Hit Coffee is the story of Will Truman (trumwill),
transplant in the mountain west with an IT background who bides his time
substitute teaching while his wife brings home the bacon.
This site is a collection of reflections
on the goings-on in his life and in the world around him. You will probably
be relieved to know that he does not generally refer to himself in the
third-person except when he's writing short bios on his web page.
Greetings from Callie, Arapaho, a red town in a red state known for growing
red meat. And from Redstone, Arapaho(Aw-RAH-pah-hoe), a blue city with blue collar roots that's been feeling blue
for quite some time.
Nothing written on this site should be taken as strictly true, though
if the author were making it all up rest assured the main character
and his life would be a lot less unremarkable.
This website is maintained by Guy Webster (web),
who also contributes from time to time.
Web hails from the midwest and currently lives
in Truman's home city of Colosse, Delosa. He works as a utility IT person at
Southern Tech University, their alma mater.
Also contributing is Sheila Tone (stone) a West Coaster, breeder, and lawyer
who has probably hooked up with some loser just like you and sees through
your whole pathetic little act.
Thad at the Monster Blog lists ten business phrases that he hates. A couple caught my interest:
“The 50,000-foot perspective”
I have never before in my life heard this phrased uttered in a business setting or outside of one. Is that strange?
“Pushing the envelope”: First of all, just because you do something the slightest bit differently than how you’ve always done it doesn’t mean you’re pushing the envelope. Second of all, why does pushing the envelope mean what it does? Why is pushing an envelope a radical thing? At least “outside the box” makes a little bit of sense.
For the longest time, I thought “pushing the envelope” meant giving someone a bribe. The imagery in my head was an envelope being pushed over a desk to a county commissioner or something for a contract.
“Making lemonade out of lemons”
This one reminds me a bit of a story that Willard told me about a conversation between him and Don Fallon, the company’s CEO. Back before the project I work on now was developed, there was a similar program that performed a similar task. Apparently the program was not very scalable and as the company grew, the program quickly became more wrecked than right. Don was unphased, telling Willard that he had seen Apollo 13 the night before and made some metaphor about how he needed Willard to be like those engineers that saved the astronauts.
Willard pulled out the convoluted flow chart/bush that was that mess of a program and said, “Take a look at this, Don. The astronauts are dead.”
The project was cancelled within two months and the new project, which I now work on, was started.
As with most kids, I think, the junior high years for me were the worst of my life. A combination of deflated expectations, puberty, waist-bloat, and… well… everything else that comes with being in junior high. My junior high experience cast a pretty long shadow and though I don’t think about it much now, it influenced the things that influenced the things that influenced the things that influence who I am today.
Things had started to improve by my 8th grade year (Delosa schools have middle school from 6-8 and high school from 9-12) through, among other things, bribery. And in high school I discovered an online bulletin board system (BBS) that would change my life. It’s interesting to note that only once I started getting better did I realize how bad things had previously been.
I remember a girl in my sophomore year that I took a bit of a liking to. She and I would talk every day before and after our mutual English class. I, of course, was trying to figure out if she liked me by every possible means except direct inquiry. I remember at one point I was watching her intently interact with people that were my social equal or lessers in the high school caste system. I remember quite explicitly thinking that she might be interested in them in a way that she probably wasn’t with me because they were “real guys”… humans… and I was an ogre.
But progress was nonetheless being made. I may have been an ogre, but somewhere along the way I’d become a dignified one. I was actually talking to this girl. I had actual, bona fide female friends. This, of course, blew my ogre friends away. As some of them started sliding deeper and deeper in to ogredom, I was getting out.
But I wasn’t out at that point because, among other things, I was still hanging out with ogres and I was still one among them. However, I was really at the head of the pack. I look back at that experience as being the Ogre King. Not quite human, but the ogre that all the rest of the ogres looked up to.
It took my losing about sixty pounds, breaking a couple of hearts, and keeping and maintaining a human girlfriend for a couple of years before I finally really broke out of that mindset. Well, broke out of it to the extent that I ever will. At some point, I think, your experience diverge far enough from the typical path that I don’t think your perspective will ever be able to merge with everyone else’s. But luckily, as you grow older, medieval fantasy race stops mattering quite so much.
