23
   

More Dispatches From the Front

 
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 11:16 am
@jespah,
The last - what I said..
mac11
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 May, 2009 08:29 pm
@ossobuco,
Are you thinking of a career change, jes? I think it could happen, if you want it.
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 04:16 am
@mac11,
Would love a career change -- just dunno where to start.
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Thu 22 Oct, 2009 06:05 pm
@jespah,
So I haven't updated you in quite a while.

Currently I'm in the process of (along with The Tongue and The New Wonder Intern) training the people downstairs how to load data. The concept behind this is for me to stop doing data loading and instead do other things like -- not a fan -- database reporting. Plus I'll be out for part of Thanksgiving week and then out again for a few weeks in January. Someone has to load the data. Hence our friends downstairs (sounds like a dungeon, but I swear they have windows and not just the operating system) will be taking it over.

This is a good thing. I have been the only data loader (it's really called ETL, which stands for Extract, Transform and Load, as opposed to Emerson, Take and Lowell) for the entire time I've been working here, which is coming up on a year and a half. It's about time I had some decent backup.

And it comes at not a moment too soon.

This morning, or rather yesterday afternoon, The Tongue raised the first alarm: there's something bad! The users have bad data! I was already gone for the day so The Bulb told The Tongue to notify the users. The Tongue cannot get rid of the bad data but at least can warn others. Okay.

Then this morning I walk in, thinking, hey, ETL is done for the week. I'm leaving early (dentist) and then tomorrow I ain't workin'. Life's grand!

Ha.

I read the notes. I start sending emails to everyone and his brother. JJ - back out the data the users can see. Sneezy, help me get the password for FTP'ing. New Wonder Intern, you gotta help me. Tongue, you need to verify data. All day long. Note after note after note.

And this was one of those days where I kept doing wrong stuff, like trying to load when there was nothing to load. This happy little act causes the system to iterate through an entire process (and you cannot stop it, otherwise you create other bad mojo) even though it has nothing to actually do. This wastes a good 25 - 35 minutes. Ewps. I am talking fast. I am barking orders. I am running, fast, around the building, getting people to do things. The only thing I didn't do was run downstairs to visit the downstairs folks and give them marching orders.

Now, back up a second.

I also now work as the QA Dispatcher. This is where the developers send over development updates to QA, through me. And QA sends their feedback to the developers back, also through me. Often these parties cc one another. My job is to make little notes and forward the exact same emails to the various affected parties. QA says, XYZ is still bad, please fix. I send it to the developer. The developer fixes it and tells me, XYZ is fixed. I send that note to QA. QA says it's not really fixed yet. I send that note to the developers. The developers write to me and say, but in the spec it says blah blah blah so this is not really a defect, it's a feature. I send this off to QA. QA writes back, no, it really is a feature.

No, it isn't.
Yes, it is.
No, it isn't.
Yes, it is.
No, it isn't.
Yes, it is.

And on and on ad nauseum.

You may be wondering why I am involved in this silliness at all. And I oftentimes wonder that myself, seeing as I have the developmental skills of a squirrel and haven't done QA since 2001.

But, you see, I am needed. Why? So that someone is a witness to all of this. And, this semi-assures that (except I have zero power, so I can't assure diddly) things will be handled in a semi-logical order. One thing it does assure is that everything is in writing and then the developers more or less evenly distribute it amongst themselves, as opposed to QA just working with whoever they like this week.

But it takes up time. As in, I get dozens of emails on it every single day now. I also spend time tracking all of it in Microsoft Project, which looks nice but truly is no more useful to me right now than a good old Excel spreadsheet would be, except Project is fancy and funky and paid for and makes it look like I'm managing, er, something. If I ever really figure it out and/or get training in it, it'll go on my resume. But right now Project just makes it look like I, Dispatcher Supremus, am doing, er, something, somehow in some way. Sometimes.

If you've read this far, you may be wondering what this has to do with ETL. Well, aside from the fact that I do both, not much, except I was under a time crunch today. Bickering ensued in Dispatch Land about, um, something, and so I was treated to (and had to forward) a buncha back and forth email chains. All while I am trying to get FTP set up, The New Wonder Intern semi-comfortable, send out user notifications, get info from The Tongue (who insists on delivering all news in person even though I need it in writing anyway) and also assuring The Bulb that all will be well and the world will not go careening off its axis while I am getting my teeth cleaned.

