Friday, October 15, 2010

The Last Email

After receiving news of my termination, I returned to the conference room with the HR Director where I had left my purse and laptop.  I indicated I wanted to log out of the computer before turning it in to her and she acquiesced. Right at that moment, an email arrived from my dear friend M.  I didn't not read it, only replied "I just got fired! Talk soon!"  because I felt someone should know what was happening since they were taking my only means of communication, my cell phone.

M. just forwarded the message to me which was the last one to arrive before I left the building and thus the first one anyone reading my email afterward would see. First a bit of background:  I recently read this article by Dan Erwin regarding 7 behaviors that keep women from getting ahead: Dan Erwin Article.  It suggests that women do not take up enough space, nod too frequently and fidget too much.

The message M. sent and to which I replied was an invitation she received to a business conference: The Spirit of Leadership: Reawakening the Feminine To the email she added: 'I don’t know how I got this, but I think they’re going to say “Take up a lot of space, don’t fidget, and stop nodding!”'

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Top 10 Things To Do When You Think You May be Fired.

If you work in an office and think you may be fired, being prepared for what will happen can make a big difference. They will take your computer, office access key and cell phone, usually immediately.  I learned most of this the day that my company laid off 200 people. 

Being in IT, I was expected to be part of the assembly line where we collected their office equipment.  It was very difficult, to say the least but it helped me to remain calm when it was my turn.  Do these things immediately, because things can go downhill rapidly and you may not have time later.

10 - Copy any personal files from your business computer to a flash drive and remove them.

 9 - If you have a company cell, save your contacts. Consider getting a personal cell.

 8 - Keep a printed list of your most important phone contacts and keep them in your purse or wallet.  

 7 - Export your Email contacts to a file and email it to yourself.

 6 -  If you primarily use your work email for personal things, get a free email account and use that instead.

 5 -  Forward any important personal or performance related email to your personal account.

 4 - Clean up your email, Inbox and Sent Items too. Remove anything you wouldn't want your entire management reading.

 3 - Update your resume.  It's a good exercise to remind yourself of your own value.

 2 - If you have the means to do so, consult an attorney.  It's just nice to have someone on your team informing you of your rights.

 1 - Remember who you are and that you will survive this. 

Other suggestions:  

Social networking is a great help when you suddenly lose your job because it allows you to quickly get in touch with others that can help you find a job .  If you don't use Facebook and LinkedIn, consider setting up an account now.

I like to have a mantra for just these instances.  A few weeks ago I noticed a Psalm written on a post it note at someone's desk:  "The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"  That definitely gave me pause for thought and carried me through a rough time.

Keep Calm and Carry On.

Note: This is not legal advice and some of these items may be in violation of your company rules. Use your own judgement.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I'm back! And unemployed!

Friday I lost my job.  Well, it didn't go missing, I was fired, or, as my mother put it, "invited by my employer to seek other employment".  The idea is understandably a little tough for her to palate.

The phrase that comes to mind about the whole ordeal is "bitch had it coming".  I didn't really, but over the last few months I also did not exactly duck my head down meekly when things were awry.  One never really expects to be fired from any position but I must admit I saw this coming in the past few weeks particularly. Lest my former employer come looking for me (not a stretch, I swear!!!), I won't go into details now but let's just say I won't have any problem getting up and looking myself square in the eye in the mirror each morning moving forward.

It was very satisfying to realize later that I didn't actually react much while it was happening.  No tears, no anger, no strong feelings at all to be honest.  I did smirk a bit.  I've seen this happen to others so many times before and that I doubt I could ever truly be caught off guard by this type of thing.  Most vividly I recall the day my mom picked me up from school and said her job had been "abolished".  The sheer stress and also anger on her face was alarming.  It was a political thing and Mom had four mouths to feed besides her own.  Nothing I will ever experience could rise to the level of evoking that kind of job-induced strain.

My friends have been grand.  Friday night some made a pact that I would not go hungry.  One confirmed later that drinks are included.  People have been so supportive that there hasn't been a  moment to wish things were any different. Today I rose with a smile to greet the day hours earlier than usual instead of struggling to convince myself to trudge onward.  I've got a great deal of motivation and exciting plans that can now take top priority.

Best of all, I want to write again.  So I'll be around.  Cheers!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

# 1 Priority when trying to resolve issues with an unhappy client

Know your client

Twice during my career, being a decision influencer evaluating the continued relationship between my business with a service provider, I have heard people that should know better make a rookie mistake; asking a question that makes it clear they have no idea what we actually do.