StealthSwitch™ is a microprocessor based computer privacy device. StealthSwitch™ uses patent pending technology to instantly and completely hide applications with a press of the footswitch. The applications are not just minimized…they are made completely invisible. No more minimizing applications, turning off the monitor, or re-booting when someone enters your office or cubicle. With a simple click of the foot switch, you can instantly hide the current window, hide all open windows, or hide all open windows except certain windows. And the best part – because the StealthSwitch™ is under your desk, no one will notice. When they leave your office, simply click the foot switch again and your programs are back just the way they were. StealthSwitch™ can also mute the sound, hide the taskbar, hide all desktop icons, and password protect the restore function all at the same time.
I got a traffic ticket on my way to work this morning. The Mocum cop caught me fair and square. As is usually the case when I’m pulled over, I was speeding on cruise control rather than being in a hurry (I was at least half-an-hour early for work). It was probably the nicest cop I’ve ever had. I have a temporary insurance card that had expired by two days and he didn’t seem to sweat it. I was hoping to get off, but he’s got a job to do and what’s really surprising is that the ticket was for a measly $53. Going 13-over in Colosse (most of Delosa, I’d actually say) would get you closer to $200.
But that’s neither here nor there. The biggest even of this ticket is that I don’t care. Part of me really wants to worry about it, but the biggest reason that I’ve always worried is no longer an issue. Let me explain.
The last time I got a ticket was a few years ago. I was caught in a speed trap on a rural highway. When you see a “reduced speed limit ahead” sign and see the speed limit go down ten miles an hour you feel pretty safe until you reach the top of the hill and are heading down when the speed limit decreases another 10 mph for no more than a 50 feet. I was on my way to Smyrna to visit my friend and it really ruined my weekend. Not because of the $200 fine or because of the inevitable insurance hike, but because my parents were going to find out about it.
Unfortunately, about two weeks before I had moved in with the folks for a few months while I worked and saved up for our trip out here. I also viewed it as an opportunity for Mom and I to mend our sometimes spotty relationship. With the ticket, I knew that wasn’t going to happen. Sure enough, despite having taken care of myself financially for a few years and being many moons past eighteen, I was grounded. Mom and I did not speak for a couple of days and within a week I decided I didn’t need to save up that bad and made alternate living arrangements. That’s how bad it got.
Before getting married and moving out here, I’d lived my whole life in the greater Colosse area. It was very convenient in a number of ways. My folks’ house in Mayne was my permanent address so that I didn’t need to keep changing my drivers licenses, billing addresses, and all that every time that I moved. It all went to her. My bank account also had Mom’s name on it because it got me a better interest rate. So while I was paying for everything myself, my parents (Mom specifically) had access to more information than was probably appropriate. I’m not a particularly private person so it never bothered me… except when it did.
When I got my drivers license, nothing was more serious than the prospect of getting a ticket. I lived in regular fear of it. My folks would take my car away for a whole month and I’d have to ride the big yella to school. Uncool. But it worked: I didn’t get my first ticket until I was in college. And outside the city of Phillippe (long story), I never got more than a ticket a year and up until this morning’s ticket, I was eligable for the good-driver discount. They also taught me early and often the value of money. I was taught to live below my means and save up. This was very effective, too.
But in neither case do I worry about it quite as much as my parents. When working I try to put away 25% of my salary and more often than not that leaves me with a little spending room. Computers are my think and that’s where most of my money went. Courting Evangeline was also my thing, so a lot of money went there, too. But Mom would see my Discover bill and I’d hear about it. And Mom would certainly see whether I sent $200 to the Podunk County Sheriff’s Office. But for my part, one of the reasons I save money is so that I don’t have to freak out when some extra expense comes my way.
Mom and Dad were both raised poor and up until recently buying things that weren’t important were more than bad money management, it was a moral bad. They liked to spend money on trips and I liked to spend it on computer stuff (and didn’t mind spending it on eating out or high-speed Internet). Dad and I eventually came to terms with that (one of the most heart-melting things he ever said to me was that I am pretty good with money), but Mom and I never did.
Since getting married and moving away, I’ve had to take more responsibility for things. We have everything we can on autopayments. It kills Mom that we spend $10 a month on what she considers an unnecessary service, but I actually prefer it to the situation when I lived back there. I always figured that while doing all these things myself would not be hard, it would be somewhat stressful. But with the all-important exception of the credit card, I was actually paying most of my bills there (water, electricity, phone go straight to the apartment that’s getting it). And really, until Clancy pointed out how unnecessary some of these head-buttings between Mom and I were, I never thought a whole lot of it.
