3 Walls, Plenty of stories
Journal for the week of 5/22/17
0740 — In.
0844 — No entry for yesterday, I forgot to get this going. Not much happened anyway.
From the cubicle: We found some poop in the house last night behind our sectional. Wifey, of course, was mad AF. I wasn’t happy either. We figured that Olive D’Cat brought another critter in (as she has been known to do) and maybe it got away or was dead…wrong on both assumptions. The poop was vacuumed up and before we left my wife saw a head peek up from under one of the cushions on the chaise side. She lost it…meaning the crazy came out. Thought it was a mouse and told me to go after it; turns out it was a chipmunk...again. I briefly saw it. She got my gloves from the garage and I reached into the cushions, no chipmunk. I then took all the cushions off, didn’t see it. I then turned over all 3 parts of the sectional, didn’t see it. My assumption is that the beast went into one of the pieces of furniture and is now hiding and shitting in it. My wife had a great idea of getting one of the squirrel traps and putting it back there. So, I baited it (squirrels love peanut butter) and put it next to one of the sections. I’ll probably go home for lunch to see if it’s trapped. If so, I’ll take it out and toss it into my neighbor’s yard or kill it. I don’t care if anyone finds it inhumane to kill it, the little shit tears up gardens, mulch, and my wife’s planters. Stay tuned…
0947 — A branch is updating it’s name and program changes need to be done. What amazes me is how many there are to update. It should be no more than replacing one name with the new one but I’ve sent an email to the SME and we’ll see if he’s happy. We have a meeting with the PM at 1000 to discuss upcoming changes, etc. Nothing gets in the way of a good day than meetings. I’ve been in the zone all morning and, with the exception of this entry, meetings throw everything off. It’ll take me an hour or better to get back in the mindset to do more development.
From the cubicle: It amazes me to hear the stories about people’s kids. Just had a conversation with a colleague about having sons. So many families/couples I know keep trying to have a boy. I have 3 girls and wouldn’t have it any other way. I heard that his grandparents had 18 kids, we’re talking about early 20th century culture here. I think my grandma was one of 11 but don’t know for sure. My wife’s nephew is in Israel doing rabbinical studies and has 3 girls, they’ll probably keep trying until a son arrives. It’s not like me to follow any sort of traditions such as having a son to carry on the name. My father flipped out when I announced that, if I had a son, I wasn’t going to carry the name forward. I’m a 4 (IV) and didn’t think the world needed a 5 (V). I can still hear the yelling to this day.
1307 — Things have slowed a bit. I finished the programming and still waiting to hear from the SME, should be later today. Once that’s done, I’ll get a chance to start auditing code, etc. We’ve been told to wait for a bit in case there’s a last minute change or addition/deletion. Probably not going to happen but I’m not holding my breath. I started looking at the Fortune 100 Best Companies To Work For list to see what other opportunities are out there.
From the cubicle: I was on my company’s investment site looking at retirement planning. I’m probably 15–20 years from retiring but need to keep an eye on it. Their calculator is not very intuitive. It told me I was on track for retirement and I know that’s not right. In fact, I should be well behind in retirement. The numbers on the site are supposed to be hypothetical and it’s very misleading. I sent an email to speak with a rep and she/he should be able to tell me more. The only way I see us surviving is to sell the house in the hopes we make a profit on it. I’m the typical late-bloomer and couldn’t start contributing decent amounts to my 401(k) until about 10 years ago. Worry doesn’t describe how I scared I feel about being able to afford to retire. We’re hoping my wife’s life coaching practice starts to payoff sooner than later. I want to retire when I’m 62 but will probably wait until 65. Any longer than that I’ll probably die at my desk.
1556 — Not much happening. I’m going to skate at 1615 for a doc appointment. Going to try acupuncture today to see if it can break a bad habit or more. I hope this fucking works. I’m not one for alternative medicine but I’ve heard great things about these types of procedures. I’ll report more tomorrow on how it went. If it gets me to swear less or not be as big of an asshole then it’ll be worth it but I don’t want to give up those traits.
1614 — Out.
0746 — In.
From the cubicle: Saw the acupuncturist last night. Cool dude. Didn’t get any needles just an overview of what he does/offers. We start next Monday and I’m waiting for his approval on an account where I can get herbal supplements that’ll help chill me out. Good rapport to start and I think this is the right move for me.
1440 — Some ATM program updates earlier but not much else. The updates were to just change the name of a branch location and then testing which takes quite a while. The documentation made it take over an hour. After it was done I sent the doc to two of my teammates for review and they approved. Now it’s a waiting game until we go to PROD with it which should be Friday.
