2016-09-18

Yawn 14

Done day, sorta.

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Loyalty cards: There's a lot of marketing gone awry around here. I hope we survive to fix it.

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On cultural appropriation: Well, if you don't want to be "art supplies," in someone else' production, you should probably play your cards really carefully. Lol

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Off to work. Time to mess up the coffee!

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On mansplaining: Wondering if I've hired enough women into senior positions yet.

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Such a chore. That part of my day that I wish I didn't have to live through. Eating. But we are human, so we eat, or die.

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I hear dogs barking. But as long as these believe in their electric fences, this is inconsequential - except for the proliferation of voices, such that even strays have fled the cacophony.

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On every person having two sides:
I think mine are boiled eggs, and fruit salad.

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Kid in baby chair: "yahyaya...yahayayayayaa....yahhh!
Parents: "..."
Kid in baby chair: "Yayaya...hahayaya...yayaaaa!"
Me: "It's ok, keep it up. He'll get there someday."

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The Art of War is just about logistics. And business is just the logistics of profitability on a landscape of meat and metal.

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On teaching the brain to unlearn diseases: I spent a good chunk of my undergraduate time studying this. It probably does more to make me unbearably weird than to win me points at anything else. But I suppose that's the point of self-stimulation. Lol

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On a staff: Tall, dark, handsome, deep voice, strong hands. Well, four outta five ain't bad.

She.

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On fighting mansplaining in the office: I don't care what your gender is, I hope you learn how to run meetings.

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On Jared Leto killing method acting: The method must take the actor off the screen, off the stage, and into the world. Work harder.

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Final 10 hours of 24-hour stretch: manual labour (just like hours 3-7). whee.


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Pretty and conversant customer comes back a second time. (I am never sure if I'll see them again.) I'm too tired to ask for a number. (So I wonder if I'll see her a third time.) But then other people's updates on Facebook remind me that ordinary people have rather conservative views on relationships, and I think to myself, that it's probably better whenever I don't interfere.


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Pretty and conversant customer comes back a second time. (I am never sure if I'll see them again.) I'm too tired to ask for a number. (So I wonder if I'll see her a third time.) But then other people's updates on Facebook remind me that ordinary people have rather conservative views on relationships, and I think to myself, that it's probably better whenever I don't interfere.


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I feel somewhat imbalanced whenever I don't get much exercise in a day. I'm at the point of doing bar+frontOfHouse work for a whole shift and feeling that it lacks in anaerobic stress, since part of the job involves composure for the sake of customer comfort. And if I don't have the time to go running, or if it's not worth he cognitive hassle, I just go home and read social media while waiting to fall asleep. Anyway, a couple of days ago I figured I might as well stretch a little while reading. Like kneeling whatnot. The key takeaway has been that it's possible to assume sitting positions that are stretches, such that enough stress is created to trigger endorphin reactions, which then makes sleep easier. So I've been reading up on podiatry, and stretching technique. If someone's hacked my phone and there turn out to be weird photo of me on the Internet, I... was just trying to fall asleep :p so that I cam get work done better later.

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"We must teach our staff to appreciate coffee."
"That's a very low priority; we do need to teach them how to make good coffee. The difference to the customer is, as long as the coffee is good, the customer (on average) isn't going to care about whether the barista is really into coffee... or goats. The barista's appreciation of the produce benefits the barista, not the customer. Picking the barista's appreciation of coffee as a vector for delivering good coffee is a viable but unnecessary strategy."

Actually I just wanted to put "coffee... or goats" into writing.

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On Yale and the Christakis couple: Old news. But sometimes it seems that staff expect the same mollycoddling. Oh well.

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On cultural appropriation and its discontents:
People need to learn how to shamelessly and indiscriminately piss people off, while bearing the consequences. Something I urge all our staff to do.
Staff... staff? Where did you go, staff?

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On "resisting the corporate university":
By the time I was in my second year of college, it was clear that university was the wrong place to look for this, and I pretty much torched the career path of traditional academia.

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On the dumbest rules driving away the best employees: So far so good. :) I think it's efficient when your best people aren't good enough, so you design a rule that (a) makes them better (b) makes them quit.

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Back to the fires. There is time to eat, before shredding. Yeehah.

