The Management Secrets of T. John Dick – Book Review

Why would you want to follow a true bonehead through a chapter of his life in corporate America? Because it’s hilarious.

The Management Secrets of T. John DickIn the book “The Management Secrets of T. John Dick: a truly professional novel by Augustus Gump” we are taken into the world of the title character, the Marketing Manager of SuperPumps, Inc. Marketing Manager at a company like SuperPumps, a flagging pump manufacturer, is a tough job, but T. J. is committed to its success. T. J.’s unique gift of organization (his secretary can quickly find any needed files in his office) and vision (two words, “mission statement”) make him a great leader in his own mind, but perhaps his greatest strength is pointing out what his greatest strength is… which is just about everything according to T. J.

“One of the secrets behind my management success is to keep a very tidy desk. I always emphasize the importance of this to my team and make sure to set an example with my own desk. Half an hour each morning and evening arranging papers, writing utensils, calculator etc. is time well spent in my opinion, and American business would run more smoothly and efficiently if more people realized the value of a tidy desk.”

We’ve all hear of the Peter Principle which proposes that an employee will rise to the level of their incompetence. Unfortunately the Peter Principle falls short in describing the main character of “The Management Secrets of T. John Dick”. To do proper justice to this character we would need a new principle, the Dick Principle. The Dick Principle would have to state that “Once an employee has exhausted their advancement in accordance with the Peter Principle it is possible, largely due to a lack of proper accountability in upper level positions, for them to advance even further and faster.”

A quick and fun read, “The Management Secrets of T. John Dick” won’t teach you how to be a more effective manager, but it’s sure to amuse those who deal with the absurdity of corporate culture. If you need a corporate executive to laugh at that won’t get you fired, T. J. is here for you.

book, books, book review, humor, office humor, management, corporate, funny

TSA List of Permitted and Prohibited Items

I’m getting ready to travel for business next week. Since I haven’t flown in about a year I figured I’d check the TSA website to see what I can and can’t carry on.

Well, the list is more detailed than I would have expected. It seems if I want to carry-on toothpaste it still needs to be in a 3 oz or less container, but at least I can carry on my Optimus Prime!

TSA List

Thank goodness. I hate to think of the little guy shivering in the cargo hold.

travel, flying, tsa, flight, airline, air travel, funny, fun, security, carry-on, transformers, toy, optimus prime

The Ultimate iPod/Party/Travel/Drinking accessory

iBreathWell I certainly wasn’t beating down the door for the Nike + iPod Sport Kit but now DavidSteel.com has come up with an iPod accessory I could really use: an Alcohol Breathalyzer with Integrated FM Wireless Transmitter!

Yup, that’s right, soon for just $79 you will be able to pull out your iPod and check your blood alcohol content, then you can decide if it’s time to drive home to “Born to be Wild” or just mellow out and sober up to some Jim Morrison (ok, maybe someone else.)

Dubbed the iBreath, the device powers itself off the iPod battery, supports the full FM band (88.1 – 107.9) and claims accuracy within 0.01% blood alcohol content. I want one, don’t you?

Thanks to Will for sending this on to me.

drink, drinking, alcohol, ipod, apple, mp3, party, breathalyzer

Pink Flamingos Endangered?

Plastic Pink FlamingoWhile still available from many retailers, the last plastic pink flamingo may have already been produced.

For almost 50 years, Leominster, Massachusetts based Union Products has been producing Don Fetherstone’s original design which has grown to iconic status on the lawn and in our hearts. Now the rising material and energy prices have caused Union Products to close its plant.

But this may not be the end for the beloved pink pair. Dennis Plante, president of Union Products is pursuing a new producer for the fine (simulated) feathered friend. For now we can just hope that he can find a producer who will do as nice a job as Union has.

To read more about the potential demise of the plastic pink flamingo check out these articles:

Boston Herald: Not a leg to stand on

Boing Boing: Pink Flamingos, RIP?

Sun Sentinel: RIP: Pink Flamingo, 1957-2006

pink flamingo, lawn ornament, tacky, kitsch

USB Missile Launcher – Hands On Review

USB Missile LauncherWhat do you get for the geek who has everything? Of course! Their very own USB Missile Launcher! But is it really worth it? Yes! Read on and find out why.

Overall Rating: 9 out of 10

Pros:

  • Roughly 12 foot range
  • Accurate within a foot or two even at range
  • 180 degree pan
  • Limited but reasonable tilt control (about 30 degrees above to five degrees below level)
  • Fires three darts one at a time
  • Soft foam darts are safe around the office
  • High quality molded plastic construction
  • Free Mac software better than included PC software

Cons:

  • Couple second delay between clicking “Fire” and actual launch
  • Batteries required (3xAA)
  • Included software does not allow for simultaneous pan and tilt (movign diagonally)

Details:

Launcher in boxThe USB Missile Launcher came to me from the folks at KlearGear.com who have quite a line of toys and gadgets appropriate for the office. They sell the USB Missile Launcher for $55 which I consider a fair price for a toy this cool.

It comes quite attractively packed… the type of thing that you wouldn’t be able to keep on shelves in the right locations. It would make the perfect trade-show giveaway for the same reasons. Have a stack of three or four of these at your booth and you’ll get some attention (hell, at the price just give away a dozen.)

The USB Missile Launcher was equally impressive out of the box. The unit quickly pans through 180 degrees and tilts about 35 degrees. The PC software that ships with the unit is limited to only moving in one direction at a time, while the free Mac software allows movement in two directions.

You can fire one missile at a time and the missiles shoot out with surprising speed, propelled by a small spring which is compressed when you load the missiles. Both software versions suffer from a second or two delay when firing. I have a feeling this is a limitation of the device, but it’s the only major flaw in what is otherwise a great piece of office artillery.

The launcher is solidly constructed and the darts have held up well for me. There is nothing with the unit or on the KlearGear site about replacement missiles, but I’m sure if there’s a demand they’ll become available.

Conclusions:

This is a great office toy and would be a great gift idea for anyone who regularly engages in cubicle warfare. At a cost of $55 from KlearGear.com the USB Missile Launcher is one of the most unique toys you could get someone this holiday season.

I had hoped to get a couple videos up of the launcher but haven’t been able to get any I’m happy with. Perhaps it’s time for a new digital camera.

Thanks to the folks at KlearGear.com for giving me the chance to evaluate the USB Missile Launcher.

cubicle, warfare, office, office toy, office humor, work, fun, usb, robot, robotic, computer, toy