May 28th, 2005

running, bomb tech

Hooray for work! Innuendo, angst, and, um, stuff.

Today at work started out with a crash-boom-bang when the formerly long-haired dayshift guy told me that by the way, he was sending his dayshift people who had been scheduled in to work the evening at one rather than at three. This threw my seating charts into dismaying disorder; I could really have used some help juggling everyone.

Of course, the people who were dayshift were also the good people who know everything, and of course the 1 pm jobs are few and far between. What happened was about 50% of the people working the small evening jobs that take finesse and skill and aren't briefed on so often were actually from dayshift. And the jobs open at the 1 pm shift are the big jobs that everyone's briefed on. And you can't start dialing one of the little jobs too early, so they all went on $ISSUE_SIDE_JOB and that other job that damn near evvvverybody is briefed on. Fortunately there were seats for them all, though there was some finagling for that. And then I had to try and replace the staffing on the little jobs with the displaced people who were coming in at 3 but whose seats had been taking by the 1 pm people, and naturally there weren't enough of them briefed on the right jobs to replace the dayshift people whose schedules had been re-arranged...

In the end, my pretty-maids-all-in-a-row strategy was at least semi-successful. I want to become adept at arranging seating charts to create not only good people on jobs, but felicitous combinations of phone goons sitting next to each other. Lining up dustraven, trystan_laryssa, and figment0 was a good thing today, though I warned the Stressy College Chick that while this combination was safe, the combination of trystan_laryssa, azurelunatic, and figment0 in a row could lead to either high productivity and high spirits or an unabashed giggle-fest.

By the time I got done arranging and got my e-mail open, I had gotten the exercise in documentation I'd done last week returned red-inked to me, with instructions to work on it and fix the notable problems and return it by Wednesday, 5-25. Um. Anyone see the problem with this scenario? Namely, the part where it didn't occur to anyone at the other end of the situation that I was not scheduled in until Thursday. I don't blame the office, because they're so very used to being Monday-to-Friday nine-to-five people that this seems to be the default, but I could have done without the part where I got a stern little e-mail telling me that my assignment was overdue five minutes after I sat down in front of the computer. That part did not make me happy. Before attending to the rest of my check-in duties, I dashed off a brief e-mail (to both the person who'd given me the original assignment and the person who'd obviously been appealed to to send me the scolding) apologizing for the delay, and calling to their attention the fact that I wasn't scheduled in until Thursday (past the deadline) and had unexpectedly not made it in on Thursday, so today was in fact the first I'd had the opportunity to see that I needed to work on this some more. Not entirely my fault. Didn't get it until now. Don't kill me. This went over well, actually, and I got a swift response back -- not the "Ooops, our bad for setting a bad deadline" I'd been secretly hoping for, but at least a "Thanks for your prompt attention to this matter."

I didn't actually get a chance to work more on the documentation exercise until later in the evening after the office people went home, but I did get it done on the same day I actually received the assignment.

Note to self: whenever sending out time-sensitive deadline-type stuff to people in an office environment, be sure to request a read-receipt as part of the documentation trail. Those things can be fudged/ignored/what-have-you, but it'll save loads of hassle to track down, "Okay, why have I not gotten a read-receipt from Josie Doe on the e-mail containing the assignment information for the Xyzxyz project that she has to do?" rather than, "Josie Doe, you haven't turned in the Xyzxyz project. Bad Josie!" as the first is far more neutral and allows for things like unseen schedule conflicts, Acts of God via the e-mail system, as well as Josie Doe not checking her e-mail and/or not reading the message and/or just slacking it. Part of the Good Documentation Lecture, in fact, was the idea of addressing the facts rather than accusing the person. And while the situation was handled decently, I'm already seeing where I can improve on it in my own future management style. This includes using the techie-tools to their full extent...

Cute Geek Super and Rev. Nice Super were talking with much innuendo in the bullpen during the end of the shift, attempting to get Stressy College Chick and me to admit that we "like Tang" (where "tang" is not the soft drink, but has a "poon-" tacked on the front) and like petting kitties and eating peaches. There was much giggling. Stressy College Chick and I rolled our eyes at each other a lot. Cute Geek Super is 23. Rev. Nice Super is 27. They are both male. Stressy College Chick and I concluded that while it's not just males, when males act like that, it really does make them look like poopy-heads. We're so mature.

trystan_laryssa and dustraven are brewing a comic strip about their gaming adventures. figment0 will feature in it here and there. trystan_laryssa was practicing drawing him today. He's cute.

dustraven has the software I'm looking for. Gooood.
running, bomb tech

Yay happy schedule!

My schedule for the next few days is good rather than abysmal: I get to monitor Saturday through Monday if everything goes according to the schedule.

This will make working Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday before my mini-pseudo-vacation starts much more in the "I can deal with this" category.
exhausted, tired, Azzsleep


Teachers whose teaching style involves the routine humiliation of students as part of driving the lesson home should be warned and suspended from teaching if appropriate.

