Thursday, April 20, 2006

I just made an involuntary gagging noise and sprayed coffee all over my screen and keyboard.
I should be more specific. I THINK it is coffee and it was my work issued screen and keyboard.
The lesson for today: Starbucks coffee = Worth the investment at 5:45 am.
What I learned: No amount of Splenda will help if the gas station coffee tastes like fish. And that I'll drink it anyway.
I've been here about half an hour and the learning continues. This weekend the overnight guy plans to fly to Tulsa to see a band he doesn't really care about because he might possibly score.
The lesson here: Geeks will even go to Tulsa for possible sex.
What I learned: I learned I hope he is successful.
The overnight NOCC Technician (different guy) is attending a birthday party this afternoon that his wife is throwing for her dog, complete with dog ice cream. He is most upset to be missing the 420 party his friends are throwing where they will get completely stoned. I asked him about "420" and thought it was a time of day reference. 420 on a calendar is Hitler's birthday, right?
He responded that he didn't think his friends cared.
The lesson here: 420 is a state of mind, not a time of day. And they make ice cream for dogs. Chicken, Beef or Liver flavor.
What I learned: I Googled it and today actually IS Hitler's birthday. Why would I know that?

While I continue to choke down this coffee, I'll type out my plans for today.
It may be Hitler's birthday, but to me it will always be Casual Jeans Thursday.
I'm going to continue to push for back ups on the mail server that dropped off a couple of nights ago. Yesterday disaster was narrowly dodged (in the comments of the post yesterday) but I was unable to convince ANYONE that the data needs to be backed up. Ok. Before I completely snap. Here is the status: We designed and configured and currently support some servers that are used by people. These people pay us for the service, but have no access to improve the quality of the set up. While the quickest way to restore services in the event of disaster would be from a back up, we do not back up the data in any way. Because they don't pay us to back it up.
Me: "But we are completely responsible for everything. It is in our best interest to back up the data."
Salesguy: "They don't pay for back ups. It isn't in the contract."
Me: "No. Seriously. If it breaks, no one suffers more than we do."
Salesguy: "Do you think they'd sign a new contract?"
Me: "I really don't care. But if their crap breaks, crap they don't have the access to do anything with, we have to fix it. Whether they pay for back ups or not."
Salesguy: "Do you think they would pay us for back ups."
Me: "Even if they don't, if their stuff breaks again we have no reliable way to restore services. Services they pay for. Having a fresh back up would have us back online in a matter of hours rather than several days to cobble together an even more impossible to support solution that is missing up to five years worth of data."
Salesguy: "But they don't pay for back ups."
Me: "We should do it for our own protection."
Salesguy: "Do you want to pay for their back ups?"
Me: (Return to desk, lock sales guy's account out, go to lunch)

I've got a few status-type meetings to try to dodge today. I filled up a notebook with improvements needed and processes to create when I first started. Once I figured out that being the only one who cares just makes a person look like an ass I stopped taking notes. I show up for meetings with a stolen mechanical pencil and a sheet of computer paper, which I doodle on and then crumple and use as a weapon. "Action items from last week? What are you talking about? I must have dozed off."
I've also been working on my phone answering skills. Not diction and clarity, but freaking out management.
The Security Guard has taken to calling my extension directly since I'm always anxious to escort visitors in or sign in packages or just get up and wander around. Since I can see the ID, I know it is the guard, but no one else can tell it isn't a customer call.
Instead of the expected "(Company name deleted to comply with non-disclosure agreement) Control Center" I try to answer with, "What now?" and "How did you get this number?" and instead of completing the call with "Thank you for calling, have a nice day" I try to complete the call with stuff like "Please try to annoy me 40% less in the future," and "Yea, I don't really care about that but I'll see if someone else does." If the guard wasn't in on the joke it wouldn't be funny. Well, not as funny.
I've also decided to supplement my technical responsibilities by stepping up and becoming the official greeter for the Control Center, since I sit closest to the door. As an undefined responsibility, this could be a silently hurled wad of paper or a loud, late night television style "Let's here it for (sales guy's name deleted to comply with non-disclosure agreement, and because I try not to think of them as "people" with "names") everybody! (clap! clap! clap!) How about a lie for the audience? C'mon, guys! Let's hear some applause and convince him to lie for us! (clap! clap! clap!)"

Besides dodging meetings, I'm hoping to avoid the cold that is blazing its way around the twenty by twenty foot room I share with nine people. I'm taking zinc.


Darrell Davis said...

just get the cold and try your best to pass it on to sales, maybe you can infect them and a customer might be spared a lie or 2. Better yet Bird Flu!
next, How is it your still employed by (Company name deleted to comply with non-disclosure agreement)??? Is their pictures or videos you have or something?

Garrick said...

Oh, I'll be licking door knobs on my way out. Especially if I'm sick.
I'm still employed because there is no specific policy I've broken. And because someone would have to overcome natural apathy to create one.
Also, in the past hour I've engineered a new innovation in slack, or the perception of slack.
It is going to change the way America does business. Or make me giggle. Either way works for me.

Darrell Davis said...

Wow,I think you are the American Idol :)

Pamela Moore said...

Take vitamin C.

And spit into people's mouths.

Garrick said...

Pam, you are wise.

Done and done.