Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 05:43 pm
Day 400, more or less.

For the most part, no one annoyed me today, except for the one who snorts while laughing but that's a given. The Snorter comes over, tells my boss it's too quiet (uh, we're working) and then snorts with laughter at the little "joke". I don't laugh of course, because The Snorter is pathetic, and so naturally I'm accused of having no sense of humor. Eh, whatever.

Worked on queries today. This doesn't work. No, wait, that might work. No, wait a second, do it this way. God. The guy I was working with is really nice and actually understood WTF I was talking about. This is progress.

However, he (the guy working on the query with me) is coming to work in this building, along with something like 7 other folks, and they're all moving to our area. It's going to get very crowded and loud, very soon.

After all, the group already consists of:
my immediate boss (Map of Ireland)
the big boss (The Oblivious One)
The Snorter
The Fashion Victim
The Slacker
The Frighteningly Thin Smoker
The High Maintenance Person
The Two Canadians (eh?)

Yes, I am avoiding mentioning genders. Stay tuned for the continuing adventures of ...

Notary Woman in Fluorescent Hell!

-- no one will be seated during the gripping photocopier wresting sequence --
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Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 06:03 pm
Sweetie, I live in a parallel universe. God I hate fluorescent lighting.

And if that's humor, you certainly don't want to have any sense of it.
Tai Chi
Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 06:24 pm
Ah Jes, you're a very good (and amusing) writer. As horrible as living your stories is for you, I'm sure they will go a long way to making the rest of us feel better about whatever crap is going on in our own lives. (Maybe you can even make yourself laugh, you know, after the fact, out from under the fluorescents...)
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Reply Tue 16 Oct, 2007 03:30 am
Long as there's no snorting involved. :wink:

PS Thank you.
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Reply Tue 16 Oct, 2007 09:45 am
Jes, sounds like all you need is a couple of those jig dancing monkies from the Arby's commercial to make it complete.
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Reply Tue 16 Oct, 2007 11:40 am
Fluorescent lights...

what are we all going to do when incandescent lighting is phased completely out..

I think Jespah should write books (hah, in her spare time).

Oh, wait, make that situation comedies.
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Reply Wed 17 Oct, 2007 04:42 am
Thank you. Embarrassed

Day 440, I think

It's not that 40 days have gone by but rather I think I may have gotten the math better. Anyway, it's been about a year and six weeks.

Or perhaps it's just the biblical 40 days thing.

Yesterday I worked on a report that was supposed to be moving over to another group. This did not work because changes were necessary and the other group balked in a big way. Well, that's life in the big city, folks. Change is the one constant when it comes to reporting.

So I make the changes, and it all takes me, I dunno, about an hour and a half. The big changes that everyone was running around like a nut about.

But, back up, I have to lay some of this at the collective feet of The Snorter, The Map of Ireland and Canadian #1 (the older of the two).

The Map, to be fair, has always been kind to me and is rather protective of me. Whenever the Map is out of town, I'm loaded up with a lotta work (often from the Snorter, the Smoker and High Maintenance). But the Map's real issue is that the Map never met a kludgey or manual process that the Map didn't like. If it can be convoluted and weird, the Map is all over it.

The report in question was done for about a year by myself and the Map, and it was a real struggle (took about two months) for me to convince the Map that I could make the report easier by using MS Access. But what tended to happen was, even with the process I used, the Map was still changing things and adding complexity. But the Map was not telling me this, so I was blithely going along, doing the report and handing it over and thinking it maybe required some processing but nothing impossible.

So this is what Canadian #1 (who is in the group supposed to be taking over said report) was all on about -- that I had handed over the report, we had gotten it to run in a nice, semi-automated fashion, and then the Map had decided to finally spill about the other wacky manual things that were happening. Pixels would be shoved around, stomped, converted in a strange alchemy and otherwise made nonrecognizable, all in the name of the almighty manual and/or kludgey process. Canadian #1 understandably got a little ticked because of the sudden changes -- this was not the bill of goods as they had been sold. Hence the report came back to me.

And so I do the changes. And I see an email from the Snorter going to Canadian #1's boss, telling that person that the following changes have to be made. And they are the changes I've already made. And the report -- according to the Map -- is mine again. So, whose report is it anyway?

I tell the Map, I tell the Snorter, I pretty much tell everyone except for Canadian #1 and boss (who is moving to this office next week with the rest of the crew) that I've done the freakin' changes, don't get your knickers in a twist and who is going to run this report next time? I get thanked -- even The Oblivious One calls me a superhero (that was nice) but no one knows what will happen next time this particular report has to be run again.

