Archive for December, 2005

Who are “three people who have never been in my kitchen,” Alex?

Just got back from hanging out with my friends, doing Trivia Night at a local pub. Well, local to Mystic, anyways. It happens to be more than an hour home for me, hence why I’m writing this at almost 12:30 am. It always feels so great to hang with people. Makes me feel, I dunno, like I have friends. :)

The other shoe drops

I got in my car tonight to drive home after work, and my one remaining headlight went out. Luckily, I had a new bulb in the glove compartment, since I couldn’t put it in the opposing headlight, because of the clip that fell off.

I replaced that headlight no more than two months ago. I was absolutely incensed, and yet there’s nothing I can do about it. After all, headlight bulbs don’t have any warranty on them.


Long as I got a job, you got a job.

I would normally be in bed right now, but I happened upon the West Wing episode “Noel” on Bravo. I can’t even use words to describe how much I love this episode.

That’s all; on your way. Nothing to see here.

It starts again

Starting tonight and going on for the next week, I’m the Secondary On-Call. Starting next Monday, I’m the Primary On-Call, and that goes on right through Christmas and the 26th.

Woo, hoo. I’m over the moon. This is my over the moon face.

Tis the (long) season

Had my first “Christmas” of the year this weekend. My dad and I went up to my grandmother’s place to do Christmas with the whole family (my stepmother had pinched a nerve in her back and couldn’t come up, unfortunately). Why so early, you may ask? It’s really the only time in December that everybody can get together, since we all have other Christmases to do with our own families.

We do a variant of the Yankee Swap. I ended up with a bottle of Chardonnay, but the important thing to remember is that the gift you end up with is not at all important. Our family is absolutely ruthless, which makes the game an absolute riot. It’s definitely my favorite part of the whole Christmas season. It’s also interesting to see what kinds of gifts will get traded out more (that is to say, which ones are more popular). This year the top picks were a million-candlepower flashlight and, oddly, the gift that I brought, which was a telescoping-handled car ice scraper. Funny thing about that was that I really wanted that scraper, and even though I had the second-best position for the game, my aunt, who had the best position, took it from me.

I was glad to be able to do something like this at this time during the month… It’s going to be quite busy at work this month, so it was good to get a relaxing day with the family before it gets crazier.

Exemplify irony.

Just saw a trailer for The Producers. I just thought that a movie based on a hit Broadway show based on a movie… it brings “remake” to a whole new level.

What’s next, Disney’s The Lion King in live action?

End of the Week From Hell

From over 600 tickets at the beginning of the week to about 230 at the end of the week. Not bad, considering that when it was all said and done, I’d clocked in 62 hours for the week.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go pass out.

Week From Hell

This has been the Week From Hell.

Note that it’s only Thursday night and I’ve said this.

The Week From Hell actually began last Friday, when my boss called a meeting of the entire company (into our “large conference room,” which can comfortably seat about, oh, eight people), to tell us that we’ve been falling behind in our ticket work. For those who aren’t familiar with ticket-based work: everything we do in our jobs is based on tickets. If somebody needs to have access to a server, they generate a ticket with the request. If a server stops responding or crashes, or the memory gets all used up, it generates a ticket. The fewer tickets we close, the less work we’re officially doing, and it reflects poorly on our contracts.

So the fact that our boss called us together to talk about this, by its very nature, is a Bad Thing, and you just know that it’s not going to bode well for us, the lowly ticket handlers. We were falling behind in our ticket closings because of a simple fact: we didn’t have enough people to handle them. We’ve had people pulled off of our team left and right over the last several months, and as a result we haven’t had enough people to handle the load. So what does this mean, exactly?

It means that–even though our boss isn’t placing blame on anybody–we have to buckle down and get huge numbers of tickets closed so we can catch up. All right, I can understand that, and I’m certainly not above putting on a little more elbow grease to accommodate that. Besides, we had assurances that it would be made worth it for doing so (like I haven’t heard that one before). So we were being asked to put in an extra hour a day for the next week to help get the ticket count down. No problem.

Skip ahead to Monday. We had another meeting on Monday morning, at which point it was noted that not only would we have to put in extra hours every day, but that we were being required to come in on Saturday for at least six hours to help get the ticket count down. Great. I put in 11.5 hours on Monday. That’s 8am straight through without a lunch break (well, I ate lunch, but I worked through that) until 7pm. For six of those hours, I was actually not handling tickets because I had been scheduled to go over to one of the datacenters and rebuild a bunch of servers (six, to be exact–which, by the way, is a pretty big number of servers to rebuild in six hours).

On Tuesday, I came into the office and shortly after getting there, received a mass email from my boss stating that only 76 tickets had been closed on Monday, and–again without placing blame on anybody–that was just unacceptable and we needed to do better.

Hold on a sec. Back the fun train up for a minute. I put in almost half a fucking day on Monday–more than that, if you count the fact that I drive an hour each way to and from work–and it wasn’t good enough? Great.

That’s pretty much how it’s been the rest of the week. I put in nine hours on Tuesday, another eleven and a half on Wednesday, and another eleven or so today. A good portion of these days were handling tickets that weren’t even mine, because one of my coworkers is completely incompetent and I have to cover for her because if I don’t, the ticket count will just skyrocket. Note that this isn’t completely altruistic, because even if they’re her tickets, I still get credit for closing them. And besides, I am helping myself by helping the team out, after all.

So as of this evening, I’ve already put in well over a standard work week–43.5 hours, to be exact. I still have two whole days to go in this week. Yay.

Now for the side effects. I’m cranky; I haven’t slept very well. Also, when I get home at 8:30pm, I have absolutely no desire, nor the time, to cook dinner. So I’ve been eating out. Which, in my post-Thanksgiving state, has made me gain about six pounds since Monday. I also really don’t have the money to be paying for dinners and lunches (which I have to buy as well, because I have no leftovers to bring for lunch since I didn’t cook the night before). And God knows that being a salaried employee, I don’t get any extra money for all these extra hours, either.

Which brings us to the final kick in the teeth for the week. All this talk about how we’re doing such a good thing for the company and that it will be made worth it, and do you know what it gets us? A comp day… at some time in 2006. Wow, an extra vacation day. That’s GREAT! Especially given that I haven’t even used up what vacation time I have now, so what good is another day that I’m not going to use? Also, at every single quarterly dinner this year, our CEO has been talking about how great we’re doing financially, and how we’re right on track for revenue and how great that’s going to be when Christmas bonuses come around. And yet, when a coworker of mine emailed our boss to see if we would be getting year-end bonuses (which, by this time last year, we already had in our bank accounts), she received a response that only had two words in it: “No idea.” If those bonuses don’t come around, I’m completely fucked. And not in the good, with-lube kind of sense. It’s not so much that I was planning on using the bonus money or anything, more that I just don’t have any way of digging myself out if I don’t get it.

So, to recap: I’m tired, cranky, fat, stressed and broke. And it’s only Thursday.

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