Thursday, February 23, 2006

Impending Office Fire

Primary Goal: To complete the design and write the program for a piece of industrial equipment.
Estimated time required for completion: 6-8 hours.

7:30 Arrive. Dreaded voicemail LED is blinking on the bitchbox phone. Voicemail is from coworker asking for something silly. Invoke TFG's Law of Obligatory Duplicity, which states: If you want something stupid from me, you need to ask twice. Delete message. Turn on PC.

7:30-7:45 Read and respond to various e-mails. Check header of e-mail with naked girl in it for the governor's e-mail address. Note that the governor is apparently the only MD government employee who didn't receive and forward it.

7:45-7:50 Work on Primary Goal.(+0:15)

7:50-7:55 Phone rings. It's a salesman calling to tell me that he sent me e-mail. The guy is a known douche, so I ask him to send me an e-mail telling me that he called. In douchelike fashion, he laughs and says he'll call back later.

7:55-8:15 Work on Primary Goal. (+0:35)

8:15-9:30 Shop worker comes to office and tells me they are having a problem with something they are building. I explain that it isn't my project. He explains that the engineer who programmed it is out and it has to ship today. I spend 60 minutes tracing through the code to find out that it is was a wiring mistake by the shop employee. Ask him if he knows any other tricks besides how to wire with his head in his ass.

9:30-10:00
Work on Primary Goal.(+1:05)

10:00-12:25 Meeting. Of the 20 attendees invited, only 4 have anything to do with the subject of the meeting. The rest show up to screw off. The screw-offs manage to turn a 45 minute presentation into a 2.5 hour babblefest with irrelevant questions about subjects that they will never have to concern themselves with. Presenter announces that there will be another meeting in the afternoon. Made mental note to miss it.

12:25-1:15 Lunch at desk. I have a well known pet peeve about people bugging me when I eat. Nevertheless, 3 people stop in to talk. One just wanted to know what I was eating. Fantasize about hanging a sign in my office that says, "If you have nothing to do, please do it elsewhere."

1:15-1:40
Work on Primary Goal.(+1:30)

1:40 Secretary calls and says that the second meeting has started and my attendance is requested. Mentally repeat, "Don't kill the messenger," as I tell her I'll be there shortly. Grab a pack of Smarties from receptionist's candy jar and go to meeting.

1:45-3:30 Different time, same meeting. Observe that some of my coworkers are addicted to the sound of their own voices. Also, observe that people making much more money than I, have much less to do. Sort Smarties by color and conduct taste tests. Conclude that all Smarties are the same flavor, regardless of color. Leave meeting, get more Smarties, return to meeting, and have coworker verify results.

3:30-3:45
Work on Primary Goal.(+1:45)

3:45-4:30 Parade of coworkers into my office begins. They all want to talk about the meeting and other silliness. Visions of working on Saturday start entering my consciousness. Leave in disgust.

In the 9 hours I was at work, less than 20% of it was spent on the Primary Goal. Tomorrow, will be the same, only with different interruptions. If I were to miss the deadline for the Primary Goal (which I won't because of unpaid OT), nobody will be interested in hearing about how they wasted my time. In fact, they probably wouldn't even believe it, except that I keep a timesheet for myself. I'm starting to realize that my biggest obstacle to productivity is coming to work.

14 Comments:

At 12:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i thought the real primary goal was to get paid without having to think. in that regard you are doing admirably. you got paid for a day in which 80% was spent sitting around hearing people yak or eating smarties. hoo-yeah!

i once managed to not show up at work for a month because i said i had an infectious disease.

 
At 5:45 AM, Blogger tfg said...

You're one of my coworkers, right?

The real, real primary goal is not to work on Saturday for free.

 
At 9:12 AM, Blogger elcapitanhink said...

Wow, your job sounds like my old job -- with wires instead of routers and assclowns instead of asshats. The beauty of my future job is I get to do it in shorts and sandals for 75% of the year.

I suppose my original hypothesis holds, but your data will be added to the file. As far as my further research into a general theory -- to wit, ascorbic steganography, well -- someone must've dosed me that day.

Ever forward. Perhaps the Target corporation will unwittingly extend my research grant. Again.

 
At 9:27 AM, Blogger Stephaine said...

Ahh, I'm going to have to go ahead and ask you to come in on Saturday, okay.

 
At 10:33 AM, Blogger AnonymousCoworker said...

I love my job. Imagine everything you described, but instead of me working on the primary goal, I'm working on finding the end of the internet.

 
At 11:54 AM, Blogger tfg said...

I did further research, which exhausted the corporate supply of Smarties. A third coworker claims that the different colors do taste different. I'm thinking that all of the White-out that I sniff might have damaged my sense of taste.

 
At 2:52 PM, Blogger Arctic Skipper said...

Actually, I've done extensive research on the ingestion of White-out, (research mainly done in 'sales meetings') and I've discovered that if you eat enough White-out, it will, in fact, kill the tastebuds required to differentiate between the taste of different colors of Smarties.

It also brings on an uncontrollable urge to work - for free - on Saturdays. Sorry. :(

 
At 2:54 PM, Blogger Arctic Skipper said...

Ummm, yeah, I screwed that one up. I meant to say 'inhilation' instead of 'ingestion.'

That's what I get for trying to be a smart ass . . .

 
At 4:33 PM, Blogger tfg said...

I'll take smartasses over dumbasses all day long.

 
At 1:41 PM, Blogger Ticket 4 Two said...

Sounds like you should become a flight attendant. Haha. Am back. Happy to see your surviving corporate America ;)

 
At 5:18 PM, Blogger Cham said...

Here is how my Thursday went:

6:3Oam Wake up and get ready for a day of meetings. Play $0.50 of slots and head north on the boulevarde.

7AM Breakfast - Talk to business competitor who is trying to recruit me.

7:30AM Have spirited discussion about the wonders of PLM, PDM,cPLM and TDM with business competitors.

8AM Attend critical important meeting about PLM as it affects PDM.

8:15AM Begin to nod off.

8:30AM Make sure channel manager sees me and knows I am attending important meeting.

8:45AM Call boss, tell him I am enjoying meeting and making a lot of important business friends.

9:00AM Feign important cell phone call where important client needs my attention

9:05AM Find way out of hotel

9:10AM Get baggag

9:15AM Change clothes and head towards Bryce Canyon National Park 8 hours ahead of schedule.

 
At 6:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

here you go tfg, this just came out:

"Scientific study finds meetings at work decrease employee well-being, but not for everyone"
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-02/uonc-ssf022406.php

"The study finds that people who are high in accomplishment striving are predictably and negatively impacted by meetings, particularly when they are frequent."

It also finds that some assclowns get a sense of accomplishment from meetings which is why they get perpetuated.

Sound familiar?

 
At 12:40 PM, Blogger TheIdleReceptionist said...

What assbags.

And, for receptionists everywhere, my heartiest thanks for not shooting the messenger.

P.S. Smarties rawk. But the white ones are the bestest.

 
At 4:15 PM, Blogger Broadsheet said...

You should have posted this on Groundhog Day. Same day, different interruptions.

 

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