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On shift in 28 hours. Reviewing all the other things we need to do, meanwhile. Hopefully there will be relief in October :P

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Building an unromantic workplace is hard work, if staff are chasing dreams and special feelings. But then maybe our romantic ideals are just different. This place is set to be dry, and spartan in kind.

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Slow day. And nothing much shall be done for the next 24 hours. Waiting and watching. A slow team. A slow city. A slow sport, overall.

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Using Ubuntu + ffmpeg, I managed to stream a webcam to Facebook Live (preview). No matter what I did to the parameters, however, FPS got stuck at 6, which is too low to actually go live... tsk tsk. Anyone else tried this and have a solution?

The crowd said: use Open Broadcaster Software

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Perhaps it is time to consider a less boring job. But let's move this one along first.

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I don't get depressed. I get bored.

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On my personal to-do list. Move stuff to AWS glacier, I guess.

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Enforced eating and sleeping time. Then back to housekeeping.

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At this point, the only inventory item with a more delicate shelf life than the milk, is the staff. But that's corporate growth and horsetrading for you. Keep trying until the irrecoverable splat... well now, off to work!

It's not a bad thing if you're happy with the outcome.

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Sometimes it feels like folks haven't figured out that we are working in a certain way on purpose. If I wanted a family to love, I would have fucked a girl, gotten her pregnant, focused on educating one or two little persons from scratch, and enjoyed the tax relief. If I wanted friends, I would have worked a job and taken my weekends off to philander. If I wanted people to like me, I would have become a professional artist. Heck, if I wanted to be intellectually stimulated at all costs, I would have stayed in academia. But none of these are necessary. Friends and family are nice to have, but instead we're here to build a giant commercial machine, at all costs. So, so, so.

It's totally fine for colleagues and other counterparties to want any other priorities, such as those listed. But in the long run that just means they won't be fun, or efficient, to work with.

One day at a time. If it falls over, it's not the end of the world. There are always future opportunities... for the rest of the decade... I think it's year 4/10 now. Who knows what will be happening in the next year. I certainly don't.

[Randomly collected thoughts, jotted down during a 6am break while running a shift. Hmm. Very random. Therefore unnecessarily abstract.]

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Answer to a cousin's "5 stages of interacting with stupid people at work are / anyone have a better list?"

1. Empathy.
2. Outreach.
3. Rejection.
4. Boredom.
5. Resignation.

That's my MO.

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On most companies being brands, not technology:
And since we are neither, for the most part, I am concerned with operations. We don't yet have something that I actually want to sell yet.

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So I was thinking about the 2x2 matrix of clever/foolish, polite/rude... and how hard it is to rationalise helping people who are the in the lowest quadrant. Well, a conundrum. Adding a dimension to make a 2x2x2 matrix where there is a dichotomy of 1-1/1-n social relationships... it is much easier to save the foolish, rude, person who is private... but in a communal setting... it can be practically impossible.

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ISTP vs ESFP, ka-boom!
ENFJ? ESFJ? More reading required.


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09-20:2300h: start solo shift.
09-21:0900h: end shift, late. Proceed with administrative chores and coaching of front-of-house operations.
09-21:1400h: get bored waiting for new filter calibrations to complete. Take over.
09-21:1600h: give up, following much data collection. Get ready for bed. Sleep.
09-21:2330h: start solo shift, late.
09-22:0400h: finish filter calibrations, with unsatisfactory results.
09-22:0900h: end shift, late. Proceed with administrative chores.
09-22:1000h: entertain an acquaintance with social conversation. He tries to convince me that the reason I didn't get a job at a software company he recommended me to, is that I'm a Hunter S. Thompson. I have to Google it.
09-22:1200h: taste filtered coffee at local celebrity's shop for calibration of strength. Having company along the way is a welcome respite.
09-22:1500h: chug fast food; bed time.
09-22:2300h: start covering shift for staff.
09-23:0330h: staff arrives! Chug fast food; bed time.
09-23:1457h: we have a fire. I get a call because no one else wants to deal with it. Internal workflow disagreement escalated into yelling match in front of customers. Active threat of front-of-house operations going down for 49 hours next week. Head over to investigate.
09-23:1800h: completion of interviews, analysis, report writing, and dessemination of mandates via instant messaging and sign installation.
09-23:1900h: chug fast food; stop to chat with pretty girl about each other's love lives; entertain staff with social conversation; answer questions stating the obvious, that in the event of mismanagement, management will be retrenched; bed time.
09-23:2030h: blogging here. Up in two hours for another solo shift. Solo shifts for the next three days. You don't wanna know the details of what I don't have time to do when my time is spent like this.
Lol

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Facetious:
I don't find secrets to be a viable competitive advantage in F&B. There's no shortage of talent to engage in the reverse engineering of retailed products. Only a lack of will and time.

