Eventually, a group of female coworkers came forward and complained that he would make them feel uneasy. He would stand behind them watching silently what they were doing.
I don’t remember whether we gave him feedback for this or room to adapt, we’ve let him go the next day.
This is more a rite of passage for everyone to do at least once in their career rather than an immediate red flag. But yea...
EDIT: Hmm..had no idea this of all things would be such a deeply offensive comment. Live and learn. As a manager, how do you tell someone to "stop standing near people and/or looking at people" when they presumably have to work with those people as part of their job? If there's harassment going on, that's definitely something you have to correct and/or terminate for, but did OP's scenario rise to that level?
> how do you coach someone to change someone else's impression of him?
Assuming he was standing behind women in the office watching them he's an outright creep. This reads like you're blaming other people for a creep's behavior.
Many places are at-will employment and that can be terminated on either side of the relationship as long as it doesn't fall in the realm of discrimination. As far as I'm concerned, the employer and management operated 100% responsibly to ensure a safe and comfortable working environment for everyone.
OMG imagine that: people adjust to feedback!!
Maybe we should take the time to TALK and try to resolve problems, before pointing fingers or firing them?
Most people are good and want to be nice. I don't like the "modern" way of calling out people, as it's not a good default heuristic, and not just that: it's ultimately counter-productive, as it hurts people who don't understand what happened, then switch to dangerous ideologies, become more and more polarized and double-down on inappropriate behaviors instead of adapting. And it makes the problem worse, as now they can rationalize their behavior given their new bizarre ideology
However, for more controversial stuff, like whatever could be used as cannon fodder for the culture wars, I think I'd rather opt out.
Suppose this wasn't the last time it happened - how much of your time are you willing to put into explaining to person after person after person how their behavior is freaking you out? If it happens in different places, several times a month (or week), it can get pretty old quickly, and that may shorten your patience.
But, surprisingly enough, people SHARE information, and the person that has learned that I'm creeped might even volunteer to tell the other person in their own words why it's a problem, and how to solve it.
Also, an office is not hundreds of people in the same root. So I solved my problem quickly and efficiently using the old-way of "speaking about it" to the concerned party instead of escalating to HR/managers who may be tempted to use their giant banhammer simply because they don't know how to peacefully solve the issue using ... words!
Simple problems call for simple solutions.
It's really hard to special-case the office when you're creeped grabbing lunch at Panera, in the street, while shopping groceries, at the movies, in the subway, at the laundromat, while hiking, at the nightclub, while walking the dog... you get the idea. Women endure ridiculous amount of harassment/creeps- the office is the last place they should have to endure more of it and having to resolve it on top of it.
I have no qualms having such issues escalated to HR -perhaps they have gaps in their training that have to be addressed to prevent recurrence with another non-neurotypical person in the future. I do not think it's always advisable to engage 1:1 with someone who was being creepy from a distance: what if they are still creepy/erratic/become agitated, (and not understanding) in close quarters?
Yes, but escalating comes with the risk of a false positive / getting ostracized.
So I acted following my own best interests.
> what if they are still creepy/erratic/become agitated, (and not understanding) in close quarters?
Our diversity policy doesn't extend to people having severe and obvious mental issues :)
As for outside the office, it's a judgement call. I may act differently if harassed by a drunk homeless person.
"Hey, I've gotten some complaints about people feeling uncomfortable around you. Specifically that you have a tendency to stand too close, and stare too long at people's screens."
There are two ways I can see this going right off the bat. The Sten is either confused about the nature of the problem (maybe does not recall a time that sounds like this, or does not understand that it is a problem) OR the Sten understands that the behavior is problematic but sees it as not his problem (starts to justify it or otherwise excuse it). The first case is easier, presuming the Sten does not wish to make others uncomfortable. You can explain some etiquette or tips to address the situation (its polite to verbally introduce yourself when getting into some ones personal space, its polite to express curiosity and ask to read or know more about another's work), you can simply ask them to be conscious of the feedback. The second case is more difficult but still involves telling the Sten what the social expectations are.
