• Steve-O (unregistered)

    I was in university working in the IT department, and I had possibly one of the world's greatest bosses. Generally, the professors at the school got whatever they wanted (and knew it).

    One day, for some generally unimportant details, one of the profs (who was a dept head) went off on me yelling and the like (this was the evening, after the full-time staff was out) because he couldn't get his powerpoint to start. I dealt with it very politely and let him yell.

    I left a note for my boss because I knew he'd have an e-mail from the prof, and when I showed up for my shift at noon the next day I had 1) A written apology from the prof 2) A verbal apology from the prof and 3) My boss patting me on the back for handling it so well 4) A copy of the e-mail and the phone conversation where my boss tore the ever-loving-sh!t out of the prof.

    Some jobs you work for the money, some jobs you work for your boss. At that job, I worked for my boss.

  • (cs) in reply to K.
    Calli Arcale:
    The concerns about cell phones is because unlike all other devices, medical devices generally are exempt from shielding rules. So while the FCC requires that your iPod be able to tolerate RF radiation, an EKG machine doesn't have to, despite the fact that the consequences for failure are rather more severe for the EKG. The logic is that while a customer can reasonably expect to use an iPod anywhere, medical device manufacturers can reasonably put the burden on their customers to make sure the environment is appropriate for the device.

    As a medical equipment design engineer, I can tell you that this part is untrue. All medical devices must pass tests for susceptibility to interference from other electronic devices. However, all you can do as an equipment designer is attempt to reduce the likelihood of a malfunction due to interference, not eliminate it. Restrictions on cell phone use in hospitals are there to eliminate this residual risk.

    But you're correct when you say medical equipment is not required to be tested with actual cell phones. IIRC studies have shown some interference problems with cell phones in very close proximity to (i.e., resting on top of) medical devices.

    Everything else you've said is pretty much spot on.

    I find it funny that you only seem to know part of the story.

    The grandparent poster's information that you are complaining about was spot on - about 15 years ago. However, laws have this tendency to change, when it becomes so clearly out of touch that even the legislators understand that it's out of touch. So the law changed, and now medical devices need to undergo interference testing, and have for over 10 years in most places.

    It is probably always possible to shield the devices. However, doing so is really expensive, and when the device is designed to use wireless communications, it can require a radical change in design. This equipment is expensive enough already, and we all have problems bearing the cost. So the equipment ships with warning labels and environmental control conditions. I've seen one place where a hospital went so far as to put an older susceptible machine in a Faraday cage - it was cheaper than getting a newer machine which didn't have the problem. But that only fixes the issue if the machine is not susceptible to the 'searching for tower' signals that cell phones generate.

  • Anonymous (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous

    Apparently what wasn't parsing for you was a comma.

  • (cs) in reply to forgottenlord
    Both he and the VP Finance checked with their lawyers about constructive dismissal - and they're both VPs here - and they each determined that it would be solid cases costing too much money for not enough compensation.

    Several points:

    • From the few constructive dismissal cases I've read about, like most injury torts, there are two components to the awards: the damages, and the 'pain and suffering'. The latter portion tends to actually diminish for higher-level plaintiffs. So the overall amount many not vary that much.

    • People tend to select lawyers based on their price range. VPs can generally afford more, so they hire much more expensive lawyers than peons. More expensive tend to be more skilled, but that's not always the case - and you don't necessarily need more skilled. You need "sufficiently skilled", and that's always difficult to determine.

    • I suspect that neither your father nor the ex-VP Finance considered saving legal costs by joining the cases.

    • I suspect neither your father and his lawyer nor the ex-VP Finance and his lawyer considered the settlement option.

    In any event, Peter's story makes for a vastly easier and more lucrative constructive dismissal case. (Note for the parsing impaired: Not much more lucrative, except that the legal costs would probably wind up being significantly less. But some more lucrative.) Also, companies tend to not lose business when their customers hear they've been a bit unfriendly to a couple of VPs, so the company would not have been as desperate to make the situation go away.

  • AdT (unregistered)

    A goverment official once asked a Zen master: "Can you explain to me what the self (ego) is?". The master replied "What a stupid question is that? Why do you ask me such stupid questions?". The official said "How dare you talk to me like that! Don't you know who I am?". The master answered: "That is the self."

    Slightly paraphrased from here.

  • PCLFW (unregistered)

    Oh deep joy.

    A submission I sent in months ago has been rewritten and posted under another name.

    Too many similarities to be anything but a rip off.

