September 24th, 2003


At the time of the beep, it will be twelve midnight on Wednesday, September 24th.


It is now just a bit after midnight and I am sitting in the office at my desk, listening to Neil Young stream out of my tiny computer speakers from my MP3 collection and putting what I fervently hope will be the "finishing touches" on the network management configuration document. Once I've finished tweaking it I will print out three paper copies and distribute them to the appropriate supervisors and management. Once I've seen those to the proper desktops I will return to my cube and proceed to send out an e-mail with the Word document attached so that they may have an electronic copy as well. We all know the electronic copy is easy to manage and requires no paper, but it's oh-so-reassuring to have a hardcopy to hold and file away, isn't it? Where is the paperless office I was promised in 1988?! And, since I'm on that line of thought, who says I don't have company loyalty?!

My whole goal tonight is to be out of here before one o'clock in the morning. I desperately want this -- I desperately need to be out of this office before 1 AM, because if I'm not I very well may have to commit myself to a mental health hospital. For one, the silence is oppressive (the MP3s can do very little to fight back against 30,000 square feet of empty) and for another thing my vision is blurring. My stomach is cramped and my hands are shaking. To make this just a bit more miserable the building's HVAC shut off at 6 PM (that's right when I got to the office from my 8.75 hours of training today, how very thoughtful!) so it is something like 92 degrees Fahrenheit in here right now. The heat is suffocating. Naturally I wore a long-sleeved shirt today since the training classroom is a meat locker and I didn't feel like freezing. From one extreme to the other!

There's various bad news on other fronts, but at this point I'm not surprised -- I have come to realize that in this life this sort of thing is very much par for the course. Hell, I'd honestly be surprised if there wasn't "just one more thing" to put on my "worry about" stack, because when it rains around me it is never April showers... it always comes as a monsoon. Want to hear something sick? I've come to draw some comfort from that pattern, because while it's a shitty routine it's at least one I can depend on.

Outside of those few problems I'm really just dandy, thank you.

I'm looking for the joke with a microscope
  • Current Music
    Ozzy Osbourne -- Gets Me Through

Ten o'clock update...

I just finished rewriting the budget request to purchase our Oracle license for the network manager machine. I'm still not entirely sure how that little piece (rather critical to the success of the whole project) was overlooked at the beginning, but it was, so here I am. My manager provided me with some figures and information that he wanted me to incorporate before we actually submitted it for approval. I did so, rewriting the case study to highlight how imperative this expenditure is, then added an executive overview as a cover sheet. See? I can play the corporate game if I'm forced to.

So that means I've got two items on my list of six things checked off. For this project I'm still left with a requirement to provide a vendor recommendation, draft a procedures document and work with the DBAs to ensure that the database is backed up (Something I can't really do until the license is approved and we can upgrade the installed database software to a version to something that isn't from the Bronze Age). I am also still left with my performance appraisal, which is what I think I'm going to start working on now.

Two more hours here, and then I'm going to go home and collapse. I got less than four hours of sleep last night so I'm running in a serious deficit already, and the week is only half over. Wish me luck.

Oh you get me ready in your 56 Chevy
  • Current Music
    Orgy -- Blue Monday (cover)

Well, would you look at that....

Somehow -- don't ask me how -- I got my self-appraisal completed tonight, a full month ahead of when my actual review date is. Until this evening I didn't know that ego-masturbation and penis-waving could go on for a whopping eight pages over something as simple as a job description and a list of daily responsibilities mixed with annual accomplishments... but somehow, yes, I did it. The most troubling part about the whole thing is that while a majority of the pages use a font size of 10 I had so much "evidence" to support my wild claims of deserving a raise that I needed to scale the font back to 8 on at least two pages to make it all fit. Personally I'm of the mentality that hey, I did my job and I did these major things, so I should be entitled to a raise that at lease covers the steadily increasing cost of living. If I did a good job and stood out I should get more, but at the very least I should get cost-of-living. naturally the company believes I should justify everything -- typical bureaucracy -- and so I'm forced to spend my personal time writing immense narratives about how I make this company go, and then I have to go defend that for two to three hours in a meeting when my actual review date rolls around. Very efficient way to waste time I could be doing other things, in my opinion, but this is the corporate world; things simply do not have to make sense.

I find myself musing as I pack away my laptop. I wonder, I think to myself. I wonder just how much of my time has gone to waste on this document. This self-appraisal is for my 2002-2003 annual performance review, and I am stillwaiting on my 2001-2002 appraisal to be completed even though I turned in the paperwork over eight months ago. How can they review my work from 2002 into this year if they've never set any benchmarks from the year previous to measure me against? I don't like it when I ask myself questions to which I can find no answers. I can guess all night long but I am aware that's just an exercise in futility.

So... that's printed out, dated, signed and now sitting on my supervisor's desk. My laptop is packed up and it's 11:47 PM. I think it's high time I get out of the office. I've been awake since 5:00 AM, I was at training from 8:30 AM to 5:10 PM and 've been here at the office since just past 5:30 PM. What I desperately need right now is a shower, but given the current environment on the home front I fear that may be out of the question.

Ah well... as my father is fond of saying, I'm damned if I do, and damned if I don't.
  • Current Music
    Cleaning lady trundling her cart around