Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tales from the Cube

I haven't done a work related post in ages. The primary reason for this is while I have nightly bull sessions with my opposite shift members of 'stupid store' or 'stupid technician' or 'Oh god who designed this' moments - most of them would require too much background into what I do, which would mean I'd lose most audience members by the second paragraph, and if Corp ever stumbled across my little corner of the net they'd probably be none to happy with me for spilling proprietary information...

Or some such.

But, that doesn't mean I can't take a moment to rail about the new crops of technician's my company's been hiring.

First - I'd like to make something utterly clear - for the most part, its not the new people's fault. They're a product of a very flawed idea. It will eventually be rectified, but only after someone really important finally notices its a 'very bad thing'.

I've been working for my company for nearing the six year mark now. I've been 'round the block and done more with what used to be our primary client and is now our owner (we're a subsidary) then most people with twice the tenure. I can say this because I have two primary things going for me. One - I'm good at this kind of work. I can get into the head of the user who just screwed up, and take a scant amount of symptoms and come back with a reasonable idea of whats 'really' going on, and turn that into a resolved problem. And Two - I'm a bachelor. I've been willing to go 9 times out of 10.

That last is no longer true (the bachelor part still is...) but the first part still is, and I get tagged for a lot of things coming down the chute.

Combine that with a very good memory, and you have someone who can take pretty much any issue that's been seen before in 5 different software releases, and come up with a working solution fairly quickly. I've simply been doing it long neough that I don't reallly have to think about it too hard anymore unless its new.

So when we get a new tech, who's been on the desk nary a week (And these days if he got a week of *real* training before someone dumped him on the phone, he'd be lucky) walk up to me and ask me a question I *know* someone I had trained, once apon a time would know, and then when I give them the concise - boiled down technican to technican answer and they stare at me like I'm speaking greek - it makes me grind my teeth.

I'm not a trainer anymore, but if I have to explain the basics, in a *very* basic manner everytime a newbie comes back, I might as well be doing their job as well as mine, and that drives me bonkers. My job is to fix the crap thats either too assanine, too prone to failure, or simply too likely to cause something to cease to function if done wrong that we can't build it into a basic process for the primary desks.

We used to teach our primary desk technicians how to identify problems, how things *worked* why they worked that way (even if it made no sense) and what all that meant. Now we give them a week, which is enough to get them familar with their notation tools and their worthless knowledgebase and throw them to the sharks.

And they wonder why people keep quitting.

*shakes his head*

Oh well.

It pays the bills.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

NaNoWriMo

Ok, its been a while. There are a lot of reasons for that, and its not like I haven't had plenty to talk about. A lot's happened recently. Most of it not so great. Most of it, my fault.

But I'm dealing.

And I'm still here and breathing.

So - lets talk about NaNo. I've known about NaNoWriMo - or National Novel Writing Month for a fairly long time. At least a decade. I've been writing on and off for roughly the same amount of time. I've wanted to do NaNo for at least the last five years, but I also wanted to write a novel tha wasn't fanfiction, or just my own spin on a universe I've read a bunch about.

I wanted something that was mine.

Tonight at work, I finally figured it out. So I've started working on my world history (its set in the relatively near future) And the plot arc.

I've got a lot of prep work to do, and not a lot of time to do it, before NaNo starts... but I'm gonna get it done.

Now, it'll be interesting to see if I finish. I doubt I'll finish the novel, but my goal is 50,000 words in the month.

We'll see.

Its a Goal. The Working Title is "Red"