Tag Archives: Turn

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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Want to Turn Planes Around Faster? Delta, United, and Southwest Have Some Creative Ideas
August 5, 2018 12:00 am|Comments (0)

We saw separately how Delta Air Lines customer service agents came up with an idea that shaves a couple of minutes off turnaround time for the airline’s jets at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. 

I was curious whether other lines did the same or similar thing, so I reached out to all of the Big Four. Southwest and United replied, while Delta also responded with a couple of other ideas worthy of attention.

Turnaround time is a big deal. The FAA reported in 2010 that flight delays cost the U.S. economy roughly $ 32.9 billion a year. Andit’s one of the key metrics on which airlines  judge themeselves.

Here are some of the other things big airlines are doing to turn airplanes around more quickly.

45 degree pushback

This is the original idea that Delta customer service agents came up with. We’ll summarize it here: Instead of pushing an airplane straight back from the gate, then turning it 90 degrees and pushing it again, the idea is to push straight back at a 45 degree angle.

This simple change shaves about a minute or more off turnaround time, which really adds up over 1,000 or more flights a day. Delta does it at Atlanta and Detroit. And, United tells me they do a 45-degree pushback at some airports as well, “depending on a variety of factors including aircraft type and setup of gate.”

The Quick Turn Playbook

This one is all United. The airline has what it calls a “Quick Turn Playbook,” which is a proprietary document that it says outlines “how all departments work together to help reduce the amount of time it takes to service and turn an aircraft.”

“The playbook was developed with the help and input of United frontline employees,” a United spokesperson told me. “We continue to go back to employees to solicit feedback on how it can be continuously improved.”

Maybe it’s working: United ranked #1 among competitors during the Q2 of 2018 for on-time departures.

Open seating

Yes, this one is limited to only one big airline–Southwest–and they were quick to point it out when I asked about turnaround tactics. Letting passengers take any open seat “saves us valuable time and keeps our aircraft moving efficiently,” as a spokesperson put it.

It’s hard to understand why other airlines don’t copy this–perhaps not on entire plans, but maybe by letting economy passengers board in order of how expensive their fares are?

Self-parking guidance systems

Both Delta and United told me they use laser-guided parking systems at some airports and gates. 

Instead of an employee standing on the ground and guiding the plane in with a couple of orange flags or lights, the laser system lets the pilot know how to inch the plane up to the gate, and when to stop. That means the employees can get ready to hook airplanes up to ground power and do other tasks more quickly.

Not charging for checked bags

Again, this is just Southwest, which doesn’t charge bag fees for any passengers. That’s in contrast to economy class passengers on United, American and Delta.

As a result, on any given Southwest flight there are likely fewer people carrying bags onto the plane and trying to put them in an overhead compartment to avoid a bag fee. That means less blocking of the aisles, and a faster process. 

The one they’re not doing

I found a few other interesting tactics. Ryanair, the low cost European carrier, says it cut turnaround time “dramatically” by removing seat back pockets, which means there’s no place for passengers to stick trash that has to be cleaned out. 

But the interesting one is a more complicated boarding dance called the Steffen Method, after the astrophysicist who came up with it in 2014. In summary, passengers would board from the outside in: window, then middle, and then aisle. And they’d board from the back, skipping every other row.

One drawback: Travelers flying together couldn’t board together if they were really strict about the process. Maybe that’s why it hasn’t really caught on.

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Red Hat nicely positioned for the turn to cloud
May 5, 2017 9:30 pm|Comments (0)

Red Hat CEO James Whitehurst kicked off the company’s Summit meeting in Boston this week, which attracted more than 6,000 people, up 20% from last year. Network World Editor in Chief John Dix caught up with Whitehurst at the show for an update on the company’s position and prospects.

One of your keynote speakers said 84% of Red Hat customers have cloud deployment strategies. Is the shift to cloud accelerating your business?

I do think the shift to cloud is helping. We have data that shows our customers who use cloud actually grow faster in total with us than ones who don’t. The promise of cloud accelerates the Unix-to-Linux migration as people modernize applications to be able to move to cloud — whether they move immediately or not — because clouds primarily run Linux. In general, anything that makes people move to a new architecture is good for us because we have a high share of new architecture relative to old. I think that’s a big, big driver.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

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Turn selfies into latte art with this magical machine
April 9, 2017 11:25 pm|Comments (0)

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The Ripple Maker can print text and images on your coffee. Read more…

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Turn off all Samsung Note devices on planes, aviation authority warns
November 1, 2016 2:15 pm|Comments (0)

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On Friday morning, another Samsung-related phone incident took place onboard an aircraft carrier, but much to everyone’s surprise, it wasn’t a Galaxy Note7. 

A Samsung Galaxy Note 2 — released back in 2012 — caught fire mid-air on an IndiGo plane en route to Chennai from Singapore. Passengers noticed smoke in the cabin and notified crew members, who discovered it was coming from a Samsung Note 2 in the overhead bins and extinguished the fire.

Following the incident, the aviation authority in India issued a statement directed to all Samsung Note users: turn off your phones or leave them at home.  Read more…

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