Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

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Oh, Minion!

July 22, 2009

When I went to Eastern on Monday (for the canapes and open bar, John), I was killing time on the second floor of Pray-Harrold when who should appear but former!Minion (f!M). I hired him back in 2008 and got all kinds of flack from HR over it, because of his “youthful indiscretions.” And yes, I’m euphemizing like crazy here, but I’m also speaking a truth, because by the time he applied to former!employer, he’d cleaned up his act and gotten his head screwed on straight.

Anyway, last November, while I was on vacation, former!EvilBoss (f!EB) spoke with f!M about the work he was doing and asked, “Can you run all this equipment when Tara is gone?” F!M answered accurately, “Yes, I can.”

Two weeks later, I was out of there, and I was cackling a bit, too, because f!EB screwed the pooch on the question he asked. What he should have asked was, “Are you fully trained on all of the procedures that require the use of this equipment?” If he’d asked that, f!M would have answered (accurately), “No, I’m not.”

Fast forward to last month, when I received a call from a friend who still works there. She called to tell me that f!M finally got fed up and walked out of there. He was being micromanaged to within an inch of his life, which was stupid, because a) micromanagement is extremely counterproductive; b) he was never the type of employee who would respond well to that sort of management; and c) he was still the only person left who had even half a clue about what I used to do. So they pushed him to the edge, and he stepped over it, leaving them to their own devices.

Anyway, this story has a happy ending, because the reason he left was to return to school (a plan I was all for even when I was his boss) for additional accreditation. It was good to see him, partly because I never had a chance to say goodbye to him in person. I was handed my walking papers after he’d left for the day and was expected to clear out my desk that night (trufax: they asked me to stay late so they could terminate my employment).

Okay, time to garden [eyes CSS Zen Flowerpot]. Catch y’all on the flip side.

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Code abode

July 17, 2009

I’ve been thinking about Web coding, mostly because Mom asked me about the assignment. Being the dutiful daughter, I pulled up one of my pages for the course then showed her the source code, whereupon she asked why we couldn’t just use English to get the computers to show what we want them to show.

It’s a good question. I don’t think I answered it satisfactorily.

I did, however, remember that when I first learned HTML seven or eight years ago, it was unexpectedly easy. Incredibly easy, in fact, which made no sense, because I’m resistant to learning new languages. Eventually, I realized that the reason it was so easy was because I’d learned a similar language years and years earlier.

Back in the mid 80s, I worked for a local company that was pretty advanced in terms of the technology it used (an HP mainframe, if you’re interested, complete with tape-deck backup). I used the single stand-alone computer, which was bleeding edge for the day: an HP with a 12-inch monitor, dual 3.5″ disk drives and C/PM operating system. I used that puppy, along with WordStar, to set up the text for the company catalog.

People who use MS Word, Open Office and Word Perfect these days have no idea how good they have it compared to WordStar. I didn’t hit command-b to set boldface, I typed in a dot command at the start of the word or phrase and a dot command at the end of it. I used dot commands to set up columns, new pages and various other things which I’ve since repressed (defense mechanisms get a bad rap at times, but they’re there for a reason). In a very real sense, I had already learned a language that was similar to HTML.

This was the same company that also ended up with one of the earliest Macs out there. IIRC, it was a Mac SE with a massive 5MB hard drive. It was love at first sight on my part, because dude! I could make boldface with the same kind of key stroke I used in WordStar, but the word showed up on the screen with bold face. I could actually see it!!

Yeah, okay. Not exciting to you. I get it. But to me, it was awesomesauce with a side of cool beans. That early imprinting to Mac was profound and permanent. And is also off-topic compared to the rest of the post, which is as good an indication as any that it’s time for me to go to bed.

‘Night, all.

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Damn.

July 3, 2009

I just found out that a former colleague has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and has an expiration date of 60-90 days out (which means she could go tomorrow or a year from tomorrow — medicine isn’t an exact science by any stretch of the imagination). She didn’t try to stay in touch after I was let go, but since she worked in human resources, that’s no surprise. Former!employer isn’t exactly big on staying in touch once they let people go.

Anyway, the news of S. bites the big one. She’s in a local hospital, so I’ll be able to go visit, but I need to make sure I don’t interrupt her time with her family — which includes a dependent son with severe cerebral palsy.

Jesus.

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Oh, pride…

June 29, 2009

Thou sucketh mightily. Also? Please to be getting the hell out of the way. I don’t give a rat’s ass about what the job pays; it will get me out of the house, and it’s better than slinging burgers. Yes, a different job would be nice, but frankly, given my goal to complete my MA as quickly as possible, a different kind of job isn’t necessarily a good idea.

So. Once again, get the hell out of the way. I have a phone call to make, and I don’t need your input on the subject.