Someone said, what about KFC:

And I thought: No la - it's not hard to clone a recipe like KFCs even if it doesn't leak. But the competitive advantage of KFC by this point in history is not the recipe - it is the brand value.

Even at inception, it would not have been the recipe. It would have been the tactical marketing team - how to talk about the recipe. Etc.

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Suit up. Roll out. Time to wash dishes for nine hours. Yeehah.

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Guardian turns into FP. FP turns into Slate. Slate turns into Cosmo. I saw it happen. Lol

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Sees a customer building a presentation on Elixir. Wonders if I should interrupt and discuss OTP.

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A slight lull in service on the solo shift. So it's a good opportunity to talk to myself again, in public, of course, since there are few resources for other forms of social life.

on RESPONSIBILITY

I am often approached by staff who ask why so-and-so in another department isn't doing their job, and why I'm not doing anything about it. We have three departments, and ALL of them complain about ALL the others - I am of course, ultimately at fault for all preceding causality, but that's a given of a founder from the start of any project.

My usual responses are as follows.

(a) So-and-so is indeed doing their job, and that the complainer's expectations are too high given the ratio of complaints to action that they are taking to manually shape so-and-so. Human beings are ultimately plastic, and subject to influence - that is why we have a three thousand year old discipline of rhetoric. Finding rhetorically competence however, may be challenging. But that's work - we're here to look for value.

(b) So-and-so is not yet able to do their job, but they are aspiring to it for as long as we have resources too afford them.

(c) So-and-so is actually doing someone else's job, because someone else has fallen short of operational requirements.

(d) So-and-so's job description is completely outside the purview of the complainer.

(e) So-and-so's job extends to address tactical priorities.

(f) TBC

In general though, I find it rather amusing. Perpetually the conversations return to debates on who is supposed to be a blunt instrument, and who is an executive. Round, and round, it goes.

on MOTIVATION

We generally find that different staff are drawn to their work for different motivations, and that too is amusing.

Some are looking for distractions from mundanity. Some are looking for a pay cheque to pay their bills. Some are driven by the a desire to learn ("experience"). Some are driven by an inherent love for the nature of the work itself.

I cannot comment in too much detail on others motivations at this time. I can only reflect on my own. As I was saying to colleagues, I don't care about customers (any more than I care about any other human being; I don't care about humans more than any other information system, and I generally care a lot about information systems), I don't care about coffee (any more than I care about other drugs, or foodstuff; food function mainly as fuel to me, coffee is for caffeine), but when I work in the role of a front-of-house agent, I act according to the laws that govern such agency - that is what it is to work professionally, not personally. I don't expect as much from blunt instruments, but I can certainly demand it.

Haha. Ultimately I don't personally care about commerce either, more than any other human activity, but it is here my job as a representative of shareholders, to be demanding. So let there be demands... I suppose.

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The other funny thing I've noticed is that folks may often believe that I:
- I may have things I want to say, that I don't. (No, I just don't care about those things I don't talk about. One might say I consider it beneath my threshold of interest, and would rather not condescend to spending my time on it.)
- I may be sarcastic. (No, somethings are just foolish, saying they are foolish is a deprecation, not a joke.)
- TBC: still reviewing memories while I execute housekeeping for the morning.

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I am on the same 11pm shift every day until next Sunday 8am. Whee!

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Tinder's new "Recommend to a friend," feature is a premium middle-school troll tool

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What horrors shall transpire today?

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"If you get in a relationship, maybe you'll bother us less."
"Given that most of us are bothered by things I don't do, don't you suppose that I'll do even less and bother you more if I'm busy?"

(continued)

"At least you'll get laid."
"Well whether it's girlfriends or staff, the key thing is they must be low-maintenance. Otherwise, masturbation is easier, right?"

And that's when the fight started. — supporting the broken hearts club at Damansara Jaya,Selangor..

