Worst boss ever asks how to be an even worse boss

Image: Flickr/State Farm

A manager wrote to the website "Ask a Manager" for advice on what she should do about an employee who quit after she was told she couldn't miss work to attend her college graduation ceremony.

The manager wrote:

I’m a bit upset because she was my best employee by far. Her work was excellent, she never missed a day of work in the six years she worked here, and she was my go-to person for weekends and holidays.

Even though she doesn’t work here any longer, I want to reach out and tell her that quitting without notice because she didn’t get her way isn’t exactly professional. I only want to do this because she was an otherwise great employee, and I don’t want her to derail her career by doing this again and thinking it is okay. She was raised in a few dozen different foster homes and has no living family. She was homeless for a bit after she turned 18 and besides us she doesn’t have anyone in her life that has ever had professional employment. This is the only job she has had. Since she’s never had anyone to teach her professional norms, I want to help her so she doesn’t make the same mistake again. What do you think is the best way for me to do this?

The site has 1,842 comments for the manager. Read the rest

33-year-old mother enrolled in high school as a 15-year-old

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When Wendy Brown was 33 years old, she used her 15 year old daughter's identity and enrolled in high school as a sophomore. She tried and and was accepted on the cheerleading team. She was arrested two weeks later.

From Jeff Maysh's profile in The Atlantic:

Brown says her husband took her to the mall to buy school clothes. (She says he was in on it, even encouraging her plan, but the judge later said that her husband had “no idea.”) She selected a fashionable Esprit shoulder bag. Then she flicked through racks of jeans and Levi’s clothing in the junior section. She weighed 103 pounds and wore a petite size. Brown tried on a pair of Nike shoes, the brand she always bought her own children. But the real trick was the voice. “I just did that little valley girl thing, the California thing,” Wendy says. In the coffee shop, she transforms her voice into an up-speaking teen’s. It is disquieting.
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Gyroscopically stabilized CD player on the International Space Station

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In this video, an astronaut demonstrates what happens when he pushes two CD players floating in front of him. One is off and the other is spinning. Read the rest

Mushroom coffee, Voodoo Floss, and more – Tim Ferriss's favorite tools

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This week, Kevin Kelly spoke with author Tim Ferriss for the Cool Tools podcast. Kevin had a great time chatting with Tim about his favorite tools, including a microphone with a built-in recorder, a food-expiration app, sports injury tape, and mushroom coffee.

Subscribe to the Cool Tools Show on iTunes | RSS | Transcript | Download MP3 | See all the Cool Tools Show posts on a single page Read the rest

Boxiecat is the best cat litter

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With three cats, it's important to have good litter. I've tried crystals, clay, scented and unscented. I've settle on Boxiecat ($18 for a 16 lb bag). It's unscented but absorbs odors, clumps well, and there's very little dust. Best of all, the stuff seems to last forever. I just pour in a little from the bag every few days. There's no need to completely clean the litterbox every couple of weeks. Instead, I do a full dump-and-scrub every couple of months.

Two other essential litterbox items: the Clevercat litter box and the heavyweight Durascoop cat litter scoop. Read the rest

Bedroom looks like a VW microbus

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The Bun Van, designed by Circu, is a bedroom designed to look like a 1960s VW microbus.

The exterior of this piece is made in fiberglass with chrome plated finishes; the inside is made in palisander wood veneer. Inside it contains several storage compartments, a bed, a tv, a secretary, a mini bar and a sofa.

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Here are the creeps who sell ATM skimmers on Alibaba

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Last week I posted about a guy who came across a well-made skimmer at an ATM in Vienna. I wondered who made such a fine looking piece of sociopathic hardware. Turns out this company sells such devices in bulk via Alibaba. Don't you love that the company is using a photo of the Australian QPS Detective Superintendent holding up some confiscated skimmers to advertise their own skimmers?

This company isn't the only one selling ATM skimmers on Alibaba. There are 12,425 skimmer sellers on Alibaba. Read the rest

There's a 3-month waiting list for this $230 Japanese toaster

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The Balmuda "transforms store-bought bread into something that smells, tastes and feels like it popped out of a baker's oven," says Reed Stevenson of Bloomberg. The company is making 10,000 units a month, and there's a 3 month waiting list. It's available in Japan only.

The idea of reinventing the toaster came from an equally unlikely source: Terao, a high-school dropout who spent his college funds (a life-insurance payout after his mother died) trekking across Spain, Morocco and the Mediterranean. He returned to front a rock band called the Beach Fighters, which broke up after nine years; they had a record contract, but never made it big. To make ends meet, Terao worked at a pachinko parlor (a pinball-style gambling hall) while figuring out his next move.

"I was reading Forbes when I was in the band," the 42 year-old said. "And like music, I wanted to create something that I liked, and find out if people liked that too."

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Robotic hamburger stand from 1964

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Yesterday I posted about a robotic hamburger shack opening in San Francisco. Nicholas Perry watched it and tweeted this video of a robotic hamburger machine made by AMF in 1964.

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Gruesome Soviet safety posters got their point across

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These Soviet safety posters delivered their message in bold terms.

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Why The War on Drugs Is a Huge Failure

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The countless billions of dollars poured into the War on Drugs has resulted in mass incarceration, corruption, political destabilization, violence, the rise of drug cartels, and systemic human rights abuses around the world. The one thing the War on Drugs hasn't done is stopped people from using drugs. The animated video series, Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell, explains why the problems associated with drug use are caused by the war against them. Read the rest

How to avoid poison ivy rash

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The stuff in poison ivy that gives you a rash is greasy and hard to get off your skin. To avoid a rash, scrub your skin 2-8 hours after exposure with any kind of soap and a washcloth or loofa. Lots of friction is needed to wipe off the grease, called urushiol.

(Thanks, Wendy!) Read the rest

Lowest price I've seen on a 12-pack of Bicycle playing cards - $16

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I don't know how long this deal will last, but you can buy a 12-pack of Bicycle playing card decks for $16. You get six red-backed decks and six blue-backs. I just bought 2 boxes. That should last me until the end of the year (I go through a deck a week or so). Read the rest

1ft Apple MFi Certified Short Lightning to USB Cable

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I feel like you can't go wrong with Anker charging cables. I have found them to be more durable than Apple's own cables, which tend to tear over time. I wanted a short cable to charge my phone from a portable charger, so I bought a 1-foot Anker PowerLine for $9 on Amazon. The housing around the connectors is very sturdy, and has a 4.8 out of 5 star rating on Amazon. Read the rest

Adorable pigs go through animated factory slaughterhouse

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As Herman Yung says, Sung Jin Jang's animated version of pig processing is "a combination of cute and cuddly and disgustingly horrifying." Read the rest

Voice actor impersonates Game of Thrones characters

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Voice actor Scheiffer Bates does uncanny impersonations of your favorite male characters from the Game of Thrones TV series. Read the rest

Car harpoon releases tear gas

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In 1996, Finland invented, but never adopted, a harpoon device to stop drivers evading police. It latched onto a fleeing car and, if necessary, released tear gas into the car. Read the rest

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