Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Yeah, This is Fun

Okay, so I'm going to be up north for a couple of days this week. (
At least that was the original plan.) And the week after. And probably the week after that. Because they moved all the equipment I'm working on to another facility. I'm sure they had good reason to do so. I'm sure this is all being tracked on a spreadsheet. Somewhere. To someone this all makes sense.

But they didn't take all of the equipment. A couple of cables were "overlooked", "forgotten" or "missed". Can't do the job without them. No problem they said. We'll box those up for you they said. We'll let you "hand carry" the items with you when you go up north.

So we're all set right? This was all taken care of last Friday, right?


No one did the correct paperwork last Friday. Everyone just agreed that I'd be taking the stuff up north. I guess the test equipment fairies would take care of the paperwork.

Checked the status of that stuff on Monday.

LadyOfThePaperwork: "Well, I've printed out all of the documents. Now I need ThisGuy to go pull the equipment. Then I need QAGuy to verify that the equipment matches the paperwork. Then ThisGuy will get ThatGuy to move it all down to the shipping dock. Where ShippingGuy will box it up and load it in your car when you get here."

Me: "Cool. What time should I come down?"

LadyOfThePaperwork: "Umm, tomorrow morning. Probably."

Me: "Probably?"

LadyOfThePaperwork: "Yes, ThisGuy went home for the day."

Me: "Seriously? It's not even lunch yet."

LadyOfThePaperwork: "I'm sorry..."

Me: "Well, not really your fault is it? I guess it is what it is."

"It is what it is" is one of New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick's favorite phrases. It must be, he says it all the time. I find myself saying it a lot lately. It sounds better than me saying, "Well, that sucks." At least management seems calmer with the former. I think I make them nervous at times. But I am mellowing with age.

I don't talk as much about fire trucks* as I used to.

So I haven't "gone North" yet. And I won't be going tomorrow either.

The big "emergency" I mentioned in my last post turns out to be a real problem. It's something that needs to be fixed before other things can happen. I did manage to convince the "powers that be" that as the new units behave differently (not in a good way) from the old units that perhaps the new units are the problem. Not the software on the test equipment which has only had minor changes. None of them even remotely related to the problems we're seeing. That whole evolution was like herding cats.

No, I take that back. Herding cats is easier.

Had a meeting regarding this problem today. One guy wanted to talk about a different problem that he saw recently.

Management Type: "There's another problem with the software?"

Out West Guy: "Yes, if you don't follow the test procedure, then the test will fail."

Me: "So you want me to change the software so that if the operator makes an error, the software won't fail?"

Out West Guy: "Yeah, can you do that?"

Me (to Management Type): "Can I have a few hundred thousand dollars and a year to do that?"

Management Type: "Of course not!"

Me (to Out West Guy): "No, I guess not. But you might want to tell the operators to follow the instructions."

Out West Guy: "It would still be a nice feature..."

Me: "Yes. And the people in Hell want ice water..."

Management Type: "Let's move on, shall we?"

So tomorrow I get to sit down with a hardware guy and try to figure out a way to fix this annoying problem which may or may not be a problem.

Just like that growling you hear in the darkness may or may not be a wolf.

Then again, better make sure.

I'm convinced it's a hardware problem. I just need to convince the hardware guy.

Yeah, convincing a hardware guy that the hardware he designed might have a problem.

This should be fun.

*Minus the "ire tr...s", of course.
I used to mention "fudge" a lot too.
I'm much better now.


  1. THis is some sh*t that I do not miss.

    THere is always ONE guy with one stupid request just to show management he is on the ball.

    Can you develope a car that if you put the key in upside down says, "Hey, you put the key in upside down!"

    1. So Joe, I can guess that you've "been there, done that".

  2. I don't miss that, either.
    I was the guy who got to try the new stuff first.
    Then I got to show everyone else how it worked.
    After I left, the boss's brother-in-law got the job.

  3. "Out West Guy: "It would still be a nice feature..."
    Me: "Yes. And the people in Hell want ice water..."
    Management Type: "Let's move on, shall we?"

    Yeah ... I can see why you scare them at times. :D

  4. "It is what it is" is one of New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick's favorite phrases.

    One o' my favorites, too, and I've been using it since Christ was a corporal. So, since I'm senior to Belichick in age, I can claim ownership.

    Your corporate trials and tribulations sound sorta familiar. I dunno WHY that would be, but there ya go: It is what it is. ;-)

    1. I did not know that. From now on I'll give you the H/T.

      Being that "it is what it is" and all.


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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