Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

And this picture sums it up nicely:

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New Job, New Priorities

With my new night job that requires complete concentration and Zeke getting married, I have little time or will to post. Don’t worry – I’ll be back as soon as I adjust to the night life again.


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Last Day of Days

So I’m returning to my old corporation on Wednesday, and today is the last day I work for West slash AT&T.

Not everyone I worked with was God-awful bad. In fact, most of the engineers I worked with were great people. They are the best team I’ve ever worked with, honestly. However, this place is slow death – little pay for a ton of responsibility; clients and our bosses being completely uncooperative; and basically the worst work environment ever (bad access, terrible machines, shitty cubicles).

But I’m going to a place where – when I worked there – my team sucked. The environment was awesome, the pay was awesome, but the people were literally making me pull my hair out.  I hope that I enjoy my new team more and that this team hasn’t raised my expectations too high as far as personalities and fun go.

I won’t miss Raymond, though. Of that I am certain, LOL

Mitt Romney made another huge gaff on the podium. He brought up the fact that Big Business is doing fine, with all it’s tax loopholes and off-shore accounts. Which then brings attention back to his Bain connections and how out-of-touch rich he is. And Ryan’s sexist comments are not going away (nor is his connections with the Missouri dude who used “legitimate rape” and bad science in a speech).

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I just downloaded every turnover I’ve ever done for this company and the State of Kentucky. The final result was over 78 Mb of notepad files. That’s over 300 sites in two years.

Holy freaking crap!

My replacement will know everything work-related I’ve done when he uploads the files to his drive space. I’d say that I’ve left him in good shape. But that’s what I do – I never leave a job with shit to be done and no one knowing how to do it. Corey shall be forever blessed with my previous knowledge (until either the contract runs out or he leaves or he deletes stuff LOL).


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Resignation Letter

Today, I have tendered my resignation letter and given my two weeks.

Well, I gave it to her today, but it’s dated for tomorrow. I might be too busy tomorrow to remember (although I have created an Outlook calendar event to remind me). So my last day is officially August 24, 2012. I have begun preparations to leave:

= Contingency Plans: I have turned over the sealed envelopes for Contingency Plans A, B and C. These are plans that Joe and I created when we first started working here, to be used in case of an extreme emergency. Each envelope has something different in it, so it’s hit-or-miss getting candy and/or the Burger King crown.

= Zombie Apocalypse Whistle: I have given the official Zombie Apocalypse Whistle (ZAW) over to Scott, my secondary. To be used if one notices zombies appearing on the street. Improper use warrants Mike taking the whistle from the offender and giving them a stern noogie.

= Message Board of Doom: I have erased the white board we call the Message Board of Doom. I am leaving it on my cube for one of the others to take. It is for the cryptic messages that confuse our managers.

= The Four Pounds of Peppermint Candies: I have a dragon candy bowl (well, actually, it’s an dragon ashtray repurposed as a candy dish) that I kept well stocked with hard peppermint candies. I’m keeping the dragon, but giving away the candy on the promise that the person will put it in a bowl and leave it out for everyone (I think Kristen’s going to take it LOL).

I have a cup of pens that may or may not work – it’s like a 50/50 chance given what pen you pull out. I might leave those. But I raided the storage cabinet and got quite a few legal notepads. And a few Sharpies. And some Post-Its.

But it was rather breath-taking and weight-lifting to give my boss my resignation letter. It felt like my imprisonment is finally over, that the light at the end of the tunnel is no longer a train, that I have finally captured Blue’s flag. Uplifting and terrifying all at the same time.

But I can live with that. I really can.

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Job Situation

Do you remember when I lost my job at that other place?

Well, I didn’t really LOSE my job – it was still there, just no one was doing it anymore.

So I got a job at this other place. One that wasn’t too bad, but the management and support sucked balls. Super bad. As you can tell from all my weird work posts. I kept looking for a good job, but for two years, nothing.

And then suddenly, my old job wants me back. It got lonely and didn’t realize how good it had it with me. I applied, and bang, the job is mine as soon as the background check is over.

The best part is that today is my second anniversary at this shitty place. So I had to have an evaluation by my boss. Who gave me the best review ever and looked incredibly sorry to see me go. I laughed when I got to the part about “Future Goals,” and she actually had written something in it. Something about my futuer as a manager or some crazy shit. I pointed at it and asked her if she was serious. “WTF?” I said, “This is kind of late, right?”

