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Information Rage Coming Soon To an Office Near You

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the just-having-a-bad-day dept.

The Internet 201

digitaldc submitted the latest excuse to get a few days off: "A survey released this week revealed the latest affliction to hit white-collar workers. It's called 'information rage,' and almost one in two employees is affected by it. Overwhelmed by the torrent of data flooding corporate workplaces, many are near the breaking point. The aftermath of all this is the deterioration in quality that occurs when flustered employees — unable to sort through a pile of information fast enough — end up submitting work that's substandard. Almost three quarters of the survey's respondents declared their work has suffered as a result."

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My first post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34040136)

My first post, and it's from work, and I'm fucking RAGING!

TL;DR (5, Funny)

fotoguzzi (230256) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040154)

I don't have time for all this.

He was a mild-mannered (4, Funny)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040824)

accountant with horn-rimmed glasses. He didn't know how many pull-ups he could do because he had never done any.

He was overwhelmed with the deluge of information.

When he couldn't keep it in his cubicle any longer, he starting taking off his glasses on off-work hours, and resorted to drive-by Firesheeping, destruction of any and all HP printers flashing PC LOAD LETTER, and MITM attacks for kicks.

He was Info-Man.

Re:TL;DR (2, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34041030)

Those of us who are hyperlexes benefit from it, dyslexics suffer. One in two sounds about right; half the population have two digit IQs.

lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34040160)

people are not machines. they need to be replaced.

Gah! (2, Funny)

inigopete (780297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040194)

I've got all this work to do, and you're bothering me with THIS?!

I call shenanigans (4, Insightful)

ip_freely_2000 (577249) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040202)

As a long time worker in a G8 tax department, information overload has been going on for years. People get pissed because they don't have the best tools for the job, but I've never seen 'rage'.

Re:I call shenanigans (5, Funny)

srobert (4099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040304)

My co-workers can't see it in me either. That's because I mutter under my breath and keep it suppressed where it can fester into a mental illness.

Agree with Parent (4, Informative)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040408)

Some people suffer analysis paralysis, other suffer from the 'where do I start' problem and give up.

David Allen talks about this in Getting Things Done, and what most people have on their plates are lots of amorphous blobs of stuff, not actionable items. So the first step is to break up big blobs into little actions, then take the first action.

Another thing Allen says when most people say they don't have enough time, its not really time its how they use/don't use it that matters.

If you're willing to accept the above as true and act on that information, things will get better.

He's also got some ideas about meetings that are similar to what Randy Pausch said not in the last lecture, but his lecture on time management. Pausch didn't go to meetings if there wasn't an agenda prepared. Allen always asks for next steps 15 minutes before the meeting is over because if no one is taking action to fix the problem you'll have the same meeting over and over until someone does.

Re:Agree with Parent (3, Insightful)

KingTank (631646) | more than 3 years ago | (#34041024)

You're just saying what people who don't have too much on their plates always say about people who do have too much on their plate. And management often says the same sort of thing. Granted some workers don't manage their time well. But that doesn't change the fact that some workers simply have too much on their plates.

Re:Agree with Parent (4, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 3 years ago | (#34041074)

Another thing Allen says when most people say they don't have enough time, its not really time its how they use/don't use it that matters.

Ohhhh... BullSHIT. Total Bullshit.

Anybody working in IT knows that when we say we don't have enough time, most often we fucking mean it.

The problem is not how we use time, the problem is the goddamn Scotty Effect. Clueless project managers and executives just look at us and assume:

1) We are lying.
2) We are padding our time estimates to look good.
3) It's easier than what we are saying it is
4) IT are a bunch of whiny overpaid bitches and why have we not outsourced this to India yet?

Guess what? I am experiencing 'information rage' right now :) Specifically at your assumption, or this Allen douchenozzle's assumption, that most often we are not managing our time right.

Nope....

The problem really is that the pointy haired bosses see a task that is reasonably a day's worth of work, assuming that we can even diagnose the problem that fast (which is fucking variable too), and they conclude, "Ohhh that's just 10 minutes tops".

There is another possibility you may not have figured out. Some people have jobs that their superiors don't understand or value and they get too much work dumped on them. Ask Slashdot how many IT people in here have experienced downsizing and then had to take on the entire workload of their missing peers? How many IT people have been in the position of being forced to work much longer hours (most often without being paid) to handle their increased workload because project managers cannot accurately estimate how long an action item really takes?

Once again, dude, I call *bullshit*.

Maybe. (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 3 years ago | (#34041220)

On the other hand I see my co-workers more worried about their fantasy sports teams than whether they've tested the latest patches before deploying them.

Seriously.

The good people ARE over-worked and over-scheduled even when they correctly manage their time.

The not-so-good people are ALSO over-worked and over-scheduled because they chose different priorities.

But how do you distinguish between the two groups from the outside? I mean, other than "which people call on which people when their projects explode".