And until today, when I have no one to answer for my ticket but me, I never quite realized that it was taking a bigger toll on my life than taking ownership of the rest of my bills was.
A month or two, shortly after our new COO came aboard, we had a division-wide meeting (at FalStaff, a division is a collection of departments) that included us, our sister department, and both departments’ QA groups (which I was not a part of then, but am now). The premise behind the meeting was to talk with our new HR director and learn about our benefits and discuss what we’d like to see from the company.
It smelled very much like an ambush.
Several months ago, relations between the Legal Standards & Compliance (LSC) Department and Reports & Legal Contracts (RLC) Departments reached a low. The CIO (our chief, Willard and George’s boss, as well as the head of LSC (which, contrary to its name, is not staffed with lawyers or even paralegals). The day before the meeting, Jarvis (Willard’s deputy) warned us not to air any of our complaints. It was an odd thing to say, considering that was the whole point of the meeting (both sides airing our complaints). Jarvis told us that they were baiting us to complain and that the reason they were having the meeting was to tell us to lay back on them, not to come to any mutual understanding on the matter.
We heeded Jarvis’s advice. Our sister department got no such advice and registered a complaint. As Jarvis predicted, the subject was immediately turned to how much we didn’t appreciate how hard that LSC was working and how all we do is complain about the job they do and yadda yadda yadda. The substance, which was not wholly inaccurate in hindisight, isn’t the point. The point is that they drew us in to one meeting with one purpose and then had a very different meeting with a different purpose.
As predicted, the HR meeting was an ambush. The new HR guy gave a good twenty minute speech emphasizing how he was our advocate and on our side. At the end of the twenty minutes, he asked if we had any questions or complaints about the policies. The first complaint triggered the real meaning of the meeting, which was how unobservant we have been of longstanding company policies (which aren’t written down). He went in to our unacceptable dress, our questionable work ethic, our imperfect attendence, and a litany of management complaints.
But worst of all were the threats. If someone is caught surfing the Internet on company time, they’ll take away our Internet. If people continue to skirt the current dress codes, they’ll make them more stringent. Pregnant employees, whose feet had swollen beyond the size of their shoes, were told they had to buy new shoes rather than wear sandals. To give you an idea of the tone and nature of the discussion, he said that if you miss days without company permission (or take more than three sick days) that your job is at risk. He went into what came across as a tirade about how if they wanted part-time workers, they would hire part-time workers, but this company doesn’t hire part-time workers for a reason. At least six people in the room were designated part-time employees. But the essential gyst was “You are replaceable. If you don’t want to do things exactly our way, we’ll find someone else that will.”
A very morale-building speech from our advocate.
The COO joined in the meeting and said, more-or-less, that his primary concern was the bottom line. Often that means pleasing us, sometimes it means not pleasing us. Stick with the company and work hard and you’ll get ahead. If not then not. Not a different message, but I couldn’t help but have more respect for him because he never pretended to be our ally.
The HR guy works in the old building and from home, so we rarely see him. When we do, he’s usually canvassing the aisles looking for people that are not staying focus. They’ve been discussing taking away our fifteen minute breaks. I suspect he’s gathering evidence to justify it. We also know that he wants our Internet access taken away, too.
I got the impression that he used to be an executive of either this company or one of the Fallons’ other ventures. Or some other company. This must be his first stint as an HR director because he is approaching everything as a supervisor. I can see where he’s coming from on most of what he has to say and even agree with a lot of it. But this company has a pretty bad problem with turnover. Less than half the employees that were here when I got here are still here. Every few months they basically have to train a new RLC Dept. The company acknowledges this as a problem and will periodically send out questionnaires always followed by complaints of lack of participation and a stern warning that they can’t help us if we don’t tell them what’s wrong.
Since Clancy is out of town, I was thinking about renting the Star Wars part 1 & 2 and then watching the third this weekend at the theater. But, realistically, what are the odds that at least five people around here haven’t thought of the same thing and cleared out those particular items?
The only times I’ve not been behind on my movie watching are when I worked in a movie theater and when I was dating someone new. Beyond that, I’ve hated to go out and spend the money. More than that, I hate the idea of going to the movie theater alone. It’s probably the only public place I feel that way about.
