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Thoughts on many things Posts

Calculating percentage change in Excel

If you do a lot of work in Excel, odds are you’ve needed to calculate a percentage change. Luckily, Excel does this for you quite readily if you simply apply a basic formula of (New Value - Old Value)/Old Value. There is, however, a pitfall that you’ll not get the values you expect if the cell where you’re entering the value is not set to percentage formatting. Hence, here’s a step to step way to make the calculation:

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Red flag arguments

One of many things I care about is improving the world around me. That is why I’m a union representative, it’s one of the reasons why I like my job, and it’s why I raise questions to find out if there are good reasons for things being done the way they are – and to change them if there aren’t. Every so often, I’m met with arguments that aren’t really arguments at all, and which really should prompt a re-examination of the subject matter.

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Longer answers are better support

When working tech support, it is often tempting to give short answers to a ticket, in order to get on to the next ticket. This tendency is particularly problematic when responding in the negative to a request. Though understandable, we should fight this tendency. I have three specific reasons why it’s important, but I would also like to note that this is closely linked to Continual Service Improvement in ITIL, or the Improvement kata in DevOps.

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Creating habits to separate work-time from off-time

Since March of last year I have, for the most part, been working from home. While we were able to work out the kinks in keeping connected to the rest of the team relatively quickly, I’ve found shutting off work-mode to be a bit harder. I find myself wanting to check stuff in the evenings, working longer days (and not just because the work needs to get done), and generally being mentally “at work”, even when I’m patently not at work.

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Tools for account evaluation on Twitter

I am a relatively active Twitter user, and enjoy the many discussions I have with people of varied points of view and experiences on the site. One of the things I don’t enjoy, is the inevitable trolls and bots. Luckily, there are a number of tools out there that evaluates an account or tweet. I have found the following to be particularly useful:

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