Peter Thiel Was Fed A Diet of Lead-Laced Chinese Wall Candy As A Child

NYT decides to give many column inches to guy who shouldn’t be allowed to cross a street unaccompanied, for some reason.

Read that. Note the number of WOW lines such as:

ashleyfeinberg_2017-jan-11

This is just ONE pull quote from an article chock-fuckin’ full of ’em. I don’t know how anybody with a functioning mind can read this profile of Peter Thiel and NOT come away with the impression that he’s anything but a weapons-grade moron.

Can we PLEASE, as a society, stop assuming that, just because already-advantaged and connected and privileged dudes guessed lucky ONCE in their lives and made it super-rich that they have any expertise in anything else whatsoever, or even in their chosen field?

This guy’s a fucking idiot. It takes idiocy to think that Trump not disrupting things enough is the biggest risk we’re facing from his presidency. Only a completely super-loaded sociopathic jagoff can ignore the fact that tens of millions of Americans don’t have the resources to survive “disruption” like he can. This prick bankrupted a whole company and put a lot of already fairly-brokedick journalists out of work out of sheer spite because they dared to report, accurately, that he likes kissing boys. Fuck him.

If there’s a weakness to the American psyche, it’s the assumption that, if one is wealthy, one is inherently smarter and better than those who are not. It’s often nothing more than compounded generational privilege multiplied by luck that leads to the creation of hyper-wealthy creatures like Thiel and Trump, and they always seem to think that their position in life is the result of nothing more than their own personal hard work and grit. It never is; they are just narcissistically incapable of acknowledging the many factors outside of their control that tilted the playing field in their favor.

They’re no better than you or I. Let’s stop treating them like they are.

Kingdom of Piss

Welp. Here we are. Explaining to children and loved ones that the guy who’s going to be President very soon may have paid pretty ladies to pee on each other and/or him so that he can have fun times with his puberty parts.

I don’t even care if it’s accurate or 100% true or whatever; the fact that almost every single person thinks it COULD be says everything we need to know about the guy that we’re tossing the keys to in a few weeks.

I’d like to think that the President’s office is overblown in its importance, that there’s a limit to the damage any occupant of it can do… but our last two presidents have spent the last 16 years expanding that office’s role to where it is now, at least while the occupant is still in power, a Presidency so Imperial that Nixon’s corpse would get a boner that would blot out the sun, could he just imagine it.

And now picture that power in the hands of this… this gross incompetent. This walking temper tantrum. This schoolyard bully from the right side of the tracks who only crosses them to pick on people weaker and poorer than he.

This is who we’re about to give ourselves over to, and I’m struggling to accept it. I don’t want to live in the Kingdom of Piss, ruled by the bad man in the gold-plated tower.

Things That Suck: ADP, Again

I had zero intentions of beating this dead horse into a finer consistency until ADP’s support team actually reached out to me after I published the first post in this series, basically intimating that it was my own company’s fault that the emails their system sends do not contain useful info:

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Upon reading this, I realized that, yes, systems like this often allow the end-user to customize what info goes into emails automatically generated by said system. And, given my years of experience with my company’s HR team, I can completely accept that the lack of any actionable info in those emails would be their fault, not ADP’s.

So, I replied back to “ADP helps” that a) I’m certainly not going to offer up my company name because that isn’t tied to my blog here and I get into enough trouble with HR b) but yes, if they’d like to confirm that those email details are entirely up to the end-user, I’d publish a retraction. I suspect that an email footer with a link to the main ADP page is or should be a default, like it is with every other platform I’ve ever dealt with, but maybe I’m high.

Since they care more, presumably, about looking helpful than being helpful, they have not replied to my response so fuck ’em; here’s more stupid, unhelpful shit their garbage system does that I am bloody sure aren’t the fault of the end company’s choices.

So: I get useless email basically stating “hey, you’ve got something to do in ADP”. I go to the site and login:

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This is the popover you get when you click on the Messaging Icon in the main ADP view. Let’s click on Tasks:

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This is where Shit Gets Dumb. The system is telling me I have two tasks to deal with. Neither are “Urgent”, apparently, though I have no idea what criteria the system uses to decide that something is Urgent vs. not.

