Archive for January, 2011

Updates 1/31/2011

I have to admit I was surprised by the protests in Egypt. I had no idea the people were so dissatisfied with their government and leader. I can’t help but wonder if I had my head in the sand, or, if it’s a case of the American news media not being concerned with foreign issues until it makes great headlines.

I know most of the country is gearing up the winter blast that’s arriving today. It was 67 in Denver on Friday and the high tomorrow will be -2. We’re also getting a couple of inches of snow today. A peer in the office told me the roads are coated with ice. Thankfully, I’m working from home today.

I had a conversation with my mother on Friday. I felt like a litigator questioning a hostile witness. When she feels the need for nicotine she lights up and takes a few puffs. She admitted to doing this three or four times a day. In my mind that really means five or six times a day. I kept my calm but expressed extreme disappointment. My mother is not using the patch, doesn’t like the nicotine gum and hasn’t asked for any prescription drug assistance. I doubt my lecture will do any good. I have no desire to visit her if she’s going to continue to sabotage her recovery. I discussed the issue with my brother who was equally disappointed and frustrated. I guess I need to accept the fact that my mother is an addict and that her smoking will eventually cause another cancer that will kill her.

I’m so bored with work today. The test cycle was completed three days early which hardly ever happens. I’m stuck doing system level testing until the next cycle of software testing starts on Thursday. System level testing is beyond boring. I have to run through the software looking for issues. There are a couple of million lines of code to test so it’s like searching for needle in a haystack. I get bored and start reading blogs and writing blog posts to break up to monotony. Then I feel guilty about wasting time and getting paid for doing nothing. System level testing is the only thing I don’t like about this job.

Back to testing.

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Work Update 1/28/2011

A luncheon was held on Wednesday for the sourpuss who is leaving the company. I elected not to attend. I’ve been trying to avoid her so I don’t have to engage in a conversation about her departure and the inheritance that enables her to not work. Why should I be nice to her when she wouldn’t even acknowledge my presence on most days? Miss G told me she was glad the bitch was leaving. My peers are happy for her good fortune but are tired of hearing about it. The office will be a happier place without her bad moods.

The man who manages my contract at the outsourcing company that employs me and his vice president were in the office on Tuesday. They are based in Virginia, and, to my knowledge, have never made a site visit. A big thanks for stopping by and introducing yourself. In reality, neither man bothered to meet any of the contractors working for their company. How rude is that?

I worked from home yesterday. T emailed asking if I was working from home to get away from her negativity about the job. I told her I had an appointment in the afternoon that would take less travel time if I worked from home. It was nice to know that T realizes she’s being a buzz kill at work. She’s going to try to work on being less negative. I can’t wait to see how that plays out.

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Architect Is Not A Verb

I got to yank Chatty Cathy’s chain today. CC was discussing an issue with a fellow developer with whom I had scheduled a meeting. When I arrived at the developer’s office CC was finishing his discussion. CC used “architected” in a sentence. I hate it when people turn nouns into verbs so I asked CC when architect became a verb. CC told me it was common practice to use architected. I couldn’t resist telling CC that common practice doesn’t make it correct. I told him architect was still a noun in the Merriam Webster dictionary. CC told me I should have been an English teacher. I almost told him he wouldn’t say that if he read my blog but I caught myself just in time.

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Chatty Cathy’s Focus

Chatty Cathy stopped by my office yesterday to talk about a batch of code I rejected. He gave me a five minute convoluted explanation as to why he couldn’t figure out the problem. He ended up turning the project over to another developer. CC started talking about the new Ford Focus he just bought. I don’t know why CC started talking about his new car. Nothing in the conversation was remotely connected to automobiles. He went on and on about the car’s features. CC was acting like a child boasting about a new toy they got for Christmas. CC suddenly pointed to my car key lying on the desk and asked if I had a BMW. My first inclination was say I carried a BMW key around for good luck but I affirmed I had a BMW. CC looked like I took the wind out of his sails. CC stopped talking for a few seconds then he resumed talking about his new Focus. He didn’t ask me anything about the BMW. CC went back to his office after a few more minutes of talking about his Focus. It was all rather puzzling.

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Updates 1-20-2011

My Neiman Marcus salesman, Chris, called the other day to remind me that last call starts today. I’ll have to stop by on the way home to see if there’s anything on the sale rack I can’t live without.

K has been asked to get a visa so he can go to Libya with a contingent from work investigating the possibility of pursuing new work projects.

K leaves on Monday for another month in St. Louis. Then he has a week in Tucson. I’m not sure what happens after Tucson. It’s been good having him home for past few months.

Cindi has been MIA. I need to call her. She recently celebrated the one year anniversary of kicking the deadbeat boyfriend to the curb.

Last night K and I met Jackie at an APA (American Photographic Artists) happy hour at the Breckenridge Brewery BBQ over in the Santa Fe Art District. It was the Colorado chapter’s inaugural event. We went to show our support. The event was well attended in spite of rather treacherous driving conditions. Afterward we dined at a new restaurant called Bittersweet. The food was great and the restaurant is beautifully designed. It has a killer bathroom too.