Anyway, yes, I’m getting a job at my old place back. It’s not exactly the same job, but it’s the same 12 hour overnight shift doing basically the same thing. If you knew me back then, you know how stressful but awesome that is. 12% differential on top of the modestly high salary I’m getting.

Back in the game, peeps!

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I’m puttering around the Internets at work, looking for a good DJ shirt to wear when hanging out with Mike and all my other DJ friends. I mean, I’ve DJ’ed quite a bit lately, so I’ve been trying to find something that’s different than “IMMA DJ – I DOAN DO REQUESTS!” that all the other dudes wear.

Someone just suggested Vinyl Scratch. If you don’t know who that is, let me show you.

Vinyl Scratch is a My Little Pony DJ

So I was surfing around, and Mike was surfing around, and Mike sends me this Q message (it’s a valid thing to do – he sits clear across the room from me) -

Mike: Hey found ur shirt
Mike: http://somepony.spreadshirt.com/vinyl-scratch-dj-pon-3-A7816489
Me: Do I look like a furry to you?
Mike: u know the mlp people, right?
Mike: that makes u a furry brony
Me: How do you know about bronies?
Mike: o fuck i’ve been found out
<Mike has left Q Messenger>


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There is a point in a man’s (or woman’s) career that they wonder if they should have just done something else in their lives. Even if we so love our specific focus, we still have a day or two or three where things make us want to shove someone’s head in the fridge and slam the door a few times.

Today was one such day here.

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve had several crazy days here at work (as you probably read), but they aren’t soul-sucking bad. Hell, this incident wasn’t soul-sucking bad. But this is the downhill ride from the 4th to the weekend, and with less people here and in a better mood, you’d think office drama would be less likely to happen. Oh-ho-ho-ho so not true.

We drink coffee over in my area, because we’re always all so tired. I don’t drink it that often – maybe once a month, when I’m really tired. When I do pull up for a cup, it’s my job to brew the next pot. Which is super simple – coffee in the filter, filter in the machine, hit the button, wait 10 minutes, clean out machine, get coffee pot. Except this morning. This is the exchange from this morning.

Me (waiting on the other people’s coffee to get done): Hum hum hum …
Raymond (stepping up): What are you doing?
Me (looking at Raymond): Waiting for my turn at the coffee maker.
Raymond (looking at my filter full of coffee): What kind of coffee is that?
Me (looking at the bag in my other hand): Uh, Eight O’Clock Dark.
Raymond: That doesn’t sound like the approved coffee for the machine.

Okay, hang on one second. There is approved coffee for our machine? I’m starting to imagine there is a list of rules for brewing and drinking coffee at work, and they are in some crazy folder at HR and on Raymond’s desk.

Official Rules for Making Coffee, to Making Memos, to Making Poops

Me (making the skeptical face*): Approved … coffee …?
Raymond: Yes, there’s a list of approved coffees for the maker, for logical reasons.
Me (still making the face): Logical reasons? Which are?
Raymond: Non-approved coffee types may sour the machine or clog the spout.

Now I look down at the coffee maker. It’s a 1980’s brand – plastic thing you pull out and put the filter with the coffee into before pushing the plastic thing*** back in. There’s no special pipes or tubes or anything to clog with coffee, especially if you are using a filter. I’m thinking Ray’s full of shit at this point. I notice he’s also holding coffee in his hands. Hmmmmm.

Basket. It’s Called a “Coffee Basket”

Me (seeing the pot is done): Well, you just send me that memo, and I’ll check it myself.
Raymond: I don’t think you should use your coffee in the machine without checking it first.
Me (putting the other pot on the warmer): You’re not cutting in front of me, Raymond.
Raymond: Listen – you keep acting like a jerk and you’re never going to get anywhere in life.

I put our pot under the maker and put my coffee in. I push the button. Coffee starts brewing. Raymond is now making the angry face** while standing there. He looks at his watch.

Me: Hey, Ray, where’s your filter?
Raymond: I don’t have to use a filter – mine comes in little baggies.
Me: Little baggies?
Raymond (showing me one): Yes. Cool, eh?

