November 4th, 2002



Last night was not a good night. Last night was not a good night at all.

My plan for today is to do as little work as is possible to get me through the day. Then I will go home and take a nap. Once I'm done napping I will do a load of laundry and pack my figures/sculptures for the move. Why so little? Because that's about all I feel up to taking on right now.
  • Current Music
    HVAC fans, keyboards tapping, somebody eating a granola bar

Uh. Huh. Riiiight.

So at the end of July I commissioned an artist with a fairly well-recognized name on the advice of a friend of mine. I was hoping this artist would be able to work up an illustration based on an idea that had cropped into my head from out of the blue and was intriguing enough that I thought it'd be worth paying for. I contacted the artist, lost contact with the artist, then got contact established again. I paid him 1/4 of the agreed-upon fee in advance to help offset the cost of the materials for my request as well as to show good faith on my part to pay the rest of the amount when the work was done. When he received the payment on July 30 th he sent me an e-mail to let me know it arrived, and then that was the last I heard from him.

I figured all right, the man has a job, the man has a social life, he's got things to do. I'm in no rush, and it'll be well worth the wait. So I didn't pester him, I just let things go. August passed and I didn't have an update from him . That's cool. The first two weeks of September pass and I don't hear anything from him, so I start getting a little worried. I shoot him a letter on the 12 th of September asking what the status of the project is. Dead silence. I wait two weeks and send him another letter. No answer. Two more weeks elapse and I send him a third inquiry, and once again I get... you guessed it, no answer. So I've figured that this money is all but gone at this point and this dude is a deadbeat who doesn't plan to refund or produce. Before I start flying off the handle, though, I give him one last chance to redeem himself and mailed him again last night. It was one final plea for a reply and status update. Since I suspected he was considering reneging on the agreement I gave him a graceful way out just in case he wasn't replying because he felt he couldn't without looking like a jackass (Apparently he didn't realize that not being professional and replying to a polite inquiry made him look like a jackass just fine).

Lo and behold I get a reply today:

Hey there,

I'd lost your e-mail address and asked [mutual friend] to page #mail it to me on
Furrymuck, which she never did. It's the only way I can communicate with
her, since I work weekends and never can see her player anymore in RL.

I'm glad you e-mailed me back. Right now I'm having trouble working up the
time to do anything other than sleep after work. In hindsight, I shouldn't
have taken another commission, or taken payment ahead of time. If I get
time, I'll go ahead and do it and work up the color experiment, but I'd
rather not hold your money, even if it's only $25, due to the uncertain
amount of time I will have. If you could supply me with your address,
which I have lost, I can see that it's returned for now.


Yeah. Okay, so this jackass can communicate with our mutual friend on FurryMUCK, but it never occurs to him to try paging me there? I know I left him at least one pagemail on the game as well as all these e-mails, so he should have known I was "that" Feren. And he lost my e-mail address? After he and I exchanged about 8 e-mails to discuss the price, size and media of the piece and I started pestering him on a bi-weekly basis? No, I don't believe that at all.

I hope you enjoyed your $25 interest-free loan from the First National Bank of Feren. It took you three months and five e-mails on my part for you to reach the conclusion you don't have time? You're goddamn right you can send me that money back, and you aren't seeing a dime from me even if you were to magically produce the piece in question tomorrow in photo-quality.

People wonder why I hate most of the artists in this fandom, well, let this case speak for itself. When you have to deal with prima donnas like this who don't have an ounce of professional courtesy in their entire body I don't think it should come as a surprise that my reaction has become so negative.

. o O o .

To be perfectly clear, it's not the wait that has me angry, nor that he's decided it would be best to refund my money. No, my problem is that this guy couldn't show any professionalism at all and decided to not reply to me or keep me updated. I was perfectly willing to wait up to 12 months for this to get completed, but after getting treated like this there's no way I'll wait that long now.
  • Current Music
    cube noises


Life likes to just keep hitting me with things that keep me off balance. No, I'm not about to launch into a soap-opera detailing of how I "keep getting beaten when I'm down." For one, I'm hardly "down" at this point. It's actually quite the contrary, I've got tons of things going my way and I'm still on my feet. I just have some pretty heavy concerns placed before me. Not life-or-death by any means, but they affect my future a lot.

We're having a department reorganization, you see.

Yes, the big meeting today that was called was to announce that we're undergoing a department reorganization within IT that will be going into full effect tomorrow at 0830 sharp. This came as quite a surprise to most everyone in the department, because we'd never even heard the faintest rumblings that such a thing would be occurring -- that's how good the company is at holding things close to the vest with stuff like this. Most other companies would have had the rumor mill flying at full tilt before this meeting even got called. Almost every employee was touched in some way or another, be it reassignment to a different team or having their current team shifted so that they're reporting to a different manager. For some people this was a good thing, for others it was considerably less good. For me it was neutral... my team (network engineering) has remained untouched and will continue to answer to Allen LCasen. Everyone else that used to answer to Allen (the UNIX, NT and AS/400 engineers) have all been reassigned to the former manager of applications (a fellow named Tom Barry, who I will come back to in a moment). Allen's head count was more than halved, and he was left with only us network engineers. That's quite a slap in the face when you think about it, and it makes me wonder what message they're trying to send to Allen, or if there's no message being sent and the prayers of a half-dozen people were just spontaneously answered.

So I'm left with Allen, and everyone else has been shifted to Tom. On the outside, this seems like a good thing. Tom's a good guy and by and large has proven himself to us peon engineers to be a fairly competent manager. The folks I work with haven't always seen eye to eye with Tom, but they get along with him pretty well. It's been the observation of most of us that Tom is a fairly laid back guy who applies a bit more "empowerment" to his people. He doesn't seem to care so much how things are done, just that they do get done. He doesn't appear to micro manage people by shoving a microscope up their asses.

The reason this is causing me such a conundrum is because we have an opening for a UNIX engineer again, you see. Since I used to be the UNIX engineer for the company (the ONLY one) a lot of what I know is still applicable to today's environment, and what I don't know I can pick up again in a relatively short period of time. Most of all... I wouldn't answer to Allen anymore.

I'd be rid of Allen. At long, long last I'd be rid of Allen.

    The things that concern me are numerous:
  1. For all my observation of Tom, it is only just that: observation. He might be a worse manager than Allen.
  2. I'd be giving up some neat technological toys, like Cisco 6500s and 7206 VXRs.
  3. I'd be giving up responsibility. Right now I manage the WAN for the company, the 60+ firewalls in the enterprise as well as the WAN edge routers.
  4. I'd have to get back up to speed on our Solaris build-out
  5. I'm not sure I'll be happier doing Solaris, even if I do get away from Allen.

I've got a lot of soul-searching and heavy thinking to do tonight. I hope I can get ahold of my dad sometime soon to talk this over with him. I have to let Tom know tomorrow if I want to apply for the open UNIX position or not.

This was a surprise I didn't need dropped on me right now, because I have enough problems to worry about. But maybe it's an opportunity in disguise.

And for the broken heart, there is the sky
  • Current Music
    Enigma - Gravity of Love


So much for the idea of getting laundry done.

I've only just finished making dinner, I still haven't gotten ahold of my parents and the coworkers I'm talking to from the UNIX team are saying they're very likely going to start looking for new employment opportunities.

  • Current Music
    Tulku - Ghost Dance


Geekery is being delighted -- even excited -- that you've gotten a software package installed on your server so you can build 64-bit applications.

. o O o .

Why yes, I am trying to distract myself from the bigger issues....
  • Current Music
    Don Williams - Say It Again