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Maeniel



Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Posts: 1081
Location: Next to Waldo

PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that Mr./Mrs./Ms. Firstname Lastname is perfectly appropriate; that's how we began letters at my old job. If you think it's a little formal but don't want to come out and say 'Dear Ben,' you could always just eschew the title/prefix and keep the full name for a middle ground.

Though I suppose since you don't know the preferred form of the first name, just sticking with Mr. X would be your best bet - that way, you sound formal and don't make a mistake that yells 'I'm supposed to send you this letter, but I don't really know you.'

Or you could look them up on the internet and see what their peers call them; that could give you a good indication of how to address the letter if that's how they go about the professional world.
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Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 2141
Location: England

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Google continues its attempts to kill off content creators by hot-linking and embedding high-res photos in their search results page....

http://www.sandraandwoo.com/gaia/2013/01/30/google-goes-too-far-with-new-image-search/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+gaiacomic+%28Gaia%29

I really dislike Google as a company. They make a lot of nice things, which I really like the ideas behind, but equally they're so incredibly evil. What they do is to me, morally if not legally, little different from daylight robbery.

Stopped using them for my main search engine a while ago for entirely that reason. I do still use, I must admit, some google services - but it basically comes down to the fact that my phone runs on their operating system and all the alternatives are evil as well at this point. Everything else.... Just trying to steer clear of interacting with them.

Edit: oh and they own youtube now don't they? That's gonna be a wrench to give up. Though I suppose they've been making it harder and harder to use. Maybe it is time to go hunting for alternatives there too. Stupid google, why'd you have to be evil? You make such yummy cookies.
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Asa



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 3538
Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They've owned Youtube for a long time now. And also the new image search isn't as good as the old... I liked the small zoom-in feature. Oh well. I've stopped caring what developers do, they're all evil, as you said.
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BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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Asa



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
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Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excel just started doing this thing where it refused to open separate workbooks in separate windows. Who else is annoyed by this? I know how to be productive myself, thanks... The only way to get around it is to open a new instance of Excel from the start menu. Way to take a giant step backward, Microsoft...
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Keeper of the Library and the Gateway to Haven

Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 2141
Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't been annoyed by Microsoft Office since I defected to LibreOffice. That happened around the time they brought the ribbon in and totally killed usability.

...

Possibly not that helpful if you have to use it for work though. Sorry ^_^;
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Asa



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 3538
Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is LibreOffice the fancier version of OpenOffice? They look suspiciously similar. And OpenOffice didn't do much for me, really.
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Self-styled Forum Grandmother, because I hand out nicknames and hugs whether you want them or not. ^_^

Keeper of the Library and the Gateway to Haven

Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
__________________
If we shadows have offended,
Think but this and all is mended...
Give me your hands if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
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Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 2141
Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More or less. They split off from open office a couple of years ago.

So, come to think of it, I must have been using open office for a bit first :/ Still, regardless. Yeah ^^;
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Allicat



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 1391
Location: Back in the Shire.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
This control will be performed every Wednesday. The common areas which have not been cleaned according to the washing list by Wednesday morning will be cleaned at the expense of the tenant responsible at the cost of NOK 500 [~50/$90]. This will apply from 1th of March 2013.


This was sent to me in an email from my student housing association. I should give you some back story.

The student housing association here is the most controlling and invasive I have ever encountered. They do weekly inspections and leave little notes with seemingly arbitrary demands for cleaning (the skirting boards are dusty, the sink in the bathroom needs cleaning, the outside of your windows are wet [OK, that last is an exaggeration, but you get the idea]). They are supposed to come in on a Wednesday morning, but the inspections can range from Monday through Friday. When they come to inspect there is a cursory ring of the doorbell and then they let themselves in. I've been in the shower and two strange men have effectively broken into the flat. Not cool.

Apparently some flats are so dirty that they now have to step up their tyrannical game and start charging us 50/$90 if we have not met their exacting standards. I like having a clean home as much as the next person but it gets up my nose to be told my efforts don't meet someone else's ideals.

