Another week down the tubes

Friday night, 9:50, I’m still trying to wrap up a work project. However, I’m so disgusted with it (and the person I’m working with, damn her to hell) that I’m going to give up and tear her a new arsehole on Monday. Long distance, so I won’t choke her and go to jail.

Gawd, I only had one nerve left today and between her and my complete retard of a German shepherd, that nerve has been thoroughly stomped. I can’t really go into it without sounding like more of an asshole than I already am, but FUCK, I expect people to be able to do their jobs after 10 years.
Gah. And the dog didn’t actually do anything, he’s just annoying. And stupid. The other two are angels by comparison.

To illustrate — Goober ate a bee on Sunday. He eats flies regularly, and he decided to try a bee. It immediately stung him on the tongue. He shook his head a bunch, spat it out, stared at it for one second, and snapped it back up and ate it. I was hoping his tongue would swell up and choke him but no such luck. I suppose it’s the Claritan we give him every night for his allergies.

How can one dog be so smart and the other such a peabrain? It’s like two completely different species. Sissy knows the names of the different rooms in the house and will go to the right one if you tell her you’re going there next. Goober knows two words: outside, and cookie. And the shake of the Claritan bottle, because it means a cookie is coming next.

Keerist, I just slopped wine down my bra. Where’s Bob when I need him? Hmm. I just had a good idea for releasing my frustration.
More later.

Down home

I’m here in Louisville (loo’avul if you’re local) Kentucky.  My packing anxiety is resolved, I look better than half the people and worse than the other half.  It’s all good.  No swimming opportunities, thank jeebus.  The three hour time difference has kicked my arse as usual. I should be used to it right around the time I leave for home.  Yay!

NOLA I barely knew ya

God, I am so antisocial shy. Here I am in the middle of Partyville, USA and I’m up blogging in my hotel room looking out the window.

the view from my room

I’m here for work, not play, and I’m by myself. It’s different. The plenary session/speaker and the education at this conference has been very good so far but this crowd is not my normal demographic, fer sure. At my work I am shunned as being too liberal – here at this conference I look like I’m to the right of Attila the Hun. Geeeezus. Context is everything.

Also, this is a non-profit thing. These people have MONEY. Big Money. Where does it come from? They are all heavily into fund-raising – it’s what most of the vendors here are about, and they’ve promoted it to a fine art. It’s a different (and fairly interesting) world.

At lunch today we picked a place to eat by topic. The tables were labeled with various geeky subjects and a conversation leader. I wanted to know a little more about Twitter because I use it, but badly. I wanted some ideas to take back to the fogeys at work. The Twitter table was all women. It was an informative group conversation and I learned a good bit about the subject at hand.

Also, I had a weird reality check. My online life is separated between work and personal. I don’t mix the two except by accident. We talked about that a little bit and a couple of the younger women were offended. They asked, voices rising, “How can you be authentic in either place?” Interesting thought. Possibly a little naive, though. None of them do any stream of consciousness blogging AND none of them work for stiff old right-wing farts who can barely use e-mail and would crap themselves if they surfed some of my links. Also, I’ve been doing this as long as some of them have been out of diapers. Lots of history if you know where to look. This particular blog only goes back three years but I’ve been keeping one since the mid nineties when it appeared on the horizon. What a trailblazer I am!

But these young women were dead serious and passionate about always being their authentic selves online, saying that’s the key to building online communities. You can’t lie because there will always be someone to call you on it. I prefer to think about it more like schizophrenia. I have two personalities. One is the geek at work. And the other is the, uh, geek who blogs. Wait! No, I talk about sex and spout off when I’m annoyed with work in the blog, don’t do that much at work. Wait, yes I do. Hmm. Okay, I’m more selective with whom I share at work. Out here, my arse and dangling participles are hanging out for all to see.

Another interesting tidbit from the Tweeter luncheon table – one of the women works for a non profit in Slidell which is just down the way a piece. She said that during the Hurricane, the only communication they had was texting. The cell phones wouldn’t work, the computers were down, but the text messages still got through. That’s something to bear in mind when you make a disaster plan.

So, anyway, here I am, yeah, doing the same old thing, but at least I’m in a different place. That’s good. [Except for the fucking plane rides and interminable tarmac times. Seems there was a storm and Dallas/Ft. Worth cancelled 700 flights … I caught the tail end of that on my way through. Fucking airplanes. ]


Here’s some stuff from the speaker this morning, David Pogue. You can’t really see it but you can hear it clearly (and also hear me laughing in the background) while David plays the piano and sings My Way with his own words, all about wanting/needing an iPhone. It’s funny! David Pogue being the plenary speaker was the reason I signed up for this conference. I love him. We even tivo’d his NYTimes videos. He has great consumer tech information presented in a really entertaining way. If you’ve never watched him, try it, you’ll like it. This is a nice little review, non video about video: “Camcorder Brings Zen to the Shoot”
Now I have to buy one. I was going to get a new monitor, but now I think a Flip camcorder is in order.


UPDATE Friday night: I just ate dinner with some sales dorks but decided against partying with them. So, besides being shy, I’m picky about with whom I share my time.

What’s Your Line?

What is the weirdest/worst job(s) you’ve ever had? I don’t know what made me start thinking about this, but at 4 a.m. this morning my foggy brain started reminiscing on past employment.

Here’s one for DaisyFae – Back in the late seventies I worked in a hollow-core door factory. Yep. I could have made the cabinet doors at your mom’s house. I made a shitload of ’em. I was running a gigantic chopping saw sometimes, but mainly I was just gluing the the front and back together, and gluing a little piece of wood in between the front and back so it wouldn’t collapse the first time you touched it. And then cleaning it. Quality stuff.