If you are scheduled to speak with a valued client, some very basic research is in order. Who are they? Where are they? What do they do? Where are they located.  These are simple things to find out.

Not knowing the answers to these simple questions reflects a lack of care or concern about the client and does nothing to give them any confidence that you are capable or interested in resolving their issues.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sage Advice

M, who almost always knows when to go home, works in the same building with a day care.
One the way in each morning she can see the rules posted for the children.
She relayed that one of the rules was a great thing to keep in mind:  Worry About Yourself.

How often in life could stress or unpleasantness be avoided by following this simple rule?
Of course there are always situations where one should try to help others.  But often enough, if we just worry about our own actions instead of nosing into someone else's business, things will be just fine.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

RumorsAboutMe Likes: Scrubbly, The Suppression File Scrubbing Tool

Desktop List Cleansing Application
Quickly compare your email list with the advertisers suppression file and remove suppressed addresses.

Scrubbly does this right on your computer so that you keep your greatest asset, your list, in your own control at all times.

Scrubbly is priced affordably at an unbelievable $159.00.
One time scrubbing fees can cost this much with some services.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Google Search hi-jack

Starting this morning, whenever I search using Google search engine in an IE 7 browser, I get taken to an adverisement hosted by no matter what I click.  This doesn't effect chrome.

So more malware.  It doesn't seem to do anything worse than that so far.  Here's a related post I found about this search engine redirect problem on

Will research and resolve tomorrow.  This is not my primary computer, so it isn't updated with IE8 and obviously isn't very secure because I store everything important elsewhere.

For casual computer users:  Installing Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari all installed while things are working properly is helpful loaded for times like this.  Most problems do not effect all four browsers and IE and Firefox are more likely to be targeted as they are still more widely used.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


New malware popped up in the office this morning.  It came over pidgeon as an instant message to our user from a person that we believe is using yahoo messenger.  A link popped up to a "party pic" zip file, coming from a url with "picturesharehost" in the name.  We have the full link still, but how about I don't post it here and cause it to proliferate?  The domain is hosted in France.

A pop-up asked the user to download something to protect her computer. The user just Xed out of that, but still noticed her computer was behaving oddly.  Thus the call to the IT department.  We searched and found that wmpxk3.exe in the startup directory.

It didn't change the background, and didn't effect browsing.
We simply deleted that file and rebooted.  Everything seems fine for now.

Will update this post if we get more information.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Just when I thought I couldn't get enough Caffeine...

Leave it to Google. Not only do they produce some of the most efficient software out there, now they're naming their technologies after things close to my heart (literally).

Of course there's a downside: Now when my disgruntled ex-girlfriend posts naked pictures of me it'll be on the Internet faster than you can say "Wow, that was a really bad idea."

Google Caffeine!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

remove asam.exe and thorssktssd.exe free without downloading anything

I was able to recover from the asam.exe and thorssktssd.exe by doing a system restore.  I am running windows XP and the restore was quick and simple and didn't cause me to lose any files or data.  I didn't even know I had the option until tonight. 

I got these viruses/malware on 4/21/2010 around 9pm.  It may have been from clicking on a link in a forum that I frequent, since that was the only thing I remember doing around that time  A rather serious looking message popped up asking me if I wanted to activate my anti-virus software, software which I've never actually installed.  It appeared to be scanning my computer and finding lots of sordid problems.  It would not allow to open Add or Remove programs, nor access anything on the internet.  AIM was still connected and operating after reboot, but Yahoo Messenger couldn't connect.  I received responses via ping for yahoo and google, but could not connect through IE or Chrome.  I searched for all files modified today and found asam.exe, which had just been created. Also a file named something like thorssktssd.exe, which yielded no related results on my iPhone.

I found and disabled both executables in the startup (Start --> Run -->msconfig -->OK, go to the Startup Tab and Uncheck them then select OK)

I still couldn't access the internet so I ended up doing a System Restore from the prior day.

I am posting this because when I searched for the asam.exe virus on my iPhone, I was unable to quickly find any useful information.  Mostly I found sites trying to sell things to get rid of asam.exe.  I won't make any definitive statements about what I suspect are the origins of this virus I got tonight, but it is interesting that these sites would encourage you to download something specifically to clean this up, when you can do so very easily with a restore, no?  It may not work for everyone, but it could at least be mentioned. The comment sections on these sites seem suspicious, too.

