December 6th, 2003


Uh, yeah...

I just finished watching Matrix Revolutions....

Again, I'm amazed at how they were able to make high action sequences so boring. The plot was entirely too predictable, etc.

So.. yeah.

I'm taking the line with Matrix that I do with Highlander... There is only one movie, the sequels do not exist.
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I get in to work around the usual time and start checking out my tasks for the day. I notice that there is a mystery meeting marked "All Hands" that lasts for an hour at 9, so I start moving that direction and pick up a few coworkers along the way to walk over since it is in another building. We are the first to arrive, and I take my usual spot in the back corner nearest the door.

The boss comes in as other people are slowly trickling in, and says that I should move up. I reply with "No thanks, I'm good." And stay put. They keep asking off and on, and I keep demurring.

Finally, it starts about 15 minutes late. There's the usual BS up front, then some kind of "training." One of the team leads (the one who actually took the job I was offered) starts in on this spiel about zones of influence. They completely flub it. What it ends up sounding like is "Look, the company is going to fire you at some point. You can't do anything about it, since it is already predetermined. This being the case, you need to just shut up and do your job as best you can until then."

Everyone I talked to later had the same impression of what was being said.

Then, the boss senses that things aren't going well, and tries to jump in and save it. They fail miserably, making it even worse.

At one point, a coworker actually asks them "So, when is this announcement scheduled for today?" I believe this was their first clue as to the true message they were sending, and they tried to address it - but ended up being completely off the mark and reemphasizing the same message.

I was amused, really. It was hard not to be.

There was some more BS before we were finally able to leave. At which point, everyone hurried out of there to ask each other if they all heard the same things.

Needless to say, morale was pretty low the rest of the day.

The next fun event came late in the day. I checked my email and saw 2 new messages from the team lead. 1 was asking for someone to create a schedule to cover shifts starting immediately for the next 24 hours. The other was a stand-up meeting in one of our labs in 10 mins. Of course, this didn't bode well.

Evidently, one of my teammates had been saying earlier in the day that we, after 3+ months of BS, were still not accomplishing anything due to the way in which those (idiots) in control of the project were running things. Their suggestion was to take some time - a week, perhaps - and get everything up and running on its own terms before trying to run everything (none of which was actually working) at once. Somehow, that Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time. And so, it was passed along here and there before someone finally said "Hey, I've got a bright idea! Let's stop our other efforts until we get this one app working... They should be able to do that by noon tomorrow!"



So we had this meeting where the lead completely misrepresented the situation, and basically said we were working straight through the next 18 or so hours. They wanted us to come up with a schedule. The other long-term employee and I sat back and waited for the others to volunteer, which they did. The schedule was made without either of us having to work. We were just wrapping up when the boss came in and reexplained everything - only with a different, slightly better, twist. We were only supposed to work until 8 unless we had a major issue. Etc.

And then the dumbasses on the app team came in and started asking stupid questions and taking things off track as usual. I tried to contain what damage I could, and the pressure was such that the arguments didn't last overly long. I volunteered for a small part just in order to appear to be doing something, and that meeting broke up. I did my thing, and left for the day. Hell if I was gonna get in on that crap. The fun part was the boss telling me I could still work on the app I was supposed to, but I couldn't get support to resolve issues until the other app was done. Hah.

So, a day full of BS at work. Amusing in a very, very sad way.
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Forced Fun


As can be expected, nothing much got done the previous night. Nothing was working all morning, and I pretty much just bided my time until lunch. There was a potluck food thing which I had no interest in, and my diet as a convenient excuse for missing. I headed home for lunch and vegged a bit.

The next event of the day was a "team builder" at the local bowling alley. Now, keeping in mind the previous day's events, there was not a single soul looking forward to it.

I arrived a bit early, and found a few coworkers already started on their first pitcher of cheap beer. We chatted for awhile before anyone else came in. They related a story in which the boss and RunningBear were at the potluck, and the boss was mentioning how they were heading home to change. RunningBear's comment was "What, into a good manager?" Wow. Evidently, everyone was in shock at that. The cover was "Oh, I'm only kidding" but everyone identified with the sentiment.

Finally, people started showing up and we started bowling. I did horribly the first game. Hawkwind ended up winning it, even though they didn't hit a single pin the first four throws... Amazing. I got into the groove a bit better for the second game, and ended up with a 156 or so, a torn thumbnail, and a sore wrist.

Some of us then broke off for the indoor minigolf thing. It was one of the most boring courses I'd ever played - a complete lack of imagination and design skill combined with poor lighting and atmosphere. I didn't do too too bad, placing in the top half of scores across both groups as I recall.

Then everyone split.

There were some fun moments, and the boss wasn't around most of the time - a very positive thing.

As per recent formula, I napped as soon as I had food. The remainder of the evening was spent vegging and such.
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