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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Time of Tides..

Why are not things ever easy? Well if you have a short low tide it is survivable, but I have been on the low end for about 1.5 months for now and it seems I haven't reached the bottom yet...

This year started with moving - that means our IT has been split apart - as in 2 - as in our part has been moved out to a separate location. Ok, this in theory does not mean much - IT can work anywhere right? Well that is the theory at least. In practice it the picture is not that bright. When we all were in one place (an I mean the other half of the IT and business side) everything was one big happy family. Sure we had our little fights like in all big families, but we held together when things became tough. Now... I feel like a reject - separated. Before the split - when someone had a problem, they came and talked about a problem or asked for an advice or recommendations. Now - they just call and ask how long it would take to fix a problem, or what to do. There is no more personal touch - on phone its just business and no personal touch. So in long term we start to separate from the rest. Sure, the work will go on and in theory nothing is changed as all the servers and test systems migrated with me, but it lacks the personal touch of talking to a person face to face. Problems that usually were fixable in 10 minutes take longer as the outcome is not that important as the result wont be personal (if there will be any result at all). When you don't have the possibility that someone will come to your cubicle and tell you that "Nice job, well, done.", or "WTF did you do - nothing works now" the priority of the work becomes lower and lower and the distance you take from the people becomes greater and greater. This means that at some point in time the work becomes minuscule - without the rewards that come with direct communication. This will create the feeling of separation and it will create a closed commune of people who take the jobs and problems of the people with who you have direct contact to the highest priority as for the jobs that should be done are far away and therefore seem minuscule.

This is really different from remote working as you have close coworkers next to you instead sitting alone at home. When you work remotely you have a feeling of being one of the people in the group but being physically alone you enjoy the feeling of working together with other people - you feel important. The key to success is being alone. But enough of this. I have around 40% of my test setup set up in my new environment and the percentage should come up as time progresses.

My department ( 6 people -1) was given our own room and allowed to redesign it as we saw fit (with limitations of course - we could use the predefined furniture and cabinets that were available). The design came out pretty well. The first impressions when the furniture was moved in were horrific. Everything was gray - the desk, the cabinets - just about everything was gray. Its like moving from 32bit color world to a 4 color gray world - it isn't pretty!!! But at the end our tables were colored green and it changed to look from the gray world to a pretty tolerable environment. Nice job Ants :)

The -1 is there because we lost one of our colleagues as of Monday. Best wishes to you Risto and hope the grass is greener in you new company.

This was just the beginning tho - the problems did not end there. In our room the ventilation does not work! This may not be a big problem with 6 people in the room, but when you add around 20..30 PC-s to that equation, you get a HOT environment. As the air is not moving fast enough, it creates pretty oppressive environment to work in. I as a smoker can go out and get some fresh air and can cool down while smoking, as to the nonsmokers have to sit and cook in that environment. The good news is that windows can be opened to vent the room, but the bad news is that under each window that opens, there is a person sitting under. So this makes a big problem when we have a windy weather as we can't open windows much. And guess what - I'm sitting next to the window, so I'm constantly getting cold air blowing to my back - not good.

11-12.02.08 I was in Sweden consulting and testing on a project I'm a member of. Everything is going steadily toward the deadline but not as fast as I expected. The people are nice and the transportation is fast. Well... except for Arlando Express (the express train that runs from Stockholm to Arlando airport. The normal time is 20 min guaranteed travel tine for each way. This was not the case on Tuesday tho. It took 60 minutes to travel from T-Centralen to Arlando - if we had got on the next Arlando Express we would not have made to our flight. And I managed to get a cold. Lets say that currently I'm not happy about the trip, but when I get well I guess I feel better about getting out of the normal work routine...

Thursday the 13 - it isn't Friday the 13 but just the 13. when going out for a smoke I saw that our new chairs are coming. After coming up I asked around on how the chairs will be distributed, as there were few chairs that were pretty nice (with neck support and all) and I received a response of first come first serve. So I and Priit went and got the last 2 of the fancy chairs sitting in the hallway. My joy of having a new and good chair was short. In the middle of lifting the chair to its final position something snapped in my spine (again) and the pain was pretty bad. Oh well this is not the end of the world as I have had problems lifting heavy things for the past 10 years - at least I got my new good chair in place! After about 15 minutes Ants came running in really agitated about someone taking the managers chairs! Well guess what - those 2 chairs were get were those. After some agitated discussion Priit gave up his chair. Also mine was taken, but it seemed that none of the managers were missing their chairs so for now I'm sitting in it. Waiting for the poor manager to show up and claim my chair. It feels like having an axe hanging on your head - just waiting it to fall down...

The worst about the chair thing is what Ants said in a heat of a moment. The line when ordering the chairs was drawn between manager and the regular workers. THIS IS THE ONE THING YOU NEVER SAY TO YOUR EMPLOYEE AND EXPECT HEM TO WORK. When reading between the lines the regular workers are scum that can sit on a cardboard box on whatever conditions without any care about worker health or safety. I know that Ants is under heavy pressure about the moving process and most things are forgivable, but this is where I draw my line. When under pressure take it like a man not blow up on people you expect to work in the future. So in tomorrows agenda I have a plan to print out 8 copies of leaving application. 2 for each level of management. My limit is getting pretty full on the crap I can take and at one point I will break. At least when I get to that point I can just take the application and start the process right up. No time to cool down just go with it - this removes the obstacle that someone can talk me around to work some more time until I reach the point again.

this turned out to be a biaching entry, but life is never easy...

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