September 21st, 2004

ieee coin

End Users

Today, in turn, I was an end user, and had to deal with one. The two are linked, of course.

First, I had to bugger off my machine so the cute IT guy who likes the Dave Matthews Band could set up my profile. Sadly, my attempt to use my cool, charm, and technical prowess to impress him, if even ever so slightly, failed -- instead of being able to coolly finish the monitor report I was doing and log out and hand over the machine, I tried to do too much at once, logged out of the online monitoring app, and had to start up a new session and transfer over all the notes and settings (hooray for the back button!) which was so very not technically impressive.

So the cute IT guy set up my machine. It was very simple -- log in, log in to his home base remotely, find my profile, tweak some things, have me log in as me and set my password, take over again and make sure Outlook Express set up correctly, add access to the right printers (hm, I wonder what I could do with the wrong printers... ), then log in as root again and scoop some necessary icons onto my desktop.

If I'd known the commands and passwords, I could have done it. Is it sad that I have a fondness for the IT department not because of their Arcane Technical Knowledge, but because they know the commands and passwords to do Really Nifty Things?

The cute IT guy, who can't be older than thirty at the outside addressed me as Mrs. Lunatic. Do I really look old enough to be married? I suppose one of the things that one does in a corporate environment is guess at proper titles for women based on their left ring finger, and I've got a large shiny piece of silvery metalwork that's been camped out there for the past couple weeks... still, I'd be surprised if anyone mistook that ring, my Circle of Chaos ring, for a wedding ring at anything other than a cursory glance.

When the IT guy left, I logged in as my shiny new account and prepared for some serious monitoring action. Everything was going well until I went to print out, and found that the print command screen for my new account did not allow me to specify double-sided printing. I searched all over it, in each nook and cranny I could think of, and still couldn't find it. I was peeved. I bravely monitored on.

The Slightly Batty Old Lady Monitor came in some fifteen minutes later, waving my neatly-stapled latest monitor report around flag-style. She started telling me how to print double-sided. I told her that yes, I knew how to, but it did not work on this login. She hung around for a few minutes, and pointed out something else I was doing wrong -- putting division marks between comments on calls into my comment area, and that notes on calls are supposed to be separated by spaces only. Spaces only?! The monitor comments on the monitor report are parsed and printed as HTML... I steamed, internally. She finally told me to cut that monitor session short so I could print. And I pulled up the printing screen and clicked the tab she told me to click, sat back, and waited for her to get through staring at it and making End-User Noises.

She told me that This Was Not Good, and that I should log off and go try using the other computer, and she would tell IT. She set sails to depart. I did the End-User-Interface covert eyeroll and managed to explain (miraculously! even though since she's not the true one-and-only Old Lady Monitor, so she did have a prayer of understanding) that it was a problem with the login account, not the computer -- things were printing fine from the Field Supervisor login, but not my Miss Lunatic login.

The evening proceeded apace, with me fuming quietly to myself about End Users, and the utter lack of sense my future monitor reports were going to make without any way of marking a division between the notes on specific calls. "Only spaces, huh?" I muttered to myself. "  this flaming pile of crap!"

Once upon a time, I had made no division between my notes on specific calls. Lo, from the heavens came the Crabby-Sounding Lady Shift Ops Super, who came unto me and asked: "Miss Lunatic, why did you give unto this poor Survey Goon a minus for not doing as he ought to when he did here as he ought not to, but then recovered and did as he ought right here?" And I responded thus: "Because, o Wise Shift Ops Super, this was not a recovery and him doing first what he ought not to, and then what he ought to, in the same call, no; these were two different calls, and what he did unto the first call can never be recovered." And the Shift Ops Super abided by my wisdom as Monitor, and specified unto me: "It's really hard to tell when the notes from all the calls run together." And so, from that point forward, I did make odd punctuation unto my monitor reports to divide the first call from the next, and from the next, and from the next. And no more did the Shift Ops Super come down upon me with countenance grave and terrible -- at least not about that problem.

