Monday, January 28, 2008

Cow-Orkers XV: Every Silver Cloud

I've finally been granted a new desk location away from Mr. Doodoo-Head and Mr. Yelly-Mouth!

My new digs: next to Mrs. JeebusFreak, catty-cornered from Ripa. Jacobs' Monkey Paw story was a fucking documentary.


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Friday, January 25, 2008

I Got Your Back

I am the worldwide expert in $Subject. I have been the worldwide expert in it for years. Cow-orkers all come to me for assistance. Programmers, when they have to make a new fix for $Subject, come to me. PM asks me. Our customers' upper fucking management gets sent to talk to me.
Hey, REC,
Can you tell me about the impact of FOO and BAR when dealing with $Subject?
Sure, it'll only take me an hour to do some research and write up the two pages. But why do you give a shit, Gary? You don't deal with $Subject. You're a fucking line manager.
I need that answer pronto!
I sent it to you yesterday, Gary. Our mail system is perm-b0rked. Here ya go again.
Hey REC,
Thanks a lot. This sorts out the questions. I think I'm going to make you my back-up on $Subject.
You'll what? A blind, lobotomised, quadriplegic Robin is going to make Batman his back-up? Yeah, right, whatever. Hell, Clinton offered Obama the VP slot after she lost a few more states.

But... Hold on a sec... what are all those lines and names in this mail?

Oh, I see.

Isn't that interesting?

Gary forwarded me the wrong mail. Last week it would've been the right mail; it's wrong now. It shows the reason he needed my explanation of $Subject: every $MegaCorp division had to provide this information concerning their apps and products. To $MegaCorp's Super-Senior VP. And instead of telling SSVP to talk to me, Gary's taking the credit.

$Subject may change as soon as April. Gary will pay dearly.

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A Night in the Life

Change must take place. The wheels have been set in motion.

I can't remain in the monkey cage unless I am literally willing to kill or be killed. I truly am in deathmatch mode mentally. My initial attempts to move to a different field have been met not with laughs but with Gen-You-Whine interest. And shock.

In short, the guy who runs the division and makes the decision can't believe his "luck" that I might relieve his personnel shortage. Unfortunately he has ten fucking thousand layers of red tape to smash through in order to take me under his wing.

Additional weirdness: I like the guy. Personally. And he likes me. We sat around about a year ago talking about all kinds of shit. We see eye-to-eye, a definite improvement on my current mouth-to-ass position with managers which hasn't changed over the past 3/4 decade.

Yes I am an atheist. No I won't get upset if you pray for me. Of course I'd prefer some sort of written, business-like recommendation (thanks, Gedvondur) since that's a lot easier to submit to the Red Tape Demons than your heartfelt pleas to the Flying Penne Monster (sometimes I like thick noodles) but I'll take whatever I can get at this point.

If it's required I will move to the Bay Area for a couple of years as long as I have it in writing that I can move back to Europe (at company expense). I'll miss the sushi, burritos and Combos© filled snack cracker snacks, but I can't see any long-term future in USia, one of my primary reasons for having moved back here to Yerp.

A couple years in Cali? There are worse ways to live. For starters I'd have a new desk with no dents. And good dim sum.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Cow-Orkers XIV: Misery Mercantilism

I tried to be nice. All I wanted to do was warn my cow-orkers about a particular meme involving more than one girl (but less than three) together with a drinking vessel, a meme they'll likely come across within the next month or so. I warned them over and over, repeatedly explaining that I wasn't fucking around. They didn't listen. Fuckwits.

I'm known for sending a lot of cool links around. There are no greater-than symbols preceding any URL I send. The other monkeys like this because they can be the first ones in their own circle of family and friends to provide the latest Intartubes entertainment.

People here know when I'm playing around because I make it pretty fucking clear when I'm being serious. Those who have incurred my wrath over the years painfully discovered a different set of links I can provide: goatse, lemonparty, tubgirl, and various renditions of numa numa.

When the guy who sent you the link to pteradactyl porn (no longer available), who showed you another cool Flash game, who got revenge by sending you to a shock site, who invited everyone around to watch Japanese drumming porn [NSFW] so they didn't have to load it onto their own machines, and who is generally known for Intarwebs knowledge tells you to avoid something, listen to him. Don't question him further.