From the cubicle: A great friend of mine reached out to ask about the acupuncture appointment. I told her what I mentioned in an earlier post what happened and she wants me to keep her posted. There should be about 12 total treatments and the account on line has been approved. I’ll order them tonight and start taking them probably on Friday or Saturday.
1619 — Quiet afternoon.
1625 — Out.
0747 — In.
0857 — Starting off the day with an implementation that’s scheduled to go for 5 hours. I doubt it’ll take anywhere near that. Within that 5 hour span, I’m scheduled for 4 other meetings, each consisting of 30 minutes of pure bullshit. I’m not that important to get invited to these fucking things. In fact, I hate it but was asked to proxy by my manager who is out on sick leave. She’s doing quite well and I hope she comes back soon to relieve me of this burden.
From the cubicle: Weather sucks and so does my attitude. Says it all.
0957 — I’m in 2 places at once again. Two meetings going on, one for the implementation which I’m watching on one screen, the other is for an incident review meeting of which I’m on the call and watching the presentation on the other; maybe I should consider it 3 places. No doubt there’s other folks here on more than all of that. I’ve been privileged enough to be on 2 calls at once, using my cell for one and desk phone for another, while having both screens filled with stuff from other meetings. The biggest problem with technology is it has become all consuming. Everything is running at the speed of thought. When I was young, if you were left a message on your answering machine you were considered contacted. Now, if you get an email/voicemail/text, even while on vacation, you’re considered contacted and responsible for responses where appropriate.
1158 — Time for food. I’m still on one call and one video session for the implementation. LOTS of verifications happening and they’re looking pretty good. Hopefully not much longer. If I can get motivated, I’ll be watching some lynda.com sessions. They’re usually quite enjoyable and the knowledge transfer is great.
1333 — Implementation over, forms were printed and the IRS file was successfully transmitted. I started listening to some tunes to get my head right. Three Dog Night came up while writing this entry…Out in the Country and Mama Told Me Not To Come…no complaints. The lynda.com courses wouldn’t play and I sent an email to their help desk. They sent back an email saying they received my email and will contact me asap. Thanks to this my afternoon activities are shot to hell.
1606 — Just got off a call with another Lead. He’s pissed as much as the rest of us about resources and being overloaded. I got 3 different stories from 2 managers and him about how 2 of my guys will be helping with an upcoming project. I have hard core, grizzled mainframers and there’s a push to cross train people and get them familiar (at best) with the distributed side. Definition of “distributed” — A shitty way of doing things. It, simply, involves load balancing of applications/processes/storage over several servers instead of all in one place like a mainframe. It also causes several points of failure instead of one. Basically it’s a fucking nightmare to administer and I see very little value in it. So, my 2 are going to be holding hands with an expert (the aforementioned Lead) when they go to do some distributed stuff which is cool with me. HOWEVER, they will also be added to an on-call list in about a month for something they know nothing about. That’s FUBAR!!!!!! The other Lead is going to hold that off as long as possible until my guys are adequately trained to be just a little dangerous but he still has to be on every incident call with them. It turns into a zero sum game at some point. I found out today from one of the managers that there’s a mainframe component to the project and all this goes live in a month. We’ve not been on any calls, in any meetings, have zero documentation and are going to be expected to support it. It’s a total fucking screw job and it will bring nothing but bad press for everyone. The other Lead and I have absolutely no resources to spare but I volunteered my guys so they could get some cursory knowledge of the distributed side…I now regret that decision, so some of this is my fault. BUT…now that I know we’ve not been given any information on it, I’m uber pissed. Then the other Lead told me that our Service Manager called him and 2 others into a meeting to discuss the notes we Leads sent management from our last Leads meeting. HE DIDN’T INVITE ANY OTHER LEADS TO THIS MEETING. None. That was wrong on every level. This plays into the hands of management where they can divide and conquer us when they present their side of the explanation of our notes. Management has over a month to discuss that shit amongst themselves and shouldn’t be consulting anyone on the Leads team prior to it. If I had the authority I would have slammed them on it. Just like any other workplace, management asks for feedback then ignores it if it’s not what they want to hear. There is no amount of time I can’t fill with rants about this shit. I feel like I can just walk out and forget this place at times but, after 10 years, I’m still loyal to the company and wouldn’t do it. But this doesn’t preclude me from looking elsewhere…j/s.
1630 — Out.
0750 — In.
