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More Dispatches From the Front

 
 
mac11
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2008 10:12 pm
Oh good, I was getting worried that these people weren't going to be interesting.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2008 10:21 pm
god, you're a good writer.


Remember, I have admonished you before to do screenwriting.


Snap.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2008 10:26 pm
Or at least short stories.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2008 10:31 pm
I'm about 2/3 the way through short stories of 2007.

Trust me, I read your posts like this with more anticipation.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2008 04:00 am
Thank you, sweetie. And I do write -- it's just not quite ready for public consumption. I tend to toss these off but real writing I do drafts and whatnot.

Anyway, thank you very much. Smile
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Aug, 2008 03:26 pm
I haven't posted here for a while so here are a few dispatches for your A2K dollar.

Meet Val

I work with Val. Val is not Val Kilmer, or Valerie Bertinelli or Valerie Harper. Val is not a Valkyre. Val is not Prince Valiant.

No, no, no, gentle reader.

Val stands for Valium.

I work with a person who is so extraordinarily mellow (and they're in Management, which makes the whole thing even odder) that it's as if they take a morning bath in a cocktail of Prozac, decaf tea and, of course, Valium.

"Jes ...?" excruciatingly long pause "could ..." another pause "you ..." more pausing "please ..." the pauses continue "take ..." pauses 'r' us "care ..." son of pause "of ..." bride of pause "the ..." pause lite "security ..." double pause "for ..." pause-o-rama "this ..." Sir Pausely Pausington III "user ...?"

Now, I would not make fun of Val if there were some medical reason for the extra case of cosmic ninja mellow-osity. If Val were a stroke victim, or had chemo brain, I wouldn't say anything and would just feel awful. But Val seems, in all respects, perfectly healthy. Just ... industrial strength serene.

What a Team

I'm on a team, kinda. This is because, in addition to user security, and actually as a bigger chunk of my time and expertise, I upload data to an FTP site, manipulate it around until it whistles Dixie and then send it over to the database where it is finally loaded up further downstream.

The team consists of me, Sneezy, JJ and a person in another state who we talk to just about every day who I am going to refer to as CC. CC stands for Constant Caller.

CC sends an email and, while I am in the process of opening it (which takes less than 20 seconds), the phone rings. It is CC. CC: "What'd you think of my email?" Me: "Uh, I thought it had a nice title."

Sneezy and I are getting along splendidly, although the sneezing does, on occasion, occur. So far the cube walls have not been knocked down but the time may eventually come. I outweight Sneezy despite my weight loss and the sneezing packs a powerful, incongruous punch. It just seems like there's no way Sneezy could possibly sneeze that loud. Then again, few things seem to be that loud. I await a sonic boom from Sneezy one of these days.

But we get along nicely. Sneezy is rather, shall we say, bookish, and I think few people understand him (yes, he's a he, I'll explain why I'm mentioning that in a moment). Plus I suspect few of us female-type humanoids "get" him so that is working out well and now that Sneezy realizes I am not a total dope (it had taken me a while to get up to speed, but now I seem to be there), he realizes my talents. And one of my talents is diplomacy, both verbal and in writing. Hence these days if any kind of email needs to be written that might ruffle a feather or two, Sneezy drafts it and I pretty it up. This has, I feel, saved our collective bacon more than once already.

As for JJ, we are also getting along well and JJ seems a little less harried than he had been when I first met him. I believe some of this is due to the fact that I'm now able to take on a little of JJ's work so things are a tad easier for him now.

And then there's The Team. I load the data, Sneezy codes scripts to help me do that, and JJ does something magical to whatever I just loaded and loads it further down the pipeline. We run from desk to desk (when we're not on the phone with CC) and lots of good ideas fly around.

Then there's, heh, The Team.

We went into The Lightbulb's office last week in order to propose something. As usual, I've got the visual aids, Sneezy is hesitating but doing much of the talking, JJ is jumping in as needed and I am telling jokes and generally providing the transitions. This is as per usual.

Then JJ's phone rings. It's one of those generic, somewhat techno-y public domain ringtones. And it's LOUD. So Sneezy turns to me and it takes me about 20 or so seconds before I realize that Sneezy is dancing.

I do what any silly (not self-respecting) female-type humanoid would do. I start dancing with Sneezy.