In other news, tomorrow is the lunch for the workers from my agency who are assigned to this group. There are some 20 or so of us, most of whom are in the other building and about half of those are in the group coming here to stay. I spoke with my manager onsite -- Boston College's Finest -- and we are ready to go for the gusto or at least to grab as many free cookies and sandwiches as we can, as that will be our bonus for this year.

Tomorrow: Breaking bread with the Internal Agency Contact, or, Why did I get a lousy raise even though the client loves me?

Stay tuned.
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 17 Oct, 2007 05:34 am
jespah wrote:
Well, that's life in the big city, folks.

Ooops. I must have missed that you moved and don't work in Boston anymore.
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Reply Wed 17 Oct, 2007 04:54 pm
Heh, you silly goose.
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Reply Wed 17 Oct, 2007 07:20 pm
ooh, Walter got goosed.
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Reply Thu 18 Oct, 2007 05:40 pm
Day 400-er, something or other

This morning was a fire drill. The Map of Ireland is a Floor Warden but was in meetings, so I had to do that. This involved me holding a bright orange flag and bellowing at people to get them down the stairs. Then later another floor warden and I rolled up our flags and dueled, pretending they were light sabers. Yes, I am a geek.

The lunch went okay, and as expected the contracting agency's reps danced around the whole issue of little to no raises and general employee dissatisfaction. There were, as expected, no real answers. But there was free food. I had tuna, which was a lil stinky. Met the dude who I'd worked with the other day. Very nice.

Back in my cube, of course I was grabbed immediately by three separate people, all wanting something. Immediately.

Why no one could've told me any of this stuff in the morning, before el luncho, I have no idea. It's all about the same thing, too, but no one can explain anything in any sort of clarity so I have to put on my psychic hat.

Canadian #2 wanted help with some data. It was to compare two separate reports. The Snorter wanted something else, mainly the stuff Canadian #2 was doing (Canadian #2 works for the Snorter). The Snorter's voice was getting panicky. Then the Oblivious One (perhaps it should be O'Blivious. Yeah. That looks more festive) wanted two slightly different things compared. ASAP. O'Blivious, of course, trumps everyone else.

So I sit down to do O'Blivious's stuff. And, once I've put together the comparison, I find out that no, a comparison isn't really wanted. Rather, it's just counts from one report. I've given up trying to ask people Why the F they don't just tell me what they want in the first place as that's just a waste o' my time. So I do the counts. That takes me all of one minute.

Then Canadian #2 comes over. Can't get Access to work! Help! So I coach on Access. And I am instructing step for step, line for line. Click here, select this, join that, change this, type this, name it that. Canadian #2, I think, was there to, uh, I dunno, take dictation?

I go back to my desk. Canadian #2 sends over a file. Please compare to blah blah blah an older iteration of the file. Uh, that's what we just did. Oh. I go back to Canadian #2's desk. We go through the compare exercise again. I figure we're done. I go back to m' cube.

Canadian #2 returns. Could you fix the blah blah report it was done by someone else and it's missing such and so? I start running a macro. It's not working. I start debugging it. I run it again. More errors, more debugging. I finally figure out that the macro is just not gonna work because the report was not run in such a way that the macro will actually be useful. I start doing stuff manually.

Now, I hate doing stuff manually. This is, perhaps, why the Map loves me -- because I am the opposite and do my best to not do manual stuff. I've done plenty of manual things in my life. I recall physically scissoring my report drafts in college so that I could move the paragraphs around, handwriting letters for jobs and things like that. Stuff I don't want to do ever again (I still handwrite letters, but only to our nephews). But I'm forced to do manual stuff.

I work on the manual stuff. My brow is furrowed. I am less than pleased. Canadian #2 comes over. The Snorter's getting panicky. Well, tell him to wait; I'm working as fast as I can. Oh, okay. Yeesh. It's like that line in Young Frankenstein, where Gene Wilder yells, "Can't you see I'm working?!?!?" I feel just like that.

I finish the manual stuff. I send it out. I am wiped.

Boston College's Finest leans over the cube wall and hands me a letter. Blah blah blah it says in recognition of your service, you, Boston College's Finest, are being promoted. I go over and congratulate BC's Finest, who informs me that the promotion is for more responsibility but no extra cabbage. I express my sympathy. BCF has been dissatisfied for a while and so the whole promotion thing is just plain weird.