That’s it for now.

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Bitch, Bitch and a Bitch

T was in a bad mood again yesterday. I’m tired of hearing her bitch about work. I wish she would quit. It would be wonderful to work with a person who appreciated a high paying rather easy job.

I also had to meet with Chatty Cathy yesterday. I had to listen to him bitch about a poorly written engineering document authored by the problem engineer. Every time he works on the flagship product line he has to find something to complain about. He needs to suck it up and do his job.

Thing got a little better in the afternoon when I found out JW is leaving at the end of the month. She’s in a bad mood most of the time. When I greet her in the hallway she usually ignores me. I’m so happy this sour puss inherited money and no longer has to work. I’m counting down the days until she leaves.

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Work Update

When I returned from my lunch break on Tuesday T was gone. I thought she was still at lunch but she usually eats her lunch at her desk. I was happy she was away because she was in a crabby mood. T never came back. T called in sick Wednesday and Thursday. She’s back today, but thankfully, I’m working from home. My peers have told me she’s in a bad mood again. Guess who will probably get asked to pick up some of her work?

I’m testing a batch of code written by Chatty Cathy. He rarely works on the flagship product but when he does he selects simple jobs. Unfortunately, Chatty Cathy chose a job that on the surface looks simple but is actually very complex. He has screwed up most of the interactions. Items are showing up that aren’t needed and necessary items are missing. It’s a huge cluster fuck. Almost everything is wrong. He’s blaming the engineer because he thinks the engineering rules are poorly written. It’s a simple case of a developer not having any knowledge of the product line. Chatty Cathy has scheduled a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the issues. I’ll probably have to listen to an hour dissertation on why his code is correct. Chatty Cathy’s ego does not allow him to ever admit defeat.

In other work news, the annual employee satisfaction survey results have been released. I don’t get polled because I’m a contractor. The results are the worst ever. Employee satisfaction is in the toilet. It’s a real shame. This company used to pride itself on the high level of employee satisfaction. But now it looks like most employees are fed up. I wonder what the private equity owners think about the results.

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Still Smoking

My mother confirmed she is still smoking. According to her it’s only a few now and then when she gets stressed. She claims the patches are too weak but never bothered to get a stronger patch. She also has nicotine gum but hasn’t used it. This is really upsetting. I don’t know why she’s behaving this way. I’ve taken the advice of really smart woman in Canada. She told me there’s nothing I can do about it. If she wants to smoke she will smoke. I’m trying not to get bogged down by the frustration and I have to love her for who she is, in spite of her flaws and imperfections.

The good news is the last round of scans does not show any tumors of evidence of cancer. However, my mother will have to undergo radiation. She will find out next week how many sessions will be scheduled. Hopefully, she will tolerate the radiation as easy as she tolerated the chemo.

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A Work Rant

My office mate, T, is in a foul mood again today. She’s in a bad mood most days. T was in a bad mood when she returned from her two week holiday vacation last Tuesday. T told me she started getting depressed about returning to work a week before she returned. I’m starting to loose my patience with her. She only works four days a week and takes off whenever she wants. This job can be a little stressful at times but most days it’s a piece of cake. The pay is outstanding and we only work eight hours a day. I had a hard time understanding why coming to work makes her depressed until T told me she just wants to stay home and be a housewife. When she returns from a vacation she complains about not having any money yet she doesn’t want to work. I’m fed up with hearing her grumble about it being a bad day when she arrives at 9. I’m fed up with sitting in silence because my office mate is in a bad mood. I’m fed up with not being able to discuss business issues because T is in bad mood. Suck it up. Either work and stop complaining about it or quit and stay home with your husband. Everybody has issues outside work but most of us don’t bring our bad moods to the office. And by the way, why don’t you eat breakfast at home? I also tired of hearing you slurp down the three bowls of Fiber One you eat every morning. Then I have to listen to you much on a huge salad at noon followed by crudité in the afternoon. We share an office not a dinning room.

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A Sad Loss

I’ve received some sad news. Saks Fifth Avenue is closing their Denver store. I’m bummed. I love Saks. I’ve bought a lot of clothes at Saks. I prefer the Denver Saks over the Denver Neiman Marcus or Nordstrom. On the bright side, the Denver Post is reporting that Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys, Bloomingdale’s, Dillard’s (yuk), Zara or H&M could be possible candidates to fill the space. Personally, I don’t know if Denver could support a Bergdorf Goodman. Barneys would be a great addition to the Cherry Creek Mall but I doubt they would open a store here. I find Dillard’s to be boring. Their merchandise is middle of road and boring. Zara and H&M could be fun but they generally carry less expensive trendy goods that often lack quality. Let’s hope for the best. Perhaps I’ll be pleasantly surprised when the new tenant is announced.

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