Maybe in OP's example there actually was ill intent, and maybe there wasn't. Hard to tell given the text. I think it's a marvelous skill to be able to delicately address someone else's "creepy behavior" when you aren't sure of the intent behind it.
This behavior describes perfectly a myopic person
You can't control how other people feel, but you sure can do a lot to shape it.
That's (unfortunately) not how the job market works. Some Dev positions are so we'll paid and coddled exactly because people who can fill them are rare and not easily found so a lot of nasty people with bad habits are tolerated because there's a shortage of better candidates and hiring is expensive. And it's exactly the positions where there's a surplus (minimum wage gigs) where people are more easily replaceable and more often let go despite being good people.
It's why even so many terrible CEOs get paid so obscene despite doing an obvious bad job and driving companies further down, because finding another replacement CEO is very difficult.
I wonder if the perception is distorted by FANNG companies who can afford to simply pay whatever i.e. another 100K for perhaps 10% better candidate just to make sure they get the best? In most of the companies I have worked for, even though a dev can add a lot of content that gets sold to customers, the company still have to pay for all the non-production staff and infrastructure.
This becomes even more important when a company is set up to be able to strongly leverage developer quality. When a developer being 10% better means millions more in revenue (or a similar decrease in costs), paying $100k more might make a lot of sense. How much would such an org be willing to pay for someone 30% better, do you think?
I know a developer who upon joining a company picked up a problem that had been considered intractable. Another developer had spent months on it before giving it up as impossible. My friend solved the issue, permanently, in three days. That's at least a 10x, and possibly a 30x, difference in productivity for a narrow set of tasks.
Even big tech has shit engineers but it seems to have a higher percentage of good ones. They get paid more because of the impact of their work and how much the company values them.
A group of good engineers can make miracles happen. A team with one rockstar and some mediocre people are going to struggle to make the same impact. That’s why you pay to attract groups of good talent. It’s not about individual contribution but the work of the whole team.
The 10x myth is real. And having someone with 10x the productivity of another dev isn't a 10x increase in comp, more like 4-5x. So that's an incredible bargain for whoever is smart enough to see it.
I recall a story someone told me a while ago. Software business that did local CoL/prevailing wages. Hired an intern one summer that was just running around in circles around the other, more senior devs. Next summer they tried to get him back but he was already at a large search engine company down in the Bay. Of course, he wouldn't return. That's when they realized a whole class of engineers were completely invisible to them; they lucked out hiring him that summer but there was no chance they could attract someone like him full time.
> I wonder if the perception is distorted by FANNG companies who can afford to simply pay whatever i.e. another 100K for perhaps 10% better candidate just to make sure they get the best?
This has compounding effects. One overachiever stuck with mediocre devs won't be able to do much. But a team of overachievers will ship products like the iPhone. Paying extra for the later make sense if your business model is to ship innovation.
So, I'm not saying that firing the guy in this particular case was a mistake, but how do you arrive at the broad conclusion that rejecting people based on social norms (many of which are arbitrary or based on fear/ignorance/etc) is necessarily the best thing? The boundaries of the "envelope" change all the time, and arguably for the better sometimes.
Example: Was it a "good thing" when people could be fired (or not even considered) because of their race/religion/sex? Are we not better off when we overcome our differences and work together?
I think the situation how to handle the creep has less to do with evolution and more to do with what's good for business. If the guy had been valuable enough to the company, I think they probably would have made more of an effort to help him fit in. Thus the "need" to reconcile. Absent that, the only thing that can really save his job is the person who does the hiring/firing. Maybe they have a soft spot for creeps. And that would be where the boundary might get pushed a tiny bit. Or, maybe morale plummets and the company goes bankrupt.
But if someone discovers a way for alleged creeps to work in harmony alongside non-creeps, then your talent pool to choose from will expand, less people will be fired for just being who they are, and barring any unforeseen consequences, you will have made the world a little better.