Re:Maybe. (3, Insightful)

war4peace (1628283) | more than 3 years ago | (#34041426)

If you can't distinguish between the two, why would you be a manager?

Re:Agree with Parent (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34041356)

David Allen talks about this in Getting Things Done

I bought that book about a year ago; haven't started it yet.

Re:I call shenanigans (5, Insightful)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040556)

People get pissed because they don't have the best tools for the job, but I've never seen 'rage'.

Well stop bugging me about wanting green instead of blue buttons and I would have more time to get your tools done.

Re:I call shenanigans (0)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040738)

Well stop bugging me about not wanting buttons and I would have more time to get your tools done.

FTFY.

Re:I call shenanigans (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34040814)

Maybe it isn't information at all. I usually don't mind if it's actually new information. But usually there's really very little new info.

As for tools for the job, for latency insensitive stuff I prefer emails because I read faster than most people can construct and speak coherent informative sentences on the fly. Most people don't prepare a speech before talking with other people, and if they did, they might as well prepare it in their email client and click send when they are done :).

For latency sensitive stuff I often actually prefer IM to voice. Because at least some people would realize they're typing crap before they press enter, so less crap ends up being sent. And I can more easily log what they say and do something else till the full story finally comes out :).

But for "touchy-feely" "social stuff" I guess voice is better.

Re:I call shenanigans (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34041228)

Because at least some people would realize they're typing crap before they press enter, so less crap ends up being sent.

Ah hahahahahahahahahah!

You slay me man!

Great excuse (5, Funny)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040244)

"It's not our fault that we falsified 103,000 notarized documents, committing an act of perjury each time. It was information overload."

Re:Great excuse (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34040680)

"I don't like being informed all the time. It gets in the way of making decisions."

George W. Bush

I, for one, (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34040728)

... welcome our new Information Overloads.

Re:I, for one, (1)

Anarchduke (1551707) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040782)

I wish I had mod points for you. That was hilarious.

Re:I, for one, (0)

jitterman (987991) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040996)

For a win like that, you gotta clear your AC check box and take credit! You have successfully "freshened" a meme.

Re:Great excuse (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34041218)

"We have to pass the (health care) bill so that you can find out what is in it."

- Soon to be ex-speaker Nancy Pelosi

Constant e-mail bombardment (aka signal to noise) (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34040256)

I find if I start getting too much e-mail I just start ignoring it until someone actually talks to me either over the phone or in person. I mean, staying connected is one thing but having a team of about 10 people constantly CC'ing each and every member on every possible topic is bloody useless.

Believe me I don't want to ignore information but I honestly don't have time to go through hundreds of e-mail every day and pick out the ones that are actually meant for me based on context or content. I actually have a job outside sorting e-mail (odd I know).

Am I crazy here?

Re:Constant e-mail bombardment (aka signal to nois (3, Insightful)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040436)

No, Sir. It is my professional opinion that you have a touch of the "Information Rage." Take 2TB and post back in the morning.

Personally, I do the opposite; I encourage emails and discourage phone and walk-ins. With email, you can safely disregard it for a while and get back to it later, but not so much the other two methods. I've been at my new job since April and have yet to connect to the voicemail system and initialize my box. I'm that frickin' serious about not taking phone calls. Wait... Am I crazy here?

Re:Constant e-mail bombardment (aka signal to nois (3, Interesting)

El Torico (732160) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040868)

I do the same since e-mail is documentation (CYA) and it's much easier to prioritize. My office phone went on the fritz more than a week ago and I really don't care when it's fixed.

Re:Constant e-mail bombardment (aka signal to nois (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040874)

I've been at my new job since April and have yet to connect to the voicemail system and initialize my box. I'm that frickin' serious about not taking phone calls. Wait... Am I crazy here?

Five plus years here, still haven't set up voicemail.

Re:Constant e-mail bombardment (aka signal to nois (1)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 3 years ago | (#34041152)

You're the kind of person that I pay lots of personal visits to. I'm sure it makes my face a dreaded on, but I am a huge fan of going to talk to people face to face because it gets my stuff done.

Let's look at that. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 3 years ago | (#34041322)

I'm sure it makes my face a dreaded on, but I am a huge fan of going to talk to people face to face because it gets my stuff done.

Exactly. My co-workers do the same thing. They want to interrupt what I'm working on (no matter how time sensitive or whatever) so that THEIR issues can be handled.

It's easier for them to do that than it is for them to plan their projects so that the resources needed are available at the time they're needed.

The last place I worked, I took Wednesdays off and worked on Sundays. I got my entire week of work done in 1 day with no interruptions.

Re:Constant e-mail bombardment (aka signal to nois (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040484)

    Filters are your friend. Forward anything not directly sent to you (i.e., you are a Cc/Bcc) to a holding folder. Of you need to dig out a specific message, you'll have it. Otherwise, you can ignore them all until you have time to get to them (which could be never).

