Monday, February 27, 2012

Random and Rambling

So, last week was Hell Week for most of us at work. The husband and I played tag-team all week, staying up all night handing the baton back and forth. Your turn!...your turn!...yours!...allllll yours, buddy…pssst, hey, you awake? Ya, you need to do that next thing now…

There are actually distinct advantages to the two of us working together like this – both of us slept easier when it was time to sleep, because we didn’t have to worry that the next guy wouldn’t get in touch with us the instant things were ready for our next step. And we never had the problem of “crap, I’ve called, texted, emailed, paged and still nothing…guess I have to escalate up the food chain to get somebody to start that next thing!”

The person we needed was, like, four feet away, the whole time.

Which is kinda cool. And not something you’re going to get…you know, outside the military or a snow-bunker research facility in the arctic. Or possibly the space station.

But I digress.

Around midnight Tuesday, I was starting to feel a little less than fresh. I left the house four and a half hours later, on about three hours of sleep and knowing that, after putting in a ten hour day in the office, I was going to rush home, grab something to eat, and plop back down in my increasingly uncomfortable office chair so that I could combine the mind-numbingly dull task of watching jobs run (ooo, row counts! fascinating!) with frantic spurts of activity (done! OK! I have twenty-seven minutes to completely validate that, which gives me fifteen minutes to insert any changes that need to happen before the next step fires!) until about 1:00 a.m.

I had more than a few moments, from midnight Tuesday through about, oh, 4;30 p.m. Friday, when I found myself counting to ten.


Also, I would like to pause a moment in order to bless the name of the guy who invented the delete key. FOR LO, I have been spared having to issue many apologies last week by this most miraculous of inventions…which hath permitted me to undo snarky commentary regarding the intelligence, education, and even ancestry of others and replace them with milder responses.

…sigh…Yeah. It was a long week.

But, it went well. Nothing blew up. I jumped into my crummy not-even-an-hour window three times to massage some things back where they actually belonged; one of the applications I’m supporting right now is a little bit…ahem…delicate (pronounced: buggy as @*^&@).

It can get confused if you hit it, rapid fire, with changes over consecutive nights. It also wasn’t built with an eye toward data conversions…it expects things to remain the same pretty much always, and has to be carefully taught what each new thing is and how to handle it.

So when you hit it with multiple waves of converting data over a four night period (followed by a fifth night when you add unrelated new things to it), well.

Best that somebody who knows about its tricky little ways is sitting up to handle anything…unwanted.

In related news, it hit me, really hard, that I’m the only such person still around right now. And that there is no way in @*^&@ I’m going to be able to train somebody new to do, um, any of it.

Whenever I try to think about how I would go about teaching somebody brand-spankin’-new All This…my brain locks up.

I got nothin’.

And when I then add in trying to train somebody to do this stuff while also finishing up the whackity-majillion things I absolutely, positively, without fail MUST finish up…ohmygah.

I almost feel a little sick to my stomach.

And then I sit back and try to envision a way by which we can circumnavigate the multiple policies that are standing firmly in the way of either another contract extension or a conversion to full time employee for myself so that I don’t have to deal with All This Crazy…and I ask myself, I ask, …wait, WHY did you WANT that, again…?

And I have no answer for myself. I really don’t. I don’t know why I want to stay so much; it’s not all that rational, come right down to it.

It’s just that I look around at this team of people and I think…they not only need protecting, they deserve it. Which I know makes no damned sense. They’re grownups. They can take care of themselves. They did so before I arrived, they will do so long after I’m gone. They will be fine.

But…{kicks at dirt}…it’s just…this system is so…high visibility. It does stuff that does stuff, you know? And then people, hard-working, diligent people who care deeply about their work quality but who had no reasonable way to see this ugly thing coming…get yelled at.

And that’s so damned unfair, it half kills me.

But, not a whole lot anybody can do about it. Corporate policy exists to protect the corporation from lawsuits and other unpleasantries, and should not be “always, unless of course you’d really rather not in which case, do as you please,” you know?

So, I’m just going to have to do the best I can to finish “everything” (knowing full damned well I won’t in a million years be able to), and then have faith that everything will turn out fine regardless. Because it will. That’s kind of how these things tend to go.

Meanwhile in other news, I (finally) went to the dentist this morning. Where I was promptly informed that a) yes, I have indeed broken one of my back molars, b) wow, AWESOME decay patterns, and c) eeeeeeyeah, no, we can’t just fill that sucker, you’re gonna need a new crown on that bad boy.

Wooooo, how awesome is my life?!