Anyhow, when Lord of The Rings came out, it was no different. Though I did want to see the movie, I never actually made my way out to the theater. But Colosse had enough ultra-megaplexes that the movie stayed in theaters for almost a year. About ten months after its release, I caught a girl’s fancy and we went out to see the first film. It was pretty cool because about a month later I got to see the second one, before I forgot anything.
By the time the third one came out, I was able to see the Director’s Cut of the first two, thereby allowing dangling plots to start making sense.
I don’t think I ever planned a set of movies so well as I did that one. Except that it was unplanned. Which is probably why it worked out so well!
I hadn’t realized it, but my coworker Simon has actually been building a little empire at FalStaff. He recommended three of the six people that have been hired on in the Reports department since I signed on. On one hand it’s pretty cool to work with friends. On the other… Simon has the FAIL them several times a day (as do I). That’s a whole lot easier to do when you’re ambivalent with someone.
I only bring this up because as of today they have a $300 referral bonus. This, of course, after he shot the three closest arrows in his quiver (and the fourth, his fiance, already left here and will not ever be coming back). I’ve tried to keep an eye out cause some of the vacancies are in our department (our sister department, actually, but once they get more people then we get some of their people).
This is the fourth straight company that I’ve worked for that has had a referral bonus. This is the first company, though, that I have my doubts as to whether or not they need it. An $8.50/hr job coming straight out of high school (you don’t really need experience to do this job). It pays a dollar less than jobs in our department (one of the reasons they like to start people in the other department then shift them over here is that they don’t get paid as much that way), but that’s not bad money out here for those without a college degree or serious experience.
Except, unfortunately, they’re moving away from qualification in to overqualification. According to the ad they’re now putting in the paper, I’m no longer qualified. They ask for “three years related experience.” In some places that’s gonna work, but I have to tell you that there are few places that do exactly what we do. Even our competitors do things quite differently. And now they want someone that can speak Spanish. That’s probably wise, though it’s not particularly easy to find out here (though it’s not as difficult as one might believe. Those that aren’t white up here are usually american indian or latino).
I understand that at times you have to whittle down the number of applicants, but sometimes I question the wisdom of necessarily going for the most qualified candidate, but that’s probably the subject of another post.
Also, and you can’t make this sort of stuff up, they misspelled “detail” in “detial-oriented.”
There’s an old joke that when two women show up at a party wearing the exact same thing, they’ll hate each other and when two guys do the same, they’ve found a new best friend.
Case and point, my coworker Edgar and I both wear approximately the same size and both shop at Walmart. Consequently, our wordrobes are eerily similar. We do manage to avoid wearing the same thing on the same day, thanks in part to the vastness of my wardrobe (I have 3 weeks of pants, 5 weeks of shirts, give or take). But regardless, we have a ritual of complimenting each other’s shirts whenever we have a similar one on the rack at home.
We’re nopt the only ones. A couple weeks back I bought an orange-red (my favorite color as a kid) shirt, except I’m reluctant to wear it because not one but two people have the exact same shirt. Once you’re talking three or more, you’re moving beyond lazy shopping in to cult status. Or something.
Edgar’s out today, and no one is wearing exactly what I am, but I’ve seen no less than nine people wearing a green shirt with khaki slacks. I rarely wear khaki and rarer still with a green shirt, so I’ve gotta wonder if people wear this super-regularly and I don’t know it, or if I’m unconsciously part of a hivemind.
Number of documents in the highest priority level, Code Red: 165
Number of documents in the second highest priority level, Code Orange: 84
Number of documents in the middle priority level, Code Yellow: 58
Number of documents in the second lowest priority level, Code Green: 1
Number of documents in the lowest priority level, Code Blue: 0
Percent of requests designated Code Red: 54%
Percent of requests designated Code Orange or Code Red: 81%
Probability of anything not labeled Code Red or Code Orange being completed: 0%
Percent of requests designated Code Red or Code Orange that do not have to be done until this time next month or after: ~20%
Number of Code Red requests pertaining to a new law passed by a state legislature that does not take effect until January 1, 2006: 1
Number of documents I handled last week that are not Code Red or Code Orange: 0
Percent of department employees that have been kept after work for Code Reds that were not due for at least two days: 36%
Percent of Account Managers that realize that anything labeled Code Yellow or below may never get done: 97% (one of them is a bit slow on the uptake)
Wednesday, a serious bug must have gone around the office. Cause yesterday, an inordinate number of people didn’t show and a number of employees that did looked tired, warn out, and delirious, as though they were sick, too.
