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    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2012
    IT Guy
    Protip #2: The customer is usually wrong. Find out what they are really trying to accomplish, instead of trying to solve what they're actually asking you.

    Client: "Hi, I've got ADSI Edit open and I'm trying to edit a user account in active directory, how do I do that?"
    WRONG ANSWER: "Oh, sure, just go to Search and type in the email address..."
    RIGHT ANSWER: " 0_o Yes, you can edit an account that way, but why are you trying to...?"
    Client will be trying to do something simple like edit the email address. A little knowledge is dangerous, and the local "IT expert" in an office will often bizarrely chose the most incorrect, roundabout and dangerous way to get something simple done...
  1.  (10916.2)
    Rule #1: Clients lie.
    Protip #2: The customer is usually wrong.
    Ditto. With #2, people will often ask for shiny (and expensive and resource-wasting) stuff they don't really need. Ask "what problem is this intended to solve?" If they can't answer, they don't need it.

    My one dealing-with-people tip that isn't based on cynicism is this:
    When someone asks for something impossible for you to do, don't say "no"... say "yes, but...."
    Can you drop what you're doing and fix this for me? Yes, but only if ___ says it's OK to drop his request.
    Can you build me a new web site by Monday? Yes, but I'll need 5 experienced people to work on it and unlimited overtime.
    Can you get this package to Paris in time for lunch? Yes, but that will require highjacking an ICBM.
    That way you're never being obstructionist or uncooperative or negative, and you're leaving it up to them to actually make it possible. And if they do... then it isn't impossible after all.
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2012
    > Can you get this package to Paris in time for lunch? Yes, but that will require highjacking an ICBM.

    Now that sounds strangely familiar. Funny how so much of this applies to such widely separated industries.
  2.  (10916.4)

    Hah, that is so relevant and I agree on most parts. I've been in the both sides of the issue, as a professional journalist and also as a PR/publicity minion. In the latter I tried to do stuff that wouldn't annoy the journalist me, and I think I'm echoing a lot of what you said:

    - Keep the press releases simple and to the point. Ditch the "mutual masturbation quotes", ie. having two representatives spew platitudes about how they are sooooo happy to work with the sooooo talented other guys that once the door closes, they'll start french kissing just out of happiness of working together. Nobody in the history of journalism really uses those quotes. And no fucking photos in the press releases, m'kay? If there are quotes, they should be interesting. Even controversial.

    - Make press sites clear and concise, no fucking flashy animated Flash galleries or other shit. A journalist is a pissed of arsehole who just wants to write that piece of news or that article, and not watch a fucking horrible overdesigned piece of shit page do stupid animations. Clear information. Easily downloadable photos with no bullshit watermarks. Making it clear the photos are free for everybody to use for every frigging journalistic purpose. No photo galleries with restricted sign ins. I mean what is wrong with people? "No, you can't have easily accessible quality photos of our product, no sireee, now here's a hoop, that's a good journo, now jump."
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2012
    One point that I always want to make to people in PR is that the lowliest journalist's opinion is far more important than that of the most senior person in your company. No, you can't go back to them and be pushier or explain loads of other angles and aspects. You have four seconds to get their interest, at best. You might well run the third largest PR agency in the South of England, but unless you're buying advertising, the runner at Hot Sauce productions or the intern at Surrey Life is your God and the difference between your hundred grand campaign working or not working, not someone you look down your nose at or treat shittily.
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2012
    Amazing thread!

    That is all......

    Heri Mkocha
  3.  (10916.7)
    Working in Prison (as a guard, not in an orange jumpsuit)

    1. And I can't stress this enough, if this is your dream job, if the number one thing you want to do is be a prison guard, you should probably seek help in some sort of professional psychiatric facility. If you're gung-ho, and wanna be a SUPERCOP, this is not the place for you. You will be miserable, and you will make everyone in your life (family, friends, co-workers, inmates) equally unhappy.

    2. However, if you're in the military, and are looking for a civil service job where your experience and skills can be put to good use, plus you understand command structure and want many of your current benefits to continue, the Federal Bureau of Prisons is actually a good choice. Provided Bullet point #1 doesn't apply to you. Which, if you're in the military, it probably does.

    3. Don't get stabbed. Probably should be higher on my list. This includes, don't argue with inmates in front of other inmates. If you don't want to get stabbed, treat them like human beings who deserve respect. Because, well, they are, and they do. If you back an inmate into a corner and disrespect them in front of their friends/gang members, they will act like the nastiest peices of human trash you can imagine. But if you talk to them privatlky, they will show intelligence, compassion, and compliance, and then return to their buddies telling them how they told you to fuck off. But they still did what you wanted and you controlled the situation, which is the point.