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"What is the object of this exercise? It seems very subjective."
"You are the object. It's a language calibration exercise... the words are many, and the meanings are few, until you have in mind what you mean when you use a particular flavour descriptor."
"How do I know if I'm right?"
"When you have a clear opinion on what specific words mean to you. What they mean to everyone else is a secondary concern - you can always do a survey later."

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attention now turns to marketing communications

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I'd like to see more treatment of the Baju Kurung/Kebayas as bases for modernist design. So much math to be done.

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Shopping for office. Enforced eating. Then enforced sleeping. Then more work.

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ENTP: I'll have a cappuccino and whatever you think is your best cake, after all, it's my birthday.
INTP: Well happy birthday. Here you go. Let me know if there's anything wrong with it and I will be compelled to give you a full refund, especially since it's your birthday.
ENTP: What could possibly go wrong with a chocolate cake?
INTP: You never know. There are all kinds of people out there.
ENTP: It's fantastic.
INTP: Well, let me know if you'd like some more free of charge - I have some muddled pieces that I would otherwise be thrown away.
ENTP: Why would you throw perfectly good cake away, is that your policy, or someone else's?
INTP: Well, it's all protein in my mouth to me. But on point of professional decorum, we don't sell muddled looking pieces. I'm not in this business because I care about food, I'm in it because other people care about food. Look, here's one muddled piece. It's yours if you want it.
ENTP: Of course I do.

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One of my greatest challenges is finding people who are able to deliver a good product that they don't care about. But that's where we will find the best value, if we survive.

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And so it is. Ultimately, it is not the trivial things like business failure or lost love that sadden me the most. But the unavailability of a cohort that is able to excel at its tasks regardless of its preferences. So again, destined to be surrounded by such folly. This is depressing. It makes me very sad. Hahaha.

And yet there is nothing new about this. In so much as business and love are sport, one trains to achieve some degree of endurance these fields. But life outside of sport has always been something of a bore. Hmm.

More analysis required.

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Dinner time, then sleep. Maybe.

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There's cat herding. And then there's alligator herding, I suppose.

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Enforced feeding time. What to eat?

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The best people are content with their disabilities and impermeable to criticism of these. However, perhaps this perspective is ablist in the sense that it is so much easier to be happily bad at many things, when one is generally good at certain others. All in, that is the nature of privilege, I suppose.

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🖋🍍🍎🖋 - did I get that right?

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I sometimes pretend: that I am pretending to have nothing to hide - what does that make me? Probably less bored. I wish I had things worth hiding.

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Back to the office. I'm not getting a lot of sleep this week, am I ?

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20th hour up. Nap time. Up in another three, I hope.

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Burn rubber.

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"Sometimes I don't know why I bother arguing with him."
"I often don't know why people bother to argue with me."

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Somewhat tired, believe it or not. 9-hour shift including training of new staff. Several more hours of quality control on product. A few hours of emergency procurement coverage. A bit of communications management, followed by the firing of a long-serving staff member, as a public example, in group WhatsApp, following months of warnings. It's just about all I can do to try not to crash my car, despite it feeling like my first week at the wheel. Another 9-hour shift in a few hours. Ahaha. Such is life. I just wonder when it goes anywhere but here. The day is not yet over!

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Kill count 4. Sigh. Not a happy day. Time for formal documentation. (Checked the formal documentation - KC=5... I just forgot about one of them...)

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Awake again. Someone needed a chequebook.

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Good morning! Two new fires in the inbox. Hehe.

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Laugh of the week: staff requiring WhatsApp for communications, then blocking communications on WhatsApp.

It's also enthralling to behold the. phenomenon when folks who appear to have the most exposure to professional work begin displaying the least professional behaviour. But then again, misjudgments on my part have been common.

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Finally found time to get back to this. If everyone says it's the wrong thing to do, it's probably worth doing.

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Up, and attacking the day. Many storiable events have transpired over the past year, but nothing categorically unexpected... so... it is as planned, a simple life, in a simple industry...

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It's nice to have friends when they avail. Pretty much defined as folks who take time to empathise with how you feel, despite having no resources to think what you think. The strategy of parking these as a subset of lovers remains questionable.

