What is the biggest lesson you have learned in the corporate world?

Answer by A Quora admin:

My past – 30 years in corporate life.  Was an executive, and then thrown off the corporate ladder 7 years ago, and it's been a slow climb back up since.

What have I learned?

1. Whatever you do, be competent in your current job.  It's the only true currency you have.  That being said, no amount of competence will protect you when the next re-organization comes.

2. Never forget that relationships in business should be business relationships.  You may have a friend or lover at work, but the relationship will end the moment the opportunity to advance in the business is placed between you and your friend or lover.  By the way, I strongly recommend keeping romance outside of the workplace.

3. Understand that politics is a fact of corporate life, and learn to deal with it.  That means you take time to understand the views of the people involved in corporate conflicts, as well as the conflicts themselves.  There will be times when you have to choose between being in the right or being employed.  It's your choice.

4. Understand the culture of the organization, especially their expectations of what makes a good employee.  They all say they believe in teamwork, dedication, hard work, etc.  But look at the employees who are successful, who get the recognition, who rise quickly – they represent what the company is looking for.  What do they do that you can do?

5. Everything communicates.  How you dress, how you stand, how you speak, etc.  If you want to succeed in a corporate environment, you have to communicate that you are the kind of employee that represents the corporate success story.

6. It's a mistake to confuse your personal identity with your employment.  If and when you're sacked, you'll be spending quite a bit of time trying to figure out who you are.   Have a life outside a corporate life.

7. Document what you do in a public place.  We maintain a wiki where I work, and I make a point of adding things I've learned.  I do it not only to remember how to do things, but also so that everyone can see what I do, and how much I do.  Because I've made a habit of it, it's not regarded as a "cover your ass" (CYA) activity, but a cynical person might see it that way.

8. Make your boss look good.  Understand what your boss regards as a priority, and help him or her accomplish it.  Make sure that you document what you've done.  Your boss needs the accomplishment, but shouldn't get the credit for the work you've done.

9. Train your replacement.  You won't be able to get a promotion if there's no one else to take your job.

10. For all of the reputation that corporations are soul-sucking, back stabbing, political jungles where you can only rise by stepping on the heads of others, they also provide employment, benefits and a bit of security that support millions of people and their families world wide.

They are not democracies, not charities, and not therapy centers.  They exist to make money, and they hired you to help them make money.  That's the deal.

Keep that in mind every day, keep your emotions in check, do your job, and if you find you don't like working there anymore, don't complain – just keep it professional, and move on.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in the corporate world?

Wish List

Ok this is just too cute. My kid is home sick today so he put together his Christmas wish list. Complete with links.
* X-Box 1
* Minecraft X-Box 1
* ASRock AM1B-M Micro ATX AM1 Motherboard
* Asus Radeon R7 250 1GB Video Card
* Microsoft Windows 8.1 (32/64-bit)
* Acer V206HQLAbd 60Hz 19.5″ Monitor
* AKG K518LERED Headphones
*X-BOX Controller x2


PC Parts link:


I find myself spending a lot of time on imgur. It fascinates me how much of the new language of young people is changing from words to pictures.

The world is a changing at a fast pace and our language needs to keep up with the language of images.

Where once upon a time, the only time when the average person cared about or used citations was in an English paper for school, we are now starting to see them pop up all over the place.

It is not terribly uncommon to find someone asking for a citation in a Facebook argument. It is even more common to see someone cite a debunking of a meme, on Facebook or G+ or any social media. That isn’t to say we have a lot of well educated populous politically. There are still a lot of people who will believe almost anything. There are also a lot of websites who are more than happy to create their own semi-legitimate proof of their own half-truths.

With the rise in the use of citing a source to prove a point, and the more visual aspects of the Internet, (imgur)we are actually seeing a change in the method of citation. In an English paper teachers still expect to use the traditional form of citations, APA, MLA, or Chicago style. On the other hand, on social Media and blog posts we more often see the hyperlink to another article as opposed to a bibliography at the end of the post.

Getting even more popular is the infographic, Pictochart,  This will usually have a couple of citations written in small print at the bottom, but the modern writer still prefers inline citations, like hyperlinks. So the next invention that I have been seeing is the Thinglink.

Similar to a infographic the Thinklink can insert a pop-up for more information. Most of the time this is used to give someone more information, but I love the idea this author uses. He uses Thinklink to add citations to his writing.

So, the question is, “Is our education system keeping up with the changes?”


A comment on this blog post just seems to say to me that being within the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) is a motivating factor in education.  It isn’t, it’s a scaffolding tool. The ZPD is basically that sweet spot where a question is just hard enough to make a student think, but not hard enough that they cannot figure out the answer.

