Thursday, June 29, 2006

There is fire alarm testing this morning before the normal people get here. This is SCREAMING high-pitched extremely loud noise and strobe lights. Before coffee.
This does not bode well for productivity, but I should finish posting this before the noise stops. If I turn my head slightly, the sound warbles in my head.
Strangely, most of the alarm output devices are within ten feet of my desk.
There was a bit more trauma yesterday about the paper balls and when they should be thrown at each other. We have windows on three sides and customers can look in pretty much any time. As long as they don't tap the glass. We hate that.
At the moment the "compromise" being embraced by the technical side is to throw glue sticks instead of paper balls, but I'm not sure that is really in line with the spirit of the request from sales, even if it does follow the letter.
I'm not in favor of the glue stick compromise because it sounds too much like we are concerned about the demands of the sales staff and not just being ourselves.
Also, glue sticks hurt. I've got a weird crescent-shaped bruise I noticed this morning that exactly matches the size of the cap of a glue stick.
Another civil uprising is developing involving the on-call rotation for (company name deleted to comply with non-disclosure agreement) downtown. The way it works, the four people who got stuck with the on-call rotation have a week off, then a week on, then a week as back up, then a week off again. We get paid more for being primary than back up, and nothing for the two weeks off.
No one has an issue with that, but the way it is structured is if the on-call person is called downtown a third time in a week he gets a bonus. As a result, the customer has been calling the on-call person twice a week for six hours at a time, since they don't pay extra for having the on-call person there longer.
One of the on-call people refuses to go until this is corrected. Since I'm his back up and have to go for him, I would draw his on-call primary pay. It isn't a good deal. He's right about that.
After paying for parking and losing that much middle of the night sleep it is hardly worth it.
He suggested that if I go, I'm a scab. I'm not sure that is accurate, since he hasn't organized a formal protest. Either way, my reaction was a sudden and almost instinctive, "I ain't no scab!" I don't even use the word "ain't", I just channeled a turn of the century coal miner or something.
I don't know how that is going to play out. There isn't anyone else to do it, so they can't really replace the on-call people. We agreed to the deal not knowing how the customer would work it but I'm not sure what can really be done.
Plans for today include completing some inane paperwork, then working a while for the Paper Ball Liberation Front and filling up the petition I created for End On-call Abuse Now. I've also posted a note inside the Men's Room door that thanks the reader for participating in our "sit in".

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