From the cubicle: I had a great yet bittersweet conversation with my youngest last night. She has some anxiety about not being (or really associated) “from” somewhere. During the call she mentioned that her sister and I identify with Southern culture and that the family seems to “like” sister more than her. Not true at all. Their personalities couldn’t be further apart. One is introverted (youngest) the other extroverted. There’s also a ton of politics involved. The youngest, my wife, and I are left-leaning and the “Southern Tier” as we like to call them is alt-right. She makes and takes everything personal as if folks are judging her regarding her views and projects that they all don’t want her down there even for visits. I tried explaining that she’s creating anxiety that doesn’t exist. Our family is very welcoming, hospitable, loving, and everything that a stereotypical Southern family is. Regardless of politics NO ONE will ever be shunned based on a disagreement. Rarely does the subject of politics even arise because it’s all about family down there. My dad will try once in awhile but I shut him down pretty quickly. We laugh, eat, celebrate family at all times. Disagreements happen. Her FB posts are quite politically charged and some family members reached out to me privately asking “What’s wrong with her?” Meaning they aren’t used to seeing her as an adult with opinions. She didn’t grow up down there and they really didn’t witness her growth into a strong woman. Like most families, kids are almost always thought of as youngsters, babies, etc. There’s no doubt that they still think that about my 3. I used to be pretty conservative because the environment I grew up in was that way. As I grew older, my values and mindset changed. My thought is that the family expected her to carry on the conservative values they ascribe to because of the way I used to think. Obviously, and thank God, that didn’t happen. Her views are her own just like everyone else’s. She took on a lot of my current views but to another level where she’s a strong believer in feminism, liberal thinking, individuality, and empowerment. I LOVE THAT! Her worry about the family responding on social media more to her sister than her is only because sister doesn’t ascribe to politics and doesn’t post stuff like that. She doesn’t want to accept that, if you post something folks don’t agree with, they probably won’t comment and vice versa. She feels that she doesn’t belong or isn’t welcome down there because of all of it. Home is where your heart is not a geographic location. I tried to explain that to her, she was accepting of that point, but wants to be considered “from” somewhere and not be thought of as an outcast. My side of the story was that “home” is a generic term. For me is where my family hails from but MY home is where my wife and kids are. There’s a big difference. She called bullshit on some of that and I can see why but she’s also young, 23, and hasn’t had enough time to mature into someone that can put aside the fact that nothing defines her more than she defines herself. A disagreement is nothing more than that. It shouldn’t be taken as a personal attack because most of the time it’s not that. Social media posts are the new “cliques” like I had in high school. You’re either cool or not. You’re either with us or not and a lack of responses on FB/Twitter/Instagram or whatever means nothing. Popularity is still so important to millennials (and all young folks) to the point of being crippling. It’s sad. We all have a need to be accepted as we are, not as others think we should be but it doesn’t always work out that way. The South is really no different than anywhere else in that respect. But, in the South, we don’t turn people away because that’s not what family does down there; family is what defines us. That point is what folks outside the Redneck Riviera don’t want to get. We’re NOT all a bunch of rubes looking for dates at the reunion (I can’t stand Jeff Foxworthy’s stupid comedy). We are NOT all all gun-crazed maniacs and we’re certainly are NOT ones to shun family members based on their views. We will disagree adamantly but we never forget that we’re family. I could write a book about it but there’s no point. It’s fine if she does or doesn’t identify with any family, she just needs to realize that she’s part of a rather opinionated family that will accept her without question. She’s still maturing and will understand all this fully when the time comes. I’m proud of her for bringing up such a sensitive topic and sharing it with me. Quite a mature thing for someone so young to do.
1300 — Finishing some location code updates. There’s one system that was updated before I got to it and it’s happened in the past. I have no idea who did it but I’m now on a mission to find out.
From the cubicle: It’s beautiful outside. Just walking in the sun is a privilege here these days. I have to drive about 40 miles to get to band practice tonight…on a Friday…in the DMV…during the first day of Memorial Day traveling. It’ll take me 11 years to get there. I don’t like leaving work early but may ask to.
1458 — Dead. Nothing happening. Zilch. Very few people are here and most will probably leave in about an hour. I have +/- 90 minutes before I go. I’d love it to stay this quiet for the rest of the day. My wife let me know that her office got to leave 2 hours early. Must be nice.
1653 — Out.
Thanks for reading all of this! If you enjoyed this piece please click the heart below and comment if you wish. I’d love to hear your experiences no matter what they may be. Also, I have two books available on Amazon that I advocate you to buy, Manku and Manku Too. For more about me and what I do, here’s my website.