“What is important for personalisation is the ZPD where a student has enough support and incentive to become independent and make their own connections. Before that can happen, it is up to the teacher (or virtual teacher) to teach students to make connections by example or open questioning.”

Sure, you can interpret that comment differently, but I’m not so sure many of the EdTech companies actually do, especially in math. Too many of these companies seem to think that what constitutes math education is the ability to solve a problem so they come out with adaptive learning, hints, pre-testing, post-testing, alignment to common core, and anything else they can find to make the teacher as superfluous as possible.

France:The Tyranny of Mathematics by Sylvain Labeste

Of course the company line will always be, “Nothing is better than a real teacher”. When in the end what they are selling is the ability for a human being to supervise the work of 100 or more students at one time. Face it, the hard facts of education is that 70 to 85% of every school budget goes to teacher salaries.

Think about that for one second. Here let me help you, a school district near me just passed a bond to build a new school, $40,000,000, and still 80+% of their money goes to salaries.

Carl Schurz High School by Teemu008 (not this school)

If an edtech company wants to sell to a school they will do so by making it possible for teachers to do more work.

I’m getting off track, I don’t want to talk the money, but the money is one of the reasons for the tortured justification. the Zone of Proximal Development is not a motivation tool, it is a scaffolding tool. When questions are posed at just the right level students can, if they choose, figure out the answer and hopefully learn. Magic right? If enough of these questions are strung together eventually the student will progress up the ladder to knowledge.

Total poppycock, when a student is motivated he or she will work to answer the questions posed. If those questions are within the ZPD then the student will be able to work more independently and is less likely to give up. See, the motivation comes first.

Not only that but we can expand the ZPD of our students, but teaching them how to learn. Giving students tools and instructions for breaking down questions into manageable parts, teaching students skills for researching information, connecting with experts, etc… all can help make what was once an impossible question, into maybe we can figure this out.

Shooting the inspector by edrabbit

None of it however happens without the motivation. Motivation can be external like a basketball themed question, but it can also be internal. “Why do I hear the sound of fireworks a second after I see the flash?”

Teachers can sus out the educational value of the themed questions. This is a lot of work and requires a lot of creativity as well as subject knowledge. Technology can help, Open Educational Resources (OER) can be a way to crowdsource the knowledge of thousands of teachers.

Teachers can also encourage the internal drive of students. Instead of drilling procedures on children day after day quashing any and all questions. Teachers can slow down and encourage questions, “Hey, that sounds like something I would like to know. What is a good first questions to start researching?” or “I’ve got this questions and I hope you can help me design a solution?”


edited for clarity

Webmaker DeICE

I’m a bad webmaker because I didn’t put the event up, but in my defense it was just part of a small conference for educators. I like small conferences and DeICE (Dedicated Illinois Computing Educators) was a lot of fun, even for an introvert like me.

I led a session on Webmaking http://goo.gl/7WF3ix

My intention was to talk for 5 or 10 minutes and then let the audience create something together. I talked too long and, surprisingly enough, some of the educators didn’t have computers. What really happened is I spent most of the 45 minutes talking and answering questions.

As usual I tried to put too much information into my presentation; Webmaker tools, web literacies, badges, I did however focus myself long enough to spend the bulk of my time talking about thimble and explaining how to do an introductory lesson for elementary students.

chat with Comcast – not customer service that’s for sure

What they really need are time stamps so you can really see how long this takes.

