Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Thanas »

Older lecturer [OL]: "Could you give my students an introduction to digital resources in our fields? You're the only one I know who's got an idea about the newest databases."
Me: "Sure."
OL: "I made four hours available for you to teach it to our students."
Me: "Yeah sure, that should be more than enough."
OL: "I would prefer two Fridays, 2-4 PM. None of the students have lectures then, so they should all have time to come."
Me, getting slightly worried because there is a reason why nobody schedules lectures at that time, because every student is out of town or proceeding to get drunk at that time: "So, you made attendance mandatory?"
OL (who apparently is a very idealistic person): "No, but I talked about the subject to them and I am sure they will come because it really is interesting and will help them in life and research."
Me, wondering if the guy is for real: Ok.....

Friday, 2pm:
Me: "So, thank you very much for coming, you two."
OL (slightly pissed): "Yeah, next week it'll be mandatory"


Not kidding, grand total of two people showed up. Which is only to be expected if you cram a session about digital resources and digital humanities into the party time before an extended weekend.
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Zaune »

Bloody hell. I know everyone likes to knock off early on a Friday night, but two in the afternoon?
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Raw Shark »

Fridays as a whole were more-or-less optional at my school. Scheduling your classes around recovering from Thirsty Thursday and / or having a 3-Day Weekend was a coveted thing, for a lot of students and professors.

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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Venator »

I usually had a four hour chem lab on Fridays. One semester I had two back to back...
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

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Zaune wrote:Bloody hell. I know everyone likes to knock off early on a Friday night, but two in the afternoon?
Keep in mind it was the last Bundesliga day iirc.
Whoever says "education does not matter" can try ignorance
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A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Raw Shark »

FRONT DESK GIRL: So you'll take it?

YOUR DRIVER: Yeah, I don't wanna jinx it, but this vehicle seems to be in really good condition. It's clean and sounds good, anyway.

FRONT DESK GIRL: [laughs] Oooh, you're playing with fire...

YOUR DRIVER: It even has a quarter tank of gas!

FRONT DESK GIRL: Yeah, you just fucked yourself.

YOUR DRIVER: Probably.

"Do I really look like a guy with a plan? Y'know what I am? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it! Y'know, I just do things..." --The Joker
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Venator »

What is your cab, anyhow? I know the Vic is a fleet classic, but in Toronto they've almost died off completely in favour of Camrys and Malibus, with a handful of also-rans.
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by InsaneTD »

Raw Shark wrote:FRONT DESK GIRL: So you'll take it?

YOUR DRIVER: Yeah, I don't wanna jinx it, but this vehicle seems to be in really good condition. It's clean and sounds good, anyway.

FRONT DESK GIRL: [laughs] Oooh, you're playing with fire...

YOUR DRIVER: It even has a quarter tank of gas!

FRONT DESK GIRL: Yeah, you just fucked yourself.

YOUR DRIVER: Probably.
Two weeks later, bore on number one cylinder cracks.....
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Raw Shark »

InsaneTD wrote:Two weeks later, bore on number one cylinder cracks.....
More like less than 12 hours later, I discover a dysfunctional credit card apparatus on my first trip with this car.
Venator wrote:What is your cab, anyhow? I know the Vic is a fleet classic, but in Toronto they've almost died off completely in favour of Camrys and Malibus, with a handful of also-rans.
I drive Crown Vics, but not for much longer. Ford stopped making them three years ago, because nobody but the cops were buying them. It used to be a popular family car, but the soccer moms all want something that rides high now, even though a low center of gravity and two tons of Detroit steel has served my health quite well through seven wrecks so far. The company is currently claiming that they will replace all outdated cabs with new ones by the end of the year, but that will either not happen or cost me a bundle.

"Do I really look like a guy with a plan? Y'know what I am? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it! Y'know, I just do things..." --The Joker
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Zaune »

Sometimes I think you have it worse than the minicab drivers who do it in their own vehicles. At least they have ultimate control over who fixes the vehicle and when, even if they're paying extra for it. And wouldn't vehicle maintenance be a deductible business expense?
There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Raw Shark »

Zaune wrote:Sometimes I think you have it worse than the minicab drivers who do it in their own vehicles. At least they have ultimate control over who fixes the vehicle and when, even if they're paying extra for it. And wouldn't vehicle maintenance be a deductible business expense?
Yes, in some ways; yes; and yes. Fortunately, I also get to deduct the days the company shop fucks me over as a business expense on my Schedule SE every April.

"Do I really look like a guy with a plan? Y'know what I am? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it! Y'know, I just do things..." --The Joker
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

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Raw Shark wrote:
Venator wrote:What is your cab, anyhow? I know the Vic is a fleet classic, but in Toronto they've almost died off completely in favour of Camrys and Malibus, with a handful of also-rans.
I drive Crown Vics, but not for much longer. Ford stopped making them three years ago, because nobody but the cops were buying them. It used to be a popular family car, but the soccer moms all want something that rides high now, even though a low center of gravity and two tons of Detroit steel has served my health quite well through seven wrecks so far. The company is currently claiming that they will replace all outdated cabs with new ones by the end of the year, but that will either not happen or cost me a bundle.
The fiancees' mom used to do fleet procurement; apparently aside from easily swapped body panels the other draw for police fleets was that nothing else could comfortably fit a laptop in the front seat.

