Useless Communication Channel

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I am currently employed by a big, multinational company dealing with various IT outsourcing and consultancy deal. With the Philippine office alone, we are already dealing with more than a hundred projects, therefore the company explored various ways to augment its information distribution channel especially for emergency situations wherein not all personnel have access to their company email (default communications channel). The company employed a SMS-based emergency information dissemination channel wherein employees can subscribe to receive ‘late-breaking news and advisories’. Given that the SMS-usage in the Philippines is very pervasive; this looks like a perfect deal.

The infrastructure seems to be ideal but as always it is the human side that functions like crap. The problem with the setup is somebody has to send out the message and given the variance of project culture in the local office, such messages need to be approved (re: immense red tape). The system really underwent a litmus test yesterday when typhoon ‘Milenyo’ hit the NCR area and I have to say that the SMS system is just an excess baggage.

Understandably the NCR is buffeted by strong winds since it was given a Signal No. 3 rating. Normally that should have suspended work since it is a fortuitous event, an act of God if you will. Unfortunately the SMS channel was dead silent even when I have arrived in the office. The SMS announcement came at around 1PM, at the height of the storm when roofs were being torn and billboard structures and trees were being ripped from the foundations.

To add insult to the injury the message goes something like “Exercise discretion if you want to go to the office as safety is a personal responsibility. Project management can work out with you if you want to go home. Should you go home you can charge the hours to your vacation leave.” Typical upper management bureaucracy! The message is worthless because:

  • Majority of the employees are already in the office!
  • The purpose of the emergency channel is to provide emergency information when its usefulness is still relevant.
  • We don’t need to know that project management can work out offset or leave hours if we want to go home due to the weather. We already know that but whatever the reason (cheap, needy or working on a tight deadline), we cannot afford to skip work. Management knows it is the norm in an outsourcing environment since the storm does not cover the international client.

It would have been useful to receive that message when I was still at home. I would have skipped the exciting experience of getting stuck in traffic for 2.5 hours from Ayala to Shaw Blvd (standing nonetheless since the buses are jam-packed),and standing in line in the FX terminal for 3 hours since most FX units are not on the road due to damages caused by felled trees and flying debris.

Worthless crap of a service. They should either retire it, or else revamp the red-tape laden process.

New theme: Fluidity-3C

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Even if I am artistically-challenged I am craving for a different look for the Flex theme I was using before. I saw the fluidity-3c theme which is simple and stylish enough for me.

Over-all I am satisfied but somehow the right sidebar does not display properly with IE. Not that I mind but the theme was supposed to use 2 different CSS files to enable proper rendering in both FF and IE. I just cant figure out for the life of me how I can reduce the size of those sidebars so IE users can still view it properly.

Oh wait, I don’t have readers. Carry on… 🙂

Another thing missing is my tagline disappeared. But I can live with that for now… *Task gets chucked to the backburner.*


Faster! Faster! Fox!

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Today my webbrowsing with Firefox just got a little bit better since I stumbled upon the FasterFox extension. I have been reading here and there about tweaking the network configuration (hint: type about:config in the address bar) to get better network mileage when browsing but FasterFox brought everything under one roof. It provides 4 preset configurations ranging from default(non-optimized) to turbo-charged (increased webserver load) and an option to customize the settings to your liking.

 I only used the optimized preset and the difference was very noticeable. I am satisfied with that setting so I opted against trying the turbo-charged setting since that will just add to the webserver load for a few measly seconds. A few seconds is not enough justification for being greedy. 🙂


Akismet at last!

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Finally got around to installing Akismet to this blog so hopefully that will be the end (or at least cut down the number) of blog spam. 🙂

 i love cli. apparently it works around stupid network rules too! hehehehe.



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Today, for the first time in weeks, I went out of the building to have my lunch instead of going upstairs in the cafeteria. The lunch and company was fine but I am now regretting it when I got back since I found out that the area of my pants directly below my back pocket was slashed!

It is apparent that whoever did this was after my wallet. It is a good thing that my back pocket has an inner sleeve that is not pressed to the pants fabric otherwise they would have succeeded in slashing the inner sleeve and getting my wallet. It might also be a factor that I unconciously do some erratic swishing to help deter situations like this but unfortunately I did not do it enough. :(While I would love to see the reaction of the thief when he finds out that my wallet is empty but I cringe at the thought of the effort required in replacing all of my credentials (driver’s license, atm card, etc.).

Right now I am angry at the thief for two reasons: for messing up a good pair of pants, and for being a nuisance to hard working people like me. And please dont justify that they did it because of poverty or lack of opportunity. That is a crock of bull and everybody knows it. Anybody who thinks otherwise should get robbed everyday so they can reaffirm that it is not the thief’s fault that he got robbed. Stealing is stealing no matter how you look at it. The Robin Hood principle does not even remotely apply to these because these people do not discriminate that their ‘victims’ are not ‘heartless rich people who robs from the poor just because they can’.

I am far from being a violent man, but I am not sorry when thieves and snatchers gets mobbed when caught. I believe that is the best example of karma at work. Too bad there is no Darwinian Theory related to evil doings. How the world will benefit if there was such a thing…