LowComDom Performances Presents
The Crapolla According to Fek'Lar
You know you're screwed when...
Rupert Murdoch is your voicemail Administrator.
You've stumbled onto another issue of The Crapolla, a journal written for software professionals. No not the managers; I mean the people who do the work.
This Crapolla is sponsored by...
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In This Issue...
Keeping your receptionist happy, and other survival techniques.
Harold Peterson writes...
Like most of the desert, eastern Nevada has wildfires every summer. 2005 was especially bad- I recall Elko County having over one million acres that year. Every place has some sort of natural disasters, though I'd be disinclined to move to southern Alaska.
still with NASA
Crap! I guess everyone will just have to stay where they are.
Are you ejoying Huntsville?
For 4th of July did you stick firecrackers down doodlebug holes like I did when I was six? That was my explosive training. Dad handed me a belt of firecrackers, and a smoldering punk and said, "Don't hold them when you light them."
So of course, I had to put them somewhere, and doodlebug holes conveniently pointed the fuse upward.
I wonder if the Sierra Club will protest outside my house for this.
WTHAIS, like many companies, has a candy dish at the front desk. These candy dishes are meant for visitors, but most of the candy is eaten by employees. Once, Big A was having a fire drill. Tech Support was assessed the most simulated casuaties because everyone headed to the front desk to get the candy rather than heading to the muster site. (Big A has changed their ways by staging carts serving free ice cream at the muster sites. Now, people go where they are supposed to.)
Tax season was upon us. WTHAIS had brought in some temporary help to get the taxes filed on time. One of the temps approached our receptionist and said she needed file folders and a cabinet for them, as well as various office supplies. The receptionist showed her to the supply room, and said that if there was anything not available, to look it up in a handy catalog and the receptionist would help her order whatever it was.
The temp looked at her and simply repeated what she wanted. In other words, she wasn't getting anything for herself. Then she tossed on the last insult. "I don't need it today. Friday will be fine, Honey."
Little wisps of steam wafted from the receptionist's ears.
The temp would stop at the candy dish on the way into the building. She was partial to Swedish Fish and Bit-O-Honey. The receptionist knows that everyone likes. She dug through the bag from which the bowl is filled and took out all the Swedish Fish and Bit-O-Honey. I received an envelope with all the Bit-O-Honey. I'm assuming someone else received the Swedish Fish.
I was recently on safari in the United Republic of Tanzania. It was a two-week vacation to see one of the least-spoiled places on earth, and the Great Migration. Tanzania is what we now call a Developing Nation. Most of the people live on very little money, and quite a lot of the country doesn't even have electricity. It was interesting to see how all of our Developed Nation devices faired in a country with little infrastructure.
The tech most of us were trying to keep going was our digital cameras. We were there for a once in a lifetime experience to see exotic animals. When we would find a pride of lions, or a leopard cub playing with a dead monkey, all the cameras would come out and we'd be blasting away. Our batteries were not going to last the two weeks, let alone a day and a half.
Tanzania is a member of the British Commonwealth. Much of the infrastructure they have looks British. The power is 220 volts, and uses those really big plugs they have in England. You need a battery charger with a plug adapter. But that's not such a big deal, you need to do that in most countries. Where was the power going to come from? Luckily, we were in a camp with a generator. You had to make sure your charger was plugged in at the right time of day (the generator was shut down at night). Without this, you'd see the animals, but you'd have far fewer pictures.
A lot of people didn't bring enough storage for their pictures. Some even didn't bring empty storage, and had to choose which pictures to keep. I barely had enough with 6 Gig. I was a little concerned the last day, if the weather had been better (we had rain), I might have run out.
We also had no access to radio, TV, or the internet. Mobile phones would work in some parts of the country, but not all. (Was AT&T their carrier?) If you're the type who needs to be plugged in all the time, this isn't the country for you. In fact, most of the Developing Nations are not the country for you. This brings up an observation I made when trying to deal with my airline's web site. They required Flash 9 be installed. When I had access to a computer, it was old, on a very slow connection, and the machine time was expensive. It wasn't worth waiting for the Flash 9 installer to download. When people create websites, they need to stop assuming that everyone has a fast connection and the latest technology. Most of the world (where I tend to vacation these days) doesn't. Websites should degrade gracefully when a preferred technology isn't available. Airlines are very difficult to deal with once you leave North America and Europe, their websites reflect this.
I did see many people trying to photograph the animals with iPhones. What a waste! You have to stay on the road, the animal doesn't. Without real lens power, you're going to get a fuzzy dot on the great endless plain. One woman had a very nice not-quite SLR which captured an enormous number of pixels. This allowed her to do a digital zoom (what the rest of us call cropping) to compensate for her lack of a long lens. But a camera phone is just a joke. You paid a ton of money to get here, buy a camera while you're at it.
So leave your phone at home, don't bother with your laptop, or iPad. Just bring a really good camera, a bunch of batteries, a lot of storage, and a charger. After all, you're on vacation, right? Tell your boss to have a Diet Coke and wait until you get home to ask what happened to the key to her liquor cabinet.
Heard in the halls of various software companies.
"It's kind of a sucky job, isn't it?"
"There, I feel better. I've had my tirade for today."
"Oh, no, you'll have another. It's only 9."
"You don't think becoming a retard is communicable? Stick around."
"I'm too stressed to drink."
"Who did you piss off to get stuck with this?"
"Oh, you were stupid."
I have to go get in line for Harry Pothead and the Deathly Job Interview Part Deux.
They pay me to think. These are my thoughts. Do you think they are getting their money's worth?
Remember: The Crapolla contains my personal opinions. That's right they're mine, so get your own! And you kids get off my lawn!
Although written with the software professional in mind, my mind tends to wander all over the place, and I sometimes write about politics, mass stoopidity, dumb things I saw, and whatever else comes to mind.
From time to time, I use salty language, thus The Crapolla is not intended for children, or certain people from the Christian Right.
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