This article from Joli Ballew, Windows XP Expert Zone Community Columnist explains how XP System Restore works and how to perform it:
If you just want the instructions, click the link and search for "Use System Restore".  Again, it was quick and easy.

I will post more details if I recall them. If you found this because your computer caught asam or thorssktssd, I hope I saved you a bit of aggravation.

~ Hanna
Who knows alot about some particular software, a little about most software, and learns about hardware and operating system when absolutely forced.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Obsessed with the Haka

I am now obsessed with the New Zealand All Blacks doing their pre-game Haka.  I have even less interest in Rugby than I do football, but when I first saw this during the movie "Invictus" I was mesmerized by the primal nature of these men throwing down a challenge, and by my own visceral response to watching it.  There are dozens of versions available on youtube, but this is one of my favorites because of the quality and because of the translation provided. 

The way I feel when I see it is very much like the feeling I've had whenever witnessing a Bahamian Junkanoo.  The pulsating rhtyhm makes me feel like I could just be swept away and forget everything else around me.  It's slightly scary, yet truly invigorating.

Speaking of Invictus, after seeing the movie I also could not get the poem from which the movie took it's name, by the English Poet William Ernest Henley out of my head:
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

I love the line - "I thank whatever gods may be for my inconquerable soul."  Isn't the human spirit magnificient?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dude, we're not friends!

So, I do this Facebook thing because everybody seems to be and I must admit it has been useful for reconnecting with people I had lost track of whom I actually liked. Mostly this includes people from college and grad school and out-of-towners I've met along the way with whom I might otherwise not have stayed in touch.

However, there is a huge downside to it, of which everyone is aware, in that people I don't want to find me seem to. Let us not even get into family members who don't need to know what parties I've attended or political views I might have that disagree with their to-the-right-of-Attilla-the-Hun sensibilities (which, to my way of thinking, aren't that sensible). So, I don't post those lest things be a little tense at holiday dinners.

Then there are the high school people who, frankly, weren't that nice to me back then and we were never social but, for some reason, feel a need for me to know everytime their snot-nosed brats sneeze. It's not cute and I have no basis of commonality with them having not felt the need to procreate because it all sounds rather tedious. Plus, they like to whine about how miserable they are everytime they are up all night due to the aforementioned sneezing. If I'm up all night it's because I'm drinking in the company of like-minded people whose company I actually enjoy with the possible exception of the inevitable guests of guests (see post by another author on this site). Of course, I don't post that due to the aforementioned judgmental family who are busy complaining about the bounds of domesticity they chose because it's the only way to be "happy" which they clearly are not. I could go on but I think this is the subject of another post. More later.

With that as a set-up, I have a new Facebook nemesis. The former co-worker. Repeatedly, I get friend requests and messages from some cow whom I haven't seen or spoken to in seven years who wants to wax nostalgic about our time together in what could only be described as the "Through the Looking Glass" of employment. Agnes Nixon couldn't write what went on there and make it believeable. And this from the woman who has brought Erica Kane back from the dead how many times?

Now, the circumstances of my departure from this place of employment were less than honorable on the part of the employer. I got downsized when positions were eliminated. Officially it was for financial reasons but everyone knows it was the usual coroporate stuff, dirty backroom deals, getting caught in the fallout of them trying to stick it to someone else, and sex. And this cow did nothing to help. In fact, was a part of it because it got promoted. Apparently, if you cry at work you get a raise because CEOs hate that and it's the only way to make the tears stop. I should have cried.

Seven years later, this begs the question. Why does a backstabbing cow who cried its way to the top of nothing at the expense of everyone in its path (yours truly included) suddenly want to re-acquaint? And why do repeated friend request denials not deter it? I distinctly recall being removed from its coveted Christmas party list, which was fine because no "friend" sends out an invitation with a disclaimer limiting guests to two shrimp per person, thereby causing me to have to go around bartering in advance for more with people who are allergic to seafood or are practicing Judaism.

That said, I am reminded of the time an obnoxious little fellow desparately wanted to be friends with a friend of mine who had no interest (obnoxious being the operative word there). After repeated attempts my friend just looked at him and said simply, "Dude, we're not friends!"

And to the cow and those like it, there you have it. "Dude, ..."