I actually still haven’t seen Part II yet. The original two came out when I was too young to watch and/or remember and I wasn’t able to completely follow the third cause I’d missed the first two, but I remember thinking that the Ewoks were pretty cool. I saw all three during their re-release to the theater and then I saw Phantom Menace when it came out.
Part of my lack of enthusiasm, I guess, was that it was never larger than life to me because I was so old by the time I saw it. They were good movies, but they were good in a wow-golly-gee sort of manner about as subtle as a sledgehammer. That’s why I’ve found criticisms of the Phantom Menace to be kind of odd. It seems like a lot of fans wanted the movie to grow up with them. But not having been a huge fan, I’m not sure if I’m the most qualified person to say that.
But though I haven’t seen the Sith movie, I have heard enough tidbits to comment on one particular aspect of it. If I am coming to the table with erroneous facts, please correct me. But anyway, when it’s a six movie saga, I can’t imagine it’s that hard to keep continuity straight. In fact, I would go as far as to say that there’s really no excuse for any continuity error, story-wise.
A good life lesson for me is “You will not ever really be happy in a job where your effectiveness can be measured on a piece of paper.”
Or, for that matter, a whiteboard.
At FalStaff we have what we oh-so-affectionately call “The Whiteboard of Shame.” As near as I can tell, it was devised by George Welton shortly before I got here. There used to be a point system whereby a certain kind of legal contract would be worth X points, a payroll report worth a different amount. They said when I got here that the board wasn’t reflective of a whole lot so that I shouldn’t worry about it.
Posting a “score” for everyone to see and telling you not to worry about it does not work. At all.
What’s kind of odd is that a long time ago, we were asked what system we thought would be fairest to “grade” us. We all agreed one in a kind of unanimity that is difficult to match. Our recommendation was ignored and when we had complaints about what was instituted, we were even lectured by then-QA guy (and now unemployed slob) Teddy Forbes for not having been helpful during the deliberations. There have been two points that I almost walked straight out that door and that was one of them.
It’s gone through a few incarnations since. Amazingly, I think each system has been worse than the previous. The current system, correct pages completed and accuracy percentage, is probably the worst. You can literally spend all day on a form that’s one page in size and if you get a single comma wrong, you would literally be better off having done nothing all day. Your point total does not go up, but your accuracy goes down.
All the while they’re telling you that it doesn’t matter. And in a sense, it doesn’t. It was originally instituted for employee bonuses. The bonuses never really materialized, but the relic carries on.
Dr. Howard, one of Clancy’s attending physicians pulled her aside yesterday. Apparently another doctor in the area has taken issue with Clancy’s fashion sense. Actually, Clancy more-or-less sticks to scrubs and the other doc thought that it might be a good idea - since she is about to be a third-year resident - to dress more “professionally.”
This isn’t the first time that this has been an issue. During a rotation in rural Shoshone, she was asked not to wear the scrubs she’s more or less consistently worn since medical school. Part of it is a comfort issue, part of it a money issue, and right now part of it a size issue. Clancy and I are both trying to lose some weight (both of us are “overweight” but neither “obese”) and she is loathe to buy clothes that are bigger than her normal size.
I completely understand where she’s coming from. I’ve more-or-less stuck to size 36-32 pants for the past three years, whether I’m 200 pounds or 230 and have adjusted my pant-height accordingly (as well as, at 230, learning to suck in my gut for however long it takes to get them on). I’ve also declined to move up a shirt size because I want my weight to go down and not my clothes size to go up.
On top of all of this, Clancy is not much of a shopper. I’m actually a bigger shopper than she is. It turns out that Dr. Howard and another that overheard the conversation feel the same way. Something about women in medicine, I suppose. But Dr. Howard volunteered to take Clancy out shopping soon to help her out.
But it could be a good thing. For one thing, going to nicer places will become easier (it’s amazing how easily you can get scrubs to “blend,” but even so. But for another thing, it may help with a problem that she’s pretty consistently run in to. She’s a young, female MD that actually looks younger than she is. Consequently, she is assumed to be a nurse unless otherwise identified (and even then). When she actually wore a characteristic doctor-white coat, people became slightly better about it. Hopefully dressing less comfortably will help, too.
