I love my job

Leah*, whom I flew down to see yesterday in our LA office, is older than dirt. I mean she’s pushing 80. Still very spry, but from a different place, if you get my drift –Jewish grandmother to the bone, and funny. I like her.

She’s not so good with the technical bits of her job, but she tries hard and she has learned her software enough to do her job well (and she shows up every day she’s scheduled) so she will probably work there until she dies.

She’s very hard to talk to about anything that uses electricity.

Her internet connection was down in the office, and she’d called tech support for SBC/ATT who finally said it must be the router, and then the router company – and they walked her through all sorts of stuff for more than 3 hours. From the Philippines, she said. Then she called me, all distraught and worried because she couldn’t do her work, so I made the reservations and flew down there.
5:45 a.m.
45 minutes to the airport
90 minutes in Sac airport
85 minutes in the air
60 minutes to the office

90 SECONDS for me to discover that she’d kicked the plug for the router out. OMFG!!

We went to lunch, I set her up with a gramma blog for something to do because she mentioned she was writing her memoirs and that way the trip wasn’t a total waste, and then ….

60 minutes to the airport during which I had to close my eyes and pray a couple of times (Leah’s driving is somewhat *erratic*)
150 minutes in LAX
oops, flight was delayed, make that 180 minutes
85 minutes in the air
45 minutes back home.
9:15 p.m.
$254 worth of airline tickets.

My bad for not going over everything with Leah cable by cable before I booked the flight, but honestly, I would rather tar a roof than do that with her ever again. AND I ASSUMED SBC/ATT or NETGEAR HAD ASKED THAT QUESTION. It’s like trying to communicate in Martian to her to explain power cords and routers and ethernet ports in words she can understand and act on. I’ve tried before. More than once. Plus she has to crawl on the floor to get to some of it. She’s spry, but still pushing 80. It’s hopeless via phone, but really, I think it’s my fault for not being able to come up with words and descriptions she can understand.

I am NOT going to do this again, but it’s all sort of amusing in retrospect. I probably could have gotten on an earlier flight home. Earlier by 25 minutes, but then I wouldn’t have had the “A” boarding pass and so would have ended up between two hefty people per my usual luck.

I just wish my company would spring for a local support contract.

*Name has been changed to protect the innocent

Urban Word O’ The Day

Urban Word of the Day

September 15, 2006: flexitarian

some one who essentially eats just vegetables (as well as fish, eggs & milk) who’s not too uptight about eating meat ocaisionally as a matter of convenience; a lenient vegetarian

Rather than offend his hosts, he ate a good-sized portion of the spaghetti a la carbonara they offered rather than making a meal out of salad, bread & dessert. Why go hungry? I’m a flexitarian.

stay fresh. www.urbandictionary.com


–==++ TopFive’s Five-Word Newsflash ++==–

Item: Manilow recovering after hip surgery.
Comment: Barry’s first hip thing EVER.
(Mike Ranston)

The Story of My Life

as told by ComputerWorld’s Shark Tank:


Most laptops at this company don’t have Wi-Fi installed, and until recently this was just fine, says an IT pilot fish working there.

Then a new assignment sends six of the company’s auditors to a client site — and the hotel where they’re staying has gone wireless.

“Of course it’s my fault that they can’t access the Internet, never mind that I didn’t make the hotel reservations or know anything about the trip,” fish grumbles.

“With the auditing team in town only on the weekends, I meet them at a local computer store and, one by one, assess their laptops. If the laptop has onboard wireless, I show them how to work it. If not, I purchase and install a wireless card and then train them how to use it. All is good.”

Well, no. They’re back on-site on Monday, and Monday night only one can access the Internet. They call fish at home, and though fish walks each one through the process, only one of the remaining five can get online.

The next weekend is a holiday, but one of the auditors calls fish to explain that she’s done everything and still can’t get a wireless connection.

“At her request, on the holiday, I pick her up at home with the laptop and go to a wireless hot spot to test and train,” says fish. “Five short minutes to test the connection and two hours of training later, I take her back home.

“Next day I’m chastised profusely by the company owners for wasting the auditors’ time by meeting them on a Saturday to get their wireless cards, and even more so for wasting one auditor’s holiday time.

“They then ask me if I’m too stupid to solve the problem the first time around. I explain that I was able to get a connection at the hot spot and everything worked, and that the problem is with the users.

“The owners then scream it can’t be the auditors’ fault — they have MBAs.”

Next thing fish knows, all the laptops are shipped back. Fish takes them to a nearby hotel with the same connection, accesses the Internet successfully from each one, and even sends e-mails to the IT department head and the owner to prove there’s a working connection on each and every laptop.

But how are they finishing the audit without laptops? fish wonders.

“It seems that the auditors are using the client’s computers for the audit, a demand of the client,” fish sighs. “They only needed the Internet in the hotel rooms to pass the time.”

And now, something completely different

My stupid bank, Washington Mutual (or, as it now prefers, Wamu), doesn’t render worth a shit on Firefox. That’s just ridiculous. This is latest greatest Firefox I’m talking about, not something old.
Look at this screenshot and tell me you wouldn’t be embarrassed if your business site looked like this:


I sent them a note but I doubt I’ll hear anything back. I liked Wamu because I thought they were progressive. And also because they weren’t B of A.
Check out these stats on browsers:


Another girly joke

A medical school professor was giving a lecture on involuntary
muscular contractions.

Realizing this was not the most riveting subject, he decided to
lighten the mood a bit.

Pointing to a woman in the first row he said, “What do you think
your asshole is doing when you are having an orgasm?”

Without blinking an eye she replied, “Golfing with his buddies.”