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LaTron has a new home!!!

August 15, 2010

I have moved my blog to www.latronbrown.com. Be sure to visit me there! See ya later!

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Where Did Etiquette On the Road Go?

June 30, 2010

It was run over.

People know me for my calm, patient, demanding, yet understanding nature, but sometimes people just get on my last nerve. Meditation, prayer and breathing exercises do not cure all things. Sorry, anger management supporters. But, people even got on Jesus’ nerves! He went to the temple, over turned tables. But, yet despite their ignorance, he still loved them, and so do I! However, right now I feel rather—expressive. Let me explain.

Drivers

I never claim to be a perfect driver, but I’m pretty close! It seems that some people are simply idiotic once they get behind the wheel—even sober.  Many people claim they can multitask well; however, I am convinced that IQ’s drop significantly once some drivers close the car door. On time, while I am parallel parking— reversal lights active and all—a car speeds up behind me and sits there. I am asking myself,  “‘what the heck is he doing?” I motion my hand for him to go around or back up, but to no avail. It had already been a long day. So, admittedly, out of spite, I sat there too until I got the space that was rightfully mine…lol. We sat there through three traffic lights—RED, YELLOW, and GREEN (thrice). The man was obviously not paying attention and oblivious to the fact that I was motioning for him to get out of f the way! I was NOT going to give up that space after I drove through five times praying for one to open. Oh, no!

 Yesterday, I was leaving from Blue Collar Joe’s about to cross into the middle section, when another car pulled up across the road, waiting also to come into the middle lane to turn in the direction of eastbound traffic. Fortunately, we both received a break in traffic-enough to move in the middle lanes to go our opposite directions. Unfortunately, the not so intelligent individual drove into my lane to turn, while I’m crossing the road. “Whhhhhy?” I asked myself full of disgust and [fed-up-ness]. “Why are you in the lane I am supposed to be in to turn?” Again, not paying attention, and she was oblivious to the fact that she was incorrect determined by the deer-in- the-headlights look, I received as I maneuvered to the incorrect side of the road to avoid hitting her car.

 A third thing that irks my nerve is people not understanding the right of way. If you aren’t there first, wait! If you approach at the same time someone else does, yield to the person on the right, duh. Please go back to the DMV handbook!

Pedestrians

Oh my goodness—MOVE! I was nice enough to stop, now move a little bit faster across the road. I did not stop to watch you flop around. I’m a busy man. Ugh! Second, make up your mind if you are going to cross the road or not! Don’t play footsie with the road—GO! Lastly, if a car doesn’t stop, don’t plop your body into the road until its clear! This is what happens, if the car (driver A) in front of driver B does not notice you, driver A is going to slam on breaks and then driver B has to slam on breaks which brings me to another point in a second.  Although, as a pedestrian who has the right of way, it is not your right to halt traffic, if your behind is on the sidewalk.  Wait until it’s clear or until you have enough time to cross in the leisure that you want. Now, going back to my point about braking. There IS a braking point. Braking points are different in each car. This also means that you don’t need to tailgate the person in front of you, because, you don’t know how quickly someone’s car will stop. BACKOFF!  It’s simple.

Other Things

  • If you can’t parallel park in under 10 seconds, then don’t.
  • If you want to speed, take the freeway.
  • If you are on the freeway, what is the point of speeding, even more? At most, you will only get there about 20-30 minutes faster if that.  Something will negate your efforts to get there faster anyway. COOL IT!
  • If you want to use the cell phone, get a voice activated bluetooth or a hands free device.
  • If your bad kids do not want to behave, pull over and get them in line. Minimize distractions.
  • If you put something in your trunk and it does not close fully, secure it. One time a person’s chair fell out of the vehicle, and guess what….They “didn’t notice it had fallen out” was the excuse once the driver was flagged down.
  • Don’t speed up on someone and get an attitude because they are obeying the speed limit or while still speeding, they are driving a bit slower than you are.  Their car might not be running well.
  • Don’t stare; it’s impolite.                   
  • Lights turn yellow for a purpose—either get out of the intersection or slow down at the line.
  • Lights turn green for a purpose—MOVE. Don’t sit there looking crazy. Pay attention and go.

