Successes



Dear Reader,

The roles of women in the professional community is ripe with opportunities.   In order to promote much-needed role modeling, I had the opportunity to interview veteran Network Systems Administrator, Alice  Gorman.  Alice currently works for Boston International Inc. home of fine gifts from IHR USA, October Hill® and  The Metropolitan Museum of Art where “Great Art is the Difference®”.imagesCA79LA0P

  1. Is there a moment in your career that you remember as pivotal?  If so, what made it an important time?

Teaching a computer class for teenage girls at a church in Boston. What made it so important was when I realized a few of the girls were taking
two or three buses to get to class. Their excitement to learn really got me excited.

  1. After having a 20-year career, do you have anything you are still trying to accomplish?

I would love to learn more about the internet. SEO, web building, and all the secrets on creating a successful website.

  1. At the start of your career did you expect to be where you are now?

No, not at all. I started my career at a prepress and typography company in Cambridge, MA. I was running a mainframe system. We loading fonts using paper tape and printed out galleys of type. The art department used the galleys, exacto knives and wax to layout magazines for print. It’s amazing how my job has enhanced and changed with technology.

  1.  What has been the most startling development in the technical field in the last twenty years?

The internet with its unlimited services and resources.

5. Who are your role models or greatest influencers? Why?

Don Leamy coworker took me under his wing. He saw my potential and hired me as the system operator over 20+ years ago.

What do you least like to do in your job?

I really can’t think of what I like least about my job. Overall I’ve been very satisfied with my jobs.

7. What is the most fulfilling about your job?

I enjoy challenges. When problems or new projects arise I am always ready.  Because  the industry changes quickly. I have to stay up to date on emerging trends, sorting through what is important and deciding what will be best for the company.

8. Did you ever face a setback and how did you handle it?

Yes, but I utilize a setback as a challenge, a training, and a learning experience. I usually step back take a good look at the situation then figure out how I am going to conquer it. Setbacks help me to improve productivity by anticipating preventable problems.

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Dear Reader,

In my last blog entry, I posed a puzzle that would have challenged Solomon himself.   I had three webpages built in Dreamweaver CS5

all with the same .css attached (see last post for definition of CSS).  I had added images to each of the web pages – different images – all found in the same directory in my website.   When I launched the browser – IE9 in this case – to test the website, the first two pages displayed as expected and my hyperlinks worked as expected.   When I navigated to the third page, the images were missing although the styling from the CSS was there.

I began investigating as I described in the last blog entry.  After being stumped for a bit and figured that my PC was playing a Halloween prank on me.

I looked at the URL that displayed in my screen and noticed something odd.

When I began developing the site, I had created the home page then the css then added the new folder to hold the images.  I proceeded to add a couple more pages.   One of the new pages accidentally wound up in the images folder and I wanted it in the root folder for the site.   So, I moused over it, clicked, and moved it.   Instead of moving the page, I had created a second one by making a copy in the root folder.   The hyperlink was pointing to the page with no image on it and the other page with the image was open in Dreamweaver.   Once I found the problem, I deleted theoffensive page, added the image where it should be, corrected the hyperlink and everything now worked out fine.

The Devil is in the details — or the ghost is!   Happy Halloween!!


Dear Reader,

Hacking for a weekend #negc2011 @NEGiveCamp is impossible without tons of food and coffee — all of which was incredibly generously provided – to the point of embarrasment we had so much food.

First, I personally would like to thank Green Mountain Coffee and their very wonderful rep, Marlena Farnham who was back this year donating all the coffee we needed to drink.  Then there was the 47lbs of cheese generously donated by Cabot.  The horseradish was exquisite.

We were also fed by Dominoes Pizza, Naked Pizza, Panera Bread, Kick Ass Cupcakes, Cosi and Microsoft.

I liked the cupcakes the best.   I had mojito.

Notes:

1. http://newenglandgivecamp.org/archive/2011-2/sponsors/


Dear Reader,

Much like most of the country, I have been in a job search.   Late on a Friday afternoon, a prospective employer found me.   He scheduled an interview with me on Saturday for Monday morning.   Needless to say, I was hustling to have every detail in place before the interview — copies of the resume, clothes, appearance, plus directions.

I am commuting from Providence, RI up to Waltham, MA.   Amidst a flurry of Google Maps, MBTA schedules, and bus maps later I thought I had good enough directions.  I needed to attend to a few last minute transportation details as well as making sure I had an appointment confirmation.   When I boarded the train in Providence, I was able to find a table so I, along with many other commuters, could set up my laptop and do work.

