Archive for June, 2009

Au Revoir Stephen

Stephen’s memorial service is later this morning. Patty was finally able to emotionally handle putting together a service. Stephen died on October 16, 2008. When I talked to Patty last night she seemed to be in good spirits. I don’t think the service will be a downer. The invitation is for a celebration of Stephen’s beautiful life. And that’s just what he had until the end.

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Chatty Cathy

My office neighbor across the hallway is a developer. I’ll be referring to him as Chatty Cathy. This guy can’t shut up. He talks and talks and talks. A simple question can turn into a half hour social discussion. This morning I said good morning to Chatty Cathy and I ended up in a twenty minute conversation about brewing beer at home. I don’t think he ever learned how to interact with other people. He told me he started writing code when he was 10. He was married at 19 and is now 38 years old. He is an interesting character.

I finally got a phone at work. It only took thirteen business days to get a phone installed. It’s a phone that is sold by this company. I’m sure there were a lot of other more important telecom needs in this 480,000 square foot building that pushed my need for a phone to the back burner.

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Yesterday I talked with my former co-worker, S. She bought a new Jaguar. She was upside down on her old Jag by $8,000. She cleaned out her savings to pay off the loan on the old Jag that she has now given to her twenty-eight year old unemployed son. The bank would not finance the new car until the old car was paid off. I don’t think S should have bought this car. In the last year S has bought a new house. She then bought new furniture and she gave her old furniture to her son. Her husband is retired from a different communications company and now works in sales for a cable company. He has two children by his first wife that are still in college. He does not have the financial resources to support the household if S looses her job. S told me that she doesn’t have enough money to pay her bills next month because she used all of her money to pay off the old car. Why on earth did she buy this new Jag?

I don’t understand why people get into situations like this. She is an intelligent woman but seems to make poor financial choices. When S wants something she has to have it. It seems to be a disaster just waiting to happen.

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Does This Shirt Fit?

I want to teach a class at work called “How to Buy a Shirt That Fits”. I’m just joking about the class but the guys here could really use advice on how to buy properly fitting clothes. Most of the guys are code writers. They sit in their cube everyday banging out code for the systems that the group supports. Most look like what you would expect a computer geek to look like. They are out of shape and most wear clothes that are too big. They are not of the generation that made it cool to wear ill fitting clothes. They range in age from thirty to fifty. Many wear polo type shirts with logos from computer hardware and software companies. These types of shirts are often given away by the companies at trade shows and other industry events. Never to let a free shirt go to waste they wear it regardless of the fit. It doesn’t matter that the shoulder seam is two inches below their shoulder or that the end of the short sleeve comes down to the middle of their forearm. Often times they don’t tuck the shirt in so it looks like they are wearing a dress. It’s reminiscent of the eighties when women wore oversize sweaters with leggings. These guys are kings in their own world. They know everything about computers and software. I on the other hand can barely tell HTML from HTTP. Of course these guys would be lost in Barney’s. They could not differentiate John Varvatos from Paul Smith. We both have our strengths and weaknesses. But can’t one tell that a shirt is too big when they look in the mirror?

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The Commute From Hell.

Have you ever been in traffic so bad you wanted to pull over and shoot yourself in the head?  That was my Friday evening commute.  Two accidents and a mattress lying on the highway caused traffic to be bumper to bumper for most of the commute.  I’m hoping to leave work early this Friday to try to avoid another traffic nightmare.

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Giving Back

When I was unemployed I didn’t receive very many invitations to fundraising events for the various charitable organizations I support. However, since I returned to work I am magically back on their radar. Two weeks ago I attended a cocktail party ($55). This week I’m invited to a special theater night ($75) to raise money for an AIDS charity. Next week it’s an art auction ($100) for the AIDS charity that is the first of three events using art to raise money. I haven’t been very charitable in the last six months due to the stint on unemployment. I let the two museum memberships expire along with the Botanic Garden membership. I guess it’s time to start writing checks again.

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Been Busy

It’s been a busy week. I like the new job so far. I’ll be testing new releases of software code for flaws before it is released to the users. I knew most of the team from previous business dealings but I didn’t know the code developers. Code writers are a strange breed. They are friendly but most lack the common skills most people have for social interaction. They would rather be developing code than interacting with other people.

The commute is hell. I hate sitting in traffic. While the morning commute takes about thirty-five minutes the evening commute usually takes fifty plus minutes. Sometimes it is as long as ninety minutes. When I add this time to an eight-hour workday it comes close to an eleven-hour day (lunch hour included). By time I get home, go to the gym and have dinner it is almost time for bed. I’m usually exhausted when my hear hits the pillow. My new boss, L, will allow me to vary my hours. I need to work an eight-hour shift every day. As long as I’m in the office by 9 and don’t leave before 3 she doesn’t care what hours I work. She has even offered to let me work from home two days a week after I get up to speed on their processes and procedures.

The new job has left little time for reading blogs and writing posts. After I settle into the job I’ll be able to sneak a peek occasionally from the office. I’m also hoping to be able to post something during the lunch hour. Until then you just have to wait for those exciting glimpses into my life.

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