Can I click on either of the two visible, available tasks to be taken directly to it so I can act on it?

No.

Does this dumbshit system offer the option to APPROVE/DENY/REVIEW right in this screen, on the task itself, which would be efficient and sensible?

Also no.

So. Clicking on the Green Tasks button, which is what the first picture implies one should do, does not get the user any fucking closer to being able to ACT on the task than NOT clicking on anything.

THE ONLY USEFUL THING ONE CAN DO IN THIS SCREEN AT ALL IS CLICK THE “VIEW ALL MESSAGES” LINK.

So why even fucking bother with all of this other clickable shit that takes the user fucking nowhere? It actively SLOWS YOU DOWN from achieving the goal of processing the waiting task.

It’s a prime rule of UI/UX that, if clicking something only takes you to a new screen where you can also only usefully click one thing, SKIP THE INTERVENING SCREEN AND JUST TAKE THE USER TO WHERE THEY CAN PERFORM ACTIONS. This isn’t rocket science. Even Microsoft goddamned Outlook, NO ONE’s idea of a well-executed user experience, gets this right.

ADP does not.

This infuriates me just because it’s so easily fixable. Just ditch that stupid popover entirely and, when I click on the Message Icon, just take me to the full Message Center page. With, preferably, a list of of messages that I can act on either in the list itself or by clicking any entry to go to a full, single-item view of it.

Now, I will sit over by here and wait for ADP’s support drones to uselessly imply that it’s our fault that their system is designed this way.

 

Things That Suck: ADP

If you’ve ever spent any time in corporate America, you’re familiar with ADP. Your paycheck comes out of their system, your time off is managed by them… they’re ubiquitous, the McDonald’s of corporate HR.

Unlike McDonald’s, which, however you feel about their food, are goddamned Olympian when it comes to efficiency throughout their entire operation, ADP is terrible, hateful garbage. Outside of open-source garage projects, I’m hard-pressed to think of software that’s less interested in helping you accomplish anything with it than ADP.

Let’s take just one example here, focusing on one of the most common things a manager will do in ADP: review time-off requests. When one of my guys requests time off, they do it via ADP’s website. I get an email from ADP alerting me to this fact. This is the entirety of the email I receive:

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Notice what’s missing? Say, ANY way to act on this request whatsoever? Every other goddamned service out there would typically include:

  • To Approve this request: CLICK HERE
  • To Deny this request: CLICK HERE
  • To Review/Edit this request: CLICK HERE

ADP gives you NONE of this. Not even a goddamned link to the website so you can dig through it yourself to find the request.

Now, I can hear you thinking to yourself “uh, this is pretty small beer, Ritchie. First World Problem much?” and you’re absolutely right, but one of my personal pet peeves is very expensive software that actively hates the user.

Like; how difficult would it be to just include a link at least to the fucking site here? It’s not like the URL is even custom for each company; every one of the millions of people who have ADP accounts logs in through the exact same goddamned URL as everyone else. There’s zero reason, save active hatred of their users, that ADP could not at least include that link in these fucking emails.

I’m not sure why this bothers me so much beyond the simple waste and disdain for their fellow man that has to be involved with the thousands of ADP employees over the years collectively either never thinking about this issue or having thought of it and just not bothered to address it. It’s an infuriating mindset to deal with, and there are many more examples of this combination of incompetence and outright loathing of their paying customers that permeate the entire goddamned platform.

So, yeah, I’m super-glad I get to be in this system dozens of times a week. I’m even managing to feel a twinge of sympathy for our HR people (not a group I normally view with anything other than suspicion if not actual anger) given that they LIVE in this thing.

 

Hell Is Other People: The Lady Who Smokes Too Much

So, while not a full non-smoker yet, I haven’t smoked at work in years. That said, I recognize myself in the tribe of folks I see huddled in the smoking area (when they feel like obeying that rule) and the general air of miserableness they broadcast alongside smelling like Dick Cavett’s lungs.

There’s this one woman, probably 50ish (or a hard mid-40’s), who I share the elevator with occasionally. She’s got that particular look of a woman who was probably THE hottest chick at the Whitesnake concert back in 1987, but things ain’t been goin’ so good for since then.

