Desperate Freelancer

Weblog of an old man



Second season

Desperate to have to work at 61. Desperate with a computer. Desperate to be aging so fast. Desperate Freelancer indeed. I am so desperate I could run a blog. Read more about me

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24 02 2008

How to get someone in your office

For any reason you want someone in your office who is not willing to. And, what a pity, you are not the boss, so you can't order him/her to come.

Let say by example that you need his/her help on a particular subject that he/she masters. But he/she pretends to be buzy on something else, whereas you know he/she isn't at all.

Or you want to settle a disagreement with him/her, and he/she doesn't want to hear about.

Or maybe you just like his/her presence close to you.. and that's none of my business.

During my short but intense career in an office, being singularly an ill-tempered dude, I had many occasions to feel frustrated of someone ignoring me or despising me. So I developed a few tips to get someone to come and see me immediately. As I am in a good mood, I share them with you :

1. Open a box filled with home made cookies
You will have many friends at once. For sure, the one you want will be among them. Your concern is now to get rid of the others.

2. Start laughing very very loud watching you screen
Anybody will think you found an ultra delirious video on Youtube

3. Let your phone ring permanently
Hide behind your desk, call your own office with your cellphone. Just answer when the right person picks up the phone.

4. Faint apoplexy
Just collapse when he/she passes in the corridor. He/she will rush to help. If not, you can always sue for letting you die.

5. Pretends to be on the phone with the big chief
and ask him/her to join. Pretend interferences when he/she is comfortably sited.

6. Steal his/her desk while gone
Take the whole thing, computer and files included, to your office. Then, just strech your feet on it.

7.Just pretend to hide something everytime he/she passes nearby
It will arise his/her curiosity. Inevitably he/she will try to sneak around when you are out. Just pop in when he/she kneels the nose in your drawers.

8.Create a path of dollars to your office
This trick can cost you a bit, if someone interferes.

9. Buy a Macbook Air and put it prominently on your desk
It attracts people like honey attracs flies.

Of course, all these tips do not work with your manager. If you want him in your room, just bark something about unreached objectives. That will do it.

17 02 2008

12 things I learned by 62 that I wish I knew at 42

I recently gave you my opinion about Ron's article : 12 things I learned by 42 that I wish I knew at 22.

I wish now to write my own "12 things wisdom" article. As I am 62, I see things and life in general in a much much different way than when I had the age Ron now has. I don't feel especially more wise or clever, but for sure, I have a lot more experience, 20 years more to be precise, and that's make a difference. The same difference in my opinion there is between a mature guy of 42 years and a young dude of 22. I mean : I don't have the same concerns now, and I consider life in a approach thats make me think I was still a kid in your mind when I was 42. Could I come back in time, here are a few things I would tell my 42 years old self :

1. Money don't buy everything

For some people money quickly become the center of everything. You get convinced that plenty of cash can get you anything you want : better house, better car, better situation, better wife or better life. Money surely helps to feel more confortable in your life but money can't buy everything. You can buy sex but you can't buy true love. You can buy the fact someone will live next to you for 40 years, but you can't buy his or her loving you.

You can buy a lot of great, funny and smiling people surrouding you all the time, pretending to be your best friends, but you can't buy real friendship. The one who cares when you are in trouble.

You can't buy happiness, nor wisedom ...

I am sure you all know that already. So why do you spend your time rushing for more money instead of trying to do things good ? Are you not interested in love, friendship, happiness .. ?

What money can't buy is what has the most value in life. Don't focus your life on money and you will start to live.

2. You have only one body

So you'd better preserve it. You can change your car when it starts falling apart but you can't change your body. Yes, nowadays, you can swap some pieces but not all of them and you will not win against the whole degredation of your body if you did not pay enough attention to it during your younger years.

So if you want to have an long and pleasant life (and not start complaining about your back or your lungs when you passed 50), take care of your health, eat good food, do some sport and so on. You know the rules.

As a 62 years old man, having been drinking & smoking too much, having eaten too fat more than often, having forgotten what the expression "physical effort" means, I can tell you one thing : Ouch. Here comes a time when it's too late to mend. You are rotten to the core. So try to quit all your bad habits NOW.

And don't forget, your brain is part of your body too. So maintain it as well in a good shape.

3. Happiness is simple

But as everything simple thing, it's hard to reach.