Bonus: Did you know in Spain, its totally acceptable to stare? At least that's what I've been told. Imagine if the dude had just spent too much time in Spain and got used to staring at people. And they fired him without even taking the time to figure that out!
Correction: Society has a lot of conflicting contracts.
Edit in response to parent's edits: yes people can obviously lie. But in this case it seems the main benefit these accusers would have gotten out of it was... ditching an incompetent coworker?
Touching can deserve instant firing, looking at can deserve asking for an explanation first
For example, I had a coworker who had a habit of reading people's screens from behind - what news website article you were reading, or email, or whatever. He was just a nosy person with no sense of other people's personal space. It was definitely offputting and annoying, and felt like an invasion of my privacy. Still, I wouldn't consider this something he should be fired over - more like something a superior should have raised & discouraged. Reading the comment felt more like that, rather than a hostile workplace thing that warrants immediate firing without an investigation.
The tribal feeling of belonging to a closed group that punish an outsider can be rewarding enough for many people.
Is unclear if he was incompetent. Willing to work with exotic tools or acting bold makes him easy to be hated, but not incompetent necessarily.
My definition of a competent employee for the first 14 days of work is somebody that manages to go and exit to the workplace each day at the expected time, does not set fire to the code and don't bite other coworkers for the possession of a sandwich. Is just a too narrow period of time to conclude anything.
I successfully coach 'impression' with my employees all the time. It's usually something like "you say 'um' a lot when you speak and it can distract from an otherwise great presentation; lets work on that" or "let's see what we can do to improve your business writing so your message is clearer". Sometimes it's "you need to practice better hygiene", "lets find a better way of expressing your opinions than calling your coworker a 'fucking idiot' in front of the team" or "your behavior is objectively creepy/offensive". Usually, when made aware, an adult will make an effort at least to improve; but there's always someone like you who says "everyone else in the world is the problem, not me...I should be able to do anything I want". And then you start managing them out the door.
Let the downmods begin...
It felt like the complaints from the women was simply the excuse needed to fire an employee that he wanted to get rid of anyway - which doesn't sit right with me or many people here. Your comment also suggests that by raising the point, the parent was making a classic case of "victim blaming", which is where you and I diverge. Perhaps his action of watching people working silently rises to the level of a hostile work environment, but that should have been established by a review, which didn't happen here. As others in the thread have pointed out, touching is perhaps a fireable offense, but looking at people work by itself(some women brought it up, but was the behavior restricted to women?) deserves at least some questioning. Was he looking at peoples' screens or them? You are content to handwave the allegations since it affected an employee you felt deserved to be fired over other shortcomings anyway.
Some of the unstated ones are - wear clothes to work, not whip your dick out, not lick people, not piss on your desk, etc. As a manager you can easily just say "stop standing near people and/or looking at people more than three seconds if they are not interacting with you".
The issue is that I'm paying you $$ so I don't have to train you. For tech skills, this is what college/etc is for. For human behavior, this is what parents/etc are for.
That you don't see this makes one think you may have these same issues. This isn't a "feelings" thing.
Feelings thing: during a political discussion, I say I voted for Trump (and now you're triggered)
This: I am standing closer to you than anyone else and staring at you without you interacting with me. This means you have no cause to be in my space or staring.
Zero need to coach. Have you ever had to be coached on how to not make child porn? Did you demand guide rails and exact spelled-out definitions of constitutes porn when taking pictures of young children? I hope not.
There are lots of things where recognition is far easier than definition. If you lack this skill, you are unfit for the task at hand. This includes many things related to interacting with others, especially regarding children and the opposite sex. Inappropriate hugs/touching, physical proximity, commenting on some attribute, talking to them too much, talking to them at all, standing in such a way as to impede their movement, asking questions, etc.
Do you really want to accuse every single teacher I had of pedophilia?
Not everyone has the same cultural background you do, and some of us are capable of understanding that sometimes someone needs a gentle nudge to get on the same page. You can rant about acceptable skills AFTER you spend 30 minutes trying to actually fix the problem. Until then, you're just a bigot.