Seriously, what is the problem with some drivers?  It angers me that some people do not pay attention then and they somehow “don’t know how it happened,” when they hit another vehicle.  I’ll tell you why you don’t; you weren’t paying attention. No one will be able to use that ignorant comment on me because I’m constantly watching all sides of my car. So, if I may impart, “wisdom” to you, dear driver, pay attention to your surroundings. You are not invincible in your car; anything can happen!

Operations Management Simulation

June 11, 2010

Boy, this has been a hectic few weeks! I’m in the seventh week of Operations Management, and this course is DEMANDING. Aside from preparing a presentation every other week and/or writing a paper on a variety of case studies, text problems, and reading The Goal, life is good! I will refrain from complaining!

This week, our teams have begun the second part of the Littlefield Simulation. This simulation allows students to gain “hands-on” experience running a factory that manufactures Digital Satellite System Receivers–exciting, huh?!?! Manufacturing isn’t necessarily my choice in career progression, but I have to say that I honestly like this simulation–at times.  On the first part of the simulation that we competed in about three weeks ago, I was glued to the computer screen. This time, not so much.  However, it is helpful to know that the models that we learn are actually applicable to other situations.

 In the first part of the simulation, we looked at variables such as demand, machine utilization, inventory, and setting work order priorities. This second part of the simulation allows the teams to directly manage inventory by setting reorder points (ROPs) and quanities. Demand doesn’t seem to be that big of a problem this time. We are on day 109 and the demand has remained pretty constant with a slightly negative trend; however, that might change unexpectedly. Thats why our team loaded up on machines at the onset of the simulation! This could work against us too. We also manage contracts with various lead times and revenues per order. We have about 100 days left in the simulation, so there will be some relief. All in all, there is a lot ot do, so preparation is a must in this simulation. If you don’t prepare by learning forecasting methods, queuing models and Reorder point models, etc., you’ll be staring at the computer screen with the “deer in the headlights” look, not knowing what to do! Any, wish us luck.

The Veiled Glory of God?

April 21, 2010

PONDER THIS: Is this the glory of GOD that David and the other Old Testament Prophets described?

Psalm 18:8-13

“Smoke poured from his nostrils; fierce flames leaped from his mouth.  Glowing coals blazed forth from him. He opened the heavens and came down; dark storm cloud were beneath his feet. Mounted on a mighty angelic being, he flew,  soaring on the wings of the wind. He shrouded himself in darkness, veiling his approach with dark rain clouds. Thick clouds shielded the brightness around him and rained down hail and burning coals. The LORD thundered from heaven; the voice of the MOST HIGH resounded amid the hail and burning coals.”

This photos was taken today from  of the Icelandic Volcano erruption. It’s an astounding photo and it reminded me of that passage that I read this morning! It makes me ponder HIS vast-ness and awesome-ness.

National Bank of Blacksburg, Va Phishing Scam

April 14, 2010

I want to alert you to a phishing scam that I just received. You or someone that you know might also receive this scam. The email contains a link to a survey that requests you to fill out a few survey questions, and enter your credit card number, pin, CVV, and expiration. It implies that they need this information in order to deposit $50 into each of the accounts and cards that you enter.  It has the National Banks logo at the top and is quite convincing that it might be mistaken as legitimate. The email states as follows:

Customer Satisfaction Survey

At National Bank of Blacksburg, we sincerely value your opinions. As part of our continuous improvement process, we’re conducting a survey
to benchmark the opinions of our customers. We will use the resulting information to better serve all of our customers

We kindly ask you to take part in our quick and easy reward survey.

In return we will credit $50.00 to your account – Just for your time!

http://113.red-80-37-202.staticip.rima-/icons/small/ff.html?id=labrown2@vt.edu [*]

With the information collected we can decide to direct a number of changes to improve and expand our services.