    And to end the story, my wife was fine after that fright, it wasn't an MI. However she died earlier this year after our local GP TWICE declare her chest and lungs to be infection free and she was just dehydrated. The autopsy stated that my wife died of pneumonia.

    Nice to know that most posters are sympathetic, but your talking to the wrong guy.

  • PCLFW (unregistered)

    For your edification here is the full article that I submitted a few months ago.

    I have waited until the people concerned have all been made redundant and the company at which this happened was no more, but the time is now right.

    I started at XYZ Trading, in a tall pointy building (TPB) in Canary Wharf, London, in December. My job title was Senior DBA. The company hadn’t had a real DBA before so didn’t really know what to do with me. But I found gainful employment clearing up a number of problems caused by the fact that they hadn’t had a DBA before.

    My WTF starts early on a Friday morning in February; I had been in post three months. I had just gotten off the train in London; 30 minutes on the underground to get to TPB lay ahead of me and my first task was an interview for another senior technician in the London office. Someone I would be working closely with so I was determined to make sure that the candidate was right for the job. The interview was to start at 09:00, so I had forty minutes, no problem.

    This wasn’t the first interview I’d conducted and I’m quiet proud of the fact that all of the interviewees I had selected to fill the various posts had became true assets to the various companies.

    I had produced question sheets together with comments on what skill or quality each question was aimed at investigating, how to mark each question etc. As one of the other interviewers was in Amsterdam and would be joining us by phone, this would provide a ‘blind’ assessment of the candidates skills and perceived qualities not influenced by standard or type of dress etc. In the case of a candidate failing this interview there would be no question of bias or discrimination. I also had an information sheet for the candidate. This gave both interviewers mobile phone numbers and work addresses, and a dated time table of events to which I would work to for assessing the candidates suitability for the post.

    I managed ten yards down the platform before my mobile rang. It was my youngest daughter, “Dad, Mum’s been taken into hospital, we think she’s had a heart attack.”


    Further questioning revealed that my wife hadn’t wanted me to be told until ten o’clock by which time the interview would be over and I could freely just come home.

    Extra problems;

    1. My immediate boss wasn’t in that day, the only other person in the office would be the admin assistant who’s technical skills rose to putting the kettle and ensuring that there was water in it.

    2. I only had the candidates home number and he would be on his way to TPB by now.

    3. This was a high profile appointment being watched over by a number of the directors and the CEO.

    4. Did I mention I had only been there three months?

    The thing that swung my decision was the fact that my wife hadn’t wanted me to be told until after the interview. She knew how important this was to me for my position in the company. I would do the interview then go straight home. That satisfied both my concern for my wife and my sense of duty / loyalty to the company and the candidate who was trying to get a job in a poor employment climate.

    I may seem to be rather blasé about my wife having had a suspected heart attack. Firstly I knew that despite its (many) faults the UK’s NHS is exceptionally good at emergency medicine. And I had had three heart attacks and understood what she might be going through now. When I had my first I hadn’t wanted my wife to see me looking like I did as I knew it would only upset her. But she came in anyway.

    So I arrived at TPB, the candidate was there, but I left him sitting in the small reception while I took Molly, the admin assistant into our Boss’ office to explain the situation to her. While I was carrying out the interview Molly would be calling all those who needed to know that I would be leaving immediately I’d finished. She also made us coffee which was unexpected and very nice.

    The interview finished I gave the candidate his information sheet and informed him that, due to personal reasons, I was leaving work now and nothing at all would happen regarding his application until Monday.

    The candidate was not going to get the job. He had stated an inability to work most weekends and his technical skills were very poor. There was a different problem though. He was a member of a minority religion which had recently become vocal in its demands for ‘fair treatment’ and an end to ‘discrimination’. I was very, very glad that I had spent the time generating the question sheets and detailed marking sheets. They alone would show his unsuitability for this senior position we wanted to fill.

    I left work and went to be with my wife in hospital. Naturally being in the A&E with heart monitors etc all bleeping around the one I love, I turned my mobile off.

    Mid afternoon I left A&E to get a drink and bite to eat. I turned my mobile on.

    Almost immediately it rang. It was the recruitment consultant for this mornings candidate.

    “How did he do?”

    I explained that I was at the hospital with my wife who was being treated for a suspected heart attack. I would not even be thinking about the candidate until at least Monday and, if my wife had not begun to improve, possibly not even then.

    “But surely you can tell me how you feel about him. He’ll want to know when things are going to happen.”

