Posts Tagged ‘fast’

Some Magic Morning

17 November 2011

Dear J-

There’s a funny thing about work: when your’e transitioning and the new job seems so far away there’ll be a day you realize that the time you have left isn’t as much as you thought. Even if it seems a bit excessive to have me wait around for four months instead of the typical two weeks I’ve always regarded December as some far-off, mythical date that isn’t going to be here any time soon. With the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow, though, we’ve got just a few weeks left together, the warehouse and I, and there’s any number of things that I haven’t been able to take care of so far that I’ll have to turn over.

I think I just went over my limit on the corporate jargon-o-meter. I’m down to — let’s see — three weeks and today. Each day becomes an ever-increasing percentage of the time left; this week alone has eaten up a good twenty-five percent. I’ll call it a relative dilation of time: as the actual day approaches each individual day seems to creep by faster and faster in some kind of blur. I know that no one has sped up the clock but I also know that there’s been whole days lately where I’ll sit down and eventually find myself by 11:30 wondering. What I’ve done that day. Lunch has been inconsistent too, ranging anywhere from I’m-hungry to what-day-is-it.

When I was younger I used to decry not having seen the sun in Cheney at all: during debate season there was always the tournament at Gonzaga in January where we’d have to get up early enough and return so late that it felt like we were thieves stealing out to do business by the cover of night. The time change always does this to me: instead of delaying the onset of morning but ensuring enough light to bring us home as during Daylight Savings adjusted hours we’re starting to hit the dark-dark zone. I have to keep reminding myself that even that’s not forever, and a month from now is when the solstice hits and we’ll start gettting longer days again. Changes creep up fast on you and before you know it you’re back to something new.

Mike

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Go Pedal

18 October 2010

Dear J-

There are the big things: that the boy due at the end of November is healthy if not quite as crazy as figgy, that the test goes off well, that work settles into a nice groove over the next few weeks. And there are the small things too, a little time here and there to study, eking out a few more miles from the tank of gas that’s miraculously lasted me the past two weeks, getting up on time in time to ride my bike instead of rushing through the morning all the way to work.

I suppose that a bit of happiness falls into both camps. It never seems like much to hope for until you’re there waiting for another few minutes; the tumultuous rush sometimes means the details get trampled, and there’s no time to set aside for your sanity. From the moment the alarm clock announces on your marks ready steady go to the second your eyes close for the night it’s pedal down, wind the clock to the right the faster you need to go go go. Life is madness in this world threaded through freeways and express lanes; you need a moment to catch your breath.

Mike

Fast Times

1 May 2010

Dear J-

At times I veer wildly into excess; after watching The King & I, for instance, I went and got a giant box set of the Rodgers and Hammerstein oevure, none of which I’ve watched since (Oklahoma! is waiting for me, as is Flower Drum Song). And as figgy sings little snatches of songs from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (“Toot Sweets” always gets an echo), I’m eyeing the Sherman Brothers next. As it turns out, they’re also responsible for Mary Poppins and, more significantly for me, Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

B&B is one of those movies I used to watch all the time as a kid, but somehow none of it sank in; because we used to tune into the Disney presentation Sunday nights on ABC, which they saved for their B-list (Earth Star Voyager, anyone?), We tended to watch the same films over and over. I remember the climax with empty suits of armor marching through the fields, but how or why they got there, I’m not sure. And yet that’s the way that most movies were for me those days: scenes like hurried phrases, like chorus lines without context.

It’s hard to know what’s going to sink in over the next few years; I am amazed by what she parrots back at times (we picked up a book in the store — Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? — because she recited the whole story to us; I suspect that she had been exposed to it at school). We’re privileged enough to watch it happen, though, and it’s been a blast so far.

Mike

Busy Bees

23 July 2008

Dear J-

One thing I will say in favor of being busy and, in manager-speak, “engaged:”  it does make the day go a whole lot faster than before.  We’ve reached the point where the folks who couldn’t or wouldn’t do work are refusing to learn the new systems and, as a result, this may be the brush fire that clears out the tangled old growth.  Yet it’s a fire nonetheless, and I keep seeing things slip further and further behind as I sit at my desk — now I understand the appeal of different schedules, as getting five uninterrupted minutes lately has been incredibly difficult.

There’s a lot to admire in the new system, but perhaps the most admirable thing has been the sales job they’ve done.  Yes, the framework is quite extensible and customizeable to accomodate custom sorts, searches, and views, but at the same time, what could be a selling point also comes with a warning:  don’t customize too much, or else we can’t guarantee that we can support it for you, or that your customizations are limited to you and you alone — you may end up building forms for everyone, here.  Thus not only have they sold us a system that takes more work (“Hey, you don’t want to buy pre-made clothes; bolts of cloth are much more flexible — you can make your own patterns!”), they’ve discouraged us from doing that work (“Well, technically you could make your own clothes, but we recommend these patterns — which we happen to sell — so that you don’t look too funny.”)  Amazing that no one’s noticed this emperor is lacking, sartorially speaking.

The upshot is this:  despite all the lies and manager double-speak (“We’re going to have to accept change”) the new system is here to stay.  We can wish for the old system, we can hope that the new system will get better (for me, it’s unacceptable to close a trouble ticket by repeating the problem statement back to me:  I already know what that is; at least tell me what actions you’re taking to ameliorate the problem), but meanwhile, we’ve still got to live with it.  Live easy, or die hard, is that right?

Mike