    4. Don't have sex with inmates. You'd think this would be unnecessary to tell guards. But it is necessary. So necessary.
    5. If you bring in contraband for inmates (drugs, aclohol, cigarettes, food, weapons, cell-phones, etc.), you will make more money in one delivery than you can make in a year. But you will get caught; the inmate you're smuggling for will rat you out for a sentence reduction.

    I'm sure there's more, but that's my top 5.
  4.  (10916.8)
    Working in Circus:

    1) Practise every day at the thing you want to do. Doesn't matter what it is, but do it, a lot.

    2) Associate with people working towards the same goal as you, you will learn from them and they will help drive you forwards.

    3) Become ok with making mistakes. The way to learn to juggle is to drop a ball 1000 times. This is the same in all things. The more times you get something wrong, the closer you are to getting it right.

    4) Be prepared to be undervalued, and cherish the times that you're not.

    5) If they want you to get changed in a toilet, you get changed in a toilet, at least you're doing what you love, and if you're not, do something else.

    6) Kinda the same as 2) but network like a motherfucker, know everyone and...

    7) Be prepared to do anything.

    Today I was a jester in Selkirk in Scotland. Lots of tiny cold pink faces laughed at me. It was a good day.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2012

    I've actually, thank fuck, never worked at a place like that. Well, except once, which was this shitty little answering service in Santa Cruz. One of my best mates and I worked the swing shift together and ended up quitting a week apart because we were tired of the BS. The owner/general manager tried to tell me that I actually couldn't quit because I'd made some kind of agreement to stay on at least a year. When I asked her to produce the document I must have signed with that agreement on me the story changed to where it was an "understanding" we had at the time I was hired and that she wouldn't have hired me otherwise.

    I did not restrain the laughter that flowed fast and free and beat feet to the bank to cash my final check before they could cancel it.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2012
    As sort of a followup to David's post, but from the other side:

    Videogame Development!

    I've not often been given people to mentor, but when I have I've always concentrated on teaching them how to work better with the test department. As David says, it's very easy for people to assume that test are there to pick fault in everything you do, and far too many developers I've worked with end up in an 'us vs them' situation. That just leads to pissed off people all around, and ultimately bad product at the end.

    Point #1: Development and Test are the same team. The aim here is to work together to make the best game possible. This is not a competition, neither side 'wins' when the game is done.

    Point #2: To that end, when you're dealing with test, drop the snark. Yes, you're going to get the odd bug report that seems insanely picky, or comes out of misunderstanding the game design. That doesn't make it acceptable to send it back with the equivalent of a 'fuck off'. Be the guy that test like working with, who asks politely for more information if something doesn't repro. There will be times when working on some horrendously hard to repro bugs that you will need test backing you up when you talk to management, and they're not going to do that if you're always being a dick to them.

    Point #3: Take the time to learn what the different bug resolution options actually mean and when you should use them. As a developer, the only resolution choices you should select personally are 'claim fixed' when you fix it, or 'not repro' if you can't. If it's 'by design' then it's one of your designers that has to resolve it that way, they're the arbitrator for game design, not you. If it's any other kind of 'won't fix' (for example, the risk/reward trade off is too dangerous) then that's a production or lead coder call. Pass it on to the right people with enough information that they can see your reasoning. Nothing annoys a tester more than when a bug comes back resolved 'by design' with no explanation as to why, and even if you do explain they're right to protest if you're not one of the games designers.

    Point #4: The goal when in final bug fixing isn't to fix every bug given to you. Your goal is to have no bugs in your bucket. This seems a little like buck passing, but there's nothing worse than sitting on a mis-assigned bug for weeks when it should've been with someone else. Get into the habit of at least skim reading each bug as it arrives and immediately moving it on. Use compilation down time to try and repro bugs you haven't looked at yet, if the repro is difficult (or even impossible) then you can bat it back to QA to get more information BEFORE you start to actually invetsigate it seriously.

    Point #5: More of a company wide thing this. Make sure that your QA department can do full videocapture of bugs for their bug reports. This has only been an option in recent years, but it does WONDERS for your ability to fix obscure issues. Because quite often the thing causing the problem isn't written down by the tester in the report because they don't know what to look for (and never will, they don't know how the game actually works, only how it's meant to appear to work). If your game allows full input recording and playback, that's even better cause the bugs will repro with no human intervention...

    There's loads more, but that relationship between development and test is SO critical, and so many younger devs struggle with it (the next thing that younger staff struggle with is when they have their first bad press reviews, but coping with that isn't really something you can teach...)
  5.  (10916.11)
    I work in television, but the most important stuff I've learned applies across the board

    1. Plan for your/your department workflow based on what you are experiencing, not on what anyone else tells you wil be happening soon. (More staff being hired don't exist until you meet them, Equipment coming "next week" will take 6 months, & this "Hump" we need to get through never actually goes away.) Deal with what you are experiencing, and adjust constantly.