    • CHAT ID: 2AA4DC90-57C9-4579-8FD1-D02E9330CBA8
    • Problem: I ordered a DVR and was told I would be charged an extra $10 per month and am being charged $20 a month and now I can’t get all the channels I used to get from my tv tuner card in my computer.
    • Archie > Hello LInda, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Archie. Please give me one moment to review your information.
    • LInda > My Issue: I ordered a DVR and was told I would be charged an extra $10 per month and am being charged $20 a month and now I can’t get all the channels I used to get from my tv tuner card in my computer.
    • Archie > I am here to provide you with excellent customer service today. Please be assured I will do my best to help you with your concern. How are you doing today?
    • LInda > fine
    • Archie > Great to know that.
    • Archie > Linda, I do understand you wanted to make sure you are correctly charged with your DVR.
    • Archie > I understand that you want to make sure that your billing charges are correct. I do apologize for the inconvenience that you need to contact us about your billing charges.
    • Archie > You have reached the right person, and I’ll ensure that we resolve your issue today.
    • LInda > First I would like to know why I am not getting all the channels I used to get on my tv tuner in my computer
    • Archie > Sure! We will definitely check on that.
    • Archie > May I know, what are those channels?
    • LInda > I only get two, wmaq and wvm or something like that
    • Archie > I will also check if those channels are part of your subscription.
    • Archie > As I checked it, WBM is not accessible with your area, however, WMAQ is on channel 5.
    • LInda > where are the rest of my channels I only get two
    • Archie > Oh, okay.
    • Archie > So you are only able to access two channels on your TV, right?
    • LInda > when I started paying for the new comcast dvr I stopped getting channels on my tv tuner in my computer.
    • Archie > Linda, with this concern, we will need to refresh the TV tuner by resetting the cable card.
    • Archie > Can you please pull out the card and plug it back in after 10 seconds.
    • LInda > what card
    • Archie > The one that is inserted to the TV tuner.
    • LInda > There is no card in the tv tuner there never was I didn’t need one before why should I need one now
    • Archie > Linda, I would like to inform you that this time, we will need to have the cable card so that we would be able to access the channels using your computer and Tv tuner.
    • LInda > what cable card are you talking about and why do I need one now that you have increased my bill by $20 a month
    • Archie > This is the device that will allow us to access the Digital channels to your computer using the TV tuner.
    • LInda > It doesn’t take a card it just plugs into the computer and the coax plugs into the tuner http://hauppauge.com/site/products/data_hvr2250.html
    • Archie > Yes, however, if you will connect it with Comcast service, we will need to have the cable card for this.
    • Archie > I can assure that by adding the card, this issue will be resolved right away.
    • LInda > and how much extra will you charge for the card
    • LInda > and why didn’t I need a card before
    • Archie > Linda, I apologize that you are now affected by Comcast Digital Migration.
    • Archie > By the way, Digital Cable Migration (DTA or Project Cavalry) is a Comcast initiative to move all “Expanded Basic” cable networks to digital-only format. The migration will enable us to offer major enhancements to our services, including tons of HD channels, dramatically higher Internet speeds, more international channels, and better picture quality!
    • LInda > I should be able to view all clear qam channels
    • Archie > With this, we will need to add the cable card to your TV tuner for $ 2.
    • LInda > A few months ago I was watching all clear qam channels for no extra charge. Now I am paying $10 a month for a DVR and $10 extra for digital service (evne though was was on a digital package was was not told I would be charged and extra $10 a month) and now you want to charge me more. I want to go back to my old service.
    • Archie > I am very sorry to hear that.
    • Archie > Linda, if you would want to have the old service, we can definitely assist you with that by calling our department at 1-866-5654863.
    • Archie > Also, again, I personally apologize that you were not informed by these changes.
    • LInda > Why do I need to call to cancel services I don’t want? If a live chat was good enough to authorize extra charges on my account they should be good enough to remove those exact same services
    • Archie > Linda, I would like to set expectation that we are only able to assist you with the issues with your cable service.
    • Archie > We have other department which are designated for this concern and that is why we are referring you to them.
    • LInda > Your department was good enough to authorize extra charges your department is good enough to remove those exact same charges. I expect them to be removed immediately
    • Archie > As I told you we are only capable of assisting you with cable technical issues.
    • LInda > No you were able to authorize an additional charge on my account and send me a DVR you are thus authorized to cancel those same charges. If not then those charges were fraudulent. Which is it?.
    • Archie > Yes, we can but only for the devices and limited channels.
    • Archie > Linda, we apologize that we are unable to change or remove service package.
    • Archie > With this concern, we will need you to call the department.
    • LInda > You are doing nothing but making me angry
    • Archie > I am very sorry but I am just trying to tell you the truth, Linda.
    • LInda > YO are telling me company policy
    • LInda > you can discontinue services or someone can in your office and it should be done
    • Archie > We only able to assist you with technical issues with regards to your TV and I can assure that by calling the hotline, we would be able to assist you with getting back the service.