    The only thing worse than getting 100 emails a day, is having 100 walk-up or phone interruptions asking if you got the email that you ignored. :)

Re:Constant e-mail bombardment (aka signal to nois (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34040518)

Now just teach 10,000 people the difference between TO: and CC:, and you have yourself a winner. :)

Re:Constant e-mail bombardment (aka signal to nois (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040574)

Dom Portwood: Hi, Peter. What's happening? We need to talk about your TPS reports.
Peter Gibbons: Yeah. The coversheet. I know, I know. Uh, Bill talked to me about it.
Dom Portwood: Yeah. Did you get that memo?
Peter Gibbons: Yeah. I got the memo. And I understand the policy. And the problem is just that I forgot the one time. And I've already taken care of it so it's not even really a problem anymore.
Dom Portwood: Ah! Yeah. It's just we're putting new coversheets on all the TPS reports before they go out now. So if you could go ahead and try to remember to do that from now on, that'd be great. All right!

Re:Constant e-mail bombardment (aka signal to nois (2, Funny)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#34041160)

    You know, it doesn't really matter. I, uh, I don't like my job. I don't
think I'm gonna go anymore. I don't know if I'll get fired, but I really don't like it so I'm not gonna go.

    It won't matter much. I think Milton wants to set the building on fire. I think he'll probably do it.

    I don't think I'd like another job. I never really liked paying bills. I don't think I'll do that
either. I want to take Joanna over at Chotchkie's out for dinner and then I wanna go to my apartment
and watch Kung Fu.

Re:Constant e-mail bombardment (aka signal to nois (5, Interesting)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 3 years ago | (#34041190)

You're not crazy at all.

Email is abused and not used correctly for its purpose. Most projects I have worked on in the last couple of years use planning software and web interfaces to collaborate. This way, the project is broken down into manageable sections and assigned to very specific groups. All of the documentation and materials is posted to these sections and anybody can view the modifications and add or edit them. Notes, comments, etc. can be added to action items and we can see at a glance the status of any specific task.

Email cannot do this. You end up with a clusterfuck of email messages from people that can be unrelated to your specific task and multiple versions of documentation that you need to track down in 200 attachments. You need to communicate with that one vendor? Search through 5,000 emails to find his email address instead of looking through a contact list in the project management software. Email just does not make sense.

I don't experience this anymore. People that are not used to it and start the email overload with me usually get handled pretty quickly and are admonished that email is not an acceptable form of professional communication for our projects. Even the management gets onboard pretty quick because they like it more than email too. Probably something about people responding directly to their task or trouble ticket with timestamps and notes.

Email is NOT a replacement for documentation. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 3 years ago | (#34041408)

You end up with a clusterfuck of email messages from people that can be unrelated to your specific task and multiple versions of documentation that you need to track down in 200 attachments. You need to communicate with that one vendor? Search through 5,000 emails to find his email address instead of looking through a contact list in the project management software. Email just does not make sense.

I prefer to use email to document who said what, when and how that got into the documentation.

Email isn't a substitute for a contact list.
But it does show you who provided which names for the contact list.
If someone sends you an additional name for the contact list, it should be placed on the contact list. It should NOT be left in email.

Oh, it's Australia (4, Funny)

daremonai (859175) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040330)

The researchers calculated that the average Australian employee spends less than two-and-a-half days per week actually doing their job.

I suspect the issue is more "Foster's overload" than "information overload."

Re:Oh, it's Australia (4, Informative)

inigopete (780297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040416)

...except people in Australia rarely drink Foster's itself. [wikipedia.org] It's vile. More usually VB or Tooheys, but it's a pretty regional-preference thing.

Re:Oh, it's Australia (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34041044)

...except people in Australia rarely drink Foster's itself. [wikipedia.org] It's vile.

Which deserves the question ... just who the hell is drinking Foster's? It's not the Aussies, and nobody else will fess up to it.

But, someone has to be drinking it -- I've seen it her in Canada on numerous occasions. And, yes, I have to confess, it's not something I'm a fan of.

Re:Oh, it's Australia (1)

JPMallory (1318445) | more than 3 years ago | (#34041234)

Foster's. Australian for Crap.

Re:Oh, it's Australia (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 3 years ago | (#34041246)

You mean the marketers lied when they said, "Foster's is Australian for beer"?

That's rather fucked up.. You're exporting the beer you won't even drink yourself.

Re:Oh, it's Australia (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34041298)

Don't you have Outback Steak Houses there? They sell Fosters like water

Re:Oh, it's Australia (3, Insightful)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040508)

I suspect that the lack of work comes from an excess of boring jobs that make workers feel unimportant or useless. Nobody wants to do a job of mostly busy work where they feel like the results don't matter or are not noticed. As a result, such employees will just browse the internet instead.