    2. React to facts not to speculation. I still have serious issues with reacting to "I Head that...." rather then waiting for the facts to come in from a reliable source.

    3. Point out any issues/suggestions to the appropriate people and then let them go. Getting frustrated or angry doesn't help and in fact often makes things worse (I have issues with this one as well)

    4. If anyone gives you instructions verbally, e-mail them a summary and get them to confirm. Prevents any chance of miscommunication and Once it is writing, you can refer to it weeks/months/years later. I've found every time I've done this, there has been no issue and when there is an issue, I wish I had done this.

    5. If you work in TV, there are is no such things as a crisis. Worse case scenario is a tv show doesn't go to air....and while that is bad, really...what does it matter? It's tv.
    • CommentAuthorJonny Ho
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2012
    I don't post a lot here, but there's some really interesting stuff in this thread.

    I've been working as a bartender for about 11 years now, from huge chain pubs to small independent operators focusing on cocktails and similar fanciness. A couple of things stick out.

    1. Telling someone that you're not going give them any more alcohol isn't a fun job. If you're taking that as an opportunity for laughs, you're doing it wrong.
    2. A good bartender is there to help people have good times, not to get them drunk.
    3. If you end up working in a cocktail bar, there's a decent chance you'll end up knowing more about spirits and drinks and the history of both than your customers. That's not their fault, and it's not a stick to beat them with (metaphorically speaking).
    4. Prep - it's your friend.
    • CommentAuthorbadbear
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2012
    Love this thread.

    @Oddcult - I've already found your advice useful and passed it on to a writer I know who is trying to get their work noticed. Thanks!

    I'm not sure I've got any advice myself... My husband however has just quit what he terms "the moral bankruptcy" of online advertising and has poured some of his copious knowledge into a website for the benefit of people who want to get some hard cash out of their internet ventures. Not much good for you creative types I imagine, but one of you might know someone who would find it useful...

    (It's brand spanking new so if anyone has feedback I'm sure it will be gratefully received.)
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2012
    I'm not going to post up any advice just yet (as I am just starting my second day as a paid video game dev) but I just wanted to say thank you to Flabyo and DavidLejeune for the tips. I'll try not to be too hard on my QA guys :)
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2012 edited
    Hydroponic gardening.

    1) Don't skimp on the hygiene. If your plants become infected with spider mites or black mold, you can lose months of work and thousands of dollars' worth of product, so clean up all the old dead leaves and other dirt and debris before starting a new grow.

    2) Join a growers' forum online, and take advantage of the expertise of people who have years of experience (read the FAQ section first).

    3) If it's your first time growing, the easiest hydroponic system to build, operate and maintain is the deep water culture or bubbler. You can make one out of a Rubbermaid tub with a lid and an aquarium air pump.

    Build your own bubbler system.

    4) Do your homework. You will need to know what type of lighting, nutrients, temperature, pH and humidity your crop requires, and how to regulate all of these. Hydroponics isn't particularly difficult to learn, but without a good knowledge of these basics you're going nowhere.

    5) Do the rest of your homework. What strain of plant do you plan to grow? How tall does it get, and how quickly? Does it grow low and bushy or tall and lanky? How long does it need to be vegetated before being switched to a flowering/fruiting cycle?

    6) Invest in a handheld magnifier in the 50x-100x range. The 420 Scope is the standard amongst home growers in my neck of the woods, and sells for around $25. Excellent for keeping track of the health and ripeness of your crop.

    7) A carbon filter like the CAN 2600 sells for around $55, and will eliminate smells when connected to your exhaust duct.

    8) Light-proofing your grow area is of critical importance. Your crop requires uninterrupted dark periods in order to flower and ripen.

    9) You're going to be connecting electrical wires and water pipes in close proximity to one another, and doing basic construction and assembly work. If you don't have any experience with this type of work, maybe you need to find another hobby before you electrocute yourself or start a fire.
  6.  (10916.16)
    Archaeologist (UK)

    It's not going to be like Indiana Jones

    It's not going to be like Time Team

    It's not going to be like when you were at university.

    You won't stop work when it's raining unless it becomes a serious health and safety issue or risks damaging the archaeology

    It rarely becomes a serious health and safety issue or risks damaging the archaeology

    Most building work happens in summer because compo doesn't go off when it is really cold so you will often be working in autumn winter ahead of sites starting.

