It started off poorly with a 8AM to 12PM all employee meeting for the department I work in with the theme being “Mobility.” Which is ironic as hell considering that the company has been actively trying to reduce the number of laptops in use and shutting down the ability of employees to use a VPN client on their home PCs to connect to the company’s network. They had some big-wig from IBM phone in and tell us all the wonderful things that IBM has done to make their employees more mobile that our company couldn’t afford to do right now even if they were so inclined due to the fact that the company’s stock has been in the toilet for quite awhile now. Then we were treated to presentations on how the company puts together the PC and UNIX global clients, which I already knew from being a former 2nd Level PC Tech. Then back into the mobility theme with a presentation on Tablet PCs which was the first really informative presentation up until that point except that it didn’t really tell you much more than you could learn from reading a sales brochure. Watching the Digital Ink demo in action was pretty cool, though.
I don’t know how the rest of the meeting went because I couldn’t take much more of it and I ducked out during the break. I needed to get back to the office anyway as I hadn’t had a chance to check my email or voice mail since I had gotten to work and that has become the two main aspects of my job since I changed roles. That took a couple of hours which brought me to the next meeting from 12:30PM to 1:30PM that was mainly an attempt at pacifying a building that had just had their dedicated PC Support Tech yanked from under them to be replaced by a tech who supports more than one building in the area. Reps from all the major departments in the building were there along with reps from the outside support service the company uses to run it’s help desk, first and second level support services. The building reps grilled the support reps with their concerns about a drop in service levels and the support reps promised that the service levels would be virtually unaffected despite the fact that the person doing the support wouldn’t even sit in the same building and they had to come up with extra contracts to cover all the stuff that isn’t covered under the normal support contract which the dedicated Tech had done without issue. I managed to reign in my urge to utter highly cynical statements about such promises by fiddling with my PDA for most of the meeting, but my boss and I kept exchanging knowing glances at some of the more outlandish promises being made. Back at my desk I fell back into my old role as a tech support stud long enough to help a co-worker with some problems she was having with her PDA. That was probably the only really satisfying thing I accomplished all day.
I had to leave early for a Dentist appointment at 4PM wherein the hygienist managed to pop off the first crown I ever had done from the molar on which it had spent the last ten years or so. It wasn’t painful so it was probably going to pop off on its own soon anyway and it gave me something to harass her about for the rest of the office visit. My current dentist had talked of re-doing it anyway as he was concerned there might be some decay under the crown and it turns out there is. This dentist has one of those fiber-optic digital camera thingamabobs that allows them to stick a probe in your mouth and show you on a nearby TV just how disgusting a job they deal with day in and day out that suddenly puts those pointless four hour meetings you’re expected to attend into serious perspective. Sure, my job may be unsatisfying and futile, but at least I don’t spend all day staring into gaping maws full of teeth riddled with caves filled with all manner of gross material that I have to pick at with little scraper things.
The Dentist said I had “the beginnings of decay” on the remnants of that tooth under the crown, but from the picture on the TV I’d say that “beginning” was too mild a word. You could’ve driven a Mack truck into the hole that was shining brightly down from the TV on the wall were any random moron could walk by and see it and pass out from the shock of it possibly resulting in a costly lawsuit for the office. Turns out the Dentist I had previously who had done that crown was a Cheap-Assed Bastard who had left a temporary filling in the tooth rather than replace it with a permanent filling before putting the crown on. Both the hygienist and the dentist seemed shocked and appalled in much same way you’d expect them to be if it turned out the previous dentist had accidentally sewn one of his dental picks to my gums. “How in the world in this day and age,” you could almost hear them thinking, “could anyone be so careless as to leave a temporary filling under a crown!?!” They were clearly more shocked and appalled by this revelation than they were by the fact that I had what appeared to me to be the Grand Canyon of the Black Plague in the side of that poor tooth stub.
They cleaned things up a bit and put my old crown back on with a temporary bond and instructed me to set up an appointment to come back in so they could rip it off again and fix not only the Grand Canyon, but also the temporary filling in the tooth. With luck we caught it early enough that a root canal won’t be necessary, though a new crown probably will be. August is a bad time of the year for unexpected expenses, but we’ll figure out a way.
Coming home I set about checking my computer’s speakers as they’ve been making weird noises even when the computer is not turned on ever since the blackout happened. They still produce sound just fine when in use, but there’s a background hum and other odd random sounds that crop up when the computer’s powered down or no sound is playing that makes it sound like some weird sort of semi-quiet frog. I thought it might be interference from some of the other crap I have plugged into that power strip so I tried moving it to a different plug. That didn’t work. Double checked all the wiring for shorts or crossed cables. Nada. I can only assume they’re on their last legs and near death. Anne took pity on me and allowed me to look up deals on new speakers on one of the bargain reporting websites. We found Office Max offering a three speaker set (two minis and a sub-woofer) from Altec Lansing that was similar to the Cambridge Soundworks set I currently had for only $12.99. Local store was completely out, but they did have the 4.1 Surround Set from Altec Lansing for only $29.99. I’ve wanted surround speakers for awhile so we picked those up and called them my birthday present seeing as I’m about to have a birthday come Monday.
Of course I live in a small apartment with my computer in my bedroom so I can’t actually set up my surround speakers in an actual surround sound configuration. I could set the left rear speaker on the bookcase behind me to my left, but behind me to the right is our bed and there’s no place to put that speaker short of mounting it on the wall. Fortunately the sub-woofer had a switch allowing me to switch from “gaming mode” to “stereo mode” and leaving the rear speakers unattached seems to work just fine. I’ll have them handy if we ever manage to buy a house and I at least have speakers that don’t make extra noises above and beyond the call of duty now.
So that’s how my day went, how’d your’s go?