As the train made its way north to Boston, the small table I shared with the one other person also doing computer work began to fill up.   Unbeknownst to me, the regular commuters who got on at later stops had issues with me doing my work at “their” table.   A couple very well-dressed ladies never even said “excuse me” or politely explained to me that the car fills up and what the routine was.   I was shoved aside and nearly yelled at.   They had no patience for the fact that it took me a moment to move my things for them in spite of the fact that I made every effort to be courteous.

Once we settled, I went back to my work once again becoming absorbed in my preparations.   I thought that four of us was the total capacity of the table.   Apparently not.   A fifth person came along — this time in the form of a very well-dressed, very disagreeable gentleman who felt that beginning an argument with me was a good way to win friends and influence people.  In addition to a complete lack of courtesy, he put a very large coffee within easy spilling distance of my laptop on a moving train.  I was subject to more insults while he moved the coffee.

I informed him that I had every right to be there doing my work  as a paying customer of the train.  The three of them then told me I had no right to be upset that his coffee was near my laptop since the table had been invented long before laptops were around.   I told them that if they weren’t so old and cranky maybe they wouldn’t have problems with another person doing necessary work.   When my station was going to be next I had to ask a couple times for them to please move so I could get up.   At which point, I pointed out how far a little courtesy would go.

It was obvious that they thought me much younger than they were and much more junior (which is working in my favor in the job market) and one of the ladies decided to inform me that I was wrong this entire time.  I simply said that I was sorry she felt that way and I walked off.

The ironic conclusion to this story is that I am probably the same age as most of those folks or five years younger at the most and I have held positions with as much status, responsibility and authority as they have (during the train ride they all felt it necessary to announce their positions).   None of these people who have a responsibility as role models to a younger person could be bothered to take the few minutes out of their morning to extend a word of courtesy.

I went on to have a very good day and succeed on my interview and get the job.   They went on to have a sour day and complain.   If you fail to adapt to the world as it changes, you truly become old.

“No one is too big to be courteous, but some are too little”

As a footnote to this post:

Within a few hours of writing this, the shoe was on the other foot.   I was deeply involved in working on this blog at “my” table in the local public library.  A few elementary school children were gathering at my table to do work.   There was the usual bustle of activity and noise as they were settling down.  The librarian explained that the table was set aside for regular tutoring with their schoolwork.   I asked if they needed the space and they didn’t.   I could have moved if the noise bothered me too much — I can adapt.   I was glad I stayed.  They sang quietly a couple times while working.   Nothing soothes the soul as much as the sound of children singing.  If I don’t role model gentleness, the children will never learn it.

“To be humble to superiors is duty, to equals courtesy, to inferiors nobleness.”


Dear Reader,

If you recall in this news item reminiscent of “The Twilight Zone” , Systemgraph, a support company officially approved by Apple to be its reseller and authorized service provider was suing Dimitris Papadimitriadis, a physician in Greece and a disgruntled customer over a negative forum posting.  They were seeking damages in the amount of 200,000 euros or approximately $269,880 American.

Systemgraph dropped the case and issued a statement, “We were led to an excessive and inappropriate response, and finally accepting that Mr Papadimitriadis’ intention was not to undermine the reputation and credibility, withdraw such court action.” a few days before the case was to go to court.

It has been interesting from an English-speaking point of view to see the flurry of Greek Twitter Posts in support of Mr Papadimitriadis.   #systemgraph on Twitter.  An English equivalent is avilable here.[3]

However, it is not yet over!

Systemgraph has not reimbursed Mr Papadimitriadis for the costs incurred in preparing to go to court or the resolution of the problems with the original equipment.  In addition, the Greek Consumer Ombudsman is now involved in attempting to broker an agreement.

There has been no comment from Apple on the case.

So who is the Greek Consumer Ombudsman?

The Greek Consumer Ombudsman is a new independent authority established and supervised by the Ministry of Development. The creation of this Authority, is in line with the recommendation entailed in the EU Green Paper for the improvement of the functioning of intermediaries who are responsible for handling consumer disputes.[2]

Our global community is truly growing closer.  The Atlantic Ocean, a few seas like the Tyrrhenian and Baelaric and seven time zones no longer prevent Greece from becoming our neighbor.  What’s next?