I grab my performance bonus, which is a leftover brownie from the luncheon. My sugar crashes at 3:30.
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Reply Thu 18 Oct, 2007 06:40 pm
What's with Map of Ireland...?
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Reply Fri 19 Oct, 2007 03:40 am
The Map is my direct supervisor. I like the Map quite a bit, actually, and the Map has always been kind and the feeling seems to be mutual. But the Map has quirky issues about technology.

PS Called the Map as in he or she has a face like the map of Ireland.

Or am I missing your question?
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Reply Fri 19 Oct, 2007 05:31 am
That was it, why the person was called Map of Ireland. That's new to me!
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Reply Sat 20 Oct, 2007 05:33 pm
A Face Like the Map of Ireland

Heh, BTW, if you google face like "map of ireland", this topic #5 in the results, just below the link I posted above.
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Reply Fri 26 Oct, 2007 04:39 am
Day 400 etc.

Haven't written a lot as I've been swamped. The Snorter and I are doing a project together (because the Map hasn't got anything for me for the rest of the month). This involves getting together a bunch of documentation, putting it all into one document, adding a Table of Contents and an Index, plus formatting it nicely and then printing it, thereby negating the lovely internal hyperlinks and embedded stuff within said document.

Of course I am doing the typing, organizing, spellchecking, Table of Contents and Index creating, and the storing of documents. Snorter is admiring my work. In all fairness, Snorter is also busily calling various people who have more of the documents that are supposed to go into the binder. That, after all, is Snorter's skill set: shmoozing.

So Snorter shmoozes, I do some calling when I have no formatting, etc. to do and between the two of us we are maybe 1/3 done. The whole thing is due on Halloween. After we'd done some of it, we showed our reference checklist to O'Blivious. Just the checklist, not the binder.

O'Blivious, without reading it, told us to put it in landscape print mode. Uh, it's already in landscape. Then I mean the other. Portrait? Yes. Uh, you do realize this is just a checklist and will not be the actual binder, don't you, O'B? Oh, well then it can look like this. Just stick it at the end. Do you want to look at any of the actual binder work? Oh no. Don't forget to put it in landscape!

This is O'B's leadership in action: telling us to change the printer settings. Content? Heh. No one cares about content. We just want it to look good.

Snorter and I return to our respective desks and I don't bother to change anything on the checklist. Today, Snorter and I will regroup and meet with some people who cannot be bothered to give us documentation over the phone and must be handheld in some weird way before emailing us their spreadsheets and Word documents. Then we will shmooze, coffee will be drunk and I will go back to my cube and do more magical things with Microsoft Word.

Oh yeah -- the Slacker is supposed to be drawing (yes) the binder cover. We haven't heard Word One from the Slacker. This should be interesting. I do hope it's a dragon or a rorschach or something equally unrelated to the task at hand.

Once it's printed, this binder will kill a lot of trees, as it is already over 80 pages long and the embedded stuff is at least another 70 or 80 pages. Global warming, thy name is my department.
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Reply Fri 26 Oct, 2007 06:15 am
as the world turns....and churns....and burns....
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Reply Sat 27 Oct, 2007 06:39 pm
I should mention our collective desk placements as those do kinda figure into things.

The area is maybe 1/8 or 1/10 or so of the actual floor space but it shoots off to a side so it's a little removed. There are something like 4 columns and 5 (6?) rows, with the columns being perpendicular to the windows and the rows parallel to said windows. So for each column there are 4 cubes and this pattern is repeated some 5 or so times. One end is the aforementioned windows and the other is a wall where there's a door opening out onto the core stairwell.

If you've got your back to the windows, here's how the columns go. I've bolded the people I've mentioned before.

All the way on the left, moving from window end to wall end:
1) Disorganized Luddite with Sick Cat
2) Canadian #2
3) Boston College's Finest
4) Person with Cute Dog

Next column (shared cube half-wall with the previous column):
1) Quiet Guy with Good Computer Skills
2) Fashion Victim
3) me
4) The Slacker

Next column:
1) Frighteningly Thin Smoker
2) High Maintenance
3) The Map of Ireland
4) The Snorter

Next column(shared cube half-wall with the previous column):
1) Pleasant But No One Knows What this Person Does (female)
2) ? probably a reporting person
3) Guy Who Knows Reporting
4) New Temp

Next column:
1) Head of Reporting Group, The Map's Mortal Enemy
2) Canadian #1
3) Guy Who Does a Mean Bob Dylan Impression
4) Another Pleasant But No One Knows What this Person Does (male)

Then there's a last column but I don't know anyone who sits there. They could be well-built androids for all I know.