Apparently now the Ford Explorer-based interceptor is outselling the Taurus by about 3:1, so this absurd SUV mania is just about universal.

OFFICE SUPPORT LEAD: "[Team Member 1] says his camera is taking really blurry pictures, worse than [TM2]'s phone. So we're looking at getting new models."
ME: "Huh, let me see if I can get TM1's camera working... maybe something in the settings."
I borrowed his camera, checked the settings, and did a simple stress test - turned off the lights in a vacant office and snapped shots of product labels, then tried to read the labels off the screen.
ME: "Hey, TM1, what's the story with your camera? It is close-up stuff you were having trouble with, or shooting stuff far away?"
TM1: "Close and far is no different. Both is bad, like really blurry."
ME: "Huh, I tried it up close and it works fine. *shows pictures*
TM1: "Oh. Whatever then."

I can't tell if he's just trying to get newer shinier kit on company dollar or if he's just incapable of using a point-and-shoot digital properly...
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

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Raw Shark wrote:
InsaneTD wrote:Two weeks later, bore on number one cylinder cracks.....
More like less than 12 hours later, I discover a dysfunctional credit card apparatus on my first trip with this car.
I'd say that should be you much of an issue to fix, but it sounds like your maintenance department is about as good as the taxi fleet groups down here, regularly see cabs on the back of tray tops.

Venator wrote:
Raw Shark wrote:
Venator wrote:What is your cab, anyhow? I know the Vic is a fleet classic, but in Toronto they've almost died off completely in favour of Camrys and Malibus, with a handful of also-rans.
I drive Crown Vics, but not for much longer. Ford stopped making them three years ago, because nobody but the cops were buying them. It used to be a popular family car, but the soccer moms all want something that rides high now, even though a low center of gravity and two tons of Detroit steel has served my health quite well through seven wrecks so far. The company is currently claiming that they will replace all outdated cabs with new ones by the end of the year, but that will either not happen or cost me a bundle.
The fiancees' mom used to do fleet procurement; apparently aside from easily swapped body panels the other draw for police fleets was that nothing else could comfortably fit a laptop in the front seat.

Apparently now the Ford Explorer-based interceptor is outselling the Taurus by about 3:1, so this absurd SUV mania is just about universal.

OFFICE SUPPORT LEAD: "[Team Member 1] says his camera is taking really blurry pictures, worse than [TM2]'s phone. So we're looking at getting new models."
ME: "Huh, let me see if I can get TM1's camera working... maybe something in the settings."
I borrowed his camera, checked the settings, and did a simple stress test - turned off the lights in a vacant office and snapped shots of product labels, then tried to read the labels off the screen.
ME: "Hey, TM1, what's the story with your camera? It is close-up stuff you were having trouble with, or shooting stuff far away?"
TM1: "Close and far is no different. Both is bad, like really blurry."
ME: "Huh, I tried it up close and it works fine. *shows pictures*
TM1: "Oh. Whatever then."

I can't tell if he's just trying to get newer shinier kit on company dollar or if he's just incapable of using a point-and-shoot digital properly...
Why not both'
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Raw Shark »

InsaneTD wrote:I'd say that should be you much of an issue to fix, but it sounds like your maintenance department is about as good as the taxi fleet groups down here, regularly see cabs on the back of tray tops.
The company has cheerfully sat on its ass and flipped drivers off with both hands with regard to the maintenance issue for years, because they're still better than the utterly-Kafkaesque experience that is working with the nearest-competitor previous to ride share services. It's only now that they have competition from every single auto shop in business for customer service (the customer in this case being drivers, who can ride share in their own car and take it to a shop that actually fixes shit, when they say they will) that they're waking up to the fact that there is a problem.

"Do I really look like a guy with a plan? Y'know what I am? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it! Y'know, I just do things..." --The Joker
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Raw Shark »

InsaneTD wrote:
Raw Shark wrote:FRONT DESK GIRL: So you'll take it?

YOUR DRIVER: Yeah, I don't wanna jinx it, but this vehicle seems to be in really good condition. It's clean and sounds good, anyway.

FRONT DESK GIRL: [laughs] Oooh, you're playing with fire...

YOUR DRIVER: It even has a quarter tank of gas!

FRONT DESK GIRL: Yeah, you just fucked yourself.

YOUR DRIVER: Probably.
Two weeks later, bore on number one cylinder cracks.....
FRONT DESK GIRL: So what happened to the loaner that actually ran good?

