Category Archives: Work

Emergency Preparedness

We had a fire drill at work this morning. That happens about twice a year, but this time out it became clear that my workgroup would be woefully unprepared in the case of an emergency.
Had there been a fire, we would have been completely without marshmallows to roast.

Seems Backwards

Installing a piece of software at work on Friday, I at long last arrived at the final screen of the product’s install process. It displayed a list of installation notes with these helpful words:

Always read the Installation Instructions
Section below before any install.

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like that might have been a useful thing to display on the first screen.

Easy Sales Pitch

I stopped off to chat with The Chief this afternoon to ask if I could take a half day off next Friday. That’s when the set up takes place for the Biergarten at Oktoberfest and I wanted to help the Jaycees with their part. No problem with that. (I like working for this guy.)
The rest of the conversation was even more entertaining:

Me: Of course the next day’s the good part. I’m going to say just one word, and I know you’ll be there.
Boss: Beer?
Me: Exactly!

Now I just need to remind him. 🙂

Adding to the Mess

Back in the Spring, my office had an offsite retreat which included a presentation on the Intellipedia, a version of Wikipedia used by the U.S. intelligence community.
One of the reasons the intelligence community needs a tool like Wikipedia is the volume of information they deal with. The presentation started off with a video titled “Information R/evolution.” It’s kinda cool.

Email from work

Back when I used to work at the “Shakespeare at Sand Harbor” festival, we used to do a few quick announcements before the show started. Welcoming VIP sponsors, reminding people about the no photography rule, and the one guaranteed to bring in a laugh: “And what festival would be complete without an announcement such as this? ‘Will the owner of the white Toyota Corrolla, Nevada license HOT4U please come to the parking lot? Your headlights are on.'” (The alternative, “Your car is in a no-parking area and is about to be towed” would also get a few chuckles, particularly when it was a BMW or – once – a Rolls.)

Checking in with the office to let them know I’m still alive and they’re gonna have to pay the sick leave after all, I found this beauty which had been sent to the entire office:

Beige Toyota Sienna your windows are down. and its going to rain

The classics never get old.

Parking Break

At work today we had an all-day waste of time meeting at a hotel about two miles from the office.

We had our first break about 10 minutes into the meeting. That’s when the facilitator mentioned that cars which didn’t have a special ticket on display would be towed and half the people in the room ran out to their cars.

(They probably should have printed that on the ticket….)


Things have been a bit stressful at work lately. Not quite six weeks ago, I completed a very high profile project. There were a few minor glitches, but things overall went fairly well.

Before that project was even complete, I was already being pulled onto another project, also very important, and also with a very high profile. We’re evaluating several complex software packages to replace a highly customized mission critical application, we’re doing it on a very short schedule, and it turns out that there were some bad assumptions early on about the level of effort required for the evaluations.

This past week, the inevitable happened.

An office with caution tape across the doorway and what appears to be a chalk outline on the floor.

No, no, no. Nobody died. Just a case of a sense of humor coming into play.

Friday a week ago, I was intensely working on the project and to minimize distractions had kept the office door closed most of the day. (Interestingly, most people assumed it was my officemate who didn’t want to be disturbed. Either way, the effect was the same.) Around 5:30, I noticed the silhouette of someone standing outside my office door and upon opening it, discovered my boss taping a piece of yellow Caution tape across the doorway.

I laughed and even obliged by collapsing on the floor. As my boss snapped a photo, a passerby commented on my performance, “He dies well.”

The caution tape stayed up over the weekend confusing both the cleaning staff and several co-workers. By the end of the day Monday though, the boss hadn’t done anything with the photos and then sent out an email saying he would be out for the next few days.

When he returned on Thursday morning, he laughed to find the caution tape across his door. When he found the “chalk” outline (actually done with masking tape) he needed several minutes to stop laughing. His favorite part was a touch an accomplice had added (it’s difficult to mark an outline of yourself) where the outline ran over (and fastened to the floor) an envelope which had been slipped under the door. He even laid down on the floor for a photo of himself in the outline.

My boss, surrounded by a chalk outline.

Inevitably, somebody who hears this story will comment that I have too much spare time. To me, this seems like a fairly reasonable use of five minutes. It certainly beats letting the stress get to the point where someone in a more “official” role is drawing outlines.

Shell Games

No luck getting any photos of the empty goose nest yesterday, so I went back again today. You can see chunks of the hatched eggs laying around the sides of the nest.
Empty goose nest, lined with feathers, surrounded by hatched shells.
No sign of Mama Goose and kids today either, I think they’ve moved off to be closer to water. The facilities people must think so too as the traffic cones have been removed from the adjoining spaces.
For the longest time, I could never understand what the appeal was to putting a low-quality camera in a cell phone. It hit me a year or two back — the camera may not be very good, but it works well for casual shots, such as these, which might not have been taken otherwise. (Thankfully they’re starting to use slightly better cameras.)