I know that, at least for me, if I am given the opportunity to work on a genuinely interesting project, or to provide some aspect that seems valuable to the species overall, I will actively try to reduce distractions, including the internet. If I am asked to perform the same boring, repetitive tasks over and over, or if I feel the work I am doing is, quite literally, something that the world could do just fine without, I will actively seek out distractions. That's just my 2 cents though.

Isn't this universal? (4, Interesting)

Krishnoid (984597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040348)

employees — unable to sort through a pile of information fast enough — end up submitting work that's substandard

I'd think this is the human condition, at least since the invention of the printing press.

In addition, everybody has a level at which they can effectively cull information, and a level of work that individually and organizationally is considered 'standard'. Unless more information actually produces a lower quality of work than a smaller amount of information -- with the same distribution of relevance -- would.

It seems like this would boil down to prioritization more than anything else.

Re:Isn't this universal? (3, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040412)

I agree. There's so much information out there that is relevant to every situation that processing it all would mean nothing ever got done. Sifting information and doing what you can with the time and resources you have is all part of the job.

I don't get why they call it 'rage', though. Are they trying to play on 'road rage' or something? Seems to me it isn't rage, but apathy that is the problem.

That is, assuming there's a problem at all. I see nothing to suggest they aren't just doing their best. And the company pays them for it accordingly.

-yawn-

Re:Isn't this universal? (1)

stephathome (1862868) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040932)

Information frustration might be more like it, or we could just stick with good old information overload.

Re:Isn't this universal? (3, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040490)

In a related news flash, researchers recently discovered that a shocking 50% of workers had performance that measured below the median.

Re:Isn't this universal? (3, Funny)

Andrewkov (140579) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040666)

And these same people take 40% of their sick days on Mondays and Fridays. The bastards.

This is new? (5, Insightful)

tthomas48 (180798) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040380)

I believe this has been a problem since the beginning of time. When managers see this "symptom" they need to "hire an additional employee". Some people might even say that managing employees workloads is the job of management.

Re:This is new? (1)

Ryanrule (1657199) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040718)

yes, but when management's bonus is tied to how little they can pay their subordinates, guess which one wins.

Re:This is new? (3, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040828)

When managers see this "symptom" they need to "hire an additional employee".

Most often, that's not what management needs to do.

Most often, what management needs to do is to fix the problem with business processes that is resulting in piles of unsorted information being generated and passed to their employees rather than actionable items. Sometimes the problem may be insufficient staff resources (but where it is, it often won't be in the place where the problem shows up, but in the place where the non-actionable information is coming in from), but most often (even when resource limitations on the data source cause the source to send bad input) the real problem management needs to address is with business processes, which adding more people won't do much to help (and certainly won't help efficiently.)

A system needs to reject information that is not of the kind it can act on at the system boundary, and needs to keep the information it can act on in a manner which facilities working on it, regardless of volume. That is just as true with a system implemented with people as one implemented with computers. While -- as is less often the case with computers, generally -- adding more human processing power can, at times, provide an inefficient way of papering over the problem of failing to reject bad input data at the system boundary, or failing to properly store acceptable input data once it is received, it still isn't a good way of addressing either problem. Its essentially the equivalent of throwing more CPUs and some complicated error correction code at a problem, when the source of the problem is bugs in the code validating and storing input data.

Re:This is new? (3, Insightful)

tthomas48 (180798) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040852)

Yes. I call that firing bad managers. That's the other side of the token. And also doesn't get done often enough.

Re:This is new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34041396)

...firing bad managers...

This makes no sense.

The job of the managers is to drive leased luxury cars, pat each other on the back, assign blame to other employees and generally siphon off as much money as they can before the company goes under.

Don't tell me... you don't have an MBA?

Re:This is new? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34041048)

This.

Corporations are 1) vastly overestimating productivity based on a fantasy that their workers are mechanical multitaskers with no lives, and 2) refusing to hire as long as doing so might prove that certain people in government were right about certain economic stimuli.

Re:This is new? (1)

Chowderbags (847952) | more than 3 years ago | (#34041402)

Nah, nowadays the job of management is to go golfing with their buddies, cash large bonus checks, and tell people they're not good enough (so that there's a "paper trail" if someone has to get fired to meet the quarterly bottom line). If you've got salaried employees, giving them so much that they need to work extra time is the same as lowering their pay. It falls under the mantra of work life balance: what kind of lazy employee needs to spend twice as many hours away from work as they do in work? Selfish bastards.

[/sarcasm], in case it was needed

Sort of like Blipverts? (1)

TarPitt (217247) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040390)

Too much information compressed into a very short advert (or "ad" on this side of the Atlantic) caused the neural system to go haywire and the TV viewer to explode in a horrid disgusting death.

[wikipedia.org] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blipvert [wikipedia.org]

and

[google.com] http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3083938335651439831# [google.com]

Fine by me (1)

aardwolf64 (160070) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040392)

It's survival of the fittest, I guess. It just makes my high-quality work stand out even more.