On a lot of cop shows and movies, there’ll be a passing scene where the cops are looking for something. They’ll break in with guns cocked (usually someone is yelling “Go! Go! Go!”, demand everyone onto the floor and look for the bomb/drugs/contraband. When they don’t fight it, someone speaks into a walky-talky or their wrist or something and say “Blank not found. I repeat, blank was not found” (or sometimes “not intercepted”), and they charge on to the next destination of wherever they think it might be.
A couple months ago, FalStaff released a new report tracking system. This has five color-coded layers of importance (in ascending order of importance: blue, green, yellow, orange, red). Whenever a document goes red, we’re told to expect people breathing down our necks. Orange simply means we have to “walk it through” (hand it directly to the next person in the process rather than put it in their basket). When we do that, we set the report in the name of whoever we gave it to and they are the “owner” of the document.
Periodically, someone that requests a document go Red, but has that request denied (thankfully, some are aware that they can actually do it themselves), they will treat an Orange like a Red and you can expect visits ever ten minutes until you are done with it and pass it on to the next person to have someone breathing down their neck. Sometimes, mid-process, a document legitimately moves from Orange to Red, at which point we have the CIO, Willard, Jarvis, and the Account Manager all at our desks.
“Go! Go! Go!”
“Truman, we’re looking for document 684-122.”
“I don’t have it, I swear I don’t have it!”
“The report tracking system says that you do. Cough it up!”
“I just got back from giving it to Legal.”
“Document not found. I repeat, document not found.”
Back in Colosse I worked for a contract-based fabrication company called Wildcatter. Contract-based companies are by their very nature chaotic. Mass hirings for a job, mass layoffs when the job is completed. Weeks of nothing to do followed by weeks of 65 hour workweeks. FalStaff is also a contract-based company, though theoretically ought to be more stable since contracts are ongoing rather than project-oriented.
But FalStaff is, by far, the most chaotic company I have ever worked for. A lot of it has to do with growth. the company has roughly doubled in size in the past two years. But part of it is a jarring lack of foresight. Not inconsequential details go unnoted.
The Sales and Marketing Departments are presently boxing up all their stuff and relocating to the company’s “corporate headquarters.” CHQ is also known as “the old building” because that’s where the company used to exist. It used to be a small office building and, as they expanded, they bought trailers from the CEO’s brother and worked out of those. Once they hit 100 employees it became increasingly infeasible to have a 2000 sqft. building and 15 trailers, so they decided to move out.
They found a place in downtown Mocum that they really liked - a bank was relocating to another part of town. For six months they told everyone that they were going to be moving there. They had actually started boxing things up when the deal fell through. Why did the deal fall through? Because the bank had already sold someone else. The missing link here is that it never occured to FalStaff that they ought to contact the bank and declare their interest in buying before the bank had completely moved out. The bank had no idea that FalStaff was interested.
So instead they move in to the second floor of the current building. Despite a 30% growth rate in the first two quarters of 2003, they opted for a place only marginally larger than the trailers. Within six months they’re putting desks in the break room. By nine months they’re trading down cubicle sizes and planning to move out. They decided that they were going to move downstairs. So for four months we hear about how we’re going to be taking over downstairs and the home for the developmentally impaired could relocate to our old building.
Once again, they never thought to ask if the company downstairs wanted to do that. Turns out they don’t. Nor did they contact the building’s manager. If they did, they would have learned that the company downstairs finishing up year one a two-year lease. So now, absent that, they’re moving marketing and sales back to the old building. and despite 100% growth over the past two years, they think that they’ll be able to shuffle us around for the next year or so until the company downstairs is booted out.
Note: I actually wrote this one a little while back, but never got around to posting it. Because posting has been and will be light this week because of this monstrosity, I thought I’d go ahead and post it.
Most of my coworkers went out to lunch today. I declined due to my anti-social tendencies. They weren’t gone but ten minutes before my cube neighbor Edgar’s wife showed up with a bunch of balloons and a gift.
Uh, oh… I thought.
Me: I think he went off to lunch.
She: That couldn’t be. I made him his lunch today.
I thought that I might be wrong, so I asked around the office. Everyone was pretty sure he went with the group. The receptionist and I assured her that this was a rare occasion and tried to laugh at all the luck, but she didn’t see much humor in it.
