pfloyd: (Default)
( Jan. 12th, 2009 12:13 pm)
I love it when someone here at work gets stupid, gets himself with an AIM-borne virus that replicates itself across the network.

Communications are rather crippled now, as AIM/Trillian connections were ordered shut down UNODIR (UNless Otherwise DIRected).

If anyone's trying to reach me by AIM, you're currently SOL UFN (Until Further Notice).

That is all.
pfloyd: (Default)
( Dec. 16th, 2008 11:14 am)
Okay, if you don't already know where I work, then I won't tell you outright. Let's just say that there is a low prime number in the company name.

It would appear that the company is being hit by the economic crunch. Plus we didn't make financial goals for two months straight. December's looking better, as we're close, but... they're incorporating a few cost-saving measures...

1. Suspension of Employer-Matching on 401k accounts. Not a biggie, I think. At least, when compared to items 2 and 3.
2. Merit increases (read: raises) are on hold for 2009 until further notice. Oh this hurts us. Big time. I haven't had a raise due to company financial reasons since my first review.
3. PTO carryover is eliminated for 2008 and 2009. Now, this doesn't affect me too much, as I would have been carrying over one, maybe two hours. This hurts those who have anywhere from a few days to a week or two that were going to be carried over. Now comes the mad dash to take PTO before year's end. And what a time to announce it -- two weeks before year's end. Everyone's scrambling. If the scheduling page doesn't allow people to take the PTO because of those of us who scheduled vacation months ago are already out, then I foresee a lot of cases of "blue flu" where loads of people call in "sick." Guess they want to run on a skeleton crew.

The last two items are probably enough to make people want to walk out the door, or at least consider and explore other options.
I'm going ot tough it out, since they're going to give us Cisco cert training early next year.
pfloyd: (Default)
( Oct. 7th, 2008 01:23 pm)
Apparently, I work with a bunch of vultures...

Not here in the Data group, where I park my carcass day in and day out, but over in the much larger Voice group.

Today there was a potluck. I brought in two plates of cookies from a local megamart, so yes, I paid my admission into it. As did quite a few others.
My guess is that the company threw in the buckets from KFC.

Well, thanks to a brief yet furious outage, we Data folks couldn't get up there quick enough (well, maybe less than a handful did). By the time I had a chance to go snag some food, all that was left of the lunch-type stuff were a few nachos and a spoonful of ziti.
All the KFC was gone, picked over, nothing... not a sausage (literally).

And here I am, without a lunch.
Oh, I have food here, but it's either cans of Pringles or a couple cups of nukable mac-n-cheese. Nothing of any real substance. And I refuse to go out and spend more money on getting me something to eat when I should have been able to get something at the potluck as I spend like $15 on the cookies, yet those who didn't bring anything got their faces filled.

Fucking annoyed by this, and rightly so.
Annoyed, hungry, and not bothering to eat now just on fucking principle.
Appreciation my blanched arse.
So, big news came down the pipeline today...

Sometime in 2009, the facility here in Marlboro will be closing down, and relocating to somewhere in Burlington.
To me, this means a couple of things...
1. My commute now changes from roughly 15-20 minutes (depending on stops) to over an hour. Plus, I have to take I290 to I495 to Rt 3... yuck! I hate the 495-3 Lowell interchange, and Rt 3 inbound toward 95/128 is horrendous in the morning.
2. Two days a week, I have to take Marcus to preschool, as C's school day starts 15-20 minutes earlier. Since preschool doesn't start until after 8am, I won't be getting to work until 930 or so. The days he doesn't have preschool, I have to shuttle him to whomever will be watching him that day, whether it's my parents or whoever. Again, that pushes my arrival time back.
To balance that, I will either have to work later in the evening, or take shorter lunch breaks -- if I take them at all. (I get 1 hour lunch plus two 15-minute breaks. I have never taken the short breaks since I started here.)

In other good news... no raises this year. That really bites. So I'm expected to travel further, but I get nothing extra to offset the extra fuel I have to expend to get to work?
Let's look at a comparison here...

Worcester to Marlboro
Distance = 12.2 miles using 290 to backroads to 20
ETA = 16 minutes

Worcester to Burlington -- rough estimate since I don't know the address of the new place
Distance = 48.2 miles using 290 - 495 - 3
ETA = ~56 minutes

Some quick math...