Teachers who humiliate students rather than teach, and who interfere with a student's future learning because of trauma they inflict, should be suspended by their underwear in such a fashion as to give them a permanent wedgie. And lose their jobs.

Just sayin'.

Apropos of waking up and putting away laundry with the Futureheads' "Decent Days and Nights" in my head, because of a not-so-recent post from somebody on a Really Awesome Teacher who uses that song to get the younglings amped up about math lessons, and the ensuing discussion of Really Bad Math Teachers.
  • Current Music
    Bits of "Decent Days and Nights" on repeat in the brainmeats
running, bomb tech

Work, and a potential recipe that belongs over in azurelettuce when I make some

Zombied my way through three hours of monitoring, with two spates of technical difficulty.

The first was a printer not printing right, thanks to a) going idle, and b) not having enough toner. So I wound up printing to the alternate printer, which was going fine until the Rules Lawyer monitor told me to, um, quit that, because it was causing excessive need to sort things. I was just happy that the big printer was back up. Yay back up.

The second was the obscure sort of geek-thing that can happen to anyone, and pretty much all a non-geek is going to see is "the browser ate my monitoring session!" The geek saw that it was IE vs. the goddamn backspace key (again) and documented it as such. I think I'm going to write up brief specs for a little scripty that will Make That Not Happen and send it off to the Monitor Boss with the request to please forward that on to the Head Geek. (You can do a scripty that says, "Um, if you surf away from this page, you lose the monitor report. Continue, N/Y?" with N as the default, so if you hit backspace, enter, or backspace, space, you're still safe and you won't have surfed away, right?)

Between those two issues, I lost 13 minutes. I still came out with 5+ monitor reports an hour, which is decent for .25 downtime.

I finished off monitoring at nearly noon, and wound up on the phones for the remaining seven-ish hours. Fun for the whole family.

I had one dreadful respondent screech that there were no teenagers there, and they were dreadful creatures that should be put down. This got my brain thinking about some of the more horribly militant CF people out there, not the sane and reasonable ones who have realized their own utter lack of interest in children of their own and lack of interest in anyone else's children, the ones who would be content with them living in their own world away from children and childrearing, and new people coming into their world once they're adult enough to get along, nor the ones who have no problem with well-reared children but have a major beef with Bad Parenting, but the ones who honestly think that most or all children are actively evil and should die. Not "children are selfish little buggers and are inherently evil and must be taught how to be good, and keep them away from me," but "all children are evil and must die."

Those people, I think, are likely to have some bloody bad unresolved issues with their own childhoods to be reacting like that. At an uneducated guess, not having had time to query the person about the root of their issues or even if they were just playin' with the phone goon. I suppose, though, in a world where we have science fiction where the main theme of the book is "The human destiny is to HAVE BABIES, and stopping humans from their destiny is WRONG, and THESE PEOPLE WILL FIGHT FOR THEIR DESTINY NO MATTER WHAT THE PENALTY IS EVEN THOUGH A THIRD CHILD COULD MEAN DEATH!" we've got to have the polar opposite. Did I mention that I've stopped reading Orson Scott Card?

Your ordinary person forms Issues with the stuff that happens to and around them in their assorted formative years; those of us who are still having life-changing events well into adulthood never stop getting new Issues, in all likelihood. But it takes a certain kind of special to form Issues with the life stage itself. Once you're through with it, at least. When Adulthood is looming up, and then Middle Age, those do get kind of spooky.

I need to create a certain scorchingly bad punny recipe. Google currently returns no hits for "chili con quasar". I'm thinking beans, cheese, spices, maybe meat (for the non-kosher version) and habañero peppers. Or hotter. As hot as the audience can stand, and then a little. The dish being able to put off a decent amount of light and some radio waves would be a distinct plus.

California Dreamin'

Darkside went to Cali this weekend with his parents. Since I'm the communications hub, I badgered and bullied and glared and connived until Dawn managed to call Darkside (well, it was probably his mom) to communicate directly and arrange to hang out.

Dawn, Darkside, ralmathon, and I are college buddies of long standing, and tend to gravitate in each other's direction when we're local, just from the high levels of gaming potential attracting other beings of high gaming potential, along with other certain esoteric factors.

I see Dawn whenever she stops through, and I wound up at her wedding a few years ago. (Wow. Was that January 2003?) But ralmathon, Dawn, and Darkside have just been missing connections with each other left and right, not the least because neither of the men is good at communication.

So now Dawn and Darkside will get to spend some decent time together, and she and I will be able to giggle over it after the fact. (It's Darkside. There's going to be giggling.)

Next weekend, it's my turn. I've got to create time somewhere in there...

It's also all kinds of reassuring to hear from Dawn that yeah, Darkside's there, with his parents, having fun. I'd have been in the No Communications place if not for the relayed news. And secondhand news (probably thirdhand, actually, because I'm sure Darkside's mom and Dawn have instantly bonded) is much better than none.