We both arrive at the elevator at the same time, me all fresh-faced and sunnily ready to face a brave new workday (no, seriously; it’s usually 11am or so before the workday hogties my optimism and shoves it face-first into a mud puddle). Her, smothered in a miasma of ashtray funk and positively radiating hatred for her fellow man. I recognize that impulse, so I wordlessly wave her into the elevator car ahead of me.

Once we’re onboard, I hear a grunted, smoke-smothered “nice tats” in an octave low enough to make more sense coming from, say, an emphysemic trucker than a whippet-thin blonde office worker.

I’m pretty sure she complimented my ink years ago, but she doesn’t strike me as someone who’s particular about remembering things, so okay. I’ll take the morning compliment, they’re rare enough. I reply with a “Aw, thanks”.

Aside: I never know how to reply to a compliment about tattoos. “Thanks” seems trite and obvious; what, am I gonna go “Oh, no, they’re total bullshit. Garbage. I regret them every second of my existence”? I hate social interaction.

As the elevator slows down to stop at her floor, again, without making any eye contact, she grumbles out “Back to Hell”.

Okay, that’s the sorta line one might expect from a co-worker or something, but it would usually be delivered with at least a hint of a smile or smirk in the tone. She, however, delivered it in the same tone of voice I would expect to hear from an animal lover returning to their shift at the Puppy Strangling Factory.

She then followed that up with “god I fucking hate this place” as she walked out.

I get being miserable. I don’t get inflicting it upon total strangers who can’t really share why you hate everything, so we end up just feeling kinda bad for a stranger, which isn’t a fun position to be put into in the morning. It certainly sent me off the elevator in a grumpier mood than I was in when I got on it.

So, Terrible Lady, I ask that maybe you double-up on the Parliament Lights next time you’re out there, because that single cancer stick isn’t doing shit to improve your mood.

Hell Is Other People: Elevators

I think it’s a fairly common fantasy that people indulge in to wonder what they would do if there was like a day where all laws were suspended and one could just unleash hell on whoever we choose. I _think_ this is the premise of those horrible-looking The Purge movies, but there’s no fucking way I’m watching that dumb garbage to confirm it.

That said, I did however indulge in a brief fantasy about this idea this morning when I boarded the elevator at work. I think, if granted a Purge Day where I could murder without consequence, I would murder everybody who gets on the elevator AFTER me but presses a button for a floor BEFORE mine.

I realize this is completely irrational, not at all their fault, and possibly sociopathic.

I also don’t care.

In an era where a presidential candidate literally holds no beliefs and cannot recognize factual truth, and whose supporters actually see this as a good thing, does a light fantasy about stabbing a completely innocent person because they inconvenienced me even move the needle? I don’t think it does.

So, beware, co-habitants of my office space. If society collapses, I’m not going after cops or the Mayor or even people who’ve specifically done me personal harm. It is you, lady who gets on at the 1st Floor and gets off on the 5th Floor, who will die by my hand first.

Stop. Electing. Racist. Assholes. Iowa.

 Can my Iowa friends’n’fam explain this fuckin’ dope to me? I don’t like it, but I can at least understand it when some racist shithead small pond political asshole from a third world wasteland like Alabama flies a Confederate flag; it’s because they are asshole racists and wish that Alabama was still part of the Confederacy and had legal slavery.

But Steve here? YOU’RE FROM FUCKING IOWA. WHICH WAS A UNION STATE. So you’re basically saying you just want to be able to own black people again, and you wish you could disenfranchise black people back down to chattel slavery SOOOOOO MUCH that you’re willing to proudly fly the flag of a country neither you nor your people have ever been part of, the flag of a country that was the worst, most dangerous enemy YOUR ACTUAL COUNTRY ever fucking faced (Nazi Germany was never going to destroy the Union, though things would’ve sucked for Europe if we had lost. The Confederacy came damned close, and they killed more Americans on the battlefield than any other enemy ever has).

This is something that only a COMPLETE FUCKING ASSHOLE would possibly do.

And sure. There’s no law against being an asshole. But constantly electing one? I condemn your entire state for this. Throw this asshole out already.