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Category: work

09/26/07 04:55 - ID#41344


So, my 3-5 week part-time contract with Autodesk has already been extended to 11 weeks full-time, and I haven't even started yet. Sweet! Maybe now is a good time to ask for a raise, haha.

Hopefully my background check will come up clean. As long as they don't find my secret blog I should be ok. ;)
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Category: work

10/11/06 10:53 - ID#36756

I got laid!

off, that is.

Ok, maybe technically it's not being laid off if you're a contractor. But they made a BIG DEAL out of asking me YESTERDAY if I could be available through November 31. I said yes, except for the last week of Oct./first week of Nov. So they printed out a new contract for me, which I filed with the other half dozen. Then I promptly decided, shit! I can't deal with working here another month! And, NOVEMBER? That is a word that strikes fear in my heart. I'm pretty much in denial from November 1 through March 15. Or I was until I moved to California. But old habits die hard.

Anyway, I decided I'd better take today off. Which is why it was so weird to get the phone call saying they pulled the plug on our project (thank GOD! I hate to work on a losing proposition, but if you pay me $70/hour, I'll do almost anything, haha), and there's going to be a party Friday for everyone who dedicated the last EIGHT MONTHS OF THEIR LIVES working on this freakin' thing. So I'm going to go, and get paid $70/hour to be there.

I hate to be talking money with y'all again, but do you have any idea how empty this all is? Can't I get a job curing cancer or administering a kickass local social networking site or something? Doesn't anybody think that's worth my time? I'll only charge half price, haha.
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Category: work

05/18/06 11:32 - ID#36704


I'm not sure if I'm cut out to be a contractor. I seem to care more about this project than anyone else.

Case in point. Being the conscientious little content migrator that I am, I raise the issues that are keeping us from doing our work in my weekly status report. (Of course I also bring them up with my boss right away, but she never seems to do anything about them.) So when my boss's boss reads about them she decides these issues are so important, I should submit a daily status report so they can get on them right away. Ok, fine. I do that for 3 days, and still nothing happens.

So then my boss's boss decides, hey! These issues are so important, as soon as they come up you should broadcast them to this distribution list of people who apparently signed up as the project movers and shakers in the last executive meeting. Somehow I don't think they really knew what they were signing up for, and now I don't want to be the one to deliver the message. But this all goes down Friday at 5:45pm and I have to get the fuck out of there. So, against my better judgement -- and already clocking 1.5 hours of overtime for the week I can't even bill for -- as instructed I submit my first ever "ACTION NEEDED!" (caps theirs) email outlining what needs to happen for us to get our work done.

Maybe that doesn't sound so bad, but keep in mind this is at 6PM on Friday, everybody is gone for the weekend, my boss hasn't done a damn thing about any of these issues all week, and now I look like a contractor b!tch on a power trip or something. I mean, you don't go from being a behind-the-scenes "can you fix this?" type person to an "ACTION NEEDED!" type person overnight without some kind of explanation. Plus, I still have an aversion to using caps ever since I got yelled at for putting ONE word in caps for emphasis in a trouble ticket (is it my fault textarea form fields don't have any way to format for clarity other than capitalization? Good lord, I'm never going to live that down.)

So yeah, it's not really the way I would have gone about it. But at least now I've been given an account on the bug tracking database, and I've been invited to the daily QA meetings, and the project manager invited me to a meeting with the developers to talk about some of this stuff. And even though I'm still not supposed to bother the developers, they now come to my cube on a regular basis (Steve says my cube is like Grand Central Station). It's about freaking time!

Which reminds me. ACTION NEEDED: PAY ME MORE!!! ;-)

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Category: work

04/07/06 12:49 - ID#36691


Whoa, I can so identify with that right now, (e:Hodown,232). I swear2god I am working in a Dilbert cartoon. Thank god for my cohort Steve. Which reminds me, I think I know what the next niche market to exploit is: insider code phrases for surviving in the corporate world. Steve and I came up with a few today, and I really think it's going to make life bearable in the days to come. Basically, it's corporate-sounding terminology that we have secret meanings for. So far we've got:

Term: "Sanity-check"
Usage: "We better have a meeting to sanity-check our proposed approach to this portion of the project."
Real Meaning: "This freakin' project is driving me insane! We better get behind closed-doors to bitch about it before I go ballistic."

Term: "Full Debriefing"
Usage: "We're long overdue for a full debriefing. We'd better reserve the private conference room so we can bring each other up to speed."
Real Meaning: Ok, I know what you're thinking. "Full debriefing?" "Private conference room?" Let's just say if things keep going the way there going, we may have to escalate this particular terminology along those lines. But for now, all it means is, "I have some incredible gossip that requires complete privacy to impart in all it's sordid glory."

p.s. -- they are already talking about extending our contracts through June or possibly even July. I think the next term we're going to need is "offsite." I'm not sure if we can get away with it quite yet, but I'm willing to give it a shot.

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Category: work

04/04/06 12:50 - ID#36690

This is work not play

If you're interested in my usersound, you'll have to listen to the latest coverville podcast for the backstory.

(Sorry (e:Leetee) and (e:Uncutsaniflush) -- it's not Jim Carroll. That was just a free association.)

So, the good news is, I have a new Steve in my life. And just in the nick of time! He's my compatriot at "work." So I finally have someone to roll my eyes at during meetings.

I really shouldn't go into it, but you know the emphasis is misplaced when you're told to "read the dress code" so you don't risk "getting a citation." That's all I'm going to say about it.