The Lightbulb is laughing, JJ is trying to answer the phone, and Sneezy and I are (rather badly) dancing.

All in a day's work.

The Twin

The person I have been calling the Twin (or, the Siamese Twin) has actually turned out to not be too much of a twin to me at all, even though we sit next to each other (Sneezy sits on the other side of me). Hence The Twin has a new identity (sorry FreeDuck): The Duck.

The Twin is now The Duck because of the occasional, random, stray ducky sounds made when The Duck is thinking. I hear this (when Sneezy isn't doing his thing and CC isn't talking my ear off) and all I can think of it Huey, Dewey and Louie.

Long live The Duck.

Timesheets

We have been asked to provide weekly timesheets. They take, again, about 20 seconds. Very simple. They are 100% filled out unless you're doing something odd (like taking a personal day). All you need to do is click "Submit".

Simple, right?

Oh, no. Not for Coffee. No, no, no, no, no.

Coffee is put out. Coffee is put upon. Coffee is personally insulted because we are permanent employees and so timesheets should be beneath us. Coffee is offended to the core. Coffee is ...

annoying.

Now, Sneezy and I attended the timesheet training session, and so did The Duck and The Lightbulb and we all get it and it's very, very easy and no one is PO'd about any of it. If anyone should be PO'd, it really should be The Lightbulb because, let's face it, The 'Bulb has the most work to do. The 'Bulb has to do weekly approvals for some 15 or so people. And The 'Bulb is fine with that.

But Coffee? Oh, no.

Coffee is devastatated. Coffee is angry. Coffee is looking to get someone else to do it. Coffee is bothered. Coffee is ...

getting on my nerves.

Enough so that I was sitting in my cube last Friday, doing my timesheet, and then of course Coffee called me over. Coffee: "You know how to do these things." Me: "Yeah, they're easy." Coffee: "We shouldn't have to do them." Me: "Well, suit yourself, but I personally want to be paid." Coffee: "Can you show me again how to do a timesheet?" Me: "Click Submit." Coffee: "But isn't there something else?" Me: "No." Coffee: "This is unfair. We shouldn't have to do this."

This is why I leave early on Fridays. It's not just because I get in early. It's also so that I don't have to hear The Weekly Whine about Timesheets.

Against my will, and without my doing, I have been subscribed to The Weekly Whine.

How do I cancel that?
OGIONIK
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Aug, 2008 03:45 pm
@mac11,
i found ut that wearing jeans is a nono..

i wish someone would have told me that before i missed an oppurtunity for a decent job.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Aug, 2008 04:04 pm
@jespah,
Quote:
Against my will, and without my doing, I have been subscribed to The Weekly Whine.

How do I cancel that?

Start chanting along next week.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Aug, 2008 06:14 pm
Fun thread! Great descriptions, Jes. I thought Coughy (and Lightbulb) sounded the coolest at first, but I guess the whining nixes that. But all in all it sounds like a cool group of people, and a cool workplace vibe!
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Aug, 2008 08:40 pm
@nimh,
Thanks; it's a fun place, or at least it's getting to be that way. I was damned bewildered for a long time and am very glad that that part is mainly over and done with. I got some praise from The 'Bulb and The 'Bulb's boss recently, so that's also making me happy. Plus I'm bonding with the little team although we do sometimes resemble The Island of Misfit Toys.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Aug, 2008 08:44 pm
@jespah,
Good luck, Jespah!

Oops, didn't realize the age of the thread again. I see some things aren't very different from one American corporation to another. I love your descriptions!
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Aug, 2008 09:01 pm
@Thomas,
Thank ya. I've had a lot of dispatches bottled up; was glad to get 'em committed to pixels.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Aug, 2008 09:04 pm
@Thomas,
I love the descriptions, I like the inter-character development (I made up that word).
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Aug, 2008 08:30 am
@jespah,
Jes, sounds good to me! :-) Better than yer standard corporate uniformity..
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  3  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 10:41 pm
The splendor that is Constant Caller

Constant Caller (CC) has been in the office all week and will be in next week and possibly spilling over in the following week. Constant Caller is a worker who is not a member of the company but rather works for a vendor. I need CC's help, but CC is needy.

How needy?

Very.

Very.

Very.

