Mike’s Dump

February 21, 2007

Has the world gone completely mad? Part 3 – Dear Canada Revenue Agency

Filed under: World gone mad — mikesdump @ 12:45 pm

Dear Canada Revenue Agency,

I would like to thank you for your letter dated February 20th. In this letter you corrected my misconception that as children age they become more expensive to raise. In fact you feel quite the opposite since you have decreased my child tax credit because Isabelle is now age seven.

I look forward to when Erika turns seven when I will undoubtedly see massive increases in my monthly disposable income. At this time, I will no longer have trouble paying for clothing, braces, and post secondary education when the time comes. Thank you for continuing to be an incredible source of wisdom to the Canadian public.

A Tax Payer until Death,

Mike Friesen


February 17, 2007

Question Everything

Filed under: Home,Work — mikesdump @ 5:18 pm

I hate standards, process, and architecture (referred to as process throughout) or just about anything else formal that says, “We should always do it this way”. I cringe every time I hear, “we need to define a process for that”.

I’m not saying defining a process is a bad thing. Documented processes can help raise overall quality and give a consistent approach as a company grows. What is bad is when people believe they can stop thinking for themselves because there is a process that addresses a concern. What is worse is if the process fails and people don’t take responsibility for the failure but blame the process (AKA “blaming the Methodology”).

Then there is the opposite side of the spectrum. People that disagree with a process may decide not to ruffle any feathers and quietly not follow the process. Too often, people feel a process is written in stone and impossible to change. The problem with this belief is the process isn’t challenged when it should be.

I believe standards whether they are your own, your teams or the companies need to be questioned on a regular basis. Is the process still valid? What is the risk of removing the process? Is there still a benefit to keeping the process?

My general rule, when in doubt, question everything.

February 10, 2007

Life will never been the same

Filed under: Kids — mikesdump @ 2:17 am

On February 17th Isabelle will turn seven. Seven! It is unbelievable how quickly time goes by. Sandy had sent out some birthday invitations to her friends and asked for people to RSVP. In the past the parents have always called back but yesterday Sandy answers the phone and hears, “Hi, is Isabelle there?”

Sandy, caught a little off guard, said sure and called up Isabelle. Isabelle and her friend talked for at least 15 minutes! That is probably more time than I spent on the phone all last week. It is good to see my phone-a-phobia isn’t hereditary.

The immediate positive I see to having Isabelle’s ear glued to the phone is that it will mean more busy signals for telephone solicitors and less time I have to be on the phone. It really is a win-win for everyone.

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