I called the one coworker that had a mobile phone on him, but got no answer. Afraid that they might take a long lunch, I went ahead and clocked out for lunch to track him down downtown, but they were gone by the time I got there.
She’d apparently decided to surprise him for their anniversary. The surprise came when he got back from lunch in a whole load of trouble.
My post below and Becky’s response to it reminded me of this quote:
“You see Bob, it’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I just don’t care… It’s a problem of motivation, all right? Now if I work my ass off and Initech ships a few extra units, I don’t see another dime, so where’s the motivation? And here’s another thing, I have eight different bosses right now… So that means when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That’s my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that, and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired. ” -Peter Gibbons in Office Space
There ought to be a word for the opposite of sour grapes. I was never particularly excited about the promotion, but since I haven’t gotten I feel like it would have been a lot better for me than if I had been a candidate. So instead of the grapes I couldn’t reach being sour, they were particularly sweet.
I finally got my wish. I got a really nice email from Fritz today notifying me that they’d filled the other slot. He said that I was a strong candidate and that he’s going to keep me in mind for any future openings. I’m pretty curious as to whether or not Edgar (a much weaker candidate) got the same thing.
I think part of me wouldn’t be so agitate had two people from the outside gotten it. Or someone from the inside more qualified than myself. Part of the frustration, I guess, is that Mindy got it over me when (unlike other candidates) I believe I would have been a better fit.
On the other hand, it’s caused me to do a pretty serious self-evaluation. I honestly have not been remarkably deserving of a promotion of that magnitude. This blog is a great example of how off-task I often am. I don’t do just enough to get by, but I don’t do much more than I have to. There are several reasons for this and I don’t see it changing in the near future, but as long as I am working at the level I am, I have no immediate claim to a higher position even considering my outside experience and the fact that people don’t seem to notice (or care) that I am not on-task 100% of the time.
Besides, with any luck, I’ll get the less unmotivating other job.
temp copycheckers actually finished a week ahead of schedule. We’re immediately caught up. They were rewarded for their hard work with a prompt dismissal.
With the departure of another QA person, I have pillaged her red FAIL stamp. So no more tie-dye. If I’d been more on the ball, I would have gotten a stapler upgrade, too.
When I was taking drivers many years ago, my drivers ed instructor threatened to fail me because I kept slamming the doors on her car. I’ve been politely asked by two different people not to slam the PASS/FAIL stamp on the table. The girl across from me likened it to a “little earthquake.” Oops.
During our interview process, the person generally sits with a programmer for a few minutes in a sort of working interview. Between the time that Willard dumped him off on Gordon and the fifteen minutes or so that process takes, Willard went to lunch. We have no idea what to do with this guy. He’s probably not thinking his interview went well.
There’s something to be said for working for computer nerds. I stumbled across a serial HD that I needed to unload. One email to our department yielded no less than three people who wanted to buy it.
When I was in college Julie’s mother got me temporary job as a “Y2K Coordinator” (more on this another time)at a computer reselling company. It was my first job in an office environment. I’d all but run out of clean clothes when I started digging in to my more… interesting… attire from my mother’s second-hand store. In this case it was a yellow shirt with red pants. It’s not often that the VP in charge of rebates pulls a lowly staff-person into her office, but she did to give me an earful.
I’m not sure I ever wore those pants again. It wasn’t too much later that my taste in clothes changed entirely as I became single again and was held accountable for my dress in ways that mattered to me (ie dates).
While there’s a limit to what I can do impression-wise at my job for the folks in charge of the promotion-I-did-not-get, I’m still trying to come across more professionally for this opportunity or any others that may come around. I can feel myself becoming a drone, but that’s okay.
I wear a difficult-to-find size of pants. Mom, knowing this and being a Mom, pulled aside a few things from her shop last time I made a trip down to Colosse. One of this was this pair of green slacks. I’m not a huge fan of the slacks, but they were the only thing in my closet this morning that went with the shirt I wanted to wear. While I have multiple pairs of green slacks (which I like because I can guiltlessly wear dark blue shirts with them), these are a bit… louder somehow than the others. I’m not sure how except that they have a bit of a gloss.
But they’re Bugle Boy, so they can’t be too inappropriate, can they?
Something tells me that I’m going to spend all day thinking about getting chewed out by Julie’s mother. That and waiting for the day I can find and afford a fleet of Dockers in my size.