I wanted to write about my trip to Fremont, CA last week, the trip I got to hang out with frysco and tuftears on. Unfortunately, I was a complete zombie Thursday afternoon, as I couldn't seem to shake off the jetlag and the ill effects I experienced being on that horrid red-eye flight back from SJC to O'hare. Suffice it to say I had a very good time; the dinner at Outback on Tuesday evening with thw two locals was delicious and I was given some interesting ideas to try in regards to my current employment situation. I believe that when I return to the office next week I'll be dusting off my resume and officially tendering my candidacy for the recently-vacated position of Systems Engineer Supervisor (the guy who watches over the UNIX, NT and AS/400 engineers). This is all due to an inspiration that Tuftears had, which Frysco agreed with. We'll see where that takes me, I'm pretty certain that I won't get the position but even by trying for it I stand a very high chance of making my manager nervous, and that's something I approve of no matter what. Wednesday was spent auditing the campus I was dispatched to, a job that was surprisingly quick and rather pleasant -- that place really had their act together. Aside from some minor changes in terms of structure and HVAC, we don't have to spend even a penny on bringing that location up to the new company specification. We also got done very early, so I had a leisurely, delicious lunch at an Applebees that happened to be close to the campus. Then it was back to the hotel to wait, wait and wait for Frysco to get off work and come pick me up from the hotel so we could go get the much-coveted Cluck-U Chicken. Since we had an extra bit of time to kill, Frysco treated me to an experience I'd never had before: shopping at a Fry's Electronics. The store we were at was monumental! The only way I can think of describing it would be to advise you to cross a Sam's Club with a Best Buy, as strange as that might sound. It was definately big, and the variety of things they sold astounded me.
Dinner at Cluck-U was, of course, delicious. I brought home six tubs of sauce for Roho to try, since he's never had the pleasure of partaking in this delicacy. I'm waiting to hear the words I've come to know and love: "I hate you, Inkblot."
After eating at the chicken joint it was off to Frysco's house, where I got to hang out for a while and tease his two incredibly cute and fun cats, Otter and Boone. I also got a chance to say howdy to his housemate, whom I haven't seen in quite some time. Then it was back off I went (I need to send a big "THANK YOU" to Frysco again for playing taxi-cab for me while I was stranded rental-less in CA), finishing my whirlwind tour of California by ending up back at San Jose International airport, killing time and waiting for them to board my evil flight back to O'hare. I arrived right on time, 4:54 AM Thursday morning. Red-eyes suck.
Thursday night I was able to take advantage of my evil manager's concession to my picking up the Columbus trip (I hear rumblings they want to stick me with Kansas City, now, too): a dinner reimbursement of up to $75 for jenwolf and I. Jen arrived at my place around 6:00pm or so, and we jumped in my truck and drove over to the restaurant we'd chosen. When we got there we were granted with something of a shock, as it seemed that the restaurant had changed hands, going from a steak house to an "Italian steak house." Thankfully, they'd only merged and hadn't changed hands, the same owner and chefs still worked there. Once seated we dined on tasty break, beverage, steaks and dessert, then retired home to sleep off the effects of overeating such rich food. Friday was a slow day of relaxing, watching movies and general time-killing. Saturday I had dinner at the local Chinese buffet with enveri and roho, hereby collectively known as fennecheetah. After dinner we regrouped at my apartment, watched a DVD they'd rented ("Cats and Dogs") and then they went home. Sunday morning Jen returned to my apartment in the later morning, and we went over to Jewel-Osco, did some shopping, and came back to start cooking the Pack's Easter dinner. Delicious, and I want to thank Jen for cooking it... and Kestral for bringing that evil, tasty sticky cake. I think I gained three pounds just smelling it, and I know another five taking a nibble.
Monday was mostly a wash as I struggled to catch up on my workload at the office, fielding helpdesk tickets and e-mails. They were coming at me with such ferocity that it was hard for me to keep up with it and not feel like I was actually being overwhelmed. Eventually 5:00pm rolled around and I was able to trudge out into the snow (WTF?!?!?) to head home. Traffic was atrocious, as usual when we have any form of weather, and visibility of about 1/4 mile made things all that much more interesting.
Today has been a long day, even though it's only about halfway over. My manager made some incredibly arrogant statements and I just wanted to slap him. I've gotten the blessing of most of the Systems Engineering team to apply for the supervisor position, something that makes me feel a little more confident as I go forward with my plans. More on that later. This afternoon I head out to O'hare (I leave in about another 30 minutes or so), to catch a 5:44pm flight out to Boulder, CO. It's ironic that aynjel heads back to Chicago I am heading out to her homestate. If the flights had been scheduled on the same day (instead of back to back days) I probably could have waved out the window to her as we passed mid-air on our respective routes.
I don't look forward to the trip to Colorado, really. There's nobody I know out there, and it's three days long this time instead of the more traditional two days. I'll be falling Yet Further Behind back at the office, and it's all a lot of grandstanding. Perhaps if I felt like my being there actually accomplished something more than sending the message of "We're the home office, don't screw with us," I'd be a bit more eager to go on these campus audits. As it is I'm really just blank, I don't feel good about going but I'm not totally torqued off about it either (hey, it's frequent flier miles for me, at least). Since I don't have a functional laptop to take with me (damn this office and the politics within that prevent me from getting my laptop fixed) I'll be mostly isolated, which in at least one way is a good thing: I'll be able to give my wrists a break from typing. They're starting to really get bitchy about all the keyboarding I do, even when I "cut down." Evidentally the ergonomic changes I've made haven't been sufficient to make a real difference. I've just recently doubled the amount of vitamin B6 I'm taking, with luck that will have some positive outcome in this war against my slowly degrading body....