And then his assistant informed me that the reason one of my other teeth was reacting (ahem) negatively to the acid cold water she was spraying all over it was because, QUOTE, “well, he just removed some tartar build up in that area.” END_QUOTE

Now, friends…I really should have argued with her. Because you know what? That was not the first time that dumb tooth has reacted (ahem) negatively to hot and/or cold. Or pressure. Say, the pressure of drinking oatmeal.

That tooth…is on the fast-track to a root canal, y’all.

But I did not argue with her. Or point any of this out. Partially because she was just so smugly convinced that I was an ignorant buffoon who had no idea what the difference would be between recently-un-tartar-build-up-ed tooth sensitivity and impending-root-canal sensitivity…and partially because this would undoubtedly have resulted in the nice dentist being summoned back into the room to “investigate” what was going on there, which would have involved more pain, and you now what? @^*&@ it, I’m OUTTA here!

…yeah, I…um…don’t really…enjoy my trips to the dentist too terribly much…

…but, now that I’m home and the Motrin is wearing off…eeeeeyeah, I…am probably…going to have to…mention…this stupid tooth…when I go back…Friday…for that OTHER thing that isn’t going to be fun plus will also be rather expensive…


In happier news, I went to Stitches Saturday! And I will do a better report later, but for now the highlights:

There was yarn. Lots of yarn. I didn’t actually buy a whole lot of it because I haven’t used a whole lot of it since last year and, you know, at some point one does have to say one has enough of something.

There were also books. And I showed a lot of restraint there, too. Which is miraculous and not at all related to my current stash of knitting books, which consists merely of three of every knitting book published in the last fifteen years of so. (Kidding! It’s not that extensive! I only have a couple…hundred…of them…)

And there were all kinds of tools. And I bought a couple of them. Like a new Knit Kit, because my old one got played with by the Denizens, and they yanked the tape measure out past its breaking point and broke the counter while trying to fix the tape measure (what, with a rock or something?!) and then ‘somehow’ the little door on the back cracked off plus, where is the little crochet hook? Um…oh, there was something there…?

And I also bought some itty-bitty circular needles, which I’ve been wanting to try about forever for sock and sleeve knitting, but hadn’t actually bought yet. And I started a sock with a set of 9” 3 mm needles, and you know what?

I like it. It’s a little awkward to get used to, because the ‘needle’ part is so much smaller in length, but the smooth and switch ‘just keep knitting around and around’ is triple awesome. Plus – zero jog.

I like.

The other thing I like is, I brought Boo Bug with me. So far of all the kids, she’s the only one for whom knitting “stuck” enough to get past about three rows of garter stitch. She’s been making a scarf for quite a while now, and while it is something that she puts down far more than she picks up…well, you know what? The scarf has been growing, and she really-really wanted to come with me this year.

I was expecting a lot of whining and complaining within an hour of arriving, but she gamely trudged through the whole market – half of it twice – and stood around while I went “blah blah blah! Blah blah blah! OHMYGAH, I KNOW, RIGHT? BLAH BLAH BLAH!!” with other knitters.

And then she tried a drop spindle, and she liked it, and bwahahaha.


It was awesome to have her with me, exploring all the different stuff in the marketplace. She even bought some yarn for herself, and a couple books.

I may not be able to teach somebody how to work our relationship-ownership-application at work, but by Gah, I can teach a ten year old to appreciate hand-dyed wool.

I’m not completely hopeless, y’all.

I think that’s about all the catching up for one week. (Good grief, really? What is up with that lately? It’s like I hit Monday night and vroom! It’s Monday morning again!)

Only five more weeks before I’m cut loose from this contract. I wonder if I’ll have more time then…or less…?


Tola said...

they are insane not to find some way to keep you. hope you can finish the next five weeks and then walk away and leave it. youve done your job, they cant possibly expect you to work your usual miracles when you arent there.

Colleen Mole said...

Ohh, now I'm daydreaming about taking my wee one to yarn expos with me....cuteness abounds!!!

calcairns said...

You do realize that enabling leads to stash sharing don't you?

julia said...

You don't have to have root canals. They actually allow bacteria to grow inside the teeth, but you then can't kill the bacteria because there is no living tissue or blood flow to combat it. Take painkillers for the pain and possibly antibiotics. The pain will stop. There has been some research with root canals and cancer done in Switzerland, I think. Weston Price's book is excellent. There are vitamins that will reharden the dentin or the enamel. There's even a book "cure tooth decay."

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised at your acceptance of the "contract" situation. Yes, you knew what you were signing up for at the beginning, but doesn't it ever strike you as odd, bordering on stupid, that companies will no longer invest in hiring as employees people who will get to know and take "ownership" and responsibility for making sure that some aspect of operations actually runs smoothly and correctly. What's the matter with hiring somebody, anyway? This contractor stuff is way overdone, imo.