LowComDom Performances Presents
The Crapolla According to Fek'Lar
You Know You're a Real Geek When...
you think half-terabyte drives are small.
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...
Work, Lunch, and Moving
I mentioned in crap200804 that WTHAIS had a sewer leak for five weeks. Every time I would complain about it, I was told it was "The Bay" I was smelling. Well that all changed when Lucky went outside to smoke and almost blew his face off when he ignited a methane pocket.
The industrial strength sewer guys were called. They brought with them what I can only describe as the mother of all shit wagons. I was leaving the building and I saw a truck with a huge tank on the back that said one thing, "2500 GALLONS". My reaction was immediate and genuine.
"2500 gallons of shit!"
"You got that right!" said the shit wagon driver.
The shit wagon driver was very friendly and we struck a conversation. I mentioned that his job would have been worse except, well, the building was mostly empty. He asked what I meant and I mentioned all the jobs being sent to India. He said he's seen that all over the place. In fact, he used to fly a computer over at Visa International and got off-shored.
Driving the shit wagon is a safe job. He pointed out that as long as you're eating, you're going to need him, and they can't off-shore that. Hmmm. I wonder if I'm destined to a life of shit hauling in my own future. In five years will my job even exist in the US? Still, it wouldn't be so bad if I could "decorate" my shit wagon. You know, a little bit of the commentary I'm famous for. Stuff like...
You might recall back in crap200712, I mentioned I wanted to have lunch in the Google cafeteria. A scant few months later, my wish came true. Turns out one of my ex-co-workers whom WTHAIS had laid off to send his job to India, found a job at a software company which then Google gobbled up in a merger. This got him past the GPA requirement and the ridiculous interview process. He called up one day needing a favor, and I asked for one in return. I just wanted lunch.
I had no trouble finding the right place. Google now occupies what was once the Big A Software campus. I met my host in the parking lot, and we drove over to a different sent of buildings that SGI had built next to Shoreline. Un-like companies such as Oracle, the Google cafeteria is in a secured area. I got badged in and put the "I Am A Spy" sticker on my shirt. More of the emmenities were pointed out to me. There were the free for the taking bicycles, the laundromat, where the massages are had, and finally, the food.
I had heard about the food. Google had hired a real chef to run the joint. I was warned that the food might not be "simple". My host once said the simplest thing he could find was Chicken Alfredo. What?? Nothing with bacon? We did a drive-by first to see what there was. Indian, Sushi, a salad bar, a Grill where if you didn't want to stand in line, there were fixin's for burgers and dogs (where did this concern for no simple food come from?), to the side there were drinks and drinks and drinks. And finally, free-for-the-taking, all the Ben & Jerry's you wanted. It was paradise!
This was St. Paddy's Day, so I went with the corned beef and potatoes, and of course, a Diet Coke. There was an Irish band playing on a stage. The food was everything I had heard. I keep forgetting that I like corned beef (silly me, it comes from cow!). The spuds were cooked just right as well. I couldn't image any drones anywhere in The Valley eating any better.
It was time to leave. While I drove my friend back to his building I asked what sucked about working at Google. The answer surprised me. For all the grandiose common spaces, the work spaces are horrible. I thought I had it bad for the past seven years having about half a cube. This guy gets part of a divided table, and if he runs his chair back too far, he hits his boss. I'm wondering what kind of message this sends. It would motivate me not to work in my work area. Can't I get a laptop and work in the Barber shop, or the massage room, or right next to the freezer of Ben & Jerry's? That's the out-of-the-box thinking that Google should be looking for rather than that GPA crap.
As I mentioned, for the past seven years, I've had what I consider sub-standard housing at WTHAIS. Once, someone came by and told me that his boss had told him to get his butt in my cube. I retorted that that was going to be a trick since mine didn't fit in it. We got this crappy furniture when we expanded into our second building. Our tenant had gone tits-up and abandoned their crappy dwellings. We just moved in without changes. Everything was a weird shade of lime green, and not a real four-sided cube. These are the crappiest accommodations I have ever worked in. (That's saying a lot!) But we had comradeship to get through those years. Then two years ago, they laid off most of the staff. Suddenly, we had a lot of free space. Mein Fuhrer has exported so many jobs to India that we moved back out of the second building. The new tenants hated the cubettes so much WTHAIS moved a bunch of the good cubes from building 1 into building 2, so I moved back to building 1 and was in an even smaller version of the crappy cubette I had been in! Yup, things were even worse.
As Mein Fuhrer off-shored even more (No one is writing software in the US anymore. Hope you CS majors can speak Punjabi.) it was getting obvious that we might just be able to fit on one floor. Soon, construction started. A wall went up. We were told we were getting new cubettes. They would be the crappy cubettes we had in building 2. Nothing to write home about, but bigger than the hutches we were in. Here's the kicker. They were going to be right next to that door I mentioned in crap200804 where the sewer line was broken for five weeks! Ah yes! The sweet, sweet smell of shit just outside your work area. It brings back my ten weeks in Bangalore. Maybe I could get a stomach virus here was well.
Just about when we were going to have a cubette lottery, fortune smiled. It was a Monday. We came in after the construction guys had worked all weekend. I started to itch. Trouble could taste something in the air. I wrote to The Hatchetman, my Director, the head of Facilities, and Lucky, asking what poison they were trying to kill us with. That got their attention. When you tell HR that the work place is making you sick, they have to do something about it to prevent you from suing the crap out of the company. I had most of them outside my cubette in no time.
About then, a worker opened up a can of ammonia-based adhesive to put down a new tile floor. Health laws required he work in a ventilated area, so he pumped the fumes at us. Perfect timing! Now, Lucky struck!
He moved us out of our cubettes immediately, but not into the sewer cubettes. No, he moved us across the building to real four-walled cubes. Once we were in, he announced to facilities that we would not be moving out - ever. Who ever was supposed to get these cubes were welcome to the sewer cubettes. It's many weeks later, and no one has moved there. So Lucky did well. On average, I get a new manager every year. Lucky's had the job just one year, but I've decided to keep him on. Pissing off Directors and VP's is a great job if you have a partner in crime.
Jen Still NOT Preggers!
Just What Is Brad Pitt's Price??
Heard in the halls of various software companies.
"I don't want your job. Your job is eating shit pie everyday."
"We may not have the smartest people in the world, but we make up for it with the scalability of idiots."
"I figure there's really no difference between missing the deadline by a little bit, and completely screwing the pooch."
"It would cheer me up to see something die."
"If you live in Hollister, you summer in Turlock."
Someone from Marketing just had another stupid idea, and I need to tell him.
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 in the Bush Administration.
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