    • LInda > If I wanted to talk to someone on the phone I would have called. I prefer talking in chat. where is yoru supervisor?
    • Archie > Linda, we can definitely assist you with this.
    • Archie > We can also connect you with sales department if you want.
    • Archie > If we will connect you with the supervisor as well, you will undergo the same process.
    • LInda > If they will do as I want fine
    • Archie > Great!
    • Archie > I will definitely connect you with sales so that we would be able to assist you in getting back the old service.
    • Archie > Before I transfer your chat, do you have other concerns for me today? I will be glad to assist you further.
    • LInda > just transwfer me
    • Archie > Sure!
    • Archie > You will see a message that says I have “left the room”; however, you will still be connected to the department. Thank you! Please stay on this chat window while I connect you now.
    • Archie > Please wait, while the problem is escalated to another analyst
    • LInda > My Issue: I ordered a DVR and was told I would be charged an extra $10 per month and am being charged $20 a month and now I can’t get all the channels I used to get from my tv tuner card in my computer.
    • John > Welcome to Comcast Order Entry Department that support package deals on Comcast.com. You can call me John. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. How are you doing today?
    • LInda > hello john I would like to revert my service to that which I had a few months ago, before getting a DVR from Comcast and being charged an extra $10 a month for digital services
    • John > Thank you so much for the information, Linda.
    • John > I understand that you want to get your old package. I will pull up your record and check this one for you.
    • John > I am pulling up your record on the system. Are you able to hold for 2 minutes?
    • LInda > yes
    • John > Thank you.
    • John > Do you have your account number?
    • LInda > 8771100380173029
    • John > Thank you so much.
    • John > As I pull up your account, I just want to share with you our Customer Gurantee. We are committed to providing our customers with a consistently superior customer experience. If for any reason something goes wrong, we will work to resolve the issue quickly and as professionally as we can. To know more about this, you may access this link, http://www.comcast.com/Corporate/Customers/CustomerGuarantee.html
    • John > Thank you for patiently waiting.
    • John > I just pulled up your record on the system.
    • John > I see here that you currently have Performance Internet and Limited Basic cable.
    • LInda > last time I chatted I thought it would be nice to get a dvr. I was told it would $10. This is what I got charged.
    • LInda > HD/DVR Service $8.0011/25 – 12/24 Service Discount ($3.05) Additional Outlet Svc $9.9511/25 – 12/24 HD Technology Fee $9.9511/25 – 12/24 Service Discount ($4.95) Total Additional XFINITY TV Services$19.90
    • LInda > So I would like to return it
    • John > You have the same package that you had before, it’s just that you are using your cable boxes to HD DVR.
    • John > Let me check your bill.
    • John > How many boxes do you have on your end?
    • LInda > I don’t have the same service as before because before I was watching TV on the TV tuner in my computer and now I can’t
    • LInda > I have a DVR and an analog box
    • John > Thanks for the information.
    • John > Let me explain the charge for the DVR and other box.
    • John > The charge for HD DVR is $19.95/month.
    • LInda > I was told it would $10
    • LInda > and I really don’t care, you have failed me in your services I would like to return to what I had before
    • John > That’s $10/month for the HD tech fee, this is need for the HD DVR to work, and $9.95/month for the box itself.
    • John > But the agent who added the hd dvr on your account gave a discount for the HD DVR.
    • John > Instead of $10, it has become $5/month for the HD tech fee.
    • LInda > and now my service is scrambled so undue the scramble and I will return the stupid box
    • John > Instead of $9.95, it has become $4.95/month for the hd dvr box.
    • John > On the bill, it is $19.90, it’s because you have an additional box.
    • John > Additional box costs $9.95/month each.
    • LInda > I don’t care what kind of excuses you have revert my service to what i had and I will return the HD DVR box
    • John > You can return the box in the nearest service center in your area or I can send you a return label so you can send it back to us.
    • John > Would you like me to send you a return label?
    • LInda > I will drop it off as soon as my sevice stops being scrambled
    • John > Supposedly HD DVR box is for for Starter package and higher HD packages. It may work with Limited basic cable but you may experience some issues as the equipment is way to higher to be paired with Limited basic.
    • John > Once you drop the box in the service center, they will be the one to remove the rate charge of that equipment.
    • LInda > so two hours ago you or Archie could have just said, return the box to the service center and we will remove the extra charges from the bill. but instead he tried to sell an extra card for my computer.
    • LInda > Let make sure I understand correctly.
    • LInda > I return the box to the cable center tomorrow. they remove all of these charges HD/DVR Service $8.0011/25 – 12/24 Service Discount ($3.05) Additional Outlet Svc $9.9511/25 – 12/24 HD Technology Fee $9.9511/25 – 12/24 Service Discount ($4.95) Total Additional XFINITY TV Services$19.90
    • LInda > When does the cable start working with my tv tuner again?
    • LInda > Why can’t you fix that right now
    • John > How many cable box are you going to return?
    • LInda > oned
    • LInda > I was not being charged to have one box before I shouldn’t suddenly start being charged for it now.
    • John > Currently you have two boxes, the HD DVR and the standard box. To get 0 charge for the equipment, limited basic cable package provides 3 free DTAs, this is kind of box designed for limited basic.