I've been running at about 27 miles per gallon... 13 gallon tank. Range should equal roughly 350 miles.
For Marlboro, that means a complete 13 gallon fill every 14 work days, give or take, with a round trip of 25 miles. It's been more like 30, so that's a fill-up every 12 work days.

For Burlington, this is what I'm projecting:
Roughly 100 miles round trip, that's a complete fill-up every 3.5 work days... nearly four times as often. Spending four times the money on gas for this job. I'd be spending upwards of $100 per week just on fuel.
That blows big time.


At least I'll still be working...

No use getting excited about it yet... still in the future, lots can happen...
(This was my post to [ profile] techsupport)

Dear Valued Customer,

You want me to do the following...
Change the hostnames on two PTR records. Fine, that's no problem
Change the MX records on... get this... 50+ domains for customers of yours????????????????????? WtF???????????????

Mind you, to do this, I have to:
Load and access each domain's zone file...
Copy the current zone file and paste into the ticket...
Access the page where I can make the changes...
Make the changes...
Save the changes...
Copy the new zone file and paste it into the ticket...
Lather, rinse, repeat...

Seeing as how the domain zone file database (being web-based) takes approx 20-30 seconds to load each page, 5 seconds for each copy and paste, another 10 seconds to make the changes (two MX records per zone file)... we're talking roughly five minutes (give or take) per domain.

And, of course, I get handed this fifteen minutes before shift end, too... and I was on the phone with the customer for 20 minutes BEFORE I could start any changes.

No, there's no feasible way to do it as a bulk change, because most of the domains don't have their MX records fitting a similar across-the-board pattern.
This is the way I have to do it. I'm already approaching two hours of overtime on this, for which I am grateful, but I would like to be able to see my son for a little while before his bedtime, and at this rate (I'm only 2/3 of the way done, and the database is now crawling, adding about another 50-60% onto the time it takes), I won't be able to do so. Not to mention the miniscule migraine that's already creeping in, and the fact that it's nearly 100 degrees in my cube (the AC doesn't work so well around me) and all I've had to eat since 9pm last night are two pop tarts, a small bowl of cheese puffs and a package of ramen, I'm quite starved and would like to go home, get food down my neck so I can do the Tylenol/ibuprofen/Jim Beam and vanilla Coke combo so that I can try to forget you made me do this and get some sleep.

Thank you very much for putting a complete damper on my good mood and a good evening.

No love,

PS: DiaF. Please.

For the uninitiated...
Domain zone file = a zone file is a database element of the domain name system (DNS) used by BIND and other DNS server software. A zone file typically contains information that defines mappings between domain names and IP addresses and can also contain reverse mappings which can resolve IP addresses into domain names. A zone corresponds roughly to a domain name (including top-level domains and subdomains). The format of the zone file is defined in RFC 1035 as well as the documentation for BIND.
MX record = Mail eXchange record -- maps a domain name to a list of mail exchange servers for that domain.
PTR = PoinTer Record -- a pointer to a canonical name. Unlike a CNAME, DNS processing does NOT proceed, just the name is returned. The most common use is for implementing reverse DNS lookups by putting a PTR record for a hostname in the domain that corresponds to an IP address. For example (at the time of writing), has the IP address, but a PTR record maps to its canonical name,
pfloyd: (Default)
( Mar. 31st, 2008 03:22 pm)
I've got a new one to add to the usual lunchtime malaise...

Our group has a policy -- no more than three techs out on lunch/break at any one time.
All well and good... but...
We have at least a dozen L1 techs.
We each get one hour for lunch.
People start going at 11am, staggered.
Lunches are not scheduled.

Therefore, due to people sniping away at lunch breaks... I'm able to get to much lunch break somewhere between 300p and 330p.
Considering I start work at 900a, and leave at 600p. You do the math.
Not only do I get snarky, but sometimes I get lethargic, light-headed, even to the point of slightly blurred vision and/or headaches.

Of course, no one will shift their lunch with me, and keeping snacks at the desk don't help me much at all...

