equation the middlemen who offer “instant rewards” for spending money on these establishments. It’s an unholy alliance of sharks conniving to throw us into the pit of indebtedness, feeding on our inability to tame our addiction. How many times did we lose control of our buying impluse and gave in to a “good buy” only to find out that a week later, the price dropped further ? I feel a bit lucky that in this country, merchandise return policies are a bit lax, that when my wife gets back to her senses the following day, she can still return her purchases 😉 Window shopping is far healthier – you get to walk around and exercise minus the worries of your wallet getting thinner or bills coming in the mail. 😎


Fox Network announcers Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly are your typical dyed-in-the wool, conservative, right wing commentators who sometimes make you wonder if they’re secret members of the Klu Klux Klan by the tenor of the rhetorics and the manner they trounce any form thinking that they deem a threat to their ultra conservative and capitalist principles. You can throw into the lot famed evangelist Pat Robertson, who had the gall to call for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for his threat of halting the sale of oil to the US in protest of its alleged imperialistic practices. It was bad taste in the mouth for those who shared the same religion with Robertson.

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Going Wireless… Going Nuts

Wireless is invading our homes these days – HDTV’s, Blue-Ray DVDs, Nintendo DSI’s, SLR cameras are slowly getting into the wireless bandwagon as well. Obviously there is a purpose for these devices going wireless and we can spend the whole day talking about the subject but what I’d like to talk about in this post is what people do nowadays – buying that cheap wireless router from the local store or through the internet mail order and attaching the unit to their cable or DSL allowing their PC’s and laptops to browse the net in a wireless fashion. The mobility feature of wireless is its main selling point and it is really great when you have more than one PC or laptop at home – it gets rid of the cabling hassle. Some people don’t understand however that if they turn on their wireless router in a plug and play fashion with its default configuration, they would be offering a public service – free internet access to their neighbors 🙂

For years now, I always see a neighbor’s UNSECURED wireless network ( using the default name of the router manufacturer) when I do “view available wireless networks” from my laptop. I was kidding my wife that maybe we should cancel our internet service because it looks like our neighbor doesn’t plan to get educated any time soon 🙂 Well, not quite. For all I know he providing free internet access on purpose and spoofing on our privacy 😉 So I told my wife never to do internet banking or online purchase on our neighbor’s wireless network and always do it on ours which is secure. The rule of thumb when activating your wireless router is to install the highest level of encryption between the router and your devices. This ensures that only your devices can authenticate to your router. You can also add further security by MAC filtering and that means allowing only the MAC addresses of your wireless devices to connect. You can also turn off the broadcasting of our SSID or your network name to the airwaves so that no one sees your network. Only your devices that know your network name can connect. With these three options which are not difficult to configure, your network will be fairly secure but of course, never impregnable to the willing hacker. 😯

Last week, I took my laptop to the office for some software upgrade. I felt like browsing the net out of our corporate network so I searched for an unsecured wireless access point in the neighborhood I can ride on and  this iswhat I found. Strange that someone would deliberately advertise his wireless access point as FREE . I can understand that he’s pretty pissed with the wireless network provider judging from his language 🙂 but man, would you ever trust the dude’s network? 😉


In these times of recession, the cruise business had suffered a setback hence cruise prices have dropped but this didn’t stop a cruise line from banning a cougar club – a bunch of older women looking for younger men to date – from boarding its ships. What might be the relevance of this news ? Perhaps not much but read on anyways 🙂
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When I came home after a late night new year’s celebration at a friend’s house, I briefly thought  about my first post for 2010.  Three things came to mind – the conversation about the virtues of universal ( free) health care in Canada with my buddies during the new year’s eve party , the issue of a friend who complained about not being invited to parties during the holidays and of course, Tiger Woods’ infamous fall from grace that shocked the world. I was wondering if I could blog about them and if my arguments would be in line with popular code of ethics which had become increasingly fuzzier in this day and age.  In my idle time last weekend, I grabbed Carl Sagan’s  Billions and Billions from my modest library to finish the 3rd section of the book and I thought I found something interesting when I came across his essay “Rules of the Game“.  I always go to Sagan for science stuff and much like Einstein, when great scientists talk about morals and society, I am all ears.  As I expected, no explicit answers are given but an analysis of man’s behavior based on the evolutionary nature of the human specie  influenced by the perception of society’s rapidly changing moral values is enough for me to appreciate the author’s  point.

Here’s a couple of excerpts from the article :

“Everything morally right derives from one of four sources : it concerns either full perception of intelligence or intelligent development of what is true; or the preservation of organized society, where every man is rendered his due and all obligations are faithfully discharged; or the greatness and strength of a noble, invincible spirit; or order and moderation in everything said and done, whereby is temperance and self-control.”CICERO, De Officiis, I, 5 (45-44 B.C.)



The Golden Rule : Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
The Silver Rule : Do not unto others what you would not have them do unto you.
The Brazen (Brass) Rule : Do unto others as they do unto you.
The Iron Rule : Do unto others as you like, before they do it to you.
The Tit-for-Tat Rule : Cooperate with others first, then do unto them as they do unto you.

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