    I reiterated where I was, why I was there and that her candidate was currently the last thing on my mind. I also informed her that I had given the candidate an information sheet with contact numbers on it and a timetable to which we were going to work for the reviewing of the candidates interview. He could, if he wished, call the other interviewer, who was not attending his wife in hospital, and ask him any relevant question he wished.

    This questioning continued for at least ten minutes. It ended when she said, “you’re being very rude you know, not answering my questions.”

    I reminded her that I had neither sworn at her nor peremptorily hung up on her, either action being understandable considering where I was and why I was there. I also informed her that I had answered every one of her questions politely and fully. I hadn’t given her the information she so desperately desired, but I had answered her questions.

    This led to her being quite rude to me “even after I called to get an update on your interview when you were going for a job.”

    Oh had she? She might have done, but she hadn’t called me to give me any update so any call she might have made was irrelevant to me.

    In the end I reminded her that she wasn’t the only recruitment consultant in London and I said goodbye and hung up.

    I switched off my mobile and returned, unfed and unwatered, to my wife.

    My wife was found to be OK. She had somehow strained the muscles across her chest; enzyme tests conclusively proved that she had not had a heart attack. So she was discharged. I left the hospital to get the car. I made the mistake of turning my mobile on again.

    Almost immediately it rang. This time it was Jeff Franks, one of the company directors. “Had I received a call from Jenny Franks about one of her candidates who was interview this morning?”

    “Yes.” Jeff FRANKS, Jenny FRANKS, little bit of nepotism there I think Jeff.

    “Why haven’t you given her the information she wanted?” He asked.

    So I told him where I was and why I was there and that nothing would happen about this candidate until Monday morning.

    “Well are we going to hire him or not?”

    Well Jeff is a company director and thus has a right to know this information. “No his skills and work availability aren’t suitable.”

    “Why didn’t you tell my wife then?”

    Oh that’s why you’re pissed off. Wife has been moaning all over hubby who’s a director at the company and director shits on worker who’s trying to keep the company out of the courts.

    I then explained to him the religious discrimination laws and the possible effects of a candidate going to a tribunal claiming religious discrimination. I explained the absolute necessity for the company to take every step in our stated recruitment process and to document each step. Because then, and only then, could we properly defend ourselves against any discrimination claim.

    “You upset my wife and she’s eight months pregnant.”

    “Well I spent nearly quarter of an hour answering her questions…”

    “She told me that you didn’t answer any of her questions!”

    “No, I answered all of her questions, I just didn’t give her the information she wanted. The fact of her pregnancy was irrelevant to me as I do not know your wife and you didn’t mention it the single time I met you two and a half months ago.”

    “Don’t get smart with me, do I need to remind you that I’m a director of this company and you’ve only been here three months?”

    “You just have.” I then hung up. If they wanted to sack me for that, well it looks like I know more about employment law than they do.

    I put in a formal, or as formal as that company ever got, complaint on the Monday morning. I received an apology from my boss and, later, another from the CEO. Jeff Franks was moved out of the company to a new start up and a large number of people, me included, breathed a sigh of relief.

    I stayed with XZY Trading for four years until it started having problems and I was made redundant. I enjoyed my time there and most of the people I worked with were first class.

  • Joe Normal (unregistered)

    Peter could have just given Deborah the brief answer she wanted and saved everyone time and trouble, rather than being a drama-queen and trying to milk every last bit out of his wife's misfortune. Unless of course he was too incompetent to operate under pressure.

  • (cs)

    I thought this was going to be about a buggy heart monitor.

  • cell phoner (unregistered) in reply to Vollhorst
    Cell phone in a hospital? Idiot.
    What is it about cell phones in hospitals? It has been sufficiently proven for years now that mobile phones may affect computer displays or high-frequency measuring eqipment only in immediate proximity if at all. As a regular hospital patient I've been using cell phones and laptops equipped with cell modems for years now and never found any staff member to object (unless you use one of the red power outlets, that gets them angry). There _may_ be an issue in intensive care units when you get too close to the machinery, but not in a standard hospital bedroom containing some beds and a tv set. I wouldn't call people idiots who don't do any harm to anyone and who have scientific evidence that they cannot do any harm.
  • Reow (unregistered) in reply to PCLFW

    Your ending is more believable.

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    3% with the bank's residential mortgage portfolio carries a remaining amortization of 25-thirty years (down from 35% in Q1 2016). mortgage calculator canada The intended result is the fact that it is now more difficult for your average buyer to secure a mortgage from traditional institutions.v

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