And… Randomness!

Aww, a quiet Monday morning.

It starts with a mass migration to the life giving coffee machine. It ends with a mass fleeing of the building. It is the in-between events which make the day. It is all coffee, conversations, meetings, and…

“What’s the best vibrator to buy?”

Well… the smaller ones are cheaper, the medium sized ones offer more options, and the large ones are for the brave at heart. Is purple better than pink? Glass better than silicone? Bullets or Rabbits?

“Oh, and did you get the cross connection letters done?”

Wait! What?

Yes, because random conversations last less than ten minutes! Welcome to our world!

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Cat-astrophic Cat-astrophe

Part of our job entails working with field technicians. Those valiant warriors who traverse the land assisting those in need. They provide your water, gas and often our laughter. It is in the spirit of that laughter I share this Cat Quandary:

Cats are interesting creatures. A bit persnickety, if one really must know.

One minute you’re King, or Queen, the next it is their world and you’re just taking up space. Some would say a cat’s intelligence is measured by the swishing of a tail. When two identical cats are involved, it can only be measured by quizzically comical questions. white

Take for instance Wayne, a Rochester tech, who discovered just how comical carbon copy cats can be. Wayne is your average tech; married, two grown children, hobbies ranging from hunting and fishing to motorcycles and snowmobiles. You might even catch him at Red Lobster enjoying the “catch” of the day.

However, Wayne recanted a tail of a tale where the catch of the day could be the wrong catch. The catch in question? A Cat, of course.

On a randomly routine service call, a cat loving customer requested her curious cat remain confined within her home. Wayne considered this a reasonable request. He completed his call keeping the customer’s previous polite petition in mind.

Upon leaving the customers domain, Wayne did not doubt the frisky feline resided safely in his abode. Returning to his vehicle though, he discovered the customer’s curious cat awaiting his return. He carefully caught the clever critter placing him securely back in his home.

Unfortunately, the newly caught cat was not so graciously greeted by …… the customer’s cat! The chase of chases quickly ensued leaving Wayne in a quandary of just what to do!?! The customer was gone and the cats were identical; each resembling the other. The question crossing Wayne ’s quizzical mind—”Which cat do I put back outside!?!?!”

Now, with this tale of tails I have to ask you, what in the world would you do?

What a Catastrophe!

I can only imagine the scene between those two cats!

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Coffee, the Necessity

coffeeCoffee, the nectar of the gods!

Don’t get me wrong. Tea is great. We even had a hot coca drinker within the ranks once. The majority of us though are coffee-aholics. We become functioning adults thanks to the deep, dark liquid.

Once you’re in the office and have booted up your computer. You head directly to the breakroom for coffee. Easy, right?

Enter the realm of the un-caffeinated Analysts. Trudging through the darkened halls of The Office, in search of the holy grail… Coffee! They loudly enter The Breakroom in expectation of finding coffee in abundance. Lo, and behold, though they find….

One coffee carafe with little more than a drop of coffee. A second carafe verging on whole half a cup. Six people stand around, waiting, for someone to make more coffee. Not one of the six capable of such a feat.

Loud grumbling rises from the mouths of The Analysts. Grumbling tinged with disbelief. Laziness has become an epidemic within the walls of The Office. The brave among The Analysts venture towards the coffee maker. Quickly they apprehend first one carafe, then another. Combining the contents of the two. Then, with daft agility, they begin brewing a new pot!

The masses are in awe…the coffee-aholics quiet…anticipation invades the air. Soon there shall be COFFEE!

Just don’t turn your back, or the lazy will steal the freshly made coffee…

Telepathically Typical Days

A typical day in the life of an Analyst.

You start the day with making it into the office. Sounds simple enough, but imagine if you will, Lilliputians. Everywhere you look, Lilliputians. You move…they break…you fix…Lilliputians. That’s a little morbid. Let’s try this…

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At any moment your phone can ring. There can be an issue with the system. Users can’t access it. It’s throwing an error. A batch is held up. It isn’t working as expected. This call can come at 3 p.m. or 3 a.m. And you’re on this call until it is resolved. Five minutes, five hours, doesn’t matter.

Not surprisingly a large majority of these calls come at 1 a.m. It’s like the system KNOWS! “Sshhhh, she’s sleeping soundly. Looks like a great dream! Let’s break! She won’t mind…”

If you’re lucky, the issue takes 15 minutes to resolve. Then you’re off and running. You get your shower. You get your breakfast. You make it into the office. Life is good!

Once in the office you have to make it to your desk. No problem! Well….if you sneak in the back way you’re pretty safe. Walk through one of the departments though and WHAM! You’re caught!

It’s not a huge deal. They’re either going to catch you, or submit a ticket. Either way, you are going to work on their issue. Now, it can be a big deal if the system broke between leaving the house and reaching the office door. It happens. Dang gremlins in the system. They know! They plot, and plan. Evil little things!

You’ve made it to the office! Congratulations, your award is work!

It takes a few minutes to boot up your system, open all of your programs and glance at the never-ending stream of emails. Email is a trap! The oubliette of electronic communication. The place of forgetting.