    At other times you will be working alongside builders. They are not below you just because you have a degree. They are not below you because they did not go to university. They get paid more than you, but they work fucking hard for it.

    Your trowel is for cleaning your mattock with.

    Be prepared to travel to get work, especially in the early years.

    You can make a living from it, but it will be short term contracts.

    Don't act like a dick. It's a small profession. People talk and when you say that you've worked for a particular unit they most likely know someone there and will ask them about you.

    Clay is a pain to dig. When it's wet it smears, when it's dry it cracks and you can't see the cuts or divisions between the contexts.

    You get to be the first person to see objects lost 1000/2000/5000 years ago.

    You get to stand around on a lot of building sites watching not much be found.

    Snow is better to work in than rain.

    It's better to be out working on site when it's snowing that sat in the metal freightliner with no heating.

    On away digs Thursday night is serious drinking night.

    Always clean your tools before putting them away.

    If you find a machine driver who can float a JCB bucket properly hang on to him.

    It's a bloody cool way to make a living.
      CommentAuthorDoc Ocassi
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2012
    Electrician (UK)

    Don't touch the shiny bits.
  7.  (10916.18)
    Any half-serious wound care is best done in a sterile suite, by a trained team, with a truck-full of 'claved tools. They're not always available. You have to buy time until they are, and sometimes you won't know when that might be.

    Clean cuts might heal quicker and prettier, but they will bleed longer than rough cuts, or tears. If it's bleeding enough to worry you, tourniquet the fucker, and mark the time. The limb has at least three hours (probably).

    If you don't have anything like Quik Clot or similar, and desperately wish you did, pack coffee grounds on/in the wound under a bandage. Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, and the grounds themselves aid clotting.

    If your emergent situation triggers anyone's asthma, caffeine's vasoconstrictive properties are again your friend. Strong coffee, an energy drink, whatever you have. But it doesn't work miracles; you're gonna want to use a calm voice, and thell them some stories to take their mind off the situation long enough for the caffeine to do it's trick.

    No ingested caffeine for wound care. It spikes blood pressure, and that pressure can pop a scab, or prevent one for a while.

    All the movie bullshit about manning up and using some weird, home-spun cautery only causes a lot more pain in the short-term, and will kill your ass dead with infection in the long.

    Trying to dig a projectile out of your hide in the middle of an emergent situation is a terrible idea. It's plugging or pinching things that will bleed once it's gone. Save that for after, when you have a minute, and you're ready with bandages, and maybe a belt.

    Crazy glue is poor-man's Dermabond. It holds a wound together, and helps slow bleeding. It's easier and miles more pleasant that trying to give yourself stitches.

    If there is anyone else available, never give yourself stitches.

    Fuck stitches if glue or bandages will hold.

    Any sufficiently deep wound, you pack with something sterile. If the surface heals over an open wound, you're begging for an infection.

    Like stitches, packing is something you're better having done to/for you.

    Anything you don't clean is begging for an infection, however minor. Alcohol, salt water, salt, or sugar... If it stings, it's probably cleaning. Sugar's temporary, though.

    Once a wound smells like bad cheese, shift your tourniquet up to the next major joint.

    Obviously, these border on last resorts. But not all modern life takes place in cell range, or driving distance to a hospital; it can behoove those who don't professionally engage in violence to learn more peacefully applicable lessons from those who do.
  8.  (10916.19)
    @Mike Carey - I've often wondered, is duct tape suitable for emergency closure of serious wounds? Or would such a tight seal cause problems?
  9.  (10916.20)
    It's possible. If you can clean, and more importantly dry, an area around the wound, then it's as good as any tape. Gorilla might do you better, for staying power anyway. But rereading your question, I think you might be asking about more than a substitute medical tape...

    If you're talking about the tape as a bandage, you're looking at a similar problem, but yes, it could still work. Best bet would probably be a strip along the wound, and a couple perpendicular to, to fight the natural tension of the skin.

    Limbs can be wrapped, but if you're not intending to tourniquet you might want to be very careful about how tight you're wrapping.

    And you'll want to immobilize the joint above and below. Otherwise, the nature of skin is to shift and move, and you'll lose the bandage quick. Immobilizing the body is harder, but you can patch the area to try and make up for it.

    But mine was hardly an exhaustive list, and I certainly haven't learned everything that can be done. Bottom line is that if it works, and doesn't cause any more harm, then that's your answer. I haven't tried to bandage with duct tape, but if it was all I had at the time, you can be damn sure I'd think of it, and give it a shot.

    I love me some duct tape for splints, though. Cordage, straps, they work, and if I have to, I'll use 'em. A strong tape works, and keeps the supports from shifting, and I don't give a shit if the next level of care cuts it right off.