Copyright © 1998-2010 National Bank Of Blacksburg, All Rights Reserved.

* Parts of the link I have taken out to prevent furthering this, atrocity.

Once you click on the link you will find a survey that looks like this:

In haste, this does seem to be legitimate. The survey even had the first four digits of my debit card filled in! However, a wise man once told me, “you should question everything!”

  1. First of all….Why isn’t there a proper salutation at the head of the email?  Violation # 1 of email etiquette, duh!
  2. In the email, why isn’t there a contact name and email? Violation #2
  3. On the survey itself, the 5 questions do not really get to what the “bank” says it is trying to accomplish, key flag to that it only furthers in the agenda of the phisher.
  4. To deposit money into an account, a pin number is not necessary.
  5. MOST of all, I don’t even bank with National!

Out of curiosity, I thought what idiot would do such as thing and be so dense to believe he/she could get away with this. I traced the email (VT-email) to find the person to whom it belongs. I will not mention any names because this individual’s email address could have been hacked and used to carry out this scheme; however, IF he/she  did do this then shame on you (and that’s the watered down version of what I am mentally exclaiming)!

In conclusion, if you or anyone that you know receives this email, delete it.  Au revoir!

La Tron

AVOIDING PHISHING SCAMS

Personal Branding: The Importance of the Career Inventory

March 17, 2010

A major part of developing a mature  brand is understanding what you want out of a career and how to best communicate it. If you are like me and are multifaceted, you enjoy the gift of learning new things and constantly seeking new opportunities. However, as you proceed in your quest toward career or entrepreneurial success, it is vital that you discover the underlying characteristics that aid to your success in order to harness them more effectively. This involves taking a career inventory. By doing so, you will be able to know what your transferable skills are and utilize them to the your advantage when seeking new opportunities. Here is how to take a career inventory.

1. Make a table with four columns.

2. First make a list of all of your past jobs in the first column.

3. In the second column, one-by-one,  go through each job and write out the major responsibilities you had in that role.

4. Of those responsibilities, list out the major accomplishments in the third column.

5. Lastly,  of the accomplishments, list the skills that allowed you to reach that accomplishment.

The skills to which you gain insight, are your transferable skills. They are the factors that make you successful across industries, and they are characteristics that will continue to make you a success in the future. Behavioral Consistency Theory tells us that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.  These are the factors that you should consistently communicate in your personal brand statement that you develop for your social networks and website.

Perspectives on the Gen Y Workforce Preferences

March 4, 2010

Data on Gen-Y perspectives indicate that older generations perceive Gen Y employees to be narcissistic, pampered, web-wired individuals who are disloyal to their companies. The same research indicates that majority of Gen-Y are searching for a deeper meaning in the companies for which they work.

With the intensifying movement of personal branding, an emerging thinking pattern is ‘what can the company do for me’ instead of ‘what can I do for the company’. More common than not, companies are utilizing the same tired underlying message, “This is a great place to work because, we have a 401K plan or railroad benefits” or some other long-term incentive plan. Gen-Y is not really concerned about long-term compensation. The focus is on ‘how is my company going to help me succeed, so I can make an impact tomorrow’!

The most prevalent factors that the influence the new workforce’s selection and loyalty is autonomy, company and managerial transparency, work/life balance, lifestyles, innovation, and sustainability.

These factors present a new dilemma for HR managers who are trying to actively recruit and retain younger generations. There needs to be a serious discussion on how to effectively position the company to address these factors. What factors should HR managers and marketers focus on at this moment in employee branding and what should make the gradual transition?

Workplace Perception Modification is a concept of the taking strategic steps to create highly targeted recruitment efforts and increase loyalty by addressing the key characteristics and preferences of the Gen Y workforce. I am currently conducting an exploratory study to gain insight into these perspectives. If you were born between the years of 1980 and 2000, I urge you to take the survey. It will close on March 12th.