Re:Fine by me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34040470)

We can't have survival of the fittest, that would be "unfair" on the unfit. Information overload will become part of age discrimination, and by age, that means old.

Re:Fine by me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34040562)

Oh don't worry, you'll be screaming loudest once you inevitably screw up and try to blame everything and everyone but yourself ;)

Sure. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34040400)

THAT'S why they are submitting sub-standard work.

RAGE somehow equals 'meh' (4, Insightful)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040410)

I'm sorry, but where exactly does the rage part come in? There's a lot of work to do, people get lazy, skip it, and submit things without properly checking everything they should. That's laziness, apathy, or simply being bad at their job. If there was any rage, I imagine that things would be smashed and people would drop kick printers, possibly to rap music.

Wait a second, this isn't some lame attempt to have a "road rage" analogy in an office environment is it? That's just a sad attempt at crafting buzz-words, and you should feel bad for it.

Re:RAGE somehow equals 'meh' (2, Funny)

Krishnoid (984597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040686)

There's a lot of work to do, people get lazy, skip it, and submit things without properly checking everything

The way I think about it is that there's X work to do, Y time to do it in, Z amount of skills, and [A .. W] amount of information coming in. You can:

You could apply the 'Meh' principle to any of these.

Re:RAGE somehow equals 'meh' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34040772)

I think the point is that eventually people are going to realize what is going on and dump all the information in one fell swoop. Hence "rage" by dropping everything, even important information because people are fed up, overloaded, and it's just too complicated to sort it out.

welcome! (1)

djfuq (1151563) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040430)

Welcome to the "Information Rage"!

Road rage on the information superhighway!

Sorry -- couldn't resist...

Bill O'Reilly - The Bigotted Factor ( Part 2 ) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34040432)

Dodgy. Gloomy. Unforgiving. In case you can't tell, I'm making a direct reference to Bill O'Reilly. Here's the story: O'Reilly gets a lot of perks from the system. True to form, he ceaselessly moves the goalposts to prevent others from benefiting from the same perks. This suggests that O'Reilly has already begun etiolating his critics. I wish I were joking, but I'm not. What's more, whenever anyone states the obvious—that our long-corrupt legal system is parlously close to establishing a precedent that will enable O'Reilly to separate people from their roots and cut their bonds to their natural communities—discussion naturally progresses towards the question, "When he looks in the mirror in the morning, does O'Reilly see more than the impulsive face of a cankered champion of deceit, lies, theft, plunder, and rapine?" I'll tell you what I think the answer is. I can't prove it, but if I'm correct, events soon will prove me right. I think that O'Reilly's desire to invade every private corner and force every thought into a mendacious mold is the chief sign that he's a hotheaded criminal. (The second sign is that O'Reilly feels obliged to treat traditional values as if they were doctrinaire crimes.)

The dominant characteristic of O'Reilly's paroxysms is not that they equip oleaginous vigilantes with flame throwers, hand grenades, and heat-seeking missiles, but that, in the bargain, they create catchy, new terms for boring, old issues. Maybe you, too, want to intensify or perpetuate teetotalism, so let me warn you: Some people I know say that O'Reilly is a prime example of the ignorance, naïveté, and plain old stupidity that he so adamantly criticizes. Others argue that his sole aspiration is apparently to peddle the snake oil of vengeful totalitarianism. At this point the distinction is largely academic given that some people don't seem to mind that O'Reilly likes to defend racialism, Bonapartism, and notions of racial superiority. What a ghastly, depraved world we live in! Let's just ignore him and see what he does. O'Reilly constantly insists that the government (and perhaps he himself) should have sweeping powers to arrest and hold people indefinitely on flimsy grounds. But he contradicts himself when he says that his diatribes are good for the environment, human rights, and baby seals.

The best gauge of the value of my attitudes, the sincerity of my convictions, and the force of my will is the hostility I receive from intolerant, unrealistic recidivists. Let me explain. O'Reilly's goal is to stand in the way of progress. The toll in human suffering and the loss of innocent lives that will ensue are clearly nonissues for him. Yes, O'Reilly may have some superficial charm, but he demands that his philippics be discussed in only the most positive light. To ensure that this demand is met, O'Reilly sends his lynch mob after anyone who fails to show the utmost deference when planting big, wet, sloppy kisses on O'Reilly's behind.

I condemn O'Reilly's carnival-barker gimmicks, which makes it obvious to me that if O'Reilly's artifices get any more clumsy, I expect they'll grow legs and attack me in my sleep. O'Reilly is hooked on designer victimology but fails to notice the real victims: the entire next generation. All in all, to O'Reilly's mind, he is a spokesman for God. So that means that space aliens are out to lay eggs in our innards or ooze their alien hell-slime all over us, right? No, not right. The truth is that O'Reilly wants to seek temporary tactical alliances with what I call acrimonious pests in order to crush national and spiritual values out of existence and substitute the capricious and possession-obsessed machinery of phallocentrism. What's wrong with that? What's wrong is O'Reilly's gossamer grasp of reality.