One of the craziest "naming frenzy" though was revealed during the Enron scandal, where they had created countless shell companies to hide their crimes. They'd name the companies using names from the Star Wars universe: "Chewco investment" after Chewbacca, etc. Hundreds of them.
I wonder if the notion of machines naming conventions being just about where to locate it on the rack, or which AWS data center it lives in, require further levels of abstraction about "pet" and "cattle".
(Meanwhile moving further down, if the hardware guys are having to name ethernet or power ports on the wall due to their various temperaments, something is wrong. And moving up, it's reasonable for devs to name their services, but a signal of an issue if the VP has to know them)
There's a level of abstraction underneath which you should not be aware of to do your job...but someone likely has to (it's not quite turtles all the way down, but it probably ends with physicists and theory rather than cold hard fact).
The point with the analogy is not how you name them, but whether you identify them at all. I really don't care about the name of the machine that died while running my distributed service; I shouldn't ever have to know it. It should automatically be culled and replaced.
The person working in a datacenter really does care about the name of the rack that is faulty; they have to find and replace it. That rack can be named "RM22-R3-5", a super descriptive identifier, or "Tennyson", because the whole room is Elizabethan authors and poets; point is, he DOES need to identify it.
The whole cattle vs pets is about identification and uniqueness, not about whether the identity is self-descriptive or not.
My uncle owns a dairy farm with ~50 or so head of cattle.He gave each of them names and when one gets sick, he takes care of it.
Of course this is not a big industrial farm, but even so... not even actual cattle are as "cattle" as we're expected to treat computer-cattle -- and thanks to virtualization, computer-cattle are largely pretend anyway.
Restaurant vs Cafeteria
Espresso vs Drip
Cafe vs Starbucks
Backyard BBQ vs McDonalds
I actually think that garden vs farm is a good choice. The others are a bit funny to me :)
Another thing to consider is international cultures. There’s been concern around calling servers cattle and saying to just shoot them in the head during work meetings. Some cultures may have issues with that.
Personally I like the second since we're having cattle not pets, but it's your fleet and this is rather bike-shed-y. :)
When scaling up - hard- or software - it's better to be clear than clever.
At first, people name the machines after the software they install on it. Then, when you get to about 4-5 machines, you start finding a "cute" naming convention (Constellations, Star Trek ships, mythological figures). As long as there is only a handful of machines, it's easier to remember which machine does what.
Then, as you start to scale up, between a few tens to a hundred, finding names gets harder, so you switch to a more standard naming conventions. Something that communicates the physical/logical location and the organizational unit, as well as an index for duplicates / replicas / redundant machines.
So I think it's fine to be clever as long as it's manageable. The moment it's going to start getting out of hand you can switch to a more scalable approach.
I sent remote hands to pull a server for a customer that was done with their contract and another for failure not pay.
Got the wrong boxes, disconnected two customers, put the servers on the shelf and left for the weekend.
So I cut a ticket to the next remote hands guy and tell home to get the boxes back up and running and we'll deal with it Monday.
Cut another ticket to a third text Monday to pull the boxes. Yeah, you guessed it wrong boxes again. Same customers, what the fuck.
Have the boxes reracked and drive out there to do it myself. Count the servers, wrong label, do some digging around, 'OH'. Pull the right server. Loose two customers. Cut tickets for all racks to be relabeled starting from one.
People don't expect 0 index in the physical world. It's just too clever by half.
It's still likely bad. Your brain is simply not wired to zero index physical objects.
Building floors are more ambiguous - there can be basement, ie "negative" floors. So, floors in continental Europe are generally indexed 0-based (basements ..., -2, -1, ground floor = 0, upper floors 1, 2, ...). A German friend of mine caused some confusion when she checked into her student dorm at a US college, and having being told that her room was on the first floor, asked whether there was an elevator, as she had heavy suitcases.
US D F
3 2 2
2 1 1
B1 -1 je ne sais pas
At some point we got tired of it and made a very firm "all services going forward must have normal, descriptive names" rule and ended up with such shocking names as "Metrics" and "Authentication".