CC hangs out with me, or JJ or Sneezy most of the time. CC also hangs out with Incredibly Nice. Incredibly Nice works in a different office but is also in for the same time period. I am fine with hanging around with Incredibly Nice. This is because this person is, you guessed it ...

But CC is, oy.

I had to go tell IN something. It was no biggie. I could handle it. I got up to walk all of 12 or so feet to where IN is sitting.

CC started following me. I had to raise my hand and say, "You don't have to come."

CC also, oof, there's an air that I cannot put my finger on. Not certain what it is. I am certain it is CC but the specifics elude me. I am guessing Gold Bond Medicated Foot Powder but I could be wrong and God knows I don't want to confirm that.

Beautiful Lunches

Beautiful Lunches is the Lightbulb's boss. Beautiful Lunches is a sweet person, very patient and absolutely willing to go to bat for any of us. Sometimes focus is not perfect with BL but otherwise I have no complaints.

As for the name, well, Beautiful Lunches always has, you guessed it .... Actually, I have no idea of the true look of the lunches (with apologies to Burt Bacharach,
{singing} The look, of lunch, is on, your plate
the look, that carbs can't erase
.....)

The beauty of the beautiful lunches is that they always smell amazing. Today I ended up leaving later than I wanted to and so my own lunch was delayed. It wasn't, really, torture to pass by and grab a whiff of Beautiful Lunches' lunch. It was nourishing. If an aroma can feed you, I was fed! It was awesome! Just chicken, rice and gravy. Just chicken, rice and gravy! Ha! It was a symphony of delight, a culinary masterpiece of olfactory goodness!

I know other people have gone to the downstairs deli and gotten food. But no one seems to get anything even remotely like what's consumed by Beautiful Lunches.

Plus the aroma of BL's stuff proved a much-welcomed counterpoint to CC's, uh, own personal atmosphere.

Adventures in Data Loading

My main job task is data loading for a database being rolled out to various muckety-muck types. I load data, Incredibly Nice checks it, if IN doesn't like it, I chuck the data and try again, and Sneezy writes me programs to help make my life easier. CC, despite other, uh, issues, does try to be helpful and has done a lot of work. JJ is also helpful but JJ has other duties that interfere at times. BL is in charge of the whole shebang even though all of us (except for IN and CC) work directly for the 'Bulb.

Every day there is a meeting. Sometimes it's optimistic. Look at all the loaded data! Sometimes it's not so optimistic. Look at all the data that has to be corrected. And so it goes. Day in, day out.

Once older stuff is loaded up, the process will become a lot easier as it will shift to just something I do on a regular basis during any given week. I also do database security (for the same database) and some report writing (again, the same database) so eventually I'll get back to doing more of that.

Right now, though, it's a patchwork and there are a lot of moving parts. This, that and the other thing either can fail, or is changed, or a new procedure is created or whatever and it's all in the service of getting the data crammed into the database. I don't mind it although the actual loading is pretty dang dull. Once things are running, they just run. I can use my PC for other things so, heh, I look at A2K. Or at CNN. And let's just say the checkbook is balanced really, really well.

I wouldn't call it intellectually stimulating but it does keep me off the streets and outta the bars. It also offers a serious chance to flex my organizational muscles. And, it won't go on forever. Once things are really cooking, there should be very little for me to do indeed. Then, I assume, I'll go back to more reporting. I've gotten better at SQL as I am using it every single day. It's nothing too complex but I am picking up more familiarity with it.

And so, as the sun sinks slowly over the monitor, I bid you good night, gentle reader.
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 10:45 pm
@jespah,
<grin> I'll be back tomorrow to read this post in full. Sounds promising.
0 Replies
 
mac11
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 10:48 pm
@jespah,
Yay! The dispatches are back!
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  3  
Reply Sat 6 Sep, 2008 12:23 pm
Question: I was thinking about earlier jobs (I've held several). Would there be interest in a kind of dispatches archive? 'Twould be a separate topic. You could read about my life as a teenaged switchboard operator ....
mac11
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Sep, 2008 07:32 pm
@jespah,
Good stories are always worth telling - and reading. I'm sure you've got some good ones to tell.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Sep, 2008 08:09 pm
@jespah,
Definitely interested..

I never did switchboard.. but a pal did. I figure I could have felled the whole hospital in a matter of minutes..
 

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