long day, long day, too much shit, jello for brains, you know the drill.
i got up all kinds of early, dressed up (ick - who the hell ever thought nylons were a good idea?), and caught a cab in to work just to be on the safe side. despite showing up an hour early, i still didn't pull things together quite in time. there were a lot of things to take care of before heading out - problem reports, mail, setting up a mail forward and a voice mail forward... oh, and coffee. coffee is key today. i was a little too keyed up to get a proper night's sleep, so it was Insomnia 101 again.
driving out to Woo (which really isn't that bad, ken, you're right *g*), all i wanted to do was sleep or run thru the install details. instead, i ended up trying to listen to the guys in the front seat dissect our fellow co-irkers. this was tough for two reasons. 1) i was in the back seat, with the wind blowing. and i've fucked up my hearing working too many loud shows. and they're both very soft spoken. i had a hard time hearing them. 2) pot? kettle? not that i don't like them. it's just... we all have our quirks.
*sigh* okay. so we got to the site, and found parking. the building is amusing, from my perspective. it was built in the 50s, and looks like a drive in theatre. not the whole building, mind you, which is pretty hefty. the quasi roof thing coming out over the front doors, tho... swings out on the ends like fins on a Ford, and is trimmed with a tri-strip of aluminum. oh, lordy, i wish i'd brought the cam with me. okay - it looks like a cross between a drive in (the kind with bellhops on roller skates) and a drive in movie theatre. i mentioned that to someone later in the day, and he started laughing, because it made sense to him. and i'm glad it did, because i think i just butchered the description for you folks.
so the image i had of our customer contact after yesterday's phone call? pretty much dead on. i figured that our contact would be mid to late 50s, white, New England born and bred, tall, bad posture, sensible shoes, and a short sleeved white dress shirt. good lord almighty... who the heck wears short sleeved business shirts these days? frighteningly enough, i was right except for the fact that the shirt was striped.
he turned out to be nearly as taciturn in person as he was on the phone, right up until lunch time. [side note - had the complete White Trash lunch - salami and provolone on white bread with chips and a pickle. made me happy. of course, my coworkers had salads.] we had a chance to talk to him outside the business box, and managed to connect. he's an interesting person. and yes, he is NE born and bred. down Maine, in fact, which explains the exceedingly taciturn nature of the phone call. why use words that aren't needed? conserve, conserve...
the awkward part of the visit was this: they didn't have a separate place for us to work, or a spare ID. so we had to commandeer his office, his computer, and his logon for the day. ick.
the whole thing was like a phone booth stuffing contest. all four of us, in his office, with at least two of us trying to use the computer at any given time.
the thing that made me laugh all day - they have, for some reason, ticker tape displays mounted all around the office. and they show on them the error messages from jobs submitted to the mainframe. so, things like 'jmqprl: failed!!' were running across this ticker all day. hee hee...
okay. so it was good in the sense that i was reminded of what our customers go thru trying to install our product. and i got to play around in a new environment. it was a nice reminder, because i usually work in an environment that is so heavily tweaked that it's all custom tools. and i uncovered a few errors that i need to fix. all good.
but. but i hate the stress of trying to do my job in front of a live customer. you know, normally, when you see an error, you can yell 'crappity ass!' and run down the hall to ask questions. not so cool when the customer is watching you.
instead, you have to look at the output and say something suave, like 'we anticipate some errors in this instance, because the libraries may not be up to date and we need to accomodate those conditions', all in the Marketing Mode voice, and trying not to sweat while you search for the answer. bleargh.
got everything up and running finally, and it all worked on the first run. it was sooooo hard not to do the Happy Dance in front of the customer! i think it's not cool to do that, because it sort of gives them the idea that you thought it might not work. i did it anyway. :)
oddest moment: taking the escalator back from lunch. they have the Speed Escalator. you know how escalators have a certain standard speed, and you know how to time stepping off? didn't work there. nearly landed flat on my face, because their escalator was running double time. that would have been a pretty picture, no?
ended up going back into the office after all that to deal with more mail and more issues. stayed until much later than i meant to. and i was hungry. but there was no way i was going to cook, so i went to the Gs. big freakin' surprise. :)
there was a lot of stuff going on today. ChicaBeanie is feeling sick, i worked a 12 hour day, a friend of mine left me three or four messages and no return number, a friend of mine is in a very bad place, and my feet hurt. where's the house boy to rub your feet when you need him? [note: if you know where to find one, let me know.]
i was incredibly stressed out, and ChicaBeanie had suggested treating myself to something like an oil bath, or heating pad. i ended up getting a steak at the Gs. oh, yeah, baby... 6 ounce steak with fingerling potatoes and a grilled portabello mushroom... treat enough.
i also got a dose of humor. pablo took an order from someone, and asked 'are you feeling steady?' i laughed, because i could see what was coming. pablo made him a martini, filled to the brim. only surface tension was holding that drink together. and it wasn't even the guy's drink - it was for his friend. so he couldn't do the sippy bird thing. made me laugh a lot. and gold stars to him - he didn't spill it.
*deep sigh* okay. tomorrow has to be better, n'est pas?