We love to make things more complicated than they are. Start thinking about it, and you will realise that you don't have to be so demanding to be happy.

4. You have no destiny

Nothing is written in advance. Don't believe your are a lucky or unlucky person. Don't believe because you studied to be engineer, you will be an engineer all your life. Or because you always get turned down by chicks that you won't ever marry someone nice in the end. Life is full of surprises.

Your life will be what you do with it. And yes, it could be nothing.

5. You are not your job

In this modern society, too much people get addicted in working and find their identity in their professional occupation. What happens when you get fired ? Aren't you still somebody ? You have to find something more relevant than your job to define who you are.

You are not your house neither, nor your car or any of your belongings. You are someone, a human being with an identity, unique and unparalleled.

And it's better for you if you find who you are before you retire.

6. Sex preserves

Studies have proven that people that have regular, plain and consenting relationships are feeling happier in general, are often in a better mood and are living longer than those who don't.

Practice wisely because it can ruins too : couple, health or finances...

7. Tell what you think, do what you tell

And you will become a trustworthy person, a valuable guy.

Don't keep for yourself your opinion about a situation that upsets you, it will poison you. Do express what you have in mind, tell the truth even it's displeasing. It will give you many ennemies but ennemies are good to maintain your alertness in life. Don't forget only paranoids will survive

8. Read read read

There is no more intelligence than in a good book. Had you the chance to make good studies or not, books can drive you to cleverness and minimum knowledge.

Don't quit reading because you quit college. Don't quit reading because you quit your professional life. Never stop. There is so much to learn in books a life will not be sufficient.

Read anything you want but read. The first thing you will learn from books is your own language. And when you start master your language, in a way, you start master your life.

9. Take the time to do things

Man, you don't need to be overwhelmed. I know it's fashionable nowadays, but life is not a competition where you should do the most you can of your day. You botch things because you do too quick.

Do less, do better.

10. You don't need most of what you want

When you die, people will enter you house to get rid of all your furnitures and belongings. They will find so many things you accumulated throughout years, things you deeply desire during 8 months, you bought in frenzy of 10 minutes, you used 6 months, and you kept locked somewhere for 25 years having no more the use of it.

This society makes you desire stuffs. It gets you frustated if you don't possess, buy, get, rush.. and so on. I don't tell you to live like a buddhist monk but just think twice before you compusilvely jump on something.

11. Life is like gardening

Nothing comes easily or quickly. You have to plant good seeds, to take care of your sproutings, to water your plants watchfully, get rid of parasites, prune... and maybe in the end you will get a fruit.

It had been hard to obtain, but there will be nothing more delicious on Earth.

12. Never believe those who pretend to know and preach the truth

Those who try to give you advice about how to manage your life are swindlers. They know nothing about you so how can they dictacte you what you should or shouldn't do.

Especially if they can sum it up in 12 points. That's ridiculous.

11 02 2008

Worst domain names

Last night, I was wondering why I had chosen as an url for this blog. In my odd memory, I couldn't remember...

Then, I started wondering about good and bad domains names. And finally I was lead by the old salad that serves as a brain in my head to "what could be the worst domains names".. (don't ask me why I jumped to this topic, I wouldn't be able to answer you neither), and surprisingly I did found a lot of information on the subject. There is a large community of people searching for bad domain names. And let me tell you, they have a great fun doing this.

Here is a few samples I found here or here and I particularly like:

- You like to go in Spain for holidays ? Then please

- The Pen is powerful ? Let check :

- Well you have to think twice when you have are ready to book an url with pen in it : The island of pens...

- If you want to find a therapist for that problem of booking stoopid domain names of course.

- Even the Mac magazine can play the game :

And so on. I continued my investigation on the subject to discover there were hundreds of them. It's nearly a science to find so bad domains names.

There are for example the worst movie domain names. I also found out that people are ready to spend fortunes for stupid names.

Or that people have an incredible imagination for choosing funny domains names, that some others just admit their lack of creativity. and that others can registerd anything like :

Somewhat, I feel relieved about my own url. Very classic and relevant in the end.

04 02 2008

12 things I learned by 42 that I wish I knew at 22 - My opinion about it

Last week, I found via Digg, an article named : 12 things I learned by 42 that I wish I knew at 22.