Switching jobs to other startups, it seems like "cute" microservice names are going out of style. Thankfully.
Elmo, Julius Caesar, and Salvador Dali have been identified as illeists.
Basically, Future Ben is a top bloke. When I'm too busy, I just leave the housework for him. On the other hand, Past Ben is an enormous jerk. He's always leaving me shit to do.
It has become a traditional joke in itself for a few generations!
In Japanese, he or she is called バッチリ日本人. (^_^)
Dali, BTW? So the literal translation of the original quote would have read something like, "Dali doesn't do drugs; Dali is drugs?"
I'm only a beginner in Japanese so I might be wrong, but I don't think that's correct. (Or am I missing a joke?)
バッチリ means "perfect" or "fully prepared" and it's an adverb; 日本人 means "a Japanese person". I can't find anywhere stating this phrase means an illeist.
One way to say that is just 一人称を名前で呼ぶ人, which means "a person who uses their name as their first person pronoun."
Search for it, in quotes.
The joke is that everyone Japanese refers to themselves using grammar that is identical referring to a third party, sometimes even by using their actual name.
(Though it's not a grammatical third person, since there is no such thing, and semantically it is understood as a self-reference.0
Sten has been through the dotcom bust. And 2008. And the crypto mess. And a pandemic.
Sten’s blog would be mesmerizing.
But this answer just leads to more questions.
Its been a while, but I remember it took me weeks to satisfy myself that I'd identified the correct sources for the builds that were then in production.
Surprisingly it is a good way to filter companies still!
in my case, I ended up just rewriting to be multi-tenant with a fully different stack, and let him disappear; it was really what ended up being the best for the company and my sanity.
"HeyLaughingBoy, $CANDIDATE applied for a job here and said that he worked with you at $COMPANY and you actually interviewed him. He listed you as a reference."
"Yeah, I remember him pretty well."
"So, what can you tell me about him? Good hire?"
"Would you like the Official Corporate Reply or my opinion?"
"Thanks!! That's all I needed to hear."
Moral of the story, boys & girls? Make sure the people you list as references actually have something good to say about you.
Absolutely. In life, most people are "normal", almost by the definition of normal, but there's a big penumbra of people who don't habitually and reflexively conform to normal. If you're a little bit odd, you spend effort suppressing it and actively conforming. In autistic circles, this is called "masking" for behaviors deemed autistic; in LGBT circles, this is called "passing", and so on. But once someone has fallen sufficiently far from the middle of the normal distribution that they can't pass, or can't be bothered to pass (it can be a lot of work), they stop trying to pass and you can spot all their non-normal behaviors.
(What is "normal" is of course culturally determined and varies by your local culture, social class, etc, and covers all sorts of things. Americans and Brits are told to hold forks differently, for example)
-I've heard the quip -'Being considered normal just means you are as weird as the national average.'
when i get exhausted by it, i too can crack! luckily it's gotten better, and i now just kinda sit in my abuse response. knowing that keeping my cool is the only thing that can prevent my parents generational trauma being passed on.
it's exhausting, and you're doing a great job to be able to recognize it! i too started my journey with a list of situations in which i got shitty like you have, and ended it realizing i just need those in my life to give me the same pass i give them if i regress. good luck to you on finding a solution that helps!
I can't tell if the abuse was was made worse by my peculiar brain malfunctions, or gave me better skills for coping. I think it it might be both.
> all hell breaks loose
mean that you get angry?
It means the mask drops, and people see me getting angry, being less than composed, not being polished.. whatever it is I don't want them to see.
And that's not a truism-- people of all ages make the mistake of coupling the potential expression of some behavior X with an entire group of behaviors they are afraid they will catch like "cooties." Then they decide not to publicly express behavior X for fear of that.
Perhaps that's not what OP meant by "acquiring," but there's a high probability some HN'er read it that way. Hence, my comment here.