O'Reilly is locked into his present course of destruction. He does not have the interest or the will to change his fundamentally disagreeable ruses. We must work together to lead us all toward a better, brighter future. What can you do to help? For starters, you might want to denounce those who claim that O'Reilly's long-term goals won't be used for political retribution. I personally derive great satisfaction in doing that sort of thing because there are few certainties in life. I have counted only three: death, taxes, and O'Reilly doing some caustic thing every few weeks.

O'Reilly refers to a variety of things using the word "dendrochronological". Translating this bit of jargon into English isn't easy. Basically, he's saying that an open party with unlimited access to alcohol can't possibly outgrow the host's ability to manage the crowd, which we all know is patently absurd. At any rate, by allowing him to construct gas chambers, incinerators, gulags, and concentration camps we are selling our souls for dross. Instead, we should be striving to tend to the casualties of his war on sanity.

Now the surprising news: I proudly adopt this stand. In this case, one cannot help but recall that in a rather infamous speech, he exclaimed that courtesy and manners don't count for anything. (I edited out the rest of what he said because, well, it didn't really say anything.)

Up to this point, we have explored some of the motivations and circumstances that make O'Reilly want to hamstring our efforts to comment on his reinterpretations of historic events. However, we must look beyond both O'Reilly's motivations and history if we are truly to understand his ideals. Clearly, we must condemn his hypocrisy. This call to action begins with you. You must be the first to exert a positive influence on the type of world that people will live in a thousand years from now. You must be the one to shed the light of truth on the evil that is O'Reilly. And you must inform your fellow man that as that last sentence suggests, I wish I didn't have to be the one to break the news that learning the truth can be a painful experience, especially for O'Reilly. Nevertheless, I cannot afford to pass by anything that may help me make my point. So let me just state that I don't know which are worse, right-wing tyrants or left-wing tyrants. But I do know that if you can go more than a minute without hearing O'Reilly talk about corporatism, you're either deaf, dumb, or in a serious case of denial.

Because we have the determination to see the truth prevail, we must never forget that when O'Reilly's sophistries are challenged, he usually responds by destroying all tradition, all morality, and the entire democratic system. Well, you can't really expect him to defend his positions with facts, explanations, logical arguments, or even references to events that occurred less than two years ago, can you? If society were a beer bottle—something, I believe, that O'Reilly holds in high regard—he would indeed be the nauseating bit at the bottom that only the homeless like to drink.

O'Reilly seeks scapegoats for his own shortcomings by blaming the easiest target he can find, that is, money-grubbing money-worshippers. When he says that women are crazed Pavlovian sex-dogs who will salivate at any object even remotely phallic in shape, that's just a load of spucatum tauri. By brainwashing his emissaries with animalism, O'Reilly makes them easy to lead, easy to program, and easy to enslave. He is driving me nuts. I can't take it anymore! Bill O'Reilly has reinvented himself as a bleeding-heart couch potato. And that's why I say to you: Have courage. Be honest. And free people from the fetters of obstructionism's poisonous embrace. That's the patriotic thing to do, and that's the right thing to do.

Call it what it is... spam (2, Informative)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040442)

I just tend to ignore people and channels of information that prove irrelevant or uninteresting.

In fact I end up "archiving" most of this information and only focus on discussion relating to important things or people at work.

Then again, in an poorly run organization where authority isn't clearly delineated or understood, people can often have too many "important people" (TPS reports anyone?). If that kind of situation isn't kept in check (either by the worker or the organization), it will lead to burnout and turnover.

Obligatory (3, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040450)

And I said, I don't care if they lay me off either, because I told, I told Bill that if they move my desk one more time, then, then I'm, I'm quitting, I'm going to quit. And, and I told Don too, because they've moved my desk four times already this year, and I used to be over by the window, and I could see the squirrels, and they were married, but then, they switched from the Swingline to the Boston stapler, but I kept my Swingline stapler because it didn't bind up as much, and I kept the staples for the Swingline stapler and it's not okay because if they take my stapler then I'll set the building on fire...

Re:Obligatory (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 3 years ago | (#34041082)

Squirrels that are married? Holy shit, have I been living under a rock!

Re:Obligatory (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34041194)

Worst thing is, it's a copy/paste from a well-known website [imdb.com] .

Re:Obligatory (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34041210)

What, are you some kind of rodentiphobic Christian fundie?

Paralysis by analysis (5, Interesting)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040458)

Paralysis by analysis is what we always called it. You can't get anything done because you have to large amount of information about every decision available to decide and even if you can you want to wait for more data in hopes making a better decision. Eventfully you just end up feeling impotent because nothing is happening; next you just start doing stuff without considering any information just to see something actually happen.

Re:Paralysis by analysis (3, Informative)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040504)

next you just start doing stuff without considering any information just to see something actually happen.

