Archive for December, 2006

Taxes suck

Posted in Daily Entries on December 26th, 2006 by Mike Taber – 2 Comments

I spoke with my CPA the other day and he informed me of roughly how much I would owe at the end of March when my business taxes are due. I almost had a coronary. The first few years of my professional career, I made less than I’m going to be paying in taxes.

If you’re running a business, make sure you get a CPA. The good ones will give you free advice all year and charge you for your taxes at the end of the year. Eventually, you’ll probably need a full time accountant, or at the very least, a part time accountant. Having a CPA who you can rely on for advice is crucial though. This year alone, he’s probably saved me about $10,000. I suspect the trend will continue in the future.

Hope all of you had a great holiday. I was back in my office at 6:30am this morning. Nobody ever said running a solo business was easy.

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More recruiter woes

Posted in Daily Entries on December 20th, 2006 by Mike Taber – 7 Comments

So my ‘friend’ the recruiter called back again today. He had another sales guy call a few days ago and I told him that I wasn’t interested and didn’t expect to hear from him again. Lo and behold, this morning he called me again.

I told him that he had wasted plenty of my time and I was simply tired of it, so what I was going to do was send him a contract and start charging him by the minute for my time at my consulting rates. I asked for his fax number so I could send him the paperwork and immediately he backpedaled.

Him: “Why do you need my fax number?”
Me: “So I can send you a contract for you to sign. Once you sign it, we can talk.”
Him: “You mean you want to charge me for talking to you?”
Me: “Yes, that’s right.”
Him: “What? Why?”
Me: “Because you’re wasting my time. Now what’s your fax number?”
Him: “Hold on a second. <immediately put on hold before I could say No.>”

Then I hung up. I’m not sure if he’ll call me back, but I’m not going to talk to him until he gives me a fax number so I can start charging him for the time that he takes of mine. The sad part is that I enjoy messing with people like this. In a sick twisted way, I’m looking forward to the next time he calls.

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Recruiter woes

Posted in Daily Entries on December 15th, 2006 by Mike Taber – 1 Comment

It’s pretty sad how incredibly pushy recruiters are these days. Not that I can really speak to how they were several years ago. Since posting the listing for a job opening here at Moon River Software about three weeks ago, I’ve gotten a number of calls from various recruiters. It has picked up in the past couple of weeks. I believe that last week alone I received about a dozen calls.

It wouldn’t be nearly as irritating if I hadn’t put this line at the bottom of my job posting:

“Principals only please. Unsolicited resumes from third party agencies will not be accepted. No calls please.”

Doesn’t that mean anything to anyone? Do these people not read? Apparently not. I’ve gotten all sorts of recruiters calling and telling me all about the latest and greatest .NET or Java programmer that would be perfect for my position.

Huh? Did you even read the job description? Yes, I mentioned Java. Yes, I mentioned .NET. Both are under the ‘Nice to have’ category. I want a developer, not a programmer. Just yesterday, I told a recruiter that I was thoroughly booked with interviews through the end of the week and was expecting to make a decision at that time. He proceeded to tell me about all the great people he had, and how he just wanted a chance to prove himself and what he could do.

Me: “Are you a developer?”
Him: “No.”
Me: “Have you ever written software or developed code before?”
Him: “No, but I’ve got some great people who have and are looking for jobs.”

Now how in the hell do you expect to be able to tell me who is and isn’t a good developer? He proceeded to tell me that they had a team of people who do pre-interviews in his office. None of which have any computer science training or development experience of course. But hey, he could have five resumes from his five best candidates in my email waiting by the end of the day.

What part of “I’m booked with interviews through the end of the week and am expecting to make a decision at that time” wasn’t clear? Does that somehow magically free up time for one more interview? Let alone five more?

These people need some serious perspective adjustments. If anyone out there has a baseball bat and would like to help in that effort, let me know. As gratifying as that might be, I believe I have a better solution.

The next time a recruiter calls, I’m going to ask him to send me a credit card before I talk to him. Then I’ll charge my consulting rates for even speaking with him. Perhaps it will encourage him to get to the point quicker. And if they don’t get to the point quickly, at least I will have made a few bucks.

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Vive la France - Day 3,4 and 5

Posted in Daily Entries on December 6th, 2006 by Mike Taber – 1 Comment

Obviously, this all happened last week, but I thought I’d relate it anyway. My third day in Paris was non-stop all day. I got up early, went to the Arch de la Defense and worked most of the day. Went to the client in the afternoon, and then went to dinner and on a driving tour of Paris that night. It was a long, full day.

Thursday I decided to go on a walking tour of Paris. From my hotel I walked to the Bastille, which was probably a half mile away. From there, I walked to Notre Dame, the Louvre, past the Musée d’Orsay, then on to the Eiffel Tower. It took me roughly 4 hours or so to walk all that. I didn’t go into any of the places because I knew if I did, then I simply wouldn’t have time to get all the way to the Eiffel Tower.

As I started walking back to my hotel, I realized that it would probably take me longer to walk back to my hotel than it did to get there. After all, my legs were pretty sore. As I walked past a bus stop, I realized my answer was right in front of me. For a mere $1.40 Euro, I took the bus all the way back to the Bastille and it took me perhaps 20-30 minutes instead of 4-5 hours.

Friday was pretty uneventful. I didn’t do much more than get up and head to the airport. I got back to Boston around 5pm EST after an 8 hour flight.

It was a pretty exhausting week, but I had a lot of fun. I would definitely visit Paris again and did I not already have plans for the following week, I would have stayed another week if I could have.

This is Notre Dame. I have more photos that are up close, but this looked the best from far and was the most recognizable.

Here’s me at the Louvre:

In case you ever wondered how they cleaned those things, I got a quick look at how they did it. Basically, there’s a robot that scales the glass and squeegee’s it all the way down at an angle.

And here’s me at the Eiffel Tower just after sundown. I feel like I should splice in an image of Waldo somewhere.

Last, I have a pair of movies that I shot.
Eiffel Tower.mpg (4.8MB)- This is the Eiffel Tower as the lights are going off on the hour. You can sort of see it in the photo above, but that simply doesn’t do it justice.

Organ Doners.mpg (3.2MB) - In the US, you identify organ doners by looking at the back of their drivers license where there’s a form you can fill out. In Paris, spotting the organ doners is a bit easier.

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