So we've got more of the white stuff coming down from the skies this morning.
Colleen got a reprieve -- no school for Shrewsbury today.
By the time I got to her car this morning (she insisted I take that one), there was a good couple of inches on the ground. It took me several minutes to get out of the driveway. Of course, I was backing out of it, heading slightly uphill with a front-wheel drive car with between two and three inches of snow. Times like this I miss the old Tracker...

So I got out of the driveway at pretty much 800am. Stopped at the Exxon 1.2 miles up the road for a fillup, then went to Dunkin Donuts for a large Miliky Way hot chocolate and two sugared donuts. (Those things are like eating fried dough.) Roads were in shit state -- sort of treated, sort of plowed, can't really follow in anyone's tracks.
I wisely decided to avoid I290, as I heard that the highways were rough going, with spinouts galore.
You can certainly tell where the townline between Shrewsbury and Worcester is -- the roads in Shrewsbury were an absolute dream. In some spots, they were down to wet pavement. So I drove on W Main Street, through Shrewsbury Center and onto Rt20. Northboro also did a good job with the roads, and the short (1 mile at most) drive through Marlboro to the office was very driveable.
I called Colleen from my parking space at around 850am. Not too shabby.

So here I am at work... snow is still coming down...
Colleen and Marcus are playing at home...
The PTB (Powers That Be) are arranging for pizza to be delivered, making some poor schlub drive in this crap to bring us a hot lunch.

On a side note, I have another one of those snarky headaches. I've already downed some migraine tabs (asprin/acetaminophen/caffeine combo), and am drinking a Dew -- in case it's a caffeine headache, and I didn't have any yesterday. I've also applied HeadOn Migraine. This stuff feels kinda neat -- like IcyHot for the head.
So it was somewhere around a year ago when I was released from my last position.
I haven't been at my current job for a year as yet. I have a couple of months to go still.

So, I thought about doing a retrospective look at where I was to where I am now.
Out with the old... )

In with the new... )

So that's where I've been and where I am. In retrospect, while the Burk experience was okay to start, I was not enjoying it. It was a real pain to drag my arse out of bed each morning to go there. But now, I like what I'm doing -- the money's better, the commute is shorter, my boss is great, the people I work with are as insane as I am, and it's not as hectic or confining.
Happiness is greater.
pfloyd: (Default)
( Mar. 16th, 2007 03:02 pm)
I can see the outside world if I stand up and turn 135 degrees left.
Snow is coming down at a 45 degree angle from both horizontal and vertical, and rather steadily.
We know that the drive home is going to be piss-poor at best. Will they let us out early? Hells no.
pfloyd: (Default)
( Mar. 2nd, 2007 10:09 am)
I'm not going to make any comments about the weather. I was able to get the coating of ice off the windows of both cars this morning. Colleen had a two hour delay.
By the time I was out clearing the cars, it was just a cold rain, so everything was slushy. Good thing I wore my duster (which could use another coat of oil... perhaps this summer I'll do that) and matching hat to keep my insides dry. The driveway was just covered with icy slush, but we both got out okay. The drive in was fine.

However, the fun begins when I get into work.
We have this ticketing system called Remedy. This helps keep track of trouble calls. Normally it works okay. (However, the drastic differences make us nostalgic for the previous ticketing system.)
This morning, I find that I can't get into it -- Remedy crashes on me. I'm able to login, but when I choose which database I want to work with, it crashes. Several reboots don't fix it. Someone else logged into it with their credentials just fine. It's my login that's f***ed up.
So I'm just sitting here. Can't do calls since I can't create new or work on existing tickets.
pfloyd: (Default)
( Feb. 16th, 2007 01:21 pm)
Talk about timing...

Last Saturday, I bought the Sansa MP3 players for me and Colleen...

I get into work today, and as a company-wide "Thank You" for a good 2006, everyone got a 2GB iPod Nano! Holy Schnike!

I'm still keeping the Sansa as something to use in the car, since it already has an FM tuner, and my car's radio is shite.
I had three 20oz bottles of soda in the big fridge this morning -- a lemonade, a Dr Pepper and a Cherry Coke.
I just went to grab one of them to drink, and I noticed that someone had nicked my Dr Pepper!
Now this isn't the first time - only the second. I had a plastic container with some nice chicken salad that I had done up, and left it in there overnight. I went to get it at my next lunch break, and noted that the container was gone.

