EB: Giving ’em the business!

Brain dumps from the original Bonehead.

Doing it for free.

About a month ago a potentially catastrophic event happened at my job.  This is going to be a bit difficult to write about because I don't know all the details of what went on and exactly what could have gone wrong but that's ok because it has no bearing on where we're going with this.

Late one Friday night about a month ago I was home relaxing when I saw an email come in on the work line: Sandy, a co-worker on the West Coast was processing a work order that, for whatever reason, absolutely had to be completed that night.  In his email he explained that the order he was working on was too big to be finished that night and would have to be completed later. 

You see, sometimes it's more than just words on a page; sometimes it's a bit less like a crossword puzzle and more like a word hunt… the message is in there but you have to go get it because it won't just jump out at you.  When I read that seemingly harmless message I found an implication that bothered me: There's a big order that needs to be done tonight and me and Barber and the rest of this team can't handle it.  We've failed.

 Uhm yeah.  This is the part where all those hormones get to flowin' and Barber starts to get that look in his eyes…

Recently my state's lottery went up to $50 million and I was talking with a friend about what kind of stuff we'd do if we got that kind of grand payday.  He looked at me funny when I told him I'd keep my job but I really would and I'll tell you why. 

  • Although my job affords me little opportunity to learn anything new, it does require me to engage my mind and to execute tasks at blinding pace and that, to me, can be fun!  It's clearly not something I want to do for the rest of my life but because of the difficulty involved, sometimes it's fun when I can dig in and prove to myself that I've still got it. 
  • More importantly than that is the fact that I love my team.  Department?  No.  Division?  No.  This is a team in the truest sense of the word.  We've got nearly 20 people and there is No Dead Weight on this team.  Not only do we have fun, agreeable personalities here but everyone is tactically proficient – even the new people!  Everyone freely shares information and everyone volunteers to help each other whenever the load is imbalanced.  It's an amazing environment.

When I read that email something stirred.  Sandy was telling outsiders that my team, our team, couldn't get it done.  It was somewhere around 11pm that Friday night when I excused myself from my phone call and logged on to help him out.  We coordinated over IM – he took the high level stuff and I took the grunt work.  It took about two or three hours but we got it done in time. 

Before going to sleep I saw the correction email he sent out informing everyone that we got the job done.  I slept well that night.

 

-E

January 30, 2006 Posted by | Work | 5 Comments

‘Fraidy Cat.

I suck at New Year’s Resolutions.  I really do.  Not for a lack of ideas – I can think of plenty of improvements I’d like to make in my life or on myself or whatever; it’s just… something… terrifying…  Ok, look at it like this: We’re almost halfway through January and I still haven’t made a New Year’s Resolution yet!  I just find some kind of inescapable attraction to The Incomplete Idea.  Undone, it’s still perfectly well intentioned but still has plenty of potential and flexibility.  It hasn’t yet faced the cold harshness that completion can sometimes bring. 

Damn you’re one pessimistic sumbitch!

Hold up!  This isn’t pessimism at all.  In fact, just a few weeks ago I completed a personal goal that I’d been chasing down every day for the past two years!  I guess it’s just an exaggerated fear of failure?  It’s not like I’m some loser that can’t get anything done either it just – sometimes seeing the mountain is much harder than climbing it.  Have you ever really wanted to do something that you just weren’t sure you could pull off – so you manage to find one excuse after another for why you shouldn’t do it or why you should wait awhile or whatever?  I do it.  I do it all the time and… now that I think about it… that should be my New Year’s Resolution. 

To stop getting in your own way?  That won’t be easy!

True, but they have a saying in the gym: If it was easy everybody would do it.  The real trick is going to be learning to become an impartial judge when gauging my current self versus my ideal self; once I can do that the rest should be easy!  Sometimes I just don’t understand me.  I once saw a friend getting beat up by four guys and, without a moment’s hesitation, I charged in to help him.  Is it unusual for me to be able to face potential injury and occasionally even death, with total composure but the potential for committing myself to a goal and failing absolutely scares me silly?

-E

January 15, 2006 Posted by | Personal Revelations | 1 Comment

No, I’m not frustrated. Thank you.

When did saying “I’m pissed off” become out-of-fashion?  I’m confused by all of this because not everything unpleasant is adequately described as ‘frustrating’.  That’s the latest buzz word: Frustrated. 

I have a suggestion.  The rules regarding the assault law should be amended so if someone hits you with that “I understand your frustration” line, and they’re clearly patronizing you, you’re within your rights to load up your sock with three rolls of quarters and slap them silly with it!

Ok – let me go on record with this: Empathy is a good thing.  It’s a great feeling when you can talk to someone about the things that bug you and they sincerely get where you’re coming from.  You know… misery loves company…  kindred spirits…  all that jazz.  But how often does it really happen?  How often does the person you’re talking to have no clue what you’re really feeling but they do know that giving you a blank stare would just feel too awkward?  So they play along and say “I love you too”.  They do what they feel is appropriate or what they feel is expected of them. 

You can’t be pissed but you can be annoyed.  You can’t be depressed but you can be frustrated.  It all reminds me of an old Carlin rant about impactful words being increasingly euphemized until there’s no impact left – no feeling, just another empty expression that won’t stir up any reaction.  It’s like the language of our lives is being ‘optimized’ by some punk ass Marketing Analyst. 

 

-E

January 10, 2006 Posted by | Random Ramblings | 3 Comments