I'd quite like the tables to be turned so I get the chance to inspect their fridges *grumble*.
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Asa



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
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Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose level-headed discourse is out of the question? Ask for a checklist that you can meet every week, and to which they will limit themselves. They aren't your parents, it's not their job to tell you how to keep your apartment. You might also go back to your initial contract and see what that says, and then compare it to what they're actually doing.

Regarding the fee, can you ask for an individual assessment and a guarantee that you won't be charged the fee? Since your flat isn't one of the horrible ones?
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Self-styled Forum Grandmother, because I hand out nicknames and hugs whether you want them or not. ^_^

Keeper of the Library and the Gateway to Haven

Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
__________________
If we shadows have offended,
Think but this and all is mended...
Give me your hands if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
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Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 2141
Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, that sounds awful. Almost violating law awful (wonder whether it does?)

I don't suppose it's possible to move somewhere else?
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Allicat



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 1391
Location: Back in the Shire.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad you guys don't think I'm overreacting! They've provided a checklist which we can stick to, and a rota for cleaning every week. All of the flats are shared, so I think they must have had problems with one of the others. I'm guessing they won't charge us unless the flat is really awful.
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spellingmistax



Joined: 28 Jul 2009
Posts: 618
Location: Asa took this ^ I stole it ^_^

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What did you sign? Does the small print allow them to do that?


Unless dialogue can sort this out quickly I would suggest moving. I would have had ...words after the first shower incident.

I agree with ASA, they are not your parents they do not get to tell you how clean your apartment has to be.

To me it looks like you have a right to be angry
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Allicat



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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Location: Back in the Shire.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm only here for another couple of months and renting anything other than student accommodation here is prohibitively expensive, so it's something I have to put up with for a while longer at least. *sigh*

I'll let you know how strict they are at enforcing the cleaning fines.

EDIT: Spoke with the housing association lady today and asked what the deal was. They've had complaints from other students who have to live with someone who doesn't clean and they've been asked to implement some kind of penalty to keep the peace (and in some cases, health) intact. It looks like it's only repeat and serious offenders who will face the fines.
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Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 2141
Location: England

PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Come, Nem shall give you some heuristics:

When someone tells you they're going to do better, is it:

Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Relevant
Time based

This is a model for management by objective. But it's generally useful in separating nonsense from truth.

There are similar heuristics for checking if someone knows what they're talking about:

Does the person:

Give a, seemingly, simple answer to a complex question?
Fail to provide statements that can be, even if just in principle, adequately falsified?
Speak in vague terms where they could reasonably be expected to have numbers?
Say something that lets you predict new/different things about a subject if it's true as compared to whether it's false, (i.e. is their explanation actually an explanation of something unknown or just a way to excuse a lack of knowledge.)
If they give numbers:
Are those numbers provided with a suitable basis for comparison?

It's amazing how many people just seem to be spouting either childish truths or complete nonsense when you actually think about what they're saying.

In related news I spoke to my sister for the first time... I believe... in four months today. Wink
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Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 2141
Location: England

PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why do job adverts insist on telling you about the company? Do you honestly think I care for your lies about company culture or the trivia of your history? The role's the role - you're not special. Stick the job spec in a spreadsheet so we can do the things efficiently rather than wasting hours rummaging through your poorly written collection of lies and trivia for the few bits we actually want.

What does someone reading the thing want to know?

Experience required - qualifications required - the main things they'll be doing (i.e. don't just include planning in the search terms when it shows up once as plan travel for executives - if someone's looking for a planning related job that's not going to be it.)

Honestly, companies aren't even trying to get people to work for them these days, their job adverts read more like an ego trip than anything else.

Prose, because school told you that the best way to communicate with people was to put everything in the same form regardless of how the structure of the data suits their underlying requirements.

Confused

Also, your spelling is frequently atrocious. Grammar I could understand, since it hasn't really been formally taught in the UK in going on two generations now, but there's a spell-checker built right into your word processor....
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