questionsdo you mentor anyone?


I suppose you could say I have been mentoring the other planner on our team at work for more than a decade. At first it was formal, and she was supposed to be able to work as my equal after a reasonable training period. But she never has gotten stable enough to get through her work without me holding her hand on the tough stuff and staying on top of the schedule for us both. I keep telling her she needs to learn this stuff as I am retiring in 14mos, but lately she has been implying that she plans to quit when I leave rather than face this work on her own. The problem is that 28 years ago when I started this job I pretty much invented my division and everything we do in it. Every process, method, form, document, training material, study, report, etc has come from me. We've had a dozen other staff but no one has had the commitment or drive to take any kind of ownership of the work.


@moondrake: So... it sounds like it's turned from mentoring to you just doing her work. What would happen if you stopped doing her part?

But I was thinking more on the maturing as a person aspect and less on the training for a specific role. Although, I certainly think that it can and often does include specific training.


@thepenrod: Forgive me, but I'm finding your, shall we say, discontent to have produced some very interesting topics. That said, even though I, too, am not creative...

I used to mentor people when I worked, and it's one of the things I miss the very most. New college hires often started with me while they were awaiting the completion of the clearance process, and I sometimes had as many as 15. I worked with them in my spare time so it could be a bit hectic, but it was often the best part of the day.

I spent time devising work assignments that would be useful to me, and yet offer the opportunity for them to learn how to work in a real environment, stretch their wings in their chosen field (network engineers were the hardest to task), and keep them out of trouble. We even did code walkthroughs, and network planning.

I was fortunate when I started out to have good mentoring, and I was privileged to share that with others in later years.

[Not Through]


@thepenrod: It wasn't just college kids, of course. Most of my teams, no matter the assignment, were younger, and less experienced, and I always thought of it as an opportunity for both of us to learn. There were new approaches to writing code for me, and documentation standards for them. Helping someone along the way to learning good management skills is harder than you'd think. It's something you only learn by doing; it doesn't come out of a book.

There's more, but I need to get on with the day.

{When I retired, I was astonished and touched to see how many intensely loyal people there were that had worked for and with me over the years. I still hear from some of them.}


@thepenrod: The closest I come to that is with a friend who is almost 20 years younger than me. He comes to me as a life-coach. He has a terrible Peter Pan complex, so his mindset is more like a teenager's than a grown man's. Like a teenager, he wants to live a self-centered life without consequences or responsibilities, but like an adult he wants respect and recognizes that the track he is on has no future. There are several dead-end guys my age in our group and he fears he's on their path. So he's trying to find his way to a more mature outlook, but balks at the price. Treating women with respect. Not blowing off school or work to play video games all night. Accepting that your boss actually is the boss of you. Dressing like a grown-up when appropriate. Being grateful for what you get, even when it comes from a family member you don't like. Making life choices on their long-term benefits rather than instant gratification. Instant gratification is his biggest weakness.


Yes I wrote a book about my mentor program, It's called 50 Shades of Grey


@shrdlu: Why would I need to forgive you for that?


@thepenrod: A mere expression of speech, my friend. Besides, as I have enjoyed pointing out this morning, I am not creative. :-D


@shrdlu: Any ideas for other interesting topics? I'll be super busy the next couple of days and I want to stay on top of this. Whatever this is.


@thepenrod: Okay, here's some I'd like to ask (I generally avoid asking questions, unless it just overpowers me).

- What makes a good manager? There have been several comments of late that make me sad, and I'd have plenty of comments on this one.

- Could we suggest some changes in shipping? Currently, if you use a cart, your items are often shipped as multiple orders, and the tracking numbers are not helpful to let you know which item is which. Also, there needs to be better quality control on some of the drop shippers (anyone who haunts World of Woot knows this).

- Are there any changes planned for Deals?

- What is the development staff up to? I recommend paging some of them, such as Dave Bug, or Josefresno (don't forget to use the double quotes around Dave's name, if you do this one).

- If you've turned back to records, what kind of turntable do you like? (This is a growing business, btw.)

All for now... back later


@shrdlu: Thanks. I'll probably avoid the questions specific to deals as they seem too relevant and not as likely to get me defriended.


@thepenrod: Please also avoid the political questions. Pretty please. All the anger, and the down voting, just make me so sad. It's been an interesting day. I'm hoping that your efforts just raise the level above what's been going on of late, and (selfishly) that you do not get banned.

Back in a while (need some dinner).


@moondrake: I have one friend much like yours. I mentor when he allows it, not so much lately. He's stuck I'm childhood mode for the nonce.

I have a few others....some who suffer issues similar to mine, and we've worked together. Several younger members of my family who, after a point, had a right to know how things got screwed up. Several friends who are successful professionally but have social issues when not in a structured setting.

I have found unexpected depths in relationships this way.


@thepenrod: thanks for this topic, and some other recent ones.


@shrdlu: it was suggested in another thread that I ask a about how the affordable care act has affected people. I'm considering that one not to get opinions but stories. I think the question can address the practical and the important in people's lives.


It's kind of funny, because your efforts to get booted out of this place have made me more interested in it. Not the booted out part, but the posting lot's of chat threads part. It really is why I come to Deals.woot. It's sad that the social behavior you expect to get you banned is my favorite part of the site.

I would like to see an affordable care act anecdotes thread. It would be interesting to hear real personal stories of how this law is affecting people, aside from the rhetoric. It would be nice if people could avoid vitriol, but it seems unlikely. But that doesn't mean that cooler heads will not prevail.


I'm cleverly using this question to take some quick notes. I've been going through all sorts of things, trying to reduce the amount of sheer STUFF that I have, and found some notes that I want to save.

Training: The transfer of skills
Education: The transfer of knowledge
Accreditation: Mastery of concepts
Certification: Acquisition of skill sets

Re Security: "Are you shooting rabbits, or building a fence?" You need to consider whether your approach is tactical or strategic.

A contractor is someone you hire so that you can tell them what to do. A consultant is someone you hire so that they can tell you what to do.

{I used to be a lot smarter, and funnier.}


There are some things that you can't detect, so you need to prevent them.
There are some things that you can't prevent, so you need to detect them.

The things you should worry about are those you are neither detecting nor preventing.

Nothing inside the security perimeter should trust anything outside.

You can't secure what you can't manage.


@shrdlu: you're so strange. Have you tried evernote?


@thepenrod: I already was sitting in front of this window. I do this all the time. Usually people don't notice.

I don't use anything android anyway (and it seems to me that evernote is an android app).

Yes, I am strange, but I'm used to it. It's not new; I've always been strange.

Staff folks are being entertained by your efforts, and everyone is having a good time. Wish I had more time to devote to this effort. I'd like to add some data about Alzheimer's (for those who seem to be worried about it), and I really want to devote more time to the manager skills.



@shrdlu: Evernote is on every platform. I actually use it most on my pc and really appreciate it.