That's SOP for our management. Just a series of random edicts without any understanding of what needs to be accomplished in the vain hope that if you throw enough of them together, something wonderful will happen.

Re:Paralysis by analysis (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040970)

That's SOP for our management. Just a series of random edicts without any understanding of what needs to be accomplished in the vain hope that if you throw enough of them together, something wonderful will happen.

I saw a movie about that. They ended turning Jupiter into a star. So it can't be that bad, right?

Just to clarify: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34040486)

So, just to clarify: Nearly 50% of people are either:

1. Too slow to keep up with necessary information to do their job.
2. Too dumb to decrease their information intake to maintain their sanity
or
3. Are willing to make dumb excuses to explain their substandard work

what's new here?

Obligatory T.S Eliot quote (1)

Palestrina (715471) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040500)

"Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?"

- Choruses from "The Rock" (1934)

Mystifying. (1)

Seth Kriticos (1227934) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040514)

Well, maybe not really. I can understand that folks are overwhelmed by all the personalized shit that's thrown at them at an increasing pace, without them ever having to get a chance to understand the art of manipulation (I blame poor schooling).

Non the less, I get the impression that actual information content in our daily data stream gradually reduces. I guess what these people don't understand is that they are reduced to a commodity, and it's only possible because they never learned to sort through the shit that's coming their way.

I see this as another indication that our time will be seen as a very dark one in the information society.

Based on the current trends and some numbers pulled out of my rectum, I'd say the realization point and adaption of general consciousness will happen in around 150 years. Man, I hope I'm worng!

I Hope this is True (2, Funny)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040540)

If any of my coworkers broke down and went into a savage fit of rage due to information overload, I would be ecstatic. The resulting incident would be YouTube gold. I'd have a great story to tell my nieces. My employer would start doing more to ensure that I was happy at work. In other words, this sounds like a big win! =)

Re:I Hope this is True (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040952)

If any of my coworkers broke down and went into a savage fit of rage

You'd be ecstatic until you work out which schmuck is going to get lumbered with doing all their work while they're off recuperating, or serving their sentence. Sounds to like the start of a domino effect. Take the hint and get out of the way.

Re:I Hope this is True (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34041058)

First thing your employer would do is ban cameras in the workplace.

Second is to buy thicker chains.

Information "Parenting" (1)

rakuen (1230808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040546)

Here's a mental exercise for the problem. Treat all your data sources like they were petulant little children. All of them are screaming for your attention, and you should acknowledge they exist, but you can only actually pay attention to one at a time. Once you've fixed one child's problem as well as you can, move on to the next one. If that child starts screaming again, well, you'll get back to him at some point in the rotation. If one of the children comes up to you and he's lit on fire, prioritize!

To keep afloat in the information deluge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34040560)

I learned to look first at the source of incoming mail. Ignoring anything from management helped me cope with finding relevant information.

Simple - get workers who can handle it all (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040570)

There's a surplus of workers out there. Simply make handling information overload another qualification for the job. People who can otherwise do excellent work, but can't handle a deluge of irrelevant facts can just find a job picking apples at $15/barrel.

I write that with tongue-in-cheek, some sarcasm, and some irony, but unfortunately it may well be THE solution for some employers. Aside from the waste of good workers, part of management's responsibility is setting up a productive working environment. With this solution they may well be casting off workers better able to handle the job desired in favor of workers better able to wade an ocean of irrelevant distractions. The proper working environment would help shield workers from those distractions, allowing better work to be done.

Hmm... (2, Funny)

sootman (158191) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040586)

"... flustered employees -- unable to sort through a pile of information fast enough -- end up submitting work that's substandard. Almost three quarters of the survey's respondents declared their work has suffered as a result."

-- but they filled out the survey without any problems?

Re:Hmm... (1)

rakuen (1230808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040730)

Well how many distractions could there be while filling out aOOOH SHINY!

Re:Hmm... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34040866)

I don't think that is very SQUIRREL!

Fix it with librarians! (5, Informative)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040592)

Too much information? Get a better tool to handle it.

Not in digital formats? Hire data-entry folks at minimum wage.

Can't find the information you want in the sea of other information? Hire a librarian!

Librarians don't just deal with books anymore. They're highly-trained specialists in the field of information organization and retrieval. Conveniently, thanks to budget cuts and changing usage, there are a LOT of librarians looking for jobs right now, and they'll take relatively-cheap salaries, too. Large companies can't afford not to have a librarian.

Re:Fix it with librarians! (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040670)

On second look at TFA, I note that the survey was conducted by LexisNexis, who makes library software. There's a bit of a bias there, but there's also the implication that these folks know how users handle properly-organized information.

PC Load Letter? (4, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040610)

What the fuck does that mean?

We should keep pushing it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34040746)

in the name of evolution... we'll force our brains to process more information faster and faster which should result in a great leap in brain power.