YOUR DRIVER: 1.1 million gallons of water. [ed: after only 11 days, for the record]

FRONT DESK GIRL: I told you you jinxed it!

"Do I really look like a guy with a plan? Y'know what I am? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it! Y'know, I just do things..." --The Joker
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by InsaneTD »

Bahahahaha!!! I'm sorry. I couldn't help laughing at that.

Now so I can feel properly bad about my comment, what happened to it?
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Raw Shark »

InsaneTD wrote:Bahahahaha!!! I'm sorry. I couldn't help laughing at that.
Me neither, eventually.
InsaneTD wrote:Now so I can feel properly bad about my comment, what happened to it?
The good loaner cab was declared totaled by the company. They're taking the building to civil court over it on what I as an amateur consider somewhat flimsy grounds but I am not a lawyer and my opinion on this matter means nothing. I'm hoping to avoid personal fallout from it, but don't know yet, leading to massive anxiety.

"Do I really look like a guy with a plan? Y'know what I am? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it! Y'know, I just do things..." --The Joker
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by InsaneTD »

Damn. Hope everything works out. Was wondering why I hadn't seen any posts from you in a while.
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

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InsaneTD wrote:Damn. Hope everything works out. Was wondering why I hadn't seen any posts from you in a while.
That's a combination of things: my computer went out a couple days before the flood, and I've been scrambling to do priority things like pay rent since that. This really hasn't been my best month. Thanks for the kind wishes.

"Do I really look like a guy with a plan? Y'know what I am? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it! Y'know, I just do things..." --The Joker
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

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On a completely separate note about my line of work, I love that the girl at the front desk can casually say the word fuck to me and I can casually say fuck to her and nobody gets hauled into HR over it. We are one of the last lines of the Wild West, and it's one of the few reasons that anybody actually does this shit job.

"Do I really look like a guy with a plan? Y'know what I am? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it! Y'know, I just do things..." --The Joker
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

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Dued, I had somebody explain the company IT policy to me yesterday as "The company puts a certain amount of trust in you. There's no failsafe for you being a fucking retard"
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Venator »

+1 on hoping everything gets sorted out and running soon.
Raw Shark wrote:On a completely separate note about my line of work, I love that the girl at the front desk can casually say the word fuck to me and I can casually say fuck to her and nobody gets hauled into HR over it. We are one of the last lines of the Wild West, and it's one of the few reasons that anybody actually does this shit job.
My fiancee's office has a HR/sensitivity seminar every year or so. Then they go back to their cubicles and laugh about how "bottle up all non-press-release-friendly thoughts and emotions till they turn into workplace poison" is supposed to work, and go back to plastic-wrapping each others' phones.

Part of that is that they're 'hospital' staff, so they get the same sensitivity course as nurses. Even though they're an office building who does tech support for barely-computer-literate nurses :roll: .
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

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New computers for the front. Nearly blew my back out running cables.

Co-Worker (yelling instead of using the intercom): "FeniX! I need you!"
FeniX: ::groan as I walk up front:: "What is it?"
CW: "This new computer is just all kinds of messed up. I can't type into this cell. I could do it before this new PC. It's just this cell. LOOK!"
::She furiously tries to type numbers into the cell to no avail."
FeniX: "You ne...."
CW: "Look, works FINE on this cell, I tested..... well, it's not working on this cell now either, and this garbage comes up at the top of Excel."
FeniX: "Ok, you ne....."
CW: "Ugh, everything was just working so well. I hate new computers. I need to get this done, you need to fix it. And don't just fix it, show me what you do to fix it because I'm tired of this crap."
::I lean down and press the NUM Lock key, then walk back to my office.::

My work conversations are pretty one-sided.
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

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TheFeniX wrote:New computers for the front. Nearly blew my back out running cables.

Co-Worker (yelling instead of using the intercom): "FeniX! I need you!"
FeniX: ::groan as I walk up front:: "What is it?"
CW: "This new computer is just all kinds of messed up. I can't type into this cell. I could do it before this new PC. It's just this cell. LOOK!"
::She furiously tries to type numbers into the cell to no avail."
FeniX: "You ne...."
CW: "Look, works FINE on this cell, I tested..... well, it's not working on this cell now either, and this garbage comes up at the top of Excel."
FeniX: "Ok, you ne....."
CW: "Ugh, everything was just working so well. I hate new computers. I need to get this done, you need to fix it. And don't just fix it, show me what you do to fix it because I'm tired of this crap."
::I lean down and press the NUM Lock key, then walk back to my office.::

My work conversations are pretty one-sided.
Christ.

Also, from your reference to yourself by username, I just imagined Fenix from Starcraft getting up from a cubicle and tearing a technophobic coworker's station to bits with phase blades.

It was a funny image.
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

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madd0ct0r wrote:Dued, I had somebody explain the company IT policy to me yesterday as "The company puts a certain amount of trust in you. There's no failsafe for you being a fucking retard"
But was it a buxom young woman? ;]

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