Thursday, September 13, 2007

Another Day in the Life

The coffee's out. I just set another pot to brew.

There's a retarded man walking around the floor watering all our plants. He does this once a month. Maybe it's once every other month, I'm not positive. He's one of the people you don't really pay attention to and I'm not in the office every day even when I'm healthy. The plants are in these enormous pots which are segmented and have huge reservoirs. The reservoirs aren't big enough to keep any plant alive for the duration of time between the retarded man's visits. We know this because the ficus between me and Tony half-died from drought.

There's a woman here today. I don't know if she's retarded but all things considered I hope she is. She's currently polishing the schefflera across from me. She's polishing each leaf. This is a live plant. The recovered ficus (almost 3m high) is next. She's making faces as she notices the odd dead leaves buried deep within its branches. She continuously inspects her work and returns to one branch after another like a bower bird to re-polish each stalk of leaves until it meets her exacting criteria, whatever they may be.

The yellow on some of the schefflera leaves causes her consternation. It's natural in this variety; only the newest leaves are solid green. They quickly become two-toned and after about a year, half of them start to display yellow blotches. It makes for a more interesting looking plant.

The top manager just walked by. He briefly looked over at me and nodded. More than one of my colleagues has called him a psycho. Seems nice enough to me though I rarely see him. He almost never leaves his office. He's been named as the cause of more than one manager quitting. More than just a run-of-the-mill control freak, only his ideas are acceptable, and the only appropriate response in meetings with him is agreement with whatever he says. Or so I've been told. He doesn't give a damn about what I do and that's fine with me. Occasionally he's here late. When he walks by and sees someone still here working at 9pm he'll often hand over a little USB stick or some other useful bit of $MegaCorp swag. The last time it happened, Joe got a 512MB USB stick. I was also here that night until midnight. My mistake: going to the supermarket to get a can of dinner since I'd be here all night. The big boss was gone by the time I'd returned. Fucker.

The woman is now polishing every leaf of the Benjamin ficus. I have a special love/hate relationship with Benjamin fici. My ex- had one and left it with me when she departed. She'd said she'd tried to kill it for years, long before she met me. She'd dump coffee in the pot, butt out cigarettes, it just wouldn't die.

It took five years alone with me to do the trick. I hadn't watered it for a few weeks before leaving on a three-week holiday. The girls who took care of the cats forgot to water my plants. When I got back home even the cactus was shriveled up. The ficus, despite green leaves, was history. I finally threw it out months later after it had shed all its leaves and stood in the kitchen, just some dead twigs sticking out of a red clay pot.

The only plants I have these days are herbs in the kitchen. I've given up trying to grow them; I just buy fresh plants when I use up the old ones... or when they've dried out because I forgot to ever water them and I need fresh stuff. Dried cilantro has no flavour and fresh bay laurel is amazing stuff.

Another two High-Prio tickets have come in. In the next five minutes LookOut will signal a mail from the Duty Monkey and one from the Team Manager informing us of this. I know the issues and who'll take them. Within five minutes of receiving the two mails a flurry of replies will come in with certain brown-nosers announcing that they've taken the tickets, followed by further mails of thanks and collective back-patting.

The coffee's ready. It tastes like piss. Hot, brown piss. It's also foamy. I think there's something funny going on with the water here in Munich. The testbed server I just set up is back down; the only thing to do is to send an update to the customer that testing his problem will take longer as I wait for network operations to reset the rack.

My little Lunix box, built on an old Dell desktop that the equipment room guys let me have gave up the ghost during my absence. The install was borked anyway. Maybe they have another stored machine built after the turn of the century.

I allowed Firefox to update. Upon restart it hung. I killed the process, tried to restart it and got the message, "firefox.exe is not a valid Windows application". I had to download the latest version, install it, and rebuild everything. All my session, link and password information was gone.

The retarded man is siphoning water out of a ficus pot on the other side of the room. The woman's finally moved on to my other Joe's philodendron. She pulled a lot more leaves off the draceana than was necessary. She should've focused some of her stripping intentions on the ficus. I think I want that plant gone, replaced with a "real" plant. Anything but the standard indoor office greenery comprising draceana, philodendron, braided ficus, dieffenbachia... and I think we have a musa or two on the floor. Anything but those.

No need to watch the clock. It's getting later in the day and as soon as all my updates have been sent out, I can leave. Maybe I'll check my personal mail or write a comment on some other site, but I'm almost free. Until tomorrow morning when it starts again and I have to make a fresh pot of shitty coffee.

It's just another day in the life...

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Anonymous kernelman pulled out a crayon and scribbled:

And you're wondering why you fell ill for 3 solid weeks? That place is seriously screwing your karma / mana / CON, man.

About the coffee issue, maybe you can take a cue from the Chief (security monkey) and bring your own beans? Also, foamy coffee could indicate a (severe) lack of cleaning activity w.r.t. the coffee machine / pot.

If it's the water then fixing the situation may be a bit harder. Bottled water? Water filtering machine?

Of course, all this will only remedy one of the issues there, but if your coffee intake is as extreme as the Chief's it may compensate for the rest a bit.

Anyway, good luck.

13 September, 2007 17:27  

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