Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bleargh, part II

The fever broke sometime in the night, and the coughing isn't as bad as yesterday. The illness now seems content to be a heavy-duty head cold: Lots of sneezing, lots of nose-blowing, a general fuzzy feeling but no chills or dizziness. I will continue with my fluids and rest regimen, and I should be back on my normal schedule tomorrow. Whee. I think I'm going back to bed.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Blogging not so much today, on account of a 100-degree fever and my chest having an elephant sitting on it (and weasels trying to get out, making me cough to do it). Home from work today and tomorrow, possibly Wednesday. Bleh. I have soup and stuff so I'm okay at home; I'm just ... sick and tired.

As you were.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pull the other one; it's got bells on.

So here was my day: I had asked a rep (DAYS ago) to do a simple Thing. He did it Not Quite Right, so I alerted him and told him how to fix it.

This resulted in him talking to everyone but the person who could help, until even a high mucky-muck was involved. I said over and over, in plain terms, to everybody, "Someone needs to go Here and do X, and then all will be Jake". People would reply and say "Okay!", but X wouldn't get done. I would repeat "Do X!" and they would say "How?"

I don't know how, and I'm not authorized anyway. That's why I'm telling you to do it.


Finally, a third party (CC'd on the exchange) stepped in and says "Is this the Thing? Should I do it?" I emailed back and said "YES PLEASE THANK YOU." I thought that was it.

During this exchange, I had asked my supervisor for advice; she told me to do what I had already done, told me what they needed to do (which I already knew) and gave me no guidance toward any actual resolution of the problem. This is par for the course; I don't know why I expected anything different. And then an hour ago, she came to me with a printout of the conversation, asked if I was frustrated (yes) and started talking about non-solution rules that will do nothing to help me actually do my job when this exact situation arises again (and it will arise, like Triton from the deep will it arise). Her management style is predicated around "Rules prevent problems, so we shouldn't have any problems!" Her mind doesn't seem to have a "Problem has occurred; take action to fix it" mode. The closest she has is "Problem has occurred; ASSIGN BLAME" mode. Anyway: She gave me a bunch of "Going forward, if it's after X date, they can't do Thing!" -- but offered no insight on what actions I should take. Again, this is par for the course. She should not be in charge of other people. During this "conversation", she noted the change in my body language and asked about my internet usage, wanting to know if I was, quote, "talking to anyone who was getting me worked up."

I told her, in complete honesty, that no, nothing online was the cause of my frustration.

I will now take wagers as to whether the Thing that started this will be done by tomorrow. The house is betting on "No."

Monday, January 17, 2011

Heh heh heh.

Via Fark, I found an article by a woman who tracked down the thief who broke into her car. The story itself is interesting in a "Good for you! Now, on with my afternoon" kind of way, but I especially liked this bit:

See, aspiring thief, you just never know what you're stepping into when you hit up a random car on a random street. However badass you think you may be, there is someone on the other side of the robbery. And in this particular case it was someone who escaped the Iranian Revolution as a child; who roamed the world alone for five years because her parents couldn't get out; who watched from a dozen blocks away as the twin towers crumbled; who had just barely clawed her way out of that concentration camp known as late-stage cancer, if only because she was intent on raising her babies, come hell or high water. And all of this before she even turned 40. Can you see how that someone might be way more twisted than you?
Although personally, I wouldn't call her twisted -- she seems to fall more into "Are you Sarah Conner?" territory. Still: Good for her. The world needs more people who don't just roll over.

Monday Miscellany

-- Someone Two women a few cubes down from me is are coughing like the soprano in the last act of "La Traviata"*, and for the life of me I don't know why she they didn't just call in sick. I would have.

-- Jack got me a kubotan over the weekend (along with some other things; he spoils me), and I learned a fun fact: On its own, loose in my pocket, a kubotan is an illegal weapon in the State of Indiana. But if I put one key on it -- just one! -- it becomes a perfectly legal keychain. This strikes me as profoundly stupid, but whatever. Laws can be that way sometimes. Shootin' Buddy informs me that it's a perfectly legal item in Indiana, no matter how I carry it. Which is cool.

-- Today for my lunch, I had a turkey and cheddar Lunchable. It was awesome.

-- You're darn right I linked to TV Tropes last week. *cackle* I'm not sorry.

-- I promise I'll finish Havrith at some point; I've got Chapter 13 halfway done, and there's only three more to go after that. At this rate it'll wrap up before the sun goes nova, but you might not have time to read it all after it's posted. It's amazing what not having deadlines can do to my work ethic.

-- I like peaches.

-- I had coffee. Coffee gooooooood. I had too much coffee; too much coffee not so good. Luckily the dizzies are starting to crawl back down the back of my neck again, so the only thing they're pestering is my brain stem. Just don't feed me after midnight for a few days, and we'll all be fine.

-- The week takes a lot longer now that I have someone to look forward to on the weekends. Stupid work week. *huff pout footstamp huff* Hurry up and be Friday already!

*She has TB. It's very tragic. Look it up.

IANAFC: Smoked Sausage Italian-Style Stir Fry

I had too much coffee this morning and now I'm dizzy and squinting because the lights are too bright in the office. I think the next time I'm lazy and get breakfast at Starbucks I will get the tall brewed coffee instead of the vente. (I can quit any time I want. Shut up.) Anyway, here's your recipe.