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Category: work

03/31/06 06:49 - ID#36688

Welcome to the working week

Ok, I am so over this working thing. It was fun for a few days, but being held hostage behind the Berlin Wall of firewalls 8 hours a day is getting on my nerves. Plus, I got a High Priority request from one of my Premium Support users yesterday, (ok, it was my sister calling to tell me I missed one of the kids in the upcoming birthday countdown on the family web site), so naturally I had to drop everything to fix that. Spent about 10 minutes trying to poke a hole/get around the firewall to no avail. So I got the password for the "open" computer where you can allegedly check webmail and other potentially subversive tasks under the watchful eyes of the admins. I was there for about five seconds when I was reminded to use it "judiciously" or the question "why does a contractor need to use it" might arise. Because you have me in a freakin' straitjacket, that's why! This would take less than 5 minutes and I would be happy to punch out for the 15 minute minimum time-tracking increment just so nobody thinks I'm pulling a fast one. I mean, come on!

Not that it would be anybody's business how I might use my two 10-minute breaks required by California law, but it would be just my luck the "question" would be asked right in the middle of adding all FIVE birthdays for May. (Does my whole freakin' family go fertile in September?) So I decided I would spend that 10-minute break sulking in my cubicle instead. I know, I'm so mature.

And what important milestone on the critical path would I be impeding, you might ask? Printing out the company web site. That's what they have me doing this week. Oh yes, they got me my very own printer to accomplish this important task, and you can imagine my excitement when the project was escalated from "stapled sections" to "3-ring binder with dividers" at the weekly status meeting. If I had an ego, this would be demoralizing. But if they want to pay me an unseemly amount of money to print out their web site, I have no problem with that.

I wish I could tell you some of the Dilbert-esque stories about this place, but this one photo kind of captures it all for me. The employee handbook explicitly states you can only use the provided paper cups for hot beverages. No personal mugs or travel containers allowed. And you must have the company-issued lid tightly adhered in transit. But under no circumstances should you transport a hot beverage -- lidded or not -- between floors.


I don't think I've used one of these since kindergarten (before the invention of the juice box). I didn't even know they came with lids. It would take approximately 28 of these to make one Starbucks "venti" or whatever the hell they call a large.

Speaking of work, good luck with the job application (e:Leetee,153)! Oh, and for the citizenship question you might want to make a notation that you've got your Permanent Resident (green) card. In other words, have a comeback ready for any potential strike against you. (I don't mean to say that would be a strike against you, but you seemed to be concerned about it. And I'm big on notations, haha.)

Ok, that's all for now, except a few random pix off the cell phone.

Farmers' market at City Hall. No sign of protesters last Sunday.

I just thought this was funny. SF is such a live and let live town.

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Category: work

02/23/06 09:12 - ID#36651

Work not play

Some people see things that are and ask, Why?
Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not?
Some people have to go to work and don't have time for all that.

--George Carlin

So, I have a job interview next Tuesday. No - not for that blogging job. I haven't heard anything back on that. They're probably still wading through the thousands of blogger wannabe resumes. No, this one's just another contract gig. But they're giving me an editorial test, so maybe there will be some writing. If I get it, that is. And if not, there's always recreational blogging, haha.

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Category: work

08/13/05 02:36 - ID#36590

biz cards

I was cleaning out some of my old crap and happened upon a bunch of my old business cards. I forgot everyone in the design group had cards made up for our alternate identities. Ha!


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Category: work

04/14/05 07:00 - ID#36558

Will Work for Food

Since my last "real" contract job with PeopleSoft got nixed [inlink]twisted,107[/inlink] the day before I was supposed to start (because Oracle bought them), I didn't want to jinx my chances this time by saying something too soon. But I officially started a one month contract at Oracle today. Although with all the paperwork they made me fill out I'm feeling slightly paranoid about it. Apparently they verify all your previous places of employment and job titles, plus do a credit check to verify your past addresses (all for a one month contract, mind you). And I'd better wait until this contract is over to develop my FAX-Spam annihilator, since I had to sign something saying Oracle might have the legal rights to any Innovations (capitalization theirs) I make while I'm working for them. So no Innovations from me! Sorry!

On the bright side, I already got a $10/hour raise!

Here are some (cell phone) pictures of the Oracle campus. It looks like a cross between the Emerald City and something out of a sci-fi flick. And I thought PeopleSoft [inlink]twisted,93[/inlink] was swanky!



AND they have a bunch of great cafes onsite . We chose Cafe 600 for lunch today. It was crawling with engineers. Naturally I begged to be allowed to work onsite, but contractors are supposed to work from home so no dice. In the past I would have preferred that anyway, but now I already spend way too much time alone in front of my computer at home. Sigh.

The line at the Indian Station at Cafe 600

Well worth the short wait. I hope I'm not violating the non-disclosure agreement I signed by revealing the cafe's daily special.

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Category: work

01/29/05 02:58 - ID#36519

Dammit Jim! I'm a blogger, not a gamer!

So, have you ever been in the middle of an important phone call and you hear that little "blaDoop!" letting you know you forgot to sign out of AIM? Oh, and then you hear that ear-splitting persistent chirp of the smoke alarm letting you know your freakin' tea kettle forgot to whistle and as fate would have it you uncharacteristically closed the kitchen door for some flukey reason so you didn't hear it boiling dry? No? Well, it's pretty embarrassing.

Anyway, I feel more and more like my life is back in fate's hands (whatever that means) so who knows what will happen. As I told the person on the phone, there seems to be some mysterious synergy between (e:Paul) and the world, and I've decided to trust whatever comes my way because of it. Ok, maybe trust is too strong a word for it, since I still think sometimes he's wildly optimistic regarding some things. I could use me some of that optimism.

Hey! What kind of bread did (e:Lilho) use for those mini-BLTs? I think I need to make those for the estripwest open house. I'm dubbing them the official food of (e:strip) for now.

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