Notes:

1. http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-20028890-71.html?tag=cnetRiver

2. http://baseswiki.org/en/Consumer_Ombudsman,_Greece

3. http://storify.com/asteris/greece-disgruntled-customer-sued-200keur-for-defam


Dear Reader,

I am proud to announce that after being interviewed, I have been accepted into the Cambridge Who’s Who business index of professionals in USA, UK, Canada, Australia.

Donald Trump Jr. serves as the Executive Director of Global Branding and Networking after having been a member of this august organization.  His stated goal is to work with the organization’s President, Randy Narod, to allow and help people create a global platform  for positioning.  It is a private PR firm for branding and support.

“The Cambridge mission is to deliver its members the recognition and competitive edge needed to network and do business effectively. Inclusion in the Registry is an honor limited to individuals who have demonstrated leadership and achievement in their industry and occupation.” 1

I am excited to be a part of this organization as I continue to develop Livant Enterprises from the tiny seedling I planted last year.

Resources and Footnotes

1. http://www.cambridgewhoswho.com/MainSite/AboutUs/


Dear Patient Reader,

My daily attire turned to semi-formal black as I hopped into my modern-day pumpkin (The Commuter Rail into Boston) to attend the event of a lifetime.

When I started a new career three years ago, I never dreamed that I would be attending a five-star semi-formal Gala fundraising event honoring the organization I volunteered with and my team for its contribution to RESPOND’s fight against Domestic Violence.

I have spent my life seeking to contribute to the world in some way quite often it is on the bus to the people I meet – the mother needing help with her baby carriage and babies, the old people who have a hard time finding the bus, the woman late to her appointment to see her children who needs to put in a phone call, the homeless I knit for so they don’t lose toes to frostbite…

I had been frustrated by my own personal lack of resources to start some organization to better help those around me. I often have more vision and dreams than I can possibly see become reality.

I do these things out of a genuine compassion for humanity. In spite of the days when I am tired, aggravated, frustrated, disgusted and angry; I remember that I have my faults as well. I know that if I met a stranger on the wrong day, they would dislike me very much indeed.

I do good never expecting reward or recognition. It is unexpected and overwhelming if it comes. What is particularly satisfying is the knowledge that this has come as a result of hard work, perseverance, ethics and character. I have been on the receiving end of name-calling – “sucker!”, “gullible!”. Sometimes people think I am naive and when I realize what the world is really like I will “wise up”. I have news for my critics – I am well aware of the nature of the human race and my position has been validated.

A good friend of mine, Russell Carle, holds the position that we are always in need of each other’s grace. Undeserved, unasked-for forgiveness. I believe in the “scandal of grace” as coined by Philip Yancey in his book “What’s So Amazing about Grace?”. Grace is a form of generosity to those who don’t deserve it. Grace, by its very definition is undeserved. Sensible people are scandalized by the grace I offer. Don’t I know the kind of people I am helping?? The drunks, the drug users, the thieves, and sluts – The undeserving because of what they have done and what they are doing.

I know how painful it is to be in need of grace and to have it denied. I also know how healing grace can be when it is sorely needed and freely given. I have not lived the first half of my life isolated from humanity. I am well aware of all the failings of the human race. I scandalously engage in grace on a daily basis. It is my personal form of revenge towards the unforgiving, the snobs and the opportunists who take advantage of others.

In a bit of a dream-state I took in the evening at the Boston Harbor Hotel. It was a beautiful setting with beautiful people and elegantly catered with an attentive wait staff worthy of the best tipping possible.

There were people there who made more money than I had ever seen in my short life – generously sharing the evening and indulging themselves in enriching the world around them. A couple young women were competing to see who would outbid the other in an auction.

It became more of a dream come true when I ascended the stage to be one of this year’s recipients of the Timothy G. White “Take A Stand” Award. I had read all about Timothy G. White (the late editor-in-chief of Billboard Magazine and humanitarian) and I had reflected on the award in an earlier blog post.

The most momentous part of the evening, for me, was meeting his widow, Mrs. Judy Garlan White, who is on hand every year to give the award. She re-defined grace. I would have been happy just to have made her acquaintance and to thank her. She was interested in my reflections about her husband and the award he established and its impact on my blossoming career. I was overwhelmed by her grace.

As the daylight dawned the next morning and I eventually returned home in my worn-out dress from the previous evening clutching the glass slipper (my framed award), I knew I would have to find a way to return to the mundane of my life.

I am planning to go back to next year’s Give Camp (2011) at the NERD in Cambridge again. I have no illusions of recreating a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but I will always take the opportunity to give of myself, my time, and my talents to make some positive impact on the world around me.

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