That's it. I'm either putting my name on everything and/or getting a lockbox for my stuff in that fridge.
You'd think that people here would have some modicum of maturity and honor here, that you could trust your food to be safe. Guess I thought wrong.
pfloyd: (Default)
( Oct. 18th, 2006 10:33 pm)
I know it's been a good while since I've last read LJ... even longer for an update, so here goes...

On 2 October, I started my new job in the Data Support group at One Communications in Marlboro. The whole week was somewhat of a slow start, as I didn't have a cubicle to call my own (I snagged an empty one for the time being), nor did I have any network logins. I spent the next two weeks sitting with other techs, listening in on calls, and eventually taking some while sitting in their chairs and having them coach me along.
It wasn't until yesterday that I finally got my PC from the IS group. By this time, I had logins for most of the network resources that I would need, and I started soloing.
It's not too bad, but I'm still new at it. There's another guy who started just this week, so now he's FNG, and I've given myself the nickname of Probie. (If you don't watch NCIS, you wouldn't get it.)
My cube is home now. I have about eight pictures of Marcus set up around me, and I have my stash of munchies. I hope to be getting up to a decent speed soon, but with some people out this week and two people leaving for jobs elsewhere, it'll be tough.
But at least the working atmosphere is better than at my previous job -- less restrictive, not as confining.

Also in the past couple of weeks, I've had a couple of batches of hives. I don't know what's causing them, but they annoy the shite out of me. I got some antihistamines from a prescription for the first batch, and they cleared up in a couple of days. They're not as hard-hitting as Benadryl when it comes to the drowsiness, but they still lend a bit of fatigue to the day.

On 11 October, [ profile] silvara77 and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary. I made a nice dinner of beef tips and rice. However, the "going out to eat" dinner wasn't until the following Friday, when we went to O'Connor's, and had a lovely dinner.
Colleen's parents were up for a visit over Columbus Day weekend. All five of us went to Southwick Zoo, and got to see lots of animals. My favorites are the lemurs, tigers, bintarongs, and any of the other big cats that are there. All they need are a couple of wolves. There's one area where you can have the deer come right up to you and eat out of your hand without having a fence between the two of you. I managed to get a couple of young deer within a couple of feet of me. One even sniffed my hand. That was a real treat.

Well it's off to bed soon. I hope the pills kick in soon so the itching will cease and I can get some sleep. At least I don't have to be on the phones until 900am, and it's only a 15 minute commute.

Out here.
pfloyd: (Default)
( Sep. 29th, 2006 12:09 pm)
Just got my benefit/offer letter/new hire package from my new employers. Due to a slight gaff on their part, I don't have to mail it back to their offices by 5pm today -- I can bring it with me on Monday.
Everything looks really good.

I'm excited about this. New opportunity, new knowledge to gain...

I'm going to miss Marcus a lot, though. Good thing I'll have pictures of him in my cube.
pfloyd: (Default)
( Sep. 22nd, 2006 01:12 pm)
I just got a call from my future employer. ([ profile] paladyn will know who...)

I start 2 October at One Communications/Conversant as a Data Support Technician.

Commute is to Marlborough, and will take me roughly 15 minutes. Pay will be decent, at a higher level than my last job, and the work will be more relevant to what I've been trained to do.

So I'll be working with [ profile] paladyn and [ profile] hbabeu now. Way cool.

Thanks to [ profile] paladyn for helping a brother out.
pfloyd: (Default)
( Aug. 19th, 2006 09:25 am)
Interview for actual job on Tuesday, at a company where a couple of friends of mine work.
Location: Marlboro, on Rt 20, this side of 495. Not bad at all.

Wish me luck.
Oh no, not again...

Anyone looking for a PC Repair Specialist who can also do some network administration? I'm available... fulltime as of today.

Contact me for resume.

Yep... again...

