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Tuesday morning blues mean that soon my skin will be blue, too. - Paint It Black
Living the American dream one heartbreaking piece at a time
Tuesday morning blues mean that soon my skin will be blue, too.
The meaning of the title will become clear soon enough.

I came in to work this morning after staying home on Monday due to unhappy feelings in my stomach. When I'd gotten up on Monday I thought that maybe I'd gotten ahold of a minor flu bug or perhaps some uncooked food on Sunday's trip to BD's. In retrospect I think what really happened was nothing more than my body was protesting getting up on Monday morning at that time of day. It used to feel like that when I had to go in for my early morning Sunday shifts back in Minnesota, and I guess this was just a flare-up of the same old tricks my stomach used to pull. At least I wasn't entirely imagining my condition because roho later told me I looked like death warmed over when I did get up.

Most of the day was spent sleeping or idly puttering around online. Amidst all my laziness I did make sure to get at least one important thing done: I set out to finish canceling all my utilities to the old apartment. By and large the entire exercise went better than I had expected. A quick call to AT&T clarified my current billing solution, giving me the happy news that the bill in my hand (which said I owed $42 for service through 12/18) was invalid and could be discarded. My actual account balance was $0 and was considered satisfied. Ameritech, however, was not quite as smooth to deal with. When I got ahold of them they seemed hellbent on getting me to transfer service to the new apartment, something I neither needed nor wanted. When I told them I had vacated the premesis on the 30th and just wanted the line disconnected and the final bill sent out they told me they couldn't disconnect my phone line until Wednesday, the 11th. I'm not entirely sure how that works out since disconnecting a residential line is a simple matter of connecting to the CO's switch and turning off service. I guess I'm foolish to expect reliable service from a bad company (Ameritech) that was swallowed whole by a worse company (SBC).

Next on my list of utilities was the DSL. I really didn't want to make this call but it is pretty damn stupid to pay for DSL service I can't use anymore -- or at least service I can't use without a 17 mile ethernet drop. :p All told the folks at Megapath have been an absolute godsend to me over the last two years, and I really want to see them continue to succeed. They've provided me with a fast line (1152Kb, symmetrical), 30 usable IPs, and reliable service. They've been prompt and courteous in resolving problems for me, with one minor exception that could be considered nothing more than somebody just having a bad day. Above all else, their rate was reasonable. So when I left a message on their billing voicemail saying I wanted to cancel my line it was not a happy feeling.

I also paid credit card bills on Monday. It's amazing how much money I spent in November between Midwest FurFest, car rentals and the move. In hindsight I'm more than a little irked at myself for spreading the charges across a number of cards the way I did -- that just made no sense. If I'd put them all in one place I wouldn't have had the series of unpleasant surprises I had last night. "Let's see, my MBNA card should have a zero balance. Urk! It's got $540 on it. Well, I better pay that off... okay, that's done. Discover should only have $170 on that. What, $489? What did I buy with this?! Oh, that's right... yeah, yeah, I'd forgotten about that..." It was like Christmas Day in reverse. Every time I opened another package it meant more money out the door for me. The good news is that once again almost everything is paid off, leaving my balance transfer on the Citibank from all my foolish spending in the past. There's only a $3,000 balance to go on that bad boy. Let's hope I can kill it by March!

When I came in this morning I wasn't feeling my best but I was feeling better than yesterday. I brought with me the two packages for the office Angel Tree program that enveri was nice enough to wrap up for me. I wanted to drop them off on the way up to the 7th floor, but the office building's receptionist wasn't in yet so I'll have to take care of that sometime before I leave today. I also brought my checkbook with me. I have to stop at the old complex on the way home tonight, and pay them the $15 and change they claim I still owe them. The threatening letter they sent was truly tasteful, and I plan to verbally slap the shit out of the management once I've paid off the final balance. Good riddance to that place, they're about as easy to deal with as a grizzly bear that's just had a cattle prod shoved up its ass.

