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Archive for October, 2012

Two Laptops

I now have the distinct pleasure of schlepping around two laptops for testing. It was decided that I will now test the applications on Windows 7 in addition to XP. Thankfully, the applications don’t run on a MAC.

Two weeks ago I received an email from the VP advising me another laptop had been ordered and to contact Manish to arrange for delivery. I email Manish to let him know I will be in the office on Thursday morning. I ask if I can get the laptop before a meeting at 9 because I need to leave the office at 11 for an outside appointment. Manish responds with “OK”.

Thursday morning arrives. I get into the office at 6:30. Manish is not online so I send another email asking to meet before my morning meeting. I continue to check to see if he is online every half hour. He never logs onto the network. About ten minutes before my meeting I get ready to leave my office since it will it take at least five minutes to walk to the meeting location on the other end of the building. Manish arrives with the laptop at 8:55 and proceeds to power up the laptop and download software. I wanted to confront him about his lack of communication but I hold back because one does not want to piss off desktop support for fear of never getting future computer issues resolved.

The company outsourced desktop support to a third party vendor so I know Manish is a contractor and not an employee. Still, his lack of communication is unacceptable. Manish’s inability to properly plan made me a half hour late for my meeting. Thus his inability to do his job affected my performance. That is not a good thing.

I realize desktop support is a crappy job. There are a lot of stupid associates who constantly nag the desktop support group with questions. That’s not an excuse for providing poor service. One needs to do their best every day. If you can’t communicate with a user you need to find a position that does not interface with them.

Three days later I receive an email customer satisfaction survey from the headquarters corporate IT department requesting confidential feedback on my recent IT service experience. I give Manish a poor rating on the five questions in the survey and start to provide details in the comment box which happens to be limited to 140 characters. That’s not sufficient to express my dissatisfaction so I enter my phone number and ask to be contacted if they really want my feedback. I doubt anyone will contact me.

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Pack Your Bags

The company I’m contracted to has two locations. The south campus has two six story buildings while the north campus has a four story office building and a huge manufacturing plant that sits mostly empty since the factory jobs were moved off shore a number of years ago. In its heyday, both the north and south campus were filled to capacity. The company has downsized dramatically over the last seven years with most of the downsizing taking place after the company was acquired by two private equity companies. The south campus only has two floors occupied in one of the buildings and the north office building seems to be 40% empty. The company has decided to close the south campus. The company will relocate the 350 employees from the south campus to the north campus. Another 150 employees will be forced to work VO.

The employees moving to the north campus are not happy. They will now have a hellish commute. Most live in the southeast and southwest suburbs so their commute will be at least 40 miles each way on the busiest highway in the area. I live 26 miles from the office and my commute on a good day is 35 minutes. On a bad day it’s up to 90 minutes. Add in a snowstorm or blizzard and the associates living on the south end of town may have to check into a hotel so they can make it to work the next day.

I don’t think the private equity owners don’t care about the impact on the workers. All decisions are driven by the need to reduce expenses and increase profits. The company expects to save $7m a year by moving out of the south campus. That money will go into the pockets of the private equity owners (think Mitt and Bain Capital although two other PE firms own the company). Any employees who quit can easily be replaced given the current 8.2% unemployment rate in the area. It’s a win/win decision for the company. Not so much for the associates. I suspect the PE owners think the relocating associates should be thankful to have a job.

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Saved From The Frost

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Snow

We got our first snow of the season last night. It was just a dusting of snow but it still counts as the first snow. It was 85° on Wednesday. Yesterday the high was 48°. The high today will only be 43°. Thanks to Canada for sending a cold front to our area.

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Debate Overload

The first presidential debate is tonight in Denver. I can’t get away from it. It seems to be the topic of every conversation. The local news has covered almost every aspect of the debate. Streets are being closed near the Du campus where the debate will take place. The only major north/south highway will be closed from 5 to 10. Rush hour will be a bitch for most people. Many companies are closing early so their employees can get home before the highway closes. I’ll be glad when the debate is over and life returns to normal. I live about two miles from DU. Thankfully, I will be able to avoid the area today.

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Burn Them Alive

How did you spend your Sunday? I spent about five hours on Sunday trying to clean a virus off the home computer. After a lot investigation I discovered the virus came from a link in an email a friend sent me. I should have known better. I clicked on the link without thinking. A little while late the computer was seized and all I could see was an FBI message.

Thankfully, I could still access the internet from my work laptop so I started googling to find a way to clear it. The Geek Squad at Best Buy wanted $199 to fix the computer. After a lot of work I managed to clear the virus. I spent five hours frustrated and angry that some malicious fuck created this virus.

I was pissed that I had to spend so much time on my weekend cleaning up a virus. I cherish my free time. I feel there should be tougher laws for the virus creators. First, they should be tied to a chair. Then their eyes should be gouged out followed by cutting off their arms and legs off with a chain saw. Tourniquets would be applied so they would not bleed to death. Finally, they should be doused with gasoline and set on fire.

I’m sure you think the punishment is brutal and goes too far. I do too. I’m surprised it came out of me. It just goes to show you how frustrated I was yesterday. Some greedy fuck wrote code to extort money out of people for their personal gain. They are causing unnecessary grief and turmoil to innocent people. They need to be stopped and punished.

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