Which doesn't mean the example isn't fictional, it just means I would expect someone who's entirely comfortable with referring to themself in the third person to be considerably less likely than the average software developer to worry that a variable-naming scheme that amuses them might be seen as a bit odd by the rest of the team.
Aka, someone that’s homicidal is abnormal but not necessarily eccentric.
One can imagine growing up as a child and hearing Japanese with its variety of first-person pronouns, which also are not used as much as we use them in English, and choosing to use your name as it is consistently associated with you.
That said, I've had only a smattering of Japanese study, so definitely take all of that with a grain of salt.
When you're regularly calling everybody else by their name, calling yourself by your name makes sense.
However, do keep in mind this is anecdotal so I don't know how much it applies to more broad settings.
Actually, calling the other one by their name + san/chan/kun is the most common way. Using "anata" (= you) can even be considered rude under certain circumstances. My wife never calls me "anata". Also, pronouns are often omitted if it is clear who is being meant (a bit like in Italian).
Using or not using the pronoun has the same emphasis as saying to someone:
'You're drunk.' versus pointedly saying 'You, are drunk'.
Soy Latte, por favor! (In Spanish this translates literally as 'I'm a latte. please.')
I'm not a linguist, but it seems like there's no grammatical difference between first/second/third person in Japanese - you can consider all the sentences to be in third person.
If not their first name, then their title "younger brother/sister" (adik), "older brother sister" (kakak). Interestingly, when the second child is born, the "adik" becomes the "kakak", which you would think would be confusing but the switch happens pretty naturally.
Also, in case of adult women, if they speak in third person, to me it sounds あざとい(azatoi). I am sorry, I don't know how to phrase it in English without ruining the nuance. It's a mix of calculating, cunning, and a bit flirtatious? Either way, you also need to consider the tone of their voice, body language, and the contents itself. (Maybe if they want you to carry the shopping bag because it's a bit heavy for them, they might use this way of speaking.)
That being said, I do not have any real-life examples to back this up so take it with a grain of salt.
The closest word I can think for what you describe is insincere. See also: almost every influencer on TikTok.
Going between languages is hard. :)
To people that actually do this, do not erase yourself; you are a person, you have needs and an identity of your own. You can express your needs, not a mythical 3rd person parental figure.
Honestly, I think its a great way to get some perspective (but I am on the spectrum). I also find it plain fun, and -sometimes- cute. Doesn't mean I always do it in family circle. Its just that, in a work environment, there's an etiquette, and this one isn't part of it. If you're too different (e.g. weird in this context), they don't want you, and one way or another you'll get cast out. Goes for weird people too.
It’s papa that is tired, not me.
We're in the same boat. And for a few month I've found it pretty annoying and I've tried to stop, but I haven't manage to do so. What's wrong with our brains?!
Other than that, you're fine.
My 2.5 year old daughter does this. I suspect she'll grow out of it at some point before she gets a job, though.
My friend confirmed that Felipe speaks like this.
The funny thing is, apparently until the Apprentice, and this being pointed out, he didn’t even realise (???), and then found it impossible to keep up.
"I need to do this now" became "Daddy needs to do this now"... It is weird, and entirely unnecessary, kids acquire understanding of "I" and "you" quite fast. It just came and never went. I think I was trying to be less ambiguous when conversations did not involve only me and the kids, but also Mum and others, or when I somehow want to emphasize the context and my role (?) I have no idea and it is fading, only a lot of company present might trigger it - or recounting stories to others.
But maybe I just never realized how weird it is - I would raise both eyebrows if a colleague at work would talk like that in a "normal" context.
No major concerns about it though, it doesn't negatively affect things.
As far as quirks go… it depends why someone has a quirk. If someone isn’t neurotyoical, they can seem like they have a lot of weird behaviors. Once you know the underlying cause, it makes sense and you stop thinking about it. (Or at least I do.)
If anything, people with underlying oddities might develop several quirks on top of them. Or they realise that one can get away with strange behaviour and don’t even try to suppress ever new and interesting patterns.
Edit: Corrected book title.
- What do you think of the homeless people?