And my consternation was great, for I could not both make my monitor reports sensible and pleasing to the eye for the supervisors and those I monitored while following the punctuation instructions of the Slightly Batty Old Lady Monitor.

So when the shift ended, I walked up to the Slightly Batty Old Lady Monitor and asked her, "Did you know that when you put more than one space in the monitor report comments, they do not print out?"

She hadn't known. She was taken aback. She began mentally composing her e-mail to the Fearless Leader Monitor. She'd never really looked at any of her monitor reports after they'd printed out, so she hadn't the foggiest. She had been putting equals signs between the comments until the Fearless Leader Monitor had everyone stop putting non-typical punctuation in.

Again, I am Geek of the Moment, and have helped in stopping a problem before it got to be a real issue. I like being there and sharp.
bleeding, Ryoko

Interesting Things: neophobe/neophile, anatomy of a panic attack crisis, and change.

Well, the Interesting Things seem to be tapering off. The reality of the current guests in my headspace is settling in nicely, and now that terminology is in place, it's back to feeling like It's Always Been Like This, which it really has.

I'm weird. I'm somewhat of a conservative neophile who doesn't do well with change. Contradiction in terms, much? I want the tried and true for myself with the shiniest new stuff to play with as well. It's getting me to make the switch between things that's the bitch. Unless I can bring with me all the comforts I have set up for myself, I don't want to hear of it.

I had a freakish panic attack last night. This may or may not be related -- somehow I think it both is and isn't. On the bottom level, it isn't. There I was, sitting merrily by myself thinking about things, and all of a sudden it was as if the bottom had dropped out of my mind. Imagine the shallows at a beach, with warm bright water and soft sand underfood just within toe's reach and wide-open spaces -- suddenly replaced by a cold deep well with stormy water and slick rock sides that break clawing fingernails and shred fingertips, and you can't climb up and you can't get out and if you stop struggling for an instant you'll drown, and you know you're making it worse by thrashing, but you can't get anywhere and you won't move and you hurt yourself on the walls by lashing out but if you stop moving you'll go down under that charcoal matte frothed water and you can't get out.

It's perhaps worse when you've healed your mind enough so that these attacks are few and far between. If you're living every day under the battleship-grey banner of long-term depression, the contrast isn't so vivid. The change between adrift in a stormy sea with no land in sight and nothing to cling to and the poorly-lit well is a small one, and sometimes abject misery can be relieved, somewhat, by a sudden struggle between life and death with one's mind as the battleground, oneself the sole chosen champion. But when life is decent, and the moments that aren't an extreme of any emotion are a vague contentment and sense of well-being, it's a rude shock to suddenly find oneself in the midst of a mental battle that could well prove fatal.

I survived, of course. I always have, so far. (My monthly battle with the Lone Power? "Greeting and defiance -- I bleed at thee!"?) But I hate not knowing what's going to trigger it off each time.

I suspect what triggered it off this time was part of the changes. It sucks that I have been making some assumptions about myself based on outdated information, and I'm almost scared to find out what else has been going on behind my back that I haven't noticed as far as my brain is concerned. Where my eyes don't go...

Sometimes I think that when things change for me, they have to change slowly and gently, or the change won't take.

Then I think that sometimes that when things change for me, they may change and I may refuse to notice the change until it's big enough, too big to be ignored, or presented to me in a drastic enough manner that I'll have to notice it and remember it.

The candle, I think, will be lit tonight.
running, bomb tech


Dagger makes the rules. We follow them. It's about who we can trust.

Usually when people do stuff, we would let them earn trust back. But bad things kept happening. So Dagger made rules about it when people did stuff that made us not trust them.

The only one she lets earn trust back again is Darkside. She says he's earned the right to earn trust back, because he doesn't do stuff on purpose and is always sorry and tries to put everything back better and picks up after everybody else, too. And he doesn't do bad stuff very much, so he doesn't have to earn trust back, because he doesn't lose it.