OMFG!11!! it was SO boring. All I could do to make it interesting was to try and do it as efficiently as possible – counting strokes and moving as little as possible. No wild grabs, every movement counted, that kind of thing. The other women hated my guts because they were into not working very hard AND this was probably their life’s work and didn’t want to set any difficult, hard to sustain goals.  When I was efficient it set the bar too high and made them look bad.  I’m surprised I never got knifed in the parking lot.

What made it a good job was that we went out to this little bar close by and drank beers (yes, plural) every day and ate fresh clams for lunch sometimes.  I’m not so sure I’d drink today and then go run a saw.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t.  Later on everyone except me and one other person got laid off, and six months later the factory shut down completely, if temporarily.  I think it was 70’s recession related.

The other really  heinous job I had was working for a medical office with a psychiatrist (degree grandfathered in from an OD), social worker (LCSW), and a PhD whose degree was not in Psychology but who was practicing as one.  They were all nuts and possibly crooks.  I did the insurance billing.  I was younger and rather more naive.  I tried to quit and they gave me two dollars more an hour to stay.  That was back when two dollars more an hour was a lot bigger deal.  Early 80’s.  So I stayed, doormat that I am.  I’d love to tell you a funny story about them, but there isn’t one.  The office manager was the wife of the fake psychologist.  She had 5 outfits which were comprised of something like 6 pieces.  She had one outfit for each workday and wore the same thing for the entire two years I worked there without variation.  It was threadbare when I left.  The husband bought outrageously bleeding edge expensive stereo equipment.  That would be where the clothes budget went, I suppose.   Shudder. 

So what was your worst/weirdest job ever?

Elp-Hay E-May Ease-Play

Ay yi yi, everybody came in this morning and had to face Their New E-mail. Some people, but not many, panicked because Things Were Not The Same. Some people had a million questions, each of which we had to figure out the answers to on the spot as we’ve never used the program before, either.  It’s pretty intuitive for the most part and we are software geeks so it worked out okay.

It sometimes blows me away how much easier this stuff is for me and my co-hort than the other people in the office. It’s my job, I *should* be good at it, but they are almost all really intelligent. Software is just not their strong suit. Ask them about long term care federal regulatory policy and they can talk about it for days. Try to get them to understand that one folder is inside another one …. look out! And be prepared to draw pictures. Mostly everyone was a good sport about it.

I am frelling exhausted.

Another Project From Hell, Completed

12 hour work days (and then add that friggin’ two hours commute time) are not conducive to blog reading and writing.  I’m so behind!  Add some PMS on top of it, and Voila!  Basketcase.

Nah, not really, I’m good now.  Lots of prep time and attention to detail and the final conversion happened today.  I budgeted both days of the weekend for it, and we got done in one.  Yay us!   “Us” is my assistant and a good consultant friend who does lots of projects with me.  My assistant has been more helpful than usual this week, I’m rather impressed with him

I do the IT for an office of 33 people.  We converted the e-mail system from the old standby bullet-proof GroupWise that we’ve been using for years, to the dreaded MicroSloth LookOut.  I outsourced the Exchange server.  I think that’s the wave of the future, anyway, and makes disaster planning easier.  If I would have done this two years later we’d have gone straight to corporate Gmail. But for the time being, this will be easier to integrate (maybe) with some of my current and near future projects.

What made this hard was a) I made people change their old, worn out and weak passwords for burly strong ones.  It was rather like pulling teeth.  But it’s done, across the board, and it’s all good.  The other hard part is b) that we’ve been using GW for years, and most of the staff has been there for years (low turnover= pretty good place to work, usually) and CHANGE IS HARD.  It’s just Outlook ferwgawdsake, but I’m sure Monday will be fraught with trauma.  Everyone is rather entrenched in their routines.

The worst (at least most avoidably annoying) part of this was:  My boss went to Florida for the week – right before he left he asked if I could put the e-mail changeover off a week because if for some reason his Blackberry wouldn’t work while he was gone he’d be VERY ANGRY.  This is after innumerable e-mails to people over the last six weeks, exhorting them to clean up, giving them the deadline, working with the other companies, getting the MX records shifted, getting the Blackberries all set to move over, blah blah blah.  I said, “No, was I supposed to work around his schedule?” He said, “Well, I AM the CEO.”  Barf.  He actually said that.

He would not take a laptop as backup just in case “shit happened” because that would be so much harder than shifting around all the rest of the staff and the companies and the project etc. etc. etc.  Selfish pr*ck.  I gave him the relatively simple instructions for re-registering his device and told him he’d be fine.

He called me at 7 this (Saturday) morning and said it didn’t work.  I figured out where he was in the process, told him what to do, and he started to do it and (accidentally, I hope) hung up on me.  Called me back a few minutes later and I detailed what the screen should look like if it was working and (of course) it was.  He said, “Send me a test e-mail” and hung up.  So I did.  And I got in the car and drove (the frigging hour) into work.  Halfway there, I got this email:

“Works_what is the address for getting mail on a computer on the road??”  Yeah, you’re welcome, asshole. But he must have taken his laptop, which is good, because he wanted the OWA URL.  Naturally, I’d sent two emails already with the specific OWA info, but he probably didn’t read them.  Par.    Blah Blah Blah bitch moan whine.  All’s well that ends well , I guess.

I’ve just come home, pounded down a Guinness and sent the kid out for more.  If he hurries, you can watch my literacy decline.