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Masking tape. Oo. Maybe for Halloween's I'll dress up as a Duterte victim #pusher

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Reviewing a list of arguments people have tried to start with me over the past week:
- who should order whom around?
- what should whom do under orders?
- whether one should undermine the careers of colleagues?
- whether we can put photos of dead people on the wall?
- whether strangers may walk into the kitchen?
- whether we should use a small juicer?
- how to restructure the company?
- whether people know how to do their jobs or not (various)?
- whether certain numbers have been read correctly?
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In conclusion, it is easier to forego arguments in many cases.

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Shelflife of two latest recruits was T-minus-2 hours. My burn-in scare protocol is working great :p

Off to cover shifts!

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Cancelled meeting. Need to find something productive to do during before going back to bed.

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Emergency shift coverage. Puurfect.

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Investors: you must be very passionate about this.
Me: no, it's just a pastime.
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Employee at interview: I want to work for someone who's passionate about coffee.
Me: I couldn't care less if every coffee tree died tomorrow.
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Industry colleague: passionate!
Me: bored.
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People can be so boring in their outlook...

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Overall I find it an interesting problem to build a business where I actively curate the minimisation of emotional engagement among staff. Systematic removal of sentimental nonsense from a team can be an arduous process. I must try harder.

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Ok. Up for some chores. Banking. Feeding. Surveying staff. Then more rest before evening meetings.

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Ok - next time we tweak the hiring strategy to take in only folks with science or engineering background, regardless of taste in product. LOL

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Not ready for another day of Dances with Doofi, but one strives to make a living. Make, or break!

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Staff: Why do you need to fix TeamX and TeamY causes all the trouble?

Me: TeamX gives me plenty of trouble. TeamY's trouble is TeamZ's problem, unless I have resolved TeamX.

Staff: TeamX's aprons and shoes?

Me: Yup. Not wearing those is not inherently important. It in important symptom of the real problem, that orders cannot be quickly and cheaply implemented by TeamX. So we are fixing it. Whether we have grunts that follow orders, or whips that police grunts to get grunts to follow orders - either is sufficient: now I role-play as whip for TeamX, and in the future it would be efficient if we did not need whips. We know that this has been achieved if I can barely finish saying something, and TeamX already completes its implementation. Then I can infer that TeamX's customer service quality is up to satisfactory levels. No point fixing TeamY if TeamX is fucked up, because TeamX is downstream and will therefore fuck up anything passed down from TeamY.

And on it goes.

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"‘Don’t bring us problems, only bring us solutions.’ This upbeat message aimed to create a happy workplace."

Well hell no, this is not aimed to create a happy workplace... it is aimed to separate the whiners from the problem solvers.

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Staff: Promotions are better than demotions, no?
Me: Demotivations. If they can't take it, they don't belong here. Need to cull off all the wussies.

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Back to work :p

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Customer: How are things.
Me: Status quo.
Customer: Staffing?
Me: As usual. Why?
Customer: You look like shit.
Me: Bored.
Customer: I had an interesting eavesdropping session the other day.
Me: Really?
Customer: Your minions outside were talking shit about the boss as usual.
Me: Cool. That means they now feel better.
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Intern: We talk too loud.
Me: There are no secrets. HEY WE'RE OUT OF CASHEY.
Intern: Are you kidding?
Me: Just messing with you.
Intern: But are we really?
Me: For the last two months yes, it's public knowledge.
Intern: I didn't realise that.
Me: Well, that's what the daily risk management reports are for... :P

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Service. Apologies for closed kitchen. Dishes. Delivery of specific internal comms messages via watercooler conversation on Slack. Dishes. Service. Filter coffee calibrations. Cute customer distraction. Dishes.

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Was having a discussion on talent management with one of our interns. Was reminded that in theory, we could completely deal with internal motivational issues by play-acting as the strong, affirming, father-figures that were lacking in the lives of others. But really no, we're not going to condescend to that... yet... hahaha.

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Customer chit-chats for ten minutes. Says someone at a mamak told her to check out the MBTI test. I scribble a guess on a piece of paper. She takes the test. The result matches my guess. I pass her the paper. I have a party trick...?

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11pm: shift starts.
3am-10am: Slack debates with intern over labour economics
10am:
.
.
Intern: What are you doing here?
Me: Cleaning fans.
Intern: Go to sleep.
Me: But I have work.
Intern: You need sleep.
Me: *in valley girl / harley quinn character* :D AWW... look at the poor little entreprenuer, he's sooo saddd...
Intern: When you die, remind me to bury you in coffee grounds.

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