This should be marked "idle" (1)

sarkeizen (106737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040794)

Conducted by LexisNexis, the survey of 1,700 people identified dejection and frustration as prominent emotions among 49 per cent of respondents, who admitted they're unable to manage all the information coming their way. Of those, 51 per cent said they're close to giving up.

Ok let me get this straight you asked a bunch of people if they were unable to handle the all the information coming their way and most said "yes". First of all, what does that even mean? Is it email? Really? We've had email as a part of business for over a decade and most people can't quickly determine if they need to read a message or not? Are these the people who keep spammers in business? Don't get me wrong, I've been overworked but that was about having too much to actually produce or to be interrupted too frequently but I don't see what that has to do with the informational content. Nor does it answer how the alleged deluge of information creates poor quality work. Wouldn't having more information than you need (assuming this information is work related if it isn't apply a similar -mental- filter to the one you use for spam). On the other hand having more work to do in a day at a particular level of quality than is reasonable to expect - i.e. Being Overworked would logically have a reduction of quality as a potential outcome.

I mean how do we know that most people aren't simply overworked (which seems a reasonable assumption to me anyway) and all this survey did was determine who considers their workload to be "information" and who doesn't.

Nothing new (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040886)

I recall in the pre-Y2K days knowing one manager (well, one who admitted to it) being somewhere more than 3 weeks behind in his email. Eventually he declared "email bankruptcy", deleted all the unread stuff and started again.

ISTM the trick is to realise that almost none of the emails a person gets are important or even relevant. Collect the ones from your boss and your boss's boss and deal with those. Pretty much anything else can be ignored. If it really is that important, they can always phone you.

Substandard work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34040902)

Maybe it was because the employer was being excessively cheap and only hired one trainee to do the work of two regular workers?

Or something along those lines.

The cure is simple (2, Funny)

fr_archaeus (1404273) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040904)

Stop abusing your productivity and relying on 20th century data flows! Treat yourself to a jolly glass of old fashioned, sunshiny Analytics. That's right. Business Intelligence, Extract-Transform-Load-Aggregate-Analyze-Visualize Analytics is not just for statisticians and MBAs any more. It's got 47% better lift than Ouija or Anger Management classes! Treat yourself to an evaluation version of Oracle OBIEE, MS SQL Server or Pentaho. WARNING: Use of analytics can result in predictable results, amazing margin increases and overal sense of well being. Side effects include increase in storage and use of IT consultants (this message is sponsored by your local storage and IT consultant vendors)

Re:The cure is simple (2, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34041020)

Now, instead of having nicely-organized information including business practices, already-solved problems, and the one vital flaw in the last Widget production batch, you have a million-row database table that's only accessible by a few select folks. Since they take a few months to make a custom report (because they're already so busy), it's easier and faster to go back to the original sources. Now you just have more information, redundantly duplicated.

Re:The cure is simple (2, Insightful)

zero0ne (1309517) | more than 3 years ago | (#34041174)

Sounds like our ticketing system based on some CA crap.

Gotta love it that it can store all this info about who touched what ticket, when they did, how much time they spent, who they transferred it to, when it was opened / closed / delayed etc... Yet they give us no real way to see the data it is collecting.

Oh yay! I can now add how much time i spent on my tickets... but guess what I can't see any aggregate statistics on how well I am doing...

So what have I been forced to do? create a python script to parse the only report you can see (just a big ole table!!!! YAY) and import it into my own database so I can actually get a better idea where i am spending my time!
(did I really spend 15 hours replacing keyboards this week!)

Nothing new (3, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040944)

Back when I worked at Boeing (before desktop PCs), one of my mentors always had a pile of paper in his in-basket that often exceeded a height of one foot. I asked him how he dealt with all that crap. His answer: If someone calls about some subject covered by a memo, he'd dig it out of the pile. After dealing with it, it would go on top. Once a week, he'd grab a hand full of paper off the bottom of the pile and throw it away.

A kind of bubble sort algorithm, I guess.

You know what they say... (1)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040998)

Inch by inch, everything is a cinch! But there's miles of inches and mile by mile it's a huge fucking pile!

Oh how I beg to differ!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34041050)

In my IT workplace we suffer from lack-of-information rage. It's where documentation is poorly organised sometimes outright hidden. Where nobody seems to anticipate anybody else actually needing or using information. Attitude issues and the protective colorization from various teams. Even less helpful is the non-IT component to the business who think and speak another language. Welcome to the corporate IT world.

Whoa, you've worked somewhere like that too?

WoW (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 3 years ago | (#34041332)

"Not enough rage." --World of Warcraft warrior.

Substandard != RAGE (2, Informative)

davidwr (791652) | more than 3 years ago | (#34041348)

RAGE is when you say to yourself "too hell with the consequences" and vent on someone.

Forgetting to change the backup tapes because you are overstressed is not rage.

Deliberately "forgetting" to change them may be.

Deliberately "forgetting" to change them and erasing or altering key files as a way of telling your boss "I hate you" almost certainty is.

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