My supervisor pulled me aside when I got in to my desk, and said that "something had come up yesterday" in regards to me. Whenever he utters a phrase like that it means dire things for me in one way or another. Usually it means I've done something to piss somebody off, which isn't as rare an occasion as I would like it to be. What it meant for me today, though, was extra work. It seems our Toronto campus is in even worse shape than any of us had previously thought, and it's been determined by management that the conversion that's scheduled for the 28th and 29th of this month (that's right, my holiday is shot to shit) will utterly fail unless I am on site to assist. It appears that the local staff has no understanding of how traffic flows on the network, and even less understanding of how to address the work that needs to be completed. "Since it seems like you'll have to go up there to undo what they'll likely bungle, you might as well go up there and make sure that it gets done right the first time." Lucky me. So the current game plan is that I will fly up to Toronto on the morning of Friday the 27th, micromanage people on the 28th, spend the 29th unfucking their fuckups, use the 30th to troubleshoot any remaining issues that come up and then fly back that Monday evening. I get to sacrifice my holiday weekend so that I can freeze my ass off and make sure that an incompetent, short-handed staffer does the work he clearly doesn't have the skillset to do. Then, when he falls down, I get to step in and do all the work myself in a Herculean-scale single-handed show of my networking skills. Wow, it's like I've travelled through time and am back in the year 2000 doing the work of five people because I was the only person within the company who had skillsets in Unix, security and networking. Please, exploit me harder!

I am Jack's utter lack of surprise at this development.

I think I'm going to retaliate by spending today sipping coffee and reading trade newsletters. Then, on the drive home tonight, I shall berate the old apartment complex and pay them their blood money. I will also have to look into getting a passport so that I don't have to worry as much about proving I am indeed a normal US citizen who just has the misfortune of being assigned to Canada during a weekend in December.

Current Mood: unsurprised
Current Music: Office noises

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sleepingzebras From: sleepingzebras Date: December 10th, 2002 03:54 am (UTC) (Link)
more fun Canadian work info, from my coworker Mark:
"When I went to Canada on business, I was almost not allowed into the
country, luckily I ran into a nice Canadian customs agent. The reason.
NAFTA requires that I show proof that I have business dealings with that
specific company in order to go there and work for those days I am there."

Are you house shopping these days, or is that sometime in the future?
roho From: roho Date: December 10th, 2002 04:18 am (UTC) (Link)
There's a Kinko's right across the street. We should probably hit that; you to get your passport photos and application, and me to get my FOID photos.

You might have to expedite your passport process, to get it by the 28th, there's a procedure for that (I think it costs more, but it really does work...my mother was able to get hers over a weekend. Though that may not be possible now with the new Fatherland Security measures.) Having a passport is always a good idea, even if you don't go abroad much. It's like an ID trump card! "You need two forms of ID from column A, one from column B, and three from column C. Or, a US Passport."
roho From: roho Date: December 10th, 2002 04:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Also, any chance of doing what we talked about earlier, now? Flying you out of Minneapolis or something, instead of Chicago, so you *can* at least get Christmas with your family?

(If they say that they can't do that, because tickets from MN are slightly more expensive, it's time to seriously evaluate your employment options.)
nonethewiser From: nonethewiser Date: December 10th, 2002 04:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Toronto is supposed to be a very nice city to visit, though. And it rarely gets really cold there, to my understanding. It's certainly not the prairies.

Sorry about the exploitation, though. That bites big.
spoothbrush From: spoothbrush Date: December 10th, 2002 04:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Of course, saying "It's not the prairies" is essentially saying "It might be -10, but it certainly won't be -40."

If Cap was going to be around through that period, I'd say we'd come up and hang out with you in your off-hours. Despite my incredible distrust of Toronto.
nonethewiser From: nonethewiser Date: December 10th, 2002 07:21 am (UTC) (Link)
-10 isn't cold.

And yes, that's exactly what I meant. are you reading my mind?

Anyway, TO's not a windy city, so it shouldn't be *bad*. And it's not nearly as damp as the East coast... I dunno. I've not really been to TO since... I was tiny.
spoothbrush From: spoothbrush Date: December 10th, 2002 09:26 am (UTC) (Link)
I've known too many people from out there :D

-10 isn't particularly cold, no. Not t-shirt weather, though. But when there's little wind, -10 is pretty comfortable.
enveri From: enveri Date: December 10th, 2002 05:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Ack. :(

Really sorry to hear that Fer. :(
frostyw From: frostyw Date: December 10th, 2002 05:09 am (UTC) (Link)
If you're looking for folks upon whom you can take out your frustrations while you're up there, I can give you the address for our customer's IT help desk in Toronto. ;) They have nothing to do with you, but they really need to be slapped around, anyway.
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