Hey look! It’s my annual clean-the-work-desk-off day. Once a year around about this time I clean up my desks and you can tell that they are, in fact, desks. I’ve had no end of comments from coworkers passing by of the “Hey! You really DO have a desk under there!” variety.
This year’s motivation is the pending arrival of auditors from China next week. I’m not expecting to interact with them directly, but there was some desire expressed to have a more “professional” looking work environment in place. The truth is there was plenty of stuff I’d been meaning to get to sorting through to figure out what needed to be recycled and what needed to be put into the storage room and this was a good excuse to take the time to do it. I also went through all the boxes on top of my cubicle to see what they had in them and they were all empty save for one that held all the old wireless access points we replaced awhile back.
I should be able to keep things relatively clutter free through the holidays (the fact that I’m taking my usual 3 week vacation in December will help) and then in January I’ll get started on junking them back up again so I can clean them off again next November.
I work in a building full of engineers. They are very clever people most of the time. Sometimes they are too clever. Sometimes they engage in puns. Yesterday an engineer walked up to my cube and we had the following exchange:
Engineer: Les, what are you doing under my sink?
Engineer: Your email said you were “at my disposal.” Haha!
As of next month I will have been with my current employer for three years. First as a double contractor, then a single contractor, and finally as a direct hire. The people I work with are great and I come home each day with a sense of accomplishment. That’s a large part of the reason I love my job, but there are other, smaller reasons that factor in as well.
For example, there’s a wall near the front lobby where we have pictures of every employee grouped by department in a simple org chart. Each department has a header on it letting you know what it is, but for some reason whoever put it together never got around to making one for the IT department.
So we took it upon ourselves to make our own:
It seemed the logical choice.
We put that up on the board over a year ago and it’s been there ever since. It’s a good feeling to know that the company you work for has a sense of humor. It makes me smile every time I see it.
Here at “The Automotive Supplier™” where I work there are several charity events put on by various departments throughout the year. The next one takes place on February 29th and is being set up and run by the IT department in my building (a whole whopping three people including myself). My pseudo-boss — in that he’s technically not my boss but he keeps an eye on me — is a golfer and he’s leading the charge on the event so he went with what he knows. Thus we are doing a mini-golf event with “holes” laid out throughout the cubicals and hallways of the building to raise funds for the Michigan Humane Society.
Of course we can’t dig actual holes into the floor for this event so we had to come up with some clever way of providing a target that would determine a successful putt. Being IT we of course had to come up with the most overtly geeky targets we could manage. Thus I give to you The Mouse Holes:
The paw flags read: Help us help them.
Yes, 18 crappy old mice have sacrificed their tails in order to provide a suitable way to determine a successful putt. They’ll be sitting on a sheet of paper with a circle on it so that if the ball hits the “hole” hard enough to knock it out of the circle it’ll be considered to have “popped” out of the hole putting a bit of finesse back into the game.
Now I’m a pretty big geek, but it would never have occurred to me to turn old mice into “holes” for a mini-golf game. Looking at the end result I feel a little more normal than usual. That’s some damned geeky shit.
I am, once again, among the ranks of Michigan’s unemployed and will be filing for unemployment and then taking up the job hunt in earnest once again. Walked into the meeting this morning to a very haggard looking manager and boss sitting next to my rep from the contract house. That’s a pretty big clue right there. Seems the order came down to get rid of three heads and I was the last one to join the team so I ended up being one of the first let go. Which is pretty much what I would’ve expected. Once again I was told that it wasn’t anything to do with my productivity or professionalism and that I was a very good employee which is why the boss had agonized over it for the past couple of days. Both my manager and my boss offered to write me letters of recommendation to help and they put the word out to other departments on the off-chance someone else might have something I could take on.
I think I handled things pretty well, but then it helped that I realized before taking the job on that I was taking a risk in going back to Ford Motor Company at a time when they were talking about cutting jobs. I had hoped to get more than the two and a half months I did get out of it before being let go, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to. My only real concern is that it took me 10 months the last time I was laid off to find something else to do and I really don’t want it to take that long again. My contract rep says our company just got in with Toyota so there may be some possibilities there and Google is still building up in Ann Arbor so I’m going to try sending a resume in to them as well.
Wish me luck.
The dreaded: “The boss wants a 1×1 meeting with you tomorrow before the staff meeting.”
That’s it. Not a word on what the meeting is supposed to be about or anything and my attempt to find out by sending back a “just out of curiosity, can you fill me in on what this is about” went unanswered. I hate that. Hate it, hate it, hate it. It doesn’t help that the company you just hired back in with is in the middle of trying to unload 38,000+ employees via buyouts and early retirements and, eventually, just outright layoffs.
As Han would say, I have a bad feeling about this.
Somehow something blue got into the laundry the other day and made a bit of a mess, much to Mrs. SEB’s consternation, and she ended up having to rewash quite a few items to try and remove the resulting stains. We have no idea what it was or how it got in there, but for the most part she was successful in cleaning up the damage done.
Yesterday I pulled out my tan slacks and got dressed for work without really thinking about it because it was 6AM and I wasn’t awake. On the way into work I happened to notice that there was a bit of a blue stain on back of the cuff of the right pant leg. Not a big deal and hardly worth turning around to go home and change. I got to work and made it through most of the morning before I had to visit the men’s room to get rid of the coffee I had consumed earlier to try and wake up. Finishing up I turned around to walk to the sink and wash my hands. It was then that I noticed it.
A small dark spot in the lower right of my crotch that made it look like I didn’t “shake the dew off the lilly” suffeciently before stuffing said lilly back into my pants, always a danger when you’re wearing light colored pants. As most men are wont to do when confronted with the panic inducing possibility that they’ve slightly pissed themselves, I reached for my crotch to check for dampness and was surprised when my pants turned out to be quite dry. Closer examination of my crotch revealed that the dark spot was yet another of the mystery stains that was just light enough that it didn’t look so much “blue” as much as “wet tan-colored fabric” that was perfectly positioned for maximum bad impressions in others. Great.
When you really do slightly piss yourself you can at least count on it drying fairly quickly and nobody being the wiser, but when it’s really a light blue stain that suspiciously looks like wet fabric it ain’t gonna go away anytime soon. Needless to say I was very self-concious about how I walked around the building for most of the day. I think I made it through without anyone thinking I was in need of “Depends” or something similar, but it’s hard to say for sure.
I’m actually sitting in the building I’ll be supporting for the first time. It’s pretty nice, one of the nicer buildings the company has, with a full blown cafeteria with all manner of goodies. I’m told there’s around 1,900 people total in the building and that’s a big step up from what I’m used to so I’m a tad nervous, but overall this is looking to be a good assignment. It turns out the Site Manager I’ll be with is someone that I worked somewhat closely with the last time I was at this company when they made me a planner—he was also a planner back then and we shared many a moment whining about how we didn’t want to be planners—so that’s a bonus as we had a good working relationship (misery loves company).
Expect light blogging this week as well as I’m still in training on the new job, but things should be getting back to normal soon. Gotta run. Off to meet the first level support team.