Begin by putting on a pot of lightly salted water to boil. In a large skillet, saute one package of beef smoked sausage (sliced to preference), then add half a large red onion (sliced thin) and a green bell pepper, a yellow bell pepper and a red bell pepper, all cut into thin strips. Add to pan with 2-3 chopped cloves of fresh garlic, and after one minute add one inch of cold water to the pan. This is important; it will keep the sausage from burning and help to distribute the herbs and what-not over the vegetables as it cooks down. By this time the pot of water should be boiling; put in 1/2 a box of angel hair pasta and stir. In the skillet, stir in oregano, basil, thyme and red pepper flakes to taste, and one dozen large green olives (halved or quartered). By this time the pasta should be done; drain and add directly to the skillet (there should be very little water left) and toss to coat. The fat from the sausage will give the pasta a distinctly buttery texture. Top with cheese if desired; I like mozzarella shreds melted over the top. Serve with fresh salad, hot crusty bread and a nice red wine (cabernet sauvignon is a good choice). Enjoy!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

"The entire movie has been building up to THIS SHOT."

So last night I got to bed at around 1:30 a.m. because I was up late baking bread. The bread was done at around midnight, but while it was in the oven I watched the videos in this post over at Jack's, which led to me watching all nine installments of MST3K's The Thing That Couldn't Die* ("The Strom Thurmond story!"), and that kept me up into the wee hours. Add that to watching The Final Sacrifice* ("This has the bacony stench of Canada all over it!") over New Year's weekend, and at long last, I'm finally becoming a MSTy.

It was worth staying up. Totally worth it.

*RFAA is not responsible for any afternoons wasted as a result of following these links. Bwa ha ha ha ha ha.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

This is what That Hideous Strength looks like in action.

I haven't yet said anything about the Tuscon shootings, mostly because I was hoping that truth would win over narrative -- that is, that "He's crazy" would be the takeaway for most people, rather than "He's [a] crazy [right-winger]."

It appears that hope has been in vain.

There will always be nuts with guns (or whatever weapon is convenient). And there will always be blood dancers who jump in to capitalize on the aftermath. But this? This is something different. I can handle "He used [weapon], so now's my chance to get [weapon] banned/restricted." I can deal with that. It's stupid, but there's an intrinsic honesty to it -- at least [weapon] was involved.

But this?

This is something different.

A while back I did a post about the four kinds of lies. What we're seeing here is a Type 3 lie: The liar actually believes (at certain levels) what he's saying, but he thinks/understands that you don't believe it -- which, in his mind, makes you the real liar. Loughner was crazy, and it must have been Sarah Palin's fault. There's also a Type 4 lie at work here, too. It doesn't matter how much evidence you present that Loughner was a straight-up whackjob, not a right-wing whackjob -- the apocryphal They will insist with Their dying breath that he was a Tea Party radical. To admit otherwise would be to betray Their cause, and that would be worse than any falsehood spoken to the enemy's face.

It's a downright evil movement at work. Yes, I said it, and I put it on the Internet.

And it scares me.

Am I fearful? No. That's a different thing. But this kind of behavior signifies certain historical progressions in the life cycle of a given society, and they are not good progressions at all.

And I am very, very scared.

UPDATE: Ace of Spades has a good summary. Takes the sting away a little, 'cause it's funny ... but it's still twisting my stomach.

I'm not entirely sure why this event is scaring me when other, supposedly more serious events have rolled right on by without me so much as blinking in surprise. I guess it's the blatant insistence on open deception that's got me jumpy.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


-- I took a call from a rep who pulled the ol' "I'm going to stay silent without hanging up, so it's clear that I want you to fix things for me -- even though it's my responsibility and you are, essentially, powerless. You're supposed to help me." News flash, snowflake -- no I'm not. I'm supposed to help the company, not you. Now do your damn job so I can do mine.

-- I also went back and forth -- through a translator -- with a rep who has been told, multiple times, that there's an issue with [thing] and he needs to make a new [thing] or the [thing] won't ever happen. He just kept redoing the first [thing], which didn't do anything because the [thing] was faulty in the first place. I finally got through to him (again, all of this through a translator) that he needed to do a new [thing]. I went to check on it. The new [thing] has the same problem as the old one.

-- I also got a "The heading for this [other thing] isn't valid. Please provide a valid heading" message from one of our sister groups. I sent the form to have the [other thing] changed from the invalid heading. I sent back a note to that effect using small words, lots of capitalization, and short sentences*. We'll see if it does any good.

I still have an hour and a half to go, and frankly, I've decided to pretty much check out for the evening.

*I took the same tack for the "do the [thing] again, louder" guy mentioned in the second part of the above rant. We'll see if anything happens. I may have to send screenshots with a big red arrow and the words "SEE THIS? THIS IS WRONG" scribbled on them. It wouldn't be so frustrating, except that we used to have hyper-knowledgeable translators to act as go-betweens, and now we've got one guy who's really nice and very helpful, but also very new. I'm going to go punch my head through my desk now. Back in a little while.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

The Complain-O-Matic 5000XC is up and running

I'm having one of those days where I'm bloated and crampy and the ibuprofen isn't helping, and work is, well, work and I wish I could just stay at home in bed with my cat and watch Spongebob all morning. Plus I feel very fat from the weight I gained over the holidays, and that annoys me.

Other features of the Complain-O-Matic include Whingeing, Whining, Self-Pity and the NEW self-cleaning julienne attachment. Plus so much more! You won't believe what it can do. Call within the next five minutes, and we'll send you the auxiliary Grumpy Cat attachment, free of charge! Just pay separate shipping and handling. This offer will probably be void by tomorrow. Call now! (All major credit cards accepted. Must be 18 or older to order.)

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Keep a good thought

for Brigid, who is dealing with an unpleasant discovery of the health-endangering sort. It could be nothing, but they're running tests to be sure -- and it's those In The Meantime periods that can be the most nerve-wracking parts of the experience. So say a prayer or send vibes or whatever it is that you do, and keep your fingers crossed that they don't find anything.

And Brig: don't worry about the robe. It's all about finding the right pair of slippers to go with it.