- Rock doesn't mind them for as long as they keep off his lawn.
[Edit] Several other chat services copy that behaviour.
[Edit] The autistic kid in Mercury Rising referred to himself by firstname (can't remember his name).
(for the sensitive, this is a joke about class naming convention, which didn't seem subject to female variable names in the article).
How would you feel to be locked up and separated into discrete units, only to be used up and thrown away?
The "Feed me a stray cat" of kernel error messages.
Another dev used to take his cup of coffee into the bathroom, and had a pair of nail clippers at his desk and yes, would use them.
One day I walked in with a pair of pants with "M" on the back of them. This 50-something-year-old dev, didn't speak great English, pokes me right on the ass, and says "the girls will love your jeans because they say mmmmmm!" Totally totally inappropriate but I luckily wasn't bothered by it.
They were a very interesting bunch and an endless source of amusement. Despite all of this the team was very close-nit and managed to cooperate effectively for 20+ years.
"If we seem nutty to you, and if we seem like an oddball to you, just remember one thing: the mighty oak tree was once a nut like me." (Shout out to all the Death Cab fans)
I'll always have a bit of a soft spot for the oddballs to be honest. I'm usually one of them!
I have a bone to pick with whoever came up with this and thought it would be a good idea.
It is set in a future where people's lives became so dominated by having to constantly use their watches and clocks to coordinate every aspect of their day that their health, sanity, and productivity were being serious harmed.
As a result clocks and watches were outlawed. Having one became a serious offense that would earn you a long jail sentence.
Instead of clocks and watches to coordinate people were assigned to groups, and there were public chimes or bells or something (I forget which) that would signal when it was time for your group to do various things. So for example if you are in the red group and want to go grocery shopping, you just wait until you hear the bell that signals red shopping time is starting.
And of course there's working hours / clocking in and out.
I intensely hate music at supermarkets, especially just before Christmas. They would also need to ban children during “spectrum hour”: I avoid shopping just after school is out to avoid screaming kids or kids on the loose.
Wouldn’t it feel like you were participating in a movie genre if everybody was on the autism spectrum at a particular time in the supermarket?
I once imagined a nightmare: a classroom full of children who all had watches that beeped on the hour, not synchronised, with slightly varied pitches and patterns.
That was my classroom throughout the 80s and 90s.
As a child it fascinated me, but as an adult (who had a job in the area) it got tedious really quickly. 15 minutes is not that long.
Edit: From what I could gather in a couple of minutes it still seems to be pretty widespread. There have been some court cases about it, to get specific churches to silence the bells, but not in general.
I have a cheap casio watch that has this feature, and i love it. It doesn’t beep like an alarm continuously, it just does a singular beep at the top of the hour. It isn’t obnoxiously loud, and it helps me being mindful of time, as it is too easy for me to get engrossed in something and lose track of time.
No one has expressed a concern so far at work (back when we were in the office), and it has imo been even appreciated. Meetings started running over much less, and no one takes offense, as people by now know it is an automated beep and not me trying to push them “please end this meeting soon, it is running too long for my liking.” It isn’t super loud, and is easy to ignore (as it sounds like a random singular faint beep somewhere, cannot even pinpoint the direction it came from, but by now I have told everyone already what it was).
Note: years after I started using that feature, Apple introduced a similar feature for Apple Watch, except instead of a beep it does a single vibration on your wrist that only you could feel/perceive. That only vindicated my belief in usefulness of such a feature lol.
I have had a quiet word with colleagues who set their watches to beep, then a slightly louder word with their manager when they persisted. The Apple Watch vibrate is different -- it's not going to disturb anyone else. It also wouldn't be quite so bad were it noisy, because at least smart watches should have accurate (and matching) time.
I'm glad for you that you have understanding colleagues :).
And fully agreed with your point about that feature on Apple Watch being all-around better due to only notifying you and not bothering anyone else around.
On a more everyday note, it's very useful if you know you're approaching top of the hour and you've got a task or a meeting due precisely at :00.