On the left (near BC's Finest's desk) is where O'Blivious now sits. It is an actual office with a door. Next is another office and then on the side with the (possible) well-built androids are two other offices. Go a little further that way and you get to the doors to the elevator bank.

There's a bit of status involved in sitting by the windows and a bit of nonstatus in sitting by the wall. Cubes #2 and #3 in each column are about equivalent in status. As for real estate, size doesn't matter too much but in any event there are few size differentials anyway. The Snorter and The New Temp are both sitting in cubes just built and those are very slightly larger but it's maybe 3 inches on one side, so whoop-dy-freakin'-do.

Temps really aren't supposed to sit at the window cubes, so that explains part of the placement (e. g. why Quiet Guy with Good Computer Skills got a window). The Snorter had had a window, but wasn't supposed to, so when this move happened, the Snorter not only lost the window but also got shoved into a lowest status cube, but at least one with a few more inches of space. Snorter and Slacker are probably also sitting up front in order to make them work more (or at least it appears as if someone is doing something about that). The New Temp is sitting in a low status cube because the new temp is new. Etc. you get the idea.
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Reply Sat 3 Nov, 2007 10:28 am
Day billion, or at least it seems that way

I haven't posted in a while, and it's been because I've been swamped and then dealing with the inevitable physical aftermath (read: sleep or needing sleep). I am glad the playoffs are over. I simply could not continue staying up late.

The sleep deprivation thing all happened because of the Big Honkin' Book. It was big. It was honkin'. It was ... a book.

The idea behind it was to put all of the documentation for a large, multi-month project together into one document. The Snorter was assigned to work with me. I realize I've already mentioned it but finally the dang thing is done.

Printing, I think, is silly, but they got binders anyway. On Wednesday, it was due at 1 PM so that O'Blivious could take it to a meeting in another office. Snorter was to do the hole-punching and putting into said binder and I was to do the last-minute editing and checking for look and then hit print and hope for the best. In all fairness to the Snorter, paper magically appeared in the printer and that was definitely the Snorter's doing.

So I'm working, and I'm nuts, and so of course Canadian #2 comes over to chat. Can't chat, too busy. BC's Finest then comes over to chat. Can't chat, too busy. The Snorter -- who knows better -- comes over to chat. Can't chat, too busy. Yeesh, people. Think I'm, I dunno, busy or somethin'?

As Gene Wilder says in Young Frankenstein, "Can't you see I'm working?!??!"

It's 12:30 and I'm done and it's finished printing. So, instead of actually getting up and hole-punching the magnum opus, the Snorter sits and eats a salad. O'Blivious comes over. "Snorter, I need the book for a one o'clock." Snorter replies, with mouth full, of course, "Oh, once I'm done with my salad."

How come every long journey goes a million miles without (much of) a hitch but then the last three feet are such a freakin' pain in the patoot?

Snorter finally finishes, the pages are punched, it all goes together, etc. O'B leaves with the book. Snorter then -- because I so want to talk to people I don't know -- dials an old coworker, puts her on speakerphone, introduces us and proceeds to tell her that I'm better at putting together procedural documents than she is. Nice. Gawd.

O'B returns from the meeting. It took all of five minutes, most of which was spent with people taking their coats off or getting coffee. Someone must've yelled, "Hey, the project's done!" and then they all left. So the Big Honkin' Book was made as a one-second showpiece. In all honesty, it could've been filled with old recipes and theatre review clippings, and no one would've been the wiser.

O'B and Snorter talk about telling BC's Finest. No, I say, tell the Relationship Manager (Too Busy for Words; I Think You're Doing Great Except I Can't Give You a Raise) instead. And so, the following day, of course, Snorter tells BC's Finest, who tells Snorter to tell Too Busy for Words (etc). O'B doesn't tell anyone, so far as I can tell.

I send out nice thank-yous. High Maintenance is kind enough to thank me back. Except for one other person (the manager in NY), and O'B and Snorter saying this in person, no one else does so. Hey, yanno, whatever. I only work for the great money. Oh yeah, the money's not so great. I work for the skills I'm getting. No, wait, I'm not picking up much of anything in the way of new skills. Okay, I work for the accolades. Wait, no, I don't get much in the way of accolades. Okay, I've got it. I work so that I have something to do during the day. And so I have something to post here. Yeah, that'll work.

"Can't you see I'm working?!??!"
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Reply Sun 4 Nov, 2007 11:10 am
I'd give you a raise.
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