You either forget to read your email. Read it and forget to reply. Forget to hit send on your reply. Forget what the email said…and read it twelve more times, or simply forget there was life before email. I forget to hit send on emails. I have wonderfully written, well phrased, magnificent novels still waiting on my desktop for me to hit send. It’s a curse. Plus send is so overrated these days. Telepathy, now I can get behind that thought!

So, we’ve made it into the office. We’ve booted our machines, and avoided our email. We’re now ready for the day….to end.

Tomorrow… we’ll talk coffee!

 

Totally Toileted!

Today’s conversation… Toilets. images

Specifically, how to shop for a new toilet.

No, this is not work related, but hey, when the boss asks…you answer. The conversation went something like this…

Boss-type-lady: “Has anyone done any bathroom remodeling? How do you shop for a toilet?”

First responses were: “Why? What happened?”, “Are you remodeling your bathroom?”, “Oh! Let’s go to Menard’s and go shopping!”

We’re not shop-a-holics, but you’ll find shopping is a recurring theme in many of our conversations.

It quickly went from fairly logical questions to: “Squat, we’ll measure from the ground to your butt.”, “I want one of those ones that squirts water at your butt, then dries it.”

Then it went off to heights and colors, and fixing your own, and tools, and tape, and…

Let me stop here and say….this is not the weirdest conversation we’ve had.

 

Tickets in the Thickets

Here is the thing about client requests, or tickets as we call them.

We like to see them come in. It is why we have a job after all. Not all client tickets are equal though. Some are easy. Five minutes, and done! Some are repetitive. Imagine watching the same sitcom episode, on repeat, on a regular basis. There are days it’s okay, almost comforting. Then there are days where being mauled by a bear would be preferable.

Still, you don’t mind the repetitive ones because hey, you know the answer! Copy and paste can be your friend. Not to mention it looks great on the stats, and makes you look brilliant. All winning situations.

Then there are the ‘what the hell is this?’ tickets. I’m partial to these personally. These tickets mean digging in. Throwing the headphones on. Getting lost in programs or queries. Resurfacing only when the coffee runs out. There is a sense of accomplishment in these tickets the others don’t provide.

Let’s not forget the ‘Pop Quiz’ tickets. These are tickets the client submits to test you. You know they know the answer. They know you know they know. Yet, they submit them anyway. These are not the repetitive ones. No, these are ones you see once, maybe twice, a year. The proverbial unicorn in the forest. A lesser man, or woman, would be lost in the thicket; survival questionable. We glide through them with grace and aplomb…usually.

Dante’s nine circles of hell are no match for this team of Analysts!

We might be stumped by a ticket with a single sentence in it though. Details people! Details! We can’t work a ticket when you don’t give us details. We’re Analysts, not mind readers. Although…there was this one time…

 

Wicked, Wicked Word Search!

 

It started like any other day.

We came.

We worked.

We listened to Dan-chan.

The earth shook, and insanity ensued.

Dan-chan had read an article encouraging Word Search’s to relieve stress. We applauded the brilliance…and any reason to avoid actual work. It really is the simple things…

We were happy to support Dan-chan. Anyway, what could go wrong when you have scientific proof!

Crosswords, Word Searches and Sudoku really do offer benefits. Keeping mentally active, mentally fit and mentally sane. They improve ones vocabulary. Taking them beyond the creative use of four letter words. They are surprisingly low-stress. Well, until you throw OCD riddled, analytical, creative people into the mix.

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Doing word searches, at work, has its challenges. One of the main ones…. keeping an eye out for the Boss-type-lady. Getting caught ‘goofing off’ by your boss…not top of the priority list. We thought it best to avoid any, “You should be working!” type conversations. Surprisingly, a trip to HR with your boss, and belongings, is an amazing motivator.

Now, we did, unfortunately, get caught but that is a story for a later date.

The largest, scariest problem with word searches. Well, ya… that is the inspiring precocity of this team. Our requirements for a valid word search puzzle:

  • You can’t do a word search where the list of “To Be Found” words are not in alphabetical order. It’s just wrong. A bit creepy, and throws our OCD into over-drive.
  • You cannot do a word search with only half the puzzle. This seems logical, but believe me logic has no place here. Again, the OCD kicks in. Paper becomes wadded projectiles. Four letter words fly like warped streaks of lightening.
  • Puzzles in lowercase letters are evil. Created by the devil while PMS’ing. They exist solely to drive a brave man, or woman, insane.
  • Uppercase letters on a puzzle win drinks all around. Unless… they contain commas in place of letters. Seriously, who does this to a word search?
  • Word Searches in foreign languages are doable. Only if they’re words we all know. Words used in everyday English. So, mostly English. Not slang English either, that would be a foreign language.
  • There is also the whole… all letters need to be consecutive. Meaning no significant gaps between one row of letters and the next. Who knew two rows of missing letters would be so distracting!? This, admittedly, is my ‘Oops’. In my defense. It looked good before it was printed.

I bet you’ll never look at a word search the same again!

Our goal….

One day….

To find the PERFECT Word Search!

Wish us luck!