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The Ways Your Halloween Office Party Can Easily Turn Into a Living Nightmare (That You Probably Haven't Considered)
October 28, 2018 12:00 am|Comments (0)

The potential problems begin from the start with the assumption that everyone in your office is actually interested in celebrating a holiday dedicated to demons, debauchery or drinking, depending on how you happen to roll on All Hallow’s Eve.

Truth is there’s actually plenty of employees out there who may find the very notion of a Halloween party offensive on religious grounds. 

“This is why attendance should be optional – those who wish to observe Halloween in a particular manner or not observe it at all should not be forced to attend a function that offends them,” explains labor and employment law attorney Dennis J. Merley

This is an area where managers should tread particularly lightly, as it could be unlawful to even tease or allow teasing or peer pressuring of employees who choose not to participate in a celebration for religious reasons.

Another reason parties should be optional is that any accidents or injuries that happen, even after workers have left the party, could wind up coming back to haunt the company. 

Speaking of accidents, a party that involves alcohol, cumbersome and often identity-concealing costumes just might be a harassment, OSHA or workman’s compensation disaster waiting to happen. 

Sorry to be a wet blanket (which is also not a good costume choice), but it’s just common sense that introducing booze and probably a few awkward outfits increases the risk of a mishap or poor decision of some type. 

Now when it comes to costumes, there’s a lot of advice out there for get-ups that are “work-appropriate,” but as labor and employment attorney David Barron advises, even the most innocent idea can easily go wrong.

“Any safe for work costume can be made inappropriate by simply adding “Sexy” to the title,” he explains in a column for The Ladders. “Office Halloween parties are no place for ‘sexy’ outfits, political statements or costumes that might be offensive based on a protected class such as race or gender.”

Barron suggests that offices share clear dress codes for Halloween costumes and even encouraging the coordination of costumes beforehand.

Bottom line, while a Halloween party might seem like a good way to let loose at the office, it’s not an excuse to fly by the seat of your pants or throw caution to the wind. You wouldn’t do that with any other aspect of your business. The good news is that with the right amount of thoughtfulness and planning, there’s no reason to cancel the festivities.

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Haven't We Seen This Movie Before? Ignore Rumors Of iPhone Production Cuts
June 9, 2018 6:02 pm|Comments (0)

Apple’s shares were down almost $ 2, or 0.9% on Friday to $ 191.70 while the NASDAQ was up 10 or 0.14%. At the low point, the company’s shares were down almost $ 4 or 1.9%. The main driver for the stock’s weakness was a report from Nikkei Asian Review that the company would order 20% fewer new iPhones to be built vs. last years 100 million iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X orders.

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during the 2018 Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The report from Nikkei says “For the three new models specifically, the total planned capacity could be up to 20% fewer than last year’s orders” and “The U.S. company last year placed orders to prepare for production of up to 100 million units of the new iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X, but this year Apple currently expects total shipments of only 80 million units for new models, two people said.”

There are a few unknowns from the report, which could make for an apples to oranges comparison.

  • Does the order timeframe match the same months as last years?
  • Does the 80 million match what was initially ordered for the 8, 8 Plus and X (which was reported to be decreased) or the final tally?
  • The report also says “could be up to 20%”

There are a few reasons to be skeptical of this report .

  • Over the years many production cut rumors have turned out to be false
  • Earlier this year there were multiple reports, including from Nikkei, that the production for the iPhone X had been cut, which turned out to be incorrect or misleading to Apple’s results
  • Depending on what new models are introduced, demand for older models including the 8, 8 Plus and especially the X could still be strong enough to make up for what is being implied as lower total sales

I don’t believe Nikkei has the best track record scooping Apple’s iPhone production and eventual sales . It was just on January 30 this year, two days before the company announced its December quarter results, that it predicted that iPhone X production would be cut by half for the March quarter.

When Apple announced its December quarter results the iPhone inventory levels were at the low-end of its 5 to 7 weeks target, and the March quarter revenue guidance of $ 60 to $ 62 billion bracketed the $ 61 billion estimate. The stock initially fell but after a week rallied and climbed above the price when Nikkei came out with its article.

Add to that Tim Cook saying the X had been the best selling iPhone “each and every week in the March quarter, just as they did following its launch in the December quarter.” These didn’t match well with an iPhone X cut.

All new iPhone models could be available in September

The Nikkei report included “Apple’s supply chain was told to prepare earlier for the two OLED models, in hopes of avoiding a delay similar to last year’s, two industry sources said.”

This actually makes sense. I’m not surprised that the iPhone X’s availability was later than the 8’s due to incorporating an OLED screen. Just because the iPhone’s cadence has essentially been every 12 months doesn’t mean that production systems can meet that timeframe when new technology is introduced. Now that Apple’s production partners have experience with manufacturing tens of millions of OLED iPhones, moving to the next version shouldn’t be as challenging.

Tim Cook’s warning

Even back in 2013, Tim Cook warned investors about putting too much credence into supply chain checks. On the January 2013 financial results conference call, he said, “I suggest its good to question the accuracy of any kind of rumor about build plans. Even if a particular data point were factual, it would be impossible to interpret that data point as to what it meant to our business. The supply chain is very complex and we have multiple sources for things. Yields can vary, supplier performance can vary. There is an inordinate long list of things that can make any single data point not a great proxy for what is going on.”

StockCharts.com

3 year Apple stock chart

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