Finally, I just had to leave. I bid everyone farewell and got outta Dodge. Far as I can tell (I did look briefly at email, which I can do remotely but it's not syched well - I did not bring home the laptop), everything actually worked and The New Wonder Intern, The Tongue, The People Downstairs (now they sound like a horror flick), plus JJ and Sneezy, all did as they needed to do, in a beautiful example of choreographed mayhem.

As for Dispatch Land, there were two other back and forths also sitting in mail.

Those I ignored.

Let the world careen off its axis if it will. In the meantime, one of the coolest things about taking a day off is that you don't actually do anything that resembles work.

Instead I'm gonna go out and buy a trellis.

PS My teeth are nice and clean.
Tai Chi
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Oct, 2009 08:31 am
@jespah,
Yay, she's back! (Nice smile, by the way Very Happy )
0 Replies
 
mac11
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Oct, 2009 11:17 am
Yes, lovely smile! And I'm glad to hear that the world's still spinning.

Where's the trellis going? Back, side, front of house?
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Oct, 2009 11:52 am
@mac11,
Ah, two of my faves! Smile

The trellis (which is powder coated steel, black, with kind of a plant-y design) is in back to hold up the Enormous Mutant Rose Bush. The bush is bigger than the trellis but it's a start. I also bought plastic to insulate our windows and then went to Target for some personal retail therapy.
George
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Oct, 2009 12:24 pm
@jespah,
"personal retail therapy"
I love that.
0 Replies
 
mac11
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Oct, 2009 01:02 pm
@jespah,
Very Happy I'm feeling in need of some retail therapy myself. The combination of a new season and a new size make it tough to find something to wear...
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Oct, 2009 07:12 am
@mac11,
14 items for $160 shmackers. It was a good day at Target.
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 02:02 pm
@jespah,
And One Day the Axe Just Fell

Much of IT is being outsourced. Not only was I laid off, but so were the following:
* the bulb
* Sneezy
* Snorty
* the dude who sits behind me
* the tall cypher dude
* the guy just this close to retirement (I did not mention him before)
* nice guy downstairs

The second nice guy downstairs is only good until the end of the year, as is The Tongue. Survivors include The Duck and Jesse Jackson. Coffee is on maternity leave and is presumably safe for now.

We got decent severance and all. Right now I'm kinda drained.
Izzie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 02:05 pm
@jespah,
oh Jes...

f8!*

oh crap...

so very sorry

0 Replies
 
mac11
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 02:13 pm
@jespah,
Damn jes, I'm really sorry to hear this.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 02:17 pm
@jespah,
Ooh jespah... Sad
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 02:20 pm
Oy, I am sorry to hear that, jespah. On the other hand, you are qualified for
so many things and have such great experience, you'll find a better and more
lucrative job in no time. My fingers are crossed!
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 02:25 pm
Thank you all -- I have more stuff to do, then I'm gonna get my calories counted and go offline and do, well, anything but the whole damnable process. There's plenty of time for process.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 03:33 pm
Sorry jes.

you'll come up smelling like a rose.
0 Replies
 
Tai Chi
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 05:55 pm
Oh geez, sorry to hear this. (Not that I'm worried about you landing on your feet.)
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Nov, 2009 09:59 am
Sorry to hear you have to look for work, Jes, but glad you at least got a decent severance. Where are they outsourcing too? I was under the impression that the outsourcing fad was mostly over as many companies found that they didn't get any bang for the buck. But what do I know.
0 Replies
 
Joeblow
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Nov, 2009 11:02 am
@jespah,
So sorry to hear it jespah. It can be like getting suckerpunched, I know. Hope the severence relieves any immediate worry and you have time to catch your breath.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Dispatches from the Startup Front - Discussion by jespah
Adventures in Job Searching - Discussion by jespah
Remembrance of Dispatches Past - Discussion by jespah
Dispatches from the Front - Discussion by jespah
 
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