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Lazy Man Update

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It's been a little more than two weeks since I've been without a day job. Here's a little update of the odds and ends of how that is going and what I'm doing.

I find myself twice as busy as I've ever been when I had a job. It's a good busy though, making time for myself. I'm getting to the gym more, the home is cleaner, and I'm slowly getting thing done that I've been putting off for a long time. We are also better prepared for emergencies. My wife had a small accident and needed a couple of stitches. I was available to get her quickly to the emergency room and help her with the injury afterward.

Before I left my last job, I mentioned that Google contacted me to interview with them. I passed the first round of interviews. It was pretty difficult interview as you might expect. At the end, the interviewer asked if I had any questions. I simply asked him the three things he likes best about working at Google. He wasn't too happy with me asking him a question (even though he through the ringer), saying that this interviewing isn't a "symmetrical relationship." I wish I had thought to remind him that Google asked me to interview, not the other way around.

I started a new blog this week. I should have put more focus into my health blog, but I couldn't resist it any longer. Can you find it? (If you do, please don't spoil the fun for the other's.)

Random thoughts:

  • Why can't grocery stores have one line and many registers like you find at banks, post offices, and Barnes and Noble? I'd still have the express line, but it seems this is by far the most efficient system. It seems like I always get in the line where there's one problem that holds it up for a half hour. With the "bank line system" this would be spread across all customers, not just an unlucky few.
  • CNBC aired one of the most outstanding sound clips ever. It's Kelly Ripa saying, "I will do anything for a dollar." I'd like to pay her a dollar to wear a Lazy Man and Money T-shirt in public once a week.
  • Walt Mossberg did an interview on CNBC with his Red Sox hat on. I knew I liked him for some reason.
  • Pushing Daisies is by far my favorite new TV show. It's a quirky premise, but it provides a for a good story.

Posted on October 26, 2007.

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16 Responses to “Lazy Man Update”

  1. I watched the pilot of Pushing Daisies last night, it is very good thus far and I will continue watching it. Sigh, only if I had more than 24 hours a day..

    Bionic Women was bad. Reaper was good as well
    I hope there aren’t too many good “new” tv shows, as my current list is quite long already

    By the way, I agree, ALL line up should be the FIFO/bank system, and not the separate counters for separate lines. It gets MUCH worse in Asia where there is no notion of “line up” when everybody cuts in any space they get. e.g. McDonald’s in China is a zoo

  2. Matt says:

    I can’t believe I read this.

    “He wasn’t too happy with me asking him a question, saying that this interviewing isn’t a “symmetrical relationship.” I wish I had thought to remind him that Google asked me to interview, not the other way around.”

    I think I would have been furious if an interviewer told me that this isn’t a “symmetrical relationship.” Do they expect you to be their slave?

    I guess the fact that Google has 16,000 employees now has really watered down their culture. It’s only a matter of time before they start floundering more often.

  3. Brip Blap says:

    It took me exactly ONE guess to find your new website. I just typed my first guess in and bam! there it was.

    I imagine Google is going to be just like Microsoft soon – I mean, even Evil Microsoft was a cool place to work, supposedly, a long time ago. I’m sure GE was hip and happenin’ at one point.

  4. Pinyo says:

    I am sure I know your new URL. Regarding the interview, that was rude of him. If you get the job, I hope you don’t have to work for him. If you make it big at Google, don’t forget us. :-)

  5. Shadox says:

    I have often wondered about the line at the supermarket myself. It really pisses me off when I pick the line that moves slower… Invariably there is someone that forgets to buy something and has to run back and get it while the rest of us wait… or the people with the slow check writing skills…

  6. JvW says:

    He asked you if you had any questions and then got mad when you asked him a question? Are you joking?

    I think the grocery store line would be difficult to operate like the bank lines due to sheer size of carriages and the larger checkout lanes necessary. I can’t imagine how the physical setup would be feasible.

  7. Lazy Man says:

    I imagine a system where someone from the supermarket can take your cart to the front of the line. Overall, I don’t think it would be that much different than an airport with people and luggage.

  8. plonkee says:

    I should probably have posted my last comment anonymously – they’ll probably demote my website or something ;) . I can’t believe he was surprised that you had a question, isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? And yeah, I found your new blog – I guess you’ve got a theme going.

  9. Laura says:

    The Google interviewer was being pretty dumb and rude to ask if you had questions and then turn around and then be annoyed. Google may have an HR opening soon…

  10. aimlesstraveler says:

    Whole Foods and Trader Joes and maybe some other stores in NYC DO use that system and it works pretty well. There was an article about it awhile back in the Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/23/business/23checkout.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

  11. I’m surprised- the Google interviewers I talked to encouraged me to ask questions and were very responsive. And saying that it’s not a symmetrical relationship is just stupid, given that the best potential employees need you the least, and hence have the most symmetrical relationship. I think you just got a bad apple.

  12. The grocery store idea won’t work because:
    – space needed for queues would be bigger
    – you cannot start to put items on it while the person before you is paying

    But I am sure in 1 or 2 years we will have these automatic checkout registers where the shopping cart has already calculated automatically what you put in via RFID and you just pay by credit card and leave.

    No register, no personal, no queue

  13. Lazy Man says:

    Trader Joe’s doesn’t have conveyor belt to put things on. I don’t think the queues need to be that much bigger. It’s a small price to pay to never be stuck in the slow lane. Customers would love it, which means more business allowing you to make up for the space.

  14. I’m hoping i’ll be able to get to the gym more often now that I won’t be working.

    I’ve slipped from being buff to looking overweight. Not good.
    Health beats Wealth any day of the week!

    I like pushing daises too. along with bigshots, house and dirty sexy money.
    thank god everything is online now – i can shave off 50% of the viewing time
    since they have limited ads.

  15. SecondCor521 says:

    Setting aside the practicalities, there’s an operations management proof that the system throughput would go up with a single line served by multiple registers. I don’t have it offhand but probably any master’s level operations management book would have the proof.

    I’m sure there must be some reason the stores don’t implement something like this. Maybe it’s that they make more money off the impulse-buy trinkets that are lining the end of the register aisles.


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