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Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Blog Tour and Author Interview: I.T. Confidential by C.D. rahm

About the author

He has been an I.T. professional and innovator in the field since first hearing the word “geek” and knew he wanted to be one. He worked alongside Thomas Edison in inventing electricity and Al Gore in inventing the Internet. He is believed to have come up with the name “mouse” for the device used to move the cursor around a monitor when he observed his cat chasing the one he employed across his desk during an earthquake. (The cat was very disappointed when he caught it, but ate it anyway.) C.D. Rahm is perhaps best known for his sage advice to Steve Jobs when he said, “Who would buy an electronic thingy named after a piece of fruit?”

About the book

If you could be a fly on the cubicle wall of an I.T. professional...

...someone would probably throw a stale bagel at you. But before they did, you would see what C.D. Rahm reveals in this tell-all book.

At great personal risk to career and plastic pocket protector, C.D. Rahm takes us on a tour of corporate malaise, rampant confusion, dinner-plate-sized chocolate chip cookies, and lousy box lunches.

Pulling no punches (except possibly the spiked punch from the disastrous office holiday party) he reveals everything: managers behaving badly, professional time-wasters, fast-food junkies, and the hygienically challenged.

An I.T. insider, his is a world of technology for all, productivity for none. It is a place where the confused and frightened lead the overworked and clueless. This is where polyester slacks meet PowerPoint presentations, and budgets meet their doom.

When network systems come down, I.T. professionals get up. And march straight to the vending machine. C.D. Rahm has been there, done that, and soiled the t-shirt.

Now you can know what I.T. geeks know: That if you have a chip on your shoulder you have probably stuck your head into the wrong port.

Whether you’re a tech expert or you don’t know your app from a hole in the ground, you will be astounded – or at least mildly surprised – by what you discover in “I.T. Confidential.”

Author interview

What’s the most unusual cubicle you’ve seen?

The one of a 35-year-old guy who had his workspace set up like a 12-year-old nerd’s bedroom, with Star Wars and Star Trek posters, action figures, spaceships, etc. Ladies, he’s single!

Any suggestions to make the workplace easier to deal with?

Don’t give cute names to conference rooms. Just number them: 110, 120, instead of “Sunflower.”  Otherwise, you’ll spend hours tracking down where your next meeting is. If you don’t believe me, walk up to anyone in your office and ask them which direction is north.

What are you bringing to the office potluck this year?

Cashews. At least I’ll have something to eat besides the ostrich tacos our developer is rumored to be bringing.

What was the weirdest I.T. request from a “manager?”

To take inventory of all the mouse pads. Seriously.

What is one of the more memorable encounters you’ve had as a consultant?

An employee cornered me in the elevator and asked me if I’d talked to Jesus today. I replied that I’d been talking with Him all morning as we were having software problems. He backed off and remained silent for the remainder of the ride.

How do you know a meeting is going to run long?

When someone insists on a roll call, introductions, and individual statuses, even though the team has been meeting for months.

Grossest co-worker lunch?

The pail of “homemade soup” brought in by one of the less hygienic staff. Looked like lake water with debris floating in it. Why he insisted on wandering around with it, no one knows; it smelled awful.

Which management fad book is your least favorite (like you’d have a favorite)?

Leveraging Your Core Paradigms by Dan Acronym. It’s completely incomprehensible, yet some manager in a desolate backwater sweatshop will try to make their team implement chapter six.

How do you know a catastrophically bad technology decision is about to be made?

The decision maker is on their BlackBerry for the duration of the meeting and is not paying attention to the awful technology idea being presented.

What prompts you to wear the hat of a hilarious writer.
  There is so much silliness and humor in the workplace right in front of us, that I can't help but turn this stuff into stories. For the book, we didn't use everything we had, there was so much of it. As long as you put people together in close quarters, there will always be comical outcomes.

The issues that your book discusses are in a lighter vein. any strategy behind making it a light read?

 Most of what the characters are doing in the book is funny, because the people doing those things are silly in some way. Often, the situations people are put in at work create that comic atmosphere. Once you step back and observe the interactions between people, you realize how hilarious some of them are.

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Kritika's bookshelf: read

Angels & Demons
The Story of My Life
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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
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Pride and Prejudice
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A Christmas Carol
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The Time Machine
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
The Da Vinci Code

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