Lunch With Tom

post by Tom

I know it’s not good for my waistline to do something else while eating lunch. For most of my adult life, I have used my lunch period for reading, and is a large part of my personal education program. This blog series will touch upon my reading and reflection during this time.
 My tool of choice is the Palm TX as I have used Palm PDAs since their inception. Before then, I used a Ben Franklin planner as I am good at planning and enjoy time spent planning. Generally, I do well entering data using the Palm’s handwriting tool called Graffiti and will do most blogging this way. I also have my Bose headset plugged in and am listening to some Downtempo (dZhian & Kamien’s Gran Reserva). The above technology predates the trendy iPhone by at least 10 years so I am not impressed with the recent iPhone release. I’m not a cell phone person so I’m loathe to consider an iPhone or Palm’s entries, the Trio and Klee. I keep a pay-as-you-go cheapo cell for the 15 calls I may place during the year. The iPad looks interesting but my Palm device fits in my wallet and is always handy.

Not surprisingly, I spent lunch contemplating what to blog for CAI-U and then writing this. A few days ago, I learned that PMI considers my Masters in Project Management from Keller-DeVry as partial satisfaction of some of the experiential hours requirements for PMP certification. Some upcoming lunches will look at making that decision. I’m also half way through a book on Raymond Carver short stories and memoirs so I’ll share some of that as well.


Sync Session

One drawback to the Palm is that data synchronization occurs through cable rather than through a telephone call. Anything written “above the line” was hand-written in Graffiti, and the information in the Sync Session is what I added after syncing the Palm to my laptop and pasting into an email for processing into the CAI-U blog site. Some call it a technological flaw, I call it the pause that allows reflection.

The idea of having self-education during lunch is more appetizing than a corporate “lunch and learn” or (worse) a working lunch or mandatory training session. Self-education is joyful and organic, so I’m bound to learn this way. A lunch and learn could be I suppose but if something is important enough to be considered important to the business, it should occur during business hours. I have heard quotes in the past attributed to Tom Demarco regarding humanistic approaches to managing software organizations, including the need to encourage employee development through compensation increases, and allowing people to work at a normal pace instead of an “always on” mode that leads to burnout and poor outcomes. I’ve only read “The Mythical Man Month” and “The Deadline”, and found both to be insightful.
I would be interested in hearing about Demarco’s other books (such as “Peopleware” and “Slack”) or would like to share their experiences on reducing workplace stress.



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