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Archive for June, 2010

$50 Million Shot To Hell

Today is the third day of the new test cycle and we’re already behind schedule. The developers spent so much time fixing problems with the last load that they didn’t start production on the July load on time. Consequently, I have nothing to test this morning. Even though the test servers were down for several hours yesterday morning I already tested what has been delivered. I’ll need to walk down to the developers to see if they have anything ready for delivery.

Last week I was talking to a peer who works on a diffeent project. She told me the company spent $50 million on a new sales tool that was to be rolled out in June. The project had been postponed and was finally scrapped last week. It was shocking to hear. The company has continued to layoff people since it acquired a portion of a bankrupt Canadian telecom company and yet it wasted $50 million on this project. As shocking as this is it’s not unusual in the corporate world. Then my peer told me that either her project or my project is being killed. She said the company has spent many millions of dollars on her project but they are not seeing the expected results and the users are unhappy with the new tool. They company will either enhance the tool I test and kill her project or try to fix her project and kill my system. Either way there probably will not be a change in headcount. The resources will move from one project to the other. I have noticed that a number of consultants on her project have disappeared over the last few weeks. That could be a good sign for me.

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While at the gym this afternoon the Russian Rugby team arrived for a workout. I learned two things about the Russian rugby players; they love the mullet and they are not fond of deodorant. I sometimes enjoy the smell of a sweaty man but an entire room full of sweaty stinky Russians was too much. Most of the regular gym members fled the free weight workout area after they arrived.

Denver PrideFest celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. The celebration will be held on June 19 and 20 in Civic Center Park. Organizers are expecting more than 275,000 people. I’m meeting Sue, Gary and Dan on Colfax to watch the parade on Sunday. It will be bittersweet as Hannah was with us last year and was the belle of the ball. She’ll be missed.

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The 19¢ Shirt

It’s Sunday morning and it’s only 49° in Denver. It rained on Friday, most of yesterday, last night and it’s raining this morning. A lot of people are complaining about the wet weather but I love it. It hardly ever rains this much in Denver.

So what’s a guy do to do when he can’t work in the yard and doesn’t want to clean house? Guy goes to the mall and the gym. I went to Cherry Creek on Friday afternoon after hitting the gym for a back and biceps workout. I needed to exchange a pair of pants at Banana Republic and ended up buy three shirts on sale at Macy’s and a trench coat on sale at J. Crew. Saturday I went to Colordao Mills to check out the sale at the Saks outlet store. K got a 30% off coupon in the mail that was begging me to use it. Saks didn’t have much to my liking. They a bunch of Burberry raincoats marked down to $595 from $1,100 but I didn’t bite. I did buy three pairs of underwear at Saks. I scored big at Banana Republic. I bought a $69 shirt for 19¢. The shirt was on the sale rack priced at $16.97 but was 40% off the sale price. That bought the price down to $10.19 with tax. I used a $10 gift card that I got for buying a pair of pants on Tuesday at the Cherry Creek Banana Republic. I only had to pay 19¢ for the shirt. I also bought two wrinkle free shirts at Eddie Bauer that were marked down to $19.99. My final stop was Neiman Marcus. I bought a linen shirt to wear to Pride Fest next weekend. It wasn’t the best bargain of the day but it was marked down $55. After a morning of shopping I had lunch, went to Helena for a haircut, did a cardio workout at the gym, went grocery shopping, cooked dinner, made peanut butter cookies and watched Julie and Julia on demand. No wonder I’m dragging today.

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Is She Too Needy?

It’s Friday and I’m working from home. It was a tough week. The new software load was not locked down until yesterday afternoon. I’m running test designs and it’s so boring. I can’t wait for the work day to be over.

Patty left a message on Wednesday night. I called her back last night. The call lasted an hour and twenty minutes. I mostly listened while she talked on and on about her relationship with her boyfriend. June is the anniversary of her husband’s death, his birthday and their wedding anniversary. She was sad and needed someone to talk to when she called on Wednesday. I wanted to confront her about not calling for three months and then only calling because she was sad but I held back. Patty was having a rough week and I didn’t want to make it any worse. She told me she called her cell phone so she could hear her husband’s voice on the voicemail greeting. I asked her how she thought her new boyfriend felt when he called her phone and had to listen to her deceased husband. Patty was a little stunned because she never thought about how it made him feel. I wanted to get off the phone but I stayed on with her because she needed to talk. Patty expects so much from a relationship and concentrates on things I consider insignificant. She needs to enjoy the time together and not get so wound up in where the relationship is heading. She needs to be patient with this man if she really loves him. There were so many unanswered questions. Will he ever get over the death of his wife? Should she break up with him? Is the death of a spouse the only thing keeping them together? Should she change jobs so they can spend time more time together? It went on and on and on. Patty seemed so needy. I couldn’t wait to get off the phone. I was tired of listening to her issues. I just wanted to go to bed.

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Throwing A Peer Under The Bus

I threw a peer under the bus today. I didn’t think I would feel this bad. It’s not going to be a good day.

My manager is on vacation in Italy for three weeks but is still checking email and following up on a few issues. She noticed I had four open projects that should have been closed yesterday and wanted a status on each project. All four projects were open because an engineer failed to respond to questions about her specifications. This engineer has missed a lot of work recently due to family illness and deaths. Yesterday she answered a few questions by email but the answers didn’t make sense to anyone on the team. One issue never received a response and was three weeks old. I sent her a reminder email yesterday morning that also went unanswered. The engineer works from home and will not use IM. Her lack of responsiveness has become a joke and her engineering peers are fed up with covering for her. I gave my manager a status update and stuck to the facts but the facts clearly showed the engineer had dropped the ball on all four projects. I even warned my manager that my response would make the engineer look bad. My manager advised me to be honest.

So why is it that I feel so bad? I was only stating facts but the facts were incriminating. I’ve known this engineer for years and she is a good person. I think her personal life is interfering with her professional life. It’s rather sad to watch a peer’s performance go down the drain.

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Combover Revolution

Four guys at the gym who have had horrendous combovers finally buzzed their hair short. All of them look 1,000% better. All of them cut the combover off in the last two weeks. Why on earth did it take them so long to come to their senses?

My brother finally made an appointment for my mother to see the surgeon. Her appointment is on July 2nd. I talked to my mother last night and offered to make the appointment for her. She refused my help. I told her she wasted three weeks procrastinating and that she wasn’t the only one anxious to get the diagnosis. There was silence on the other end of the phone. Finally she said that I didn’t know how hard it was. I told her I did because I’ve had cancer three times. Once again there was silence on the phone. I told her we are concerned for her but she needs to make a decision. Either make the appointment or we forget this ever happened and move on with our lives. She said she would make the call today. Thankfully my brother made the call.

I know this sounds harsh but I was fed up with her procrastination. At least I didn’t tell her to put her big girl pants on.

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OT


My manager as asked my office mate and me to work ten hours of overtime a week for next four weeks. I don’t mind working the extra hours if T also works the overtime. However, she only works four days a week because she needs Monday to recover from her weekend (Those are her words not mine). Also, she takes a lot of Fridays off in the summer to go to car shows around the country. Why should I work fifty hours a week when she may only work twenty four hours some weeks. I don’t need the extra money. I would probably blow it on clothes are some other frivolous thing. On the other hand if I work the extra hours it would help the department meet the production goals and make me look like a great team player. I think I’ll talk to T today and get her opinion of the situation and then make my decision.

The picture is not related to the post. I wanted K to see the cactus bloonimg. When he gets home the flowers will have wilted.

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