Not going to talk about it, why should I, I wasn't exactly where I wanted to be anyway.
pfloyd: (Default)
( Feb. 16th, 2006 11:24 am)

Our Hero just had his annual review this morning. Actually, my anniversary date was back on 1 December, but I got my self-review in a few days after that, and my supervisor is in a temporary exile up at our R&D branch in Nashua for a few months, so he's a bit behind with getting things done over here. Regardless...
Basically my review was above average in most repsects. He was impressed with the amount of technical knowledge I've acquired with basically no formal training on the products (all OJT), and that I handle the customers well enough. I think the customer testimonials I've received have helped quite a bit.
Now all I have to hope for is a little more money. Any raise I get from this will be retroactive back to 1 December. Yay.

So that's one less thing on my mind.

Mom-in-Law's coming up this weekend, staying for a week. The only meals she's requested are my pasta and meat sauce, and Asian chicken and salad. Okay, can do.

Maybe I can get some of my GURPS work done next week too...

pfloyd: (Default)
( Oct. 26th, 2005 01:16 pm)

Well last night's sleeping went much much better. No chills, no shivering. However, it did take a little while to get to sleep. A little bit of Midori (straight, no mixers) may have helped. I could still use some more sleep though. Good thing I'll be getting that extra hour on Sunday.

Marcus has been, well... difficult when it comes to getting him into bed. I'll give him his evening bottle, he'll nod out on my lap (most likely not finishing the 8oz that we give him) more often than not, and I'll try to put him to bed. Sometimes he'll wake up immediately, and is wide awake, and we end up giving him more of the unfinished bottle, or Colleen tops him off.
Sometimes I have to prepare another bottle, and he'll only go through an ounce or two before dozing out. Then we're wasting 6-7oz of formula! Egads! So now the tactic is to have a couple of 4oz bottles at the ready for the late night top-off. Less waste.

I have to stop at Fallon on the way home tonight... get my arm stuck for blood. Usual CBC with differential, plus another thyroid check. I wouldn't be surprised by now if they found evidence of hyperthyroidism in me. It would explain a hell of a lot.

I'm on my own today on the phones. Thank the Gods Above that they're not calling in every two minutes. It's been very slow and very quiet. (Of course, I've just jinxed it by saying so.) My cohort-in-crime is at a trade show, as is the new guy they brought on to be the company's Director of Operations. Since his arrival here last week, he's been taking a keen interest in how we do things here in Support. So far, I think he's fairly satisfied. Not a bad guy, too.
In essence, the top levels of management are either at this trade show or on holiday. Who's minding the store? There's more of us here, but none of us are really chiefs. I forget who's supposed to be next in line...
In the meantime, since my call levels are low and satisfactory, I'm just keeping my head down, keeping quiet, handling stuff as it comes in.

Mmmm, Doublestuff Oreos...

So, back to the world of dreams...
So, Mom-in-law arrives last night sometime maybe around 10-ish. All was good there, she had a pretty good ride up here with only a couple downpours.

Kicker: my lower back started to really give me grief. I took a Perc maybe around 2300, and waited for the buzz to kick in. C went to bed before the rest of us, and I topped Marcus off with some formula before putting him to bed around 0100. Mom-in-law and I went to bed not long after, and my Perc buzz was sort of winding down. I slept on the couch until just before 0400, when I transferred to the bed, but Marcus woke up around 430. C and her Mom got up and did the morning thing, while I tried to find something that resembled a comfortable position. Not too much luck there.
So I stop at an Exxon that has a Dunkin Donuts this morning and get a breakfast sandwich, grape juice, a bottle of Dew, and a small bottle of Aleve. My prescription naproxen is 500mg in one large pill. Each Aleve is 220mg, so I downed two. It's not quite 1000, and I can feel that it's taken some of the edge off already. Let's hope it lasts.

And now to top this off this morning, the first call I take is someone who needs his hand held through the entire configuration and programming of his remote unit. As I write this, I'm at nearly an hour with this moron who doesn't keep a friggin manual with him.
And this joker said that he just recently programmed one of these things, but still asked how to do each and every channel. Gyah.
Okay, 1hr 50min with this guy.

On better news... I've been using a lot of pictures that were posted in my gallery as wallpapers on my monitor at work.
Tonight's the last night I'll be able to play with him for close to a week. I'm going to miss the little guy.

By the by... new icon...



pfloyd: (Default)


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