Why Yes, I Am a Geek

by Nick Thursday, May 10, 2007 1:29 PM

An actual conversation at work:

Coworker:  Do you remember that episode from Star Trek where those little guys came on the ship, and they only spoke in binary, and everything they said was just coming out in a gibberish of bits?

Me:  Sadly, I do remember that episode.  How cliche is that?

Overheard At Work

by Nick Wednesday, April 25, 2007 10:21 AM

Coworker 1:  Your IM is turned off.

Coworker 2:  It is?

Coworker 1:  Yes.  I thought maybe you turned it off so you wouldn't be disturbed.  So I decided to come over and ask you about it instead.

What Do You Mean You've Never Seen It?

by Nick Tuesday, March 20, 2007 9:29 PM

It always amazes me when I run into people in the software profession that haven't seen Office Space.  So I was totally shocked when I found out that not only has the person sitting to my right never seen it, but neither has the person on my left at my new client.  It's required viewing!  I immediately had to bring in my copy of the DVD for them in order to rectify the situation.  I also always make sure to warn anyone who hasn't seen it, that it's not a comedy.  It's a documentary.

A Lesser Employee Would Have Been Scared

by Nick Wednesday, November 01, 2006 9:39 AM

Yesterday my resource manager (my boss at the consulting company) came to my client to say hi to me.  She was dressed, very convincingly, as the grim reaper.  Having been through a lay off I wasn't exactly expecting once before... let's just say that seeing my boss dressed as the grim reaper isn't as funny as you might think.  However, since I'd just gotten a great review, promotion and raise a couple weeks ago, I had no fear.  I wonder how the rest of the people she visited fared.

She made up for it by bringing Halloween cookies.  That makes up for everything.

The Law of Additive Annoyances

by Nick Friday, July 28, 2006 2:10 PM

Everyone has little annoying things that they do which you probably could do without.  But we handle them because, we know we have them too.  But sometimes, there is a person who has so many, that suddenly everything they do drives you nuts.  Even just small things that they do, which normally wouldn't really bother you, start driving you insane!  I call this the Law of Additive Annoyances.  And God help you if the person who sits in the cube next to you fits into the category.

The Right Tool for the Right Job

by Nick Monday, May 22, 2006 9:10 AM

People in insurance companies, financial institutions, and many other industries for that matter, absolutely love Excel.  Love it!  I think Excel is a great program, and you can do some absolutely incredible things with it.  But too many people treat it like the only tool in their toolbox.

I don't know how many times I've received an Excel spreadsheet from someone with no numbers.  None.  Zero.  Excel is built for doing number crunching, yet too many people use Excel to perform tabular layout of text.  It's the wrong tool for the job!  The first tendency of people when they type text into a cell in Excel is to shorten their sentences, use fragments, and provide incomplete information.  The cell looks small, and almost encourages people to be incomplete.  Not only that, but it takes forever to get it to print correctly because people have no concept of page size when it comes to a spreadsheet on screen, and Excel is not built for doing WYSIWYG formatting.

Did you know you can create tables and columnar pages in Word?  It's pretty easy, yet people almost never do it.  If there is one thing I'd love to see the Microsoft Office team do with the next version of Office, it's somehow either make that feature in Word easier to use so more people would use it, or create some Excel/Word hybrid for the purpose of doing tabular data presentation in a more complete and readable manner.  The power of Word's text editing, with the easy layout of Excel.  Sounds like a winner to me.

About Me

Nick Schweitzer Nick Schweitzer
Wauwatosa, WI

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I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit. ... Full Bio

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