    • John > That standard box costs $9.95/mont for limited basic, thus, you need to swap it with DTA box.
    • John > It’s because you were just using dta box.
    • John > For the cable to start working with tv tuner, I would need to refer to our technical support for cable service, Ms. Kvidera. You are currently connected in Sales department.
    • LInda > Now what are you talking about? I’ve had the standard box for years since I first ordered cable and was never charged $10. I was told I could have two, but I only needed one so I don’t understand why I have to get something else now.
    • LInda > I was with the tech department, they tried to sell me an extra card. You have scrambled y TV signal so I can’t use it without the box you provide, you need to remove that scramble.
    • John > Is your second box, not the HD DVR box, the same box you’ve been using since you started with this service?
    • LInda > yes
    • John > If that is the case, all equipments charges for the cable service will be removed after you drop the box in the service center.
    • John > What is the make and model of that second box?
    • LInda > motorola messages
    • John > Is there a model number?
    • John > I need that information.
    • LInda > dct700/us
    • John > Thanks.
    • John > I checked the make and model of the box.
    • John > It’s a Digital Cable Box
    • John > Since it is a digital cable box, it needs to be swapped with a dta box to avoid charges on your cable equipments.
    • John > Do you have any other sales concern or question for me? I will be more than happy to answer your inquiry.
    • LInda > Back to the original theme of this stupid dialogue. How do I get the signal back to my tv tuner? No that you have completely alienated me as a customer by telling me the equipment you sent me and told me was free of charge now is going to be charged for.
    • John > For assistance on your signal issue, I really need to transfer to our technical department, we can process order here like upgrade, downgrade, and new orders.
    • LInda > good downgrade to what I had three months ago so the signal works again
    • John > There is no upgrade done on the services on your account except the equipments.
    • LInda > Then why is the signal scrambled?
    • John > It can be with equipments because HD DVR specs and features are not tailored for limited basic.
    • John > Limited basic should have either standard box or dta box.
    • John > I am not a technical support but that’s my suspicion since that the only change made on the account is the upgrade of equipment.
    • John > I am not a technical support but that’s my suspicion since that the only change made on the account, the upgrade of equipment.
    • LInda > I took the equipment off and reverted to my old computer with TV tuner and that no longer works
    • John > It would be a good idea if I will transfer you to our technical department so you would be assisted better.
    • John > Sales department can only process order, it’s the technical department who assist you further on your signal issue.
    • LInda > A few years ago I had internet only. I was told if I upgraded to internet and basic TV it would not cost any extra so I did and I was sent what you are are calling the standards box (I was told I could have two, but I only had one TV) Three months ago I ordered an HD DVR to go with the standard box. I was told this would cost $10. It is now costing me $20. I brought my computer back and reattached it to the tv and it no longer works. Now you are telling me I have to pay for the standard box that you sent me and told me was free and I cannot get a signal for the TV working.
    • John > If that second box was included on your original order for free, then you just need to return why the hd dvr. The reason why it costs now it because the HD DVR has become your primary equipment, and the second box is secondary or additonal. The bases for heirarchy of the equipment is the functionalities and specs of the device.
    • John > Let’s for example you have two boxes, a dta and standard box. Standard box has higher specs and functionalities compare to dta, thus standard box would be the primary and the dta would be become secondary or additional box.
    • John > Each package has its own package details in terms of equipments.
    • LInda > do you have access to the last chat I had with your company?
    • John > To get a Free HD DVR, you need to have a HD Triple play package.
    • John > I am sorry I dont’ have.
    • John > I can only view the transcript you had with Archie, the previous agent who assisted you before me.

Mystery Classroom

Have you heard of mystery Skype? Basically two classrooms get together on a video call and play 20 questions trying to figure out where they other class is located.

It seems pretty popular




It has even moved to Google Hangouts


It just seems natural to me that we would add the component of language to the mix. Evidently, I’m not the only person to whom this idea has occurred. https://education.skype.com/projects/5823-play-with-us-mystery-skype-in-french

So here it is a google spreadsheet. Add yourself to the list and connect on your own.


Teacher Importance

I know teachers are important in education, but I don’t think they are this important. Listen starting at 50 seconds.

With a statement like that I want to dig a bit into what is the true purpose of this organization. Try starting here and see where it goes.


Bullying and how to stop it

Cyber bullying is a topic that will never go away it seems. Well perhaps it might if we ever get the f2f bullying taken care of.

There is no easy solution. One of the keys is the bystanders. Bullies like the attention when they bully someone. So when the bystanders step up and make it known that they don’t agree with the bully then it tends to shut the troll down in his or her tracks.

And so why should the cyber world be any different. Stand up to the bullies whether it be f2f or on the Internet. Don’t stand by and let them hurt people.

It seems to be the solution that everyone forgets about. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23601986