So what Raymond is doing, I guess, is making tea. I say “tea” because he’s putting a little one serving baggie in the giant machine’s basket and making a whole pot of coffee from that.

Me: Here, let me show you something. Give me your cup and baggie.
Raymond (fidgeting): I don’t know …
Me: Just let me show you something, to save you time.
Raymond: Okay …

I put one of the baggies (which has a string) into the cup, and then use the spigot on the side of the coffee machine to fill the cup. I stir it with straw, making coffee. Raymond watches me, wringing his hands together. I think he’s also making tiny high-pitched noises while watching.

Me: There. Proper coffee in less than 2 mintues.
Raymond: But it’s so dark!
Me: It’s COFFEE, Ray.
Raymond (increduously): What if I want more?
Me: Come back and fill up the cup with more hot water. There’s plenty go to around.
Raymond (sipping it): Hmmmm. It does taste better …
Me: Because you aren’t dilluting your coffee with more water than coffee.
Raymond: Hmmmm (walks away)

Later, I get an email from Raymond about the Proper Procedures for Brewing Coffee in the office. Turns out the rules are there for two reasons:

1. You don’t leave your pot on the main heater so it evaporates and starts coating the coffee pot with black tar sludge (thus tainting future coffee out of that pot).
2. You use a filter, so you don’t get terrible coffee with grounds in it. Possibly leaving grounds in the brewing thing to taint other coffee. It’s just polite, you know? (That’s what it says, word for word)

No one has apparently thought of cleaning out the coffee pots or the brewing chamber if you have an “accident.” Or using the spigot on the front of the coffee machine to make single cups of coffee from bags.

Huh. I learn something new about this place every day.


* Lift one eyebrow and not frown or smile. Sort of like this õ_o
** Squint. Sort of like this ò_ó
*** Twenty people corrected me about what it is called when I told them what happened.

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Co-worker vs Cow-worker

Someone asked me to describe my workplace and co-workers.

“This is a place of little intelligence that hires people of the same intelligence (with exceptions) to do high level, bulk work with little talent and low pay.”

“Let me give you an example. AT&T hired this company to manage their Internet services. These jobs used to be held by well-paid, well-trained people. It requires at least a basic idea of Cisco networking, mostly at the CCNP level. This company – two weeks before they needed to train the bodies for this job – hastily hired 15 random people. Only two had previous Cisco experience, only one of them (me) with CCNP level knowledge. They put us through a four week training program in which – due to this company’s stingy, cheap nature – we had no working systems to practice on. Until the very last week. We were then put on the floor, and turned loose, with two Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) from AT&T trying to help.

“On top of that, our Director turned out to be a crook. Literally. His investment company went under investigation a month after we started and was found guilty of fraud. The Director disappeared, but we know he quit and ran away to Florida, where he has started ANOTHER INVESTMENT COMPANY for retired people.

“Our Area Manager is a blonde moron. She doesn’t understand what it is we do, and she doesn’t care to learn. Furthermore, she doesn’t manage worth a shit – if something we need is broken, her solution is that we bug another department about it ourselves until it gets fixed. If we need her help, her answer is “You do it.” She does not back us up, or help us get what we need. She does not tackle problems or fools, but avoids them, because she believes in “non-confrontational management.” That is utter bullshit and does nothing but undermine our morale and desire to do a good job.

“So most of us sit around doing nothing. I do 70% of the group’s work, becauseAT&T trusts me to do it for them. The other 30% is done by the other knowledgable guy. The rest of them sit around making trouble. They are literally dumber than a box of rocks. Nice, but dumb. They constantly jack stuff up and take up the SME’s time. I can only stand to be around about four of them, and even they are so retarded that they qualify for the Special Olympics. Honestly, I stand amidst an ocean of morons.

“Our manager takes all my credit, although AT&T knows what’s up. They even ask on calls with the VP, AT&T asks if there is anyone who can take our manager’s place. The VP acts like this is a joke – she has no idea how to deal with the crazy stuff that goes on and our jobs. AT&T is going to leave soon, and take all the jobs with them. And all the money. And no one in upper management seems to care about losing a $500 million a year contract.

“In other words, it’s a sinking ship of fools and idiots. I’m a fool, an idiot. I joined this boat and I’m still standing on the deck. Until I get off this ship, I’m a moron for staying. But everyone else makes me look like Einstein.”


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