As I had totally messed up my life with no hope of recovery of any kind, I thought such an article could be quite interesting to me. I mean, in order to get a little consolation in seeing that other people had also been wasting time in mistakes and inanities.. Not a great attitude I have to admit but I cling to what I can.

And interesting, for sure this article was. A bunch of good life lessons I wish all the kids should listen to. Most of the stuffs told in this article are so valuable points all the money in the world could not buy them.

All of them, I regret not to have been told... when I was 22.. or even when I was 42.

However, there are a few things I want to discuss about

Being 62 now, I have 20 more years of experience and I believe it wouldn't be incongruous to open my big mouth to tell you what I think of Ron's (the author) points.

1. Ron says : "Stay in school. Don’t quit"
Well. I didn't spend much time in school, but I now regret it all. It was wasted time anyway. Not everybody could manage to get a diploma or something valuable out of it. For some people, and I am one of those, comes a point where you have to acknowledge that it will do you no good, you are not made for it and that's all.

So, if you feel stupid and useless in school, It could be clever to quit. To find that somewhere else you could be less stupid and less useless.

2. Ron says : "Money doesn’t spoil, it keeps. Start investing early"
But don't invest your money in things like stocks, funds or real estate. Because you will be in the middle of a crack, just when you need it all.

3. Ron says:" Don’t buy the first house you look at. Buy the cheapest house in the nicest neighborhood."
Unless the neighborhood turns in 5 years of time into a nomansland of riots leaded by drugs' zombies and sexual perverts. But you can't predict future, can you ?

4. Ron says : "Establish the habit of living within a budget".
Good habit. Don't forget to force your wife to do the same. Then divide hers by 3. You would be able to save a few dimes.

5. Ron says : "Learn how to negotiate a better deal on everything"
And you would be an horrible skinflint before you get really rich.

6. Ron says : "Keep your medical insurance in force at all times".
Here in France, almost everyone is covered, so there is no need to take care about it. For a ridiculous amount of money, you will be filled to the top with highly uneffective medecine in order to increase the net profit of pharmaceutical corporations.

7. Ron says : "It’s quality of time at work, but quantity of time at home that matters".
Depends on your familly. If your daughter spits on you when you come home and your wife tends to mix you up with the dog and serve you slops at diner... it could be great to spend some time at work.

8. Ron says : "Don’t listen to those who think there is a shortcut to wealth".
100% ok. There is only a shortcut to wealth for those who scams people by telling them there is a shortcut to wealth. Though, there is definetly a shortcut to poverty.

9. Ron says : "Make sure your spouse’s values line up with your own".
Especially, material values. It's better when you divorce that she leaves with the photo albums than with your priceless bootleg collection.

10. Ron says : "Learn how to network"
All my life, I had for only network my cousin who was thriving in the used cars business. I bought him 6 vehicles, all of them were bangers and I spent fortunes in repairs. Surely, I should have tried to build a better network.

11. Ron says : "Never accept a job just because the pay is higher"
Huh ? This one is really odd. I don't see any other good reason than this one : being paid higher. You don't seriously believe you will feel fulfilled in a job ? You work for money. The higher the wage, the better the deal. If you need to convince yourself, just ask yourself if you would go on with your job if I offer you not to go (and have a complete freedom of your days) for the same amount of money you gain by sweating all the year for a company.

12. Ron says : "Trust, but verify".
Untrue. The good rule is "never trust". You have no time to check everything as if you were in "CSI". And if you start to dig, you will discover that every piece of information is a fake, that all the world is built on lies. For example, did you know Santa does not exist ? Well, it's the same nowadays for elections of president or reasons to get involved into wars. You are being told bullshit everywhere, even at the highest levels. Nothing they say to you is true. So why bother and lose time to verify ?

Ok,that was my opinion and considerations on Ron's article. I guess anyone would say something different, depending on his history and all.

But if I really want to do my job as a commentator on this post, I have to confess that I would have said totally different things on this topic. 20 years more of experience (bad experience mostly) had given me a huge difference of perception about life and priorities. Maybe, If I hadn't be the complete dumbass I was when I was 42, I could have written something similar to Ron's post at the time. But now that I reached the age of 62, I will never have spent time dealing with these stuffs. My lessons would be totally different.

That's why, in my next post, I will surely tell you about 12 things I wish I learned by 62 I wish I knew at 42.