Of course I knew curiosity would get the better of them. I went back to the CubeDesk of Hate to deal with Mook-man's latest inability to perform the most basic Windows operations (Explorer: directory, right click on $OurBigAppModule.exe, Properties, Compatibility tab) and began to smile as one cow-orker after the next groaned and screamed in horror and disgust. It eased my pain.

Originally written back in November '07.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Text Adventure Games

Remember in the olden days how the only graphics you got with a game were the box design? Infocom made some killer games, my favourite being Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. What I wasn't so thrilled about were some of the steps you had to take in an exact order. Do any one thing wrong and you'd only find out far too late in the game, forcing you to start over and once again order the beers and peanuts and sandwich. If you didn't take the junk mail with you, you were fucked up in the Vogon ship and couldn't get the Babel fish.

Corporate games are no different, except that the plot's not nearly as amusing.

"Single sign-on" means you only sign on one time for everything. It was never meant to be an abbreviation for "sign into each fucking application and each goddamned screen every single time". It would also be helpful if, when I have to access something within this "SSO" environment, that the fucking user ID you want remains the same. By definition a "global" user ID number is my world-wide ID and not just one of a collection.

I tried to log into my MegaInfo account. Error in name or password. Fine, try the old passwords. None worked. No problem, just check the "lost password" button which takes me to a screen that requires me to again enter my E-Mail address.

We're sorry but the e-mail address was not found in our user database.

WTF? Great, another automagically lost account. Off to the account activation applications.

You are not authorized to access this screen. Please log in with correct credentials.

You gotta be shittin' me. Off to IT I went, where it was then explained I have to use this link to get to that page; coming in from the link I was using passed the wrong credentials. Huh? Our user names are always fname.mi.lname@megacorp. Not at account activation, where I'm just really.evil.canine.

Back upstairs to try again. Success! I could now enter the account activation area! Click on new account, fill in information, and... I need a corporate ID code. Back to IT.

"You need to use the Employee Account screen."
ORLY? Where the fuck is that?
Johnny tried to show me but couldn't find it himself. He clicked around a while, did a few searches, and was finally able to bring up the correct account activation screen. The correct one isn't on, it's on Johnny mailed me the direct link.

Back upstairs to try again. Open Johnny's mail, copy the link, paste it into Fireferret and...

You are not authorized to access this screen. Please log in with correct credentials.

Once more into the breach. Johnny was able to paste it directly and access the section. I told him to try logging out from all open screens completely and then he figured out the problem. You have to log into the $MegaCorp Apps section, then also log into the account activation section. If you hadn't been routed via a link to the in your current session, you can only access that server via a link three screens into the accounts section.

Back upstairs. Log out of everything. Reboot for good measure. Log into apps. Log into accounts. Click on link 1, search for second link. Click on link 2, search for third link. Click on link 3 and... IN! Huzzah! All those years playing Scott Adams games and MuDs was paying off.

Go to Employee Accounts, check. Fill in name, country, employee number and global UID. And... nada. WTF? My global UID isn't correct.

Click here to open the $MegaPeople site to find your GUID.

Fine. Not surprisingly another full log-in is required. Search for me, click on me, click on details, see two different UIDs and grab the one I didn't use, and back to the accounts screen, out of which I've been auto-logged out. "No problem," I thought as I pasted in the direct address. I've already been credentialised.

You are not authorized to access this screen. Please log in with correct credentials.

Log out of everything, reboot, restart the whole above process, get back to the accounts. Remove Gown. Hang Gown on hook. Wait for Ford to sleep. Get towel and satchel. Put towel over drain. Put satchel in front of robot panel. Put junk mail on top of the satchel. Push dispenser button. Press the switch on the case.

I finally had the Babel... the MegaInfo account and could access it, allowing me to understand the Vogon poetry, from which I'd need exactly one word. Except it wasn't Vogon poetry, it was a group of "trainings" I was required to complete, every single one of them Death-by-PowerPoint with "presenters" of increasingly poor oratorial abilities reading out slides and documents we already have access to word for word.

Oh freddled gruntbuggly,
Thy micturations are to me
As plurdled gabbleblotchits,
On a lurgid bee.

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In compliance with $MegaCorp's general policies as well as my desire to
continue living under a roof and not the sky or a bus shelter, I add this:

The views expressed on this blog are my own and
do not necessarily reflect the views of $MegaCorp, even if every
single one of my cow-orkers who has discovered this blog agrees with me
and would also like to see the implementation of Root Cause: 17-Fuckwit.