Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Joy of Googling....

Today, it is foggy, rainy and the greyest day we've had in a while. We had rain last night and this morning, the weather can't seem to decide if it wants to rain or it just wants to lurk and threaten. On the way to work, I went through foggy patches so thick that all I could see was the damp road and the lights of the car ahead and behind me. Then I'd go through a rainy patch and the fog would vanish, replaced by pounding raindrops that lastest about a minute.

It's another one of those days where the idea of getting out of bed seems almost offensive. The urge to hibernate and burrow down into the blanket kicks in and I feel that perhaps Sausage and I are more alike than I'd like to admit. I think if I had someone at home who tried to stir me from my bed besides myself, I might even take to growling at them on days like this. I like my cocoon of blankets wrapped around me as the greyest sliver of dawn peeks in the window and proves that it's not going to come to fruition much more than it already is.

Still, since it's a bit silly to growl at myself, I did manage to rouse myself and get up. So I drove through the miserable weather and came into the office. Because that's what I do. Things here aren't so bad lately. The scent of change has injected a little energy into the place and everyone seems to be a little more excited. Next week, as a work at home week, is going to be nice and relaxing and, sadly, more productive than my days in the office, I'm sure. I get so much more done in the privacy of my home because it's comfy. Then, we'll be in a new place and I know everyone can't wait to see how that goes.

And you might be happy to know the benefits enrollment meeting was relatively painless yesterday. After I wrote about the doughnuts yesterday, it did occur to me that it's a bit of an ironic sort of food to bring to a health benefits enrollment meeting, isn't it? Still, everyone was excited about the doughnuts. Since they actually had selected one lone doughnut that happens to be my favourite and the only type I really like, I did partake in the doughnut ritual but I waited until I got to my desk. My favourite doughnut is the elusive jam doughnut with real sugar, not that powdered crap. Too often, you tell people you like jam doughnuts and they bring you one. Except it's rarely a jam doughnut. It's usually one covered with powdered sugar and filled with pie filling. I hate pie filling in my doughnuts. It's an imposter. Jam doughnuts must have seeds in the filling. Otherwise, it is either a jelly doughnut or a pie filling doughnut. Also, I take offense to the fact that it's called pie filling and it's in a doughnut.

By the way, just in case you're wondering, the difference between jam and jelly is that jam is usually made from whole fruit, usually one single type of fruit and includes all part of the fruit such as seeds and peel as well as the fruit. Jelly, on the other hand, is usually made from a blend of fruits and uses juice as well as the fruit. It does not contain seeds. I googled it yesterday because my coworkers couldn't figure out what the difference was.

That's something my two coworkers and I do fairly often: We google things. For example, last week, my coworker had a bag of gummi neon worms. She read the ingredients off and they included all kinds of colours like Blue #3 and Yellow #5 so I asked what the difference was between Blue #3 and, say, Blue #4. It turns out that those colours are rather scientific. For example, one of the yellows is the same one used in Mountain Dew. It apparently has an effect on a male's, uh, ability to perform. So, ladies, if your man drinks a lot of Mountain Dew, watch out.

Of course, our information did come from Wikipeda. As much as I adore the resource because it provides instant gratification to a research junkie like me, I'm also smart enough to know that it's not always accurate. That's what you get for allowing the public to edit entries. I think overall, it's a great resource but occasionally, people tend to get a bit wacked out on there especially when it involves trying to out-fact each other. So maybe the Mountain Dew thing should be taken with a grain of salt.

I'm going to miss our 'google' sessions. Since our little team of three is being divided in the new space, they'll be less opportunity to be silly. One of my coworkers gets an office; myself and another coworker is being relegated to a cube farm with the other development staff.

I'd rather have an office, obviously. However, I've resigned myself to the idea of being in a 'bullpen' with the other programmers. It's going to be quiet because they're not chatters. On the plus side, this means my overly chatty coworker will have to tone it down a little. On the negative side, it means that there will be far less opportunity to have our morning water cooler discussions about the TV shows we've watched the night before. Also, my coworker tends to have friends in other departments who will have offices so I foresee her pulling even more disappearing acts than she does not. For the most part, to be fair, she does talk about work because, unlike me, she's actually scarily passionate about the software she work with. I've tried that but it's awfully hard to get excited about testing for bugs with my product because I just don't love it. However, the problem with her disappearing acts is she does them frequently and conveniently at times when she's supposed to be working with me on a joint product we share.

No, my only problem with my cubicle is privacy. I'm rather picky about where my monitor is stationed. For example, in my last job, I marked a line on the floor as to where the display of my monitor became visible to visitors.

Yes, I'm a control-freak but that's been established.

It's not even that it's because I do anything really bad on my computer. It's just that there are times when the tedium of work becomes too much and I simply need to take a Wikipedia break. I usually find some random thing to look up and learn about it for the day. Or, sometimes, I want to read a recap of a TV show. Sometimes, I need to look up the price of something. You get the idea. It's just that, at these moments, it's Murphy's Law that you'll get caught, even if you spend 98% of the day working and only 2% slacking off. It's the 2% that gets you.

So, I like to hide my monitor. I like to be the only one who knows what's on it unless I grant permission. To me, anyway, a computer is a personal thing, even if it belongs to the office. I spend so much time on a computer at work and then in the evenings when I write that they become extensions of me. They show what I'm fascinated with at the time from my search history. For the record, I'm a sad rebel: I don't look at bad stuff at work so there's no porn to be found unless, say, it's an accident like when I'm shopping for a doll for my mother since she collects them. Do you know how many porn sites use doll in the title? And they're not always labeled as porn. Usually, if I accidentally click on a bad site, I go beet red and immediately try to iradicate my browser history. I know it's still accessible if you know how to get to it but it makes me feel better.

But I don't do that much non-work surfing in the office. It's just that I like to be able to do it when I have the urge. I like the freedom of being able to take mini-breaks to chase away the ennui of working too hard. Thus, my Monitor Control Methods.

I'm desperately hoping I can control where my monitor is. The idea of having my monitor face outwards so that my back is towards all my cubicle visitors fills me with dread. Besides, I've seen the Godfather movies: I know how dangerous it is to have your back exposed to the world.

Ok, so maybe no mafia members are going to be stealing into our building to shoot me in the back but in my imagination, they could and so I try not to expose my back unless I have no choice.

Also, I'm, uh, jumpy. Thus, if I'm engrossed in my work and someone comes up behind me without my knowing, I tend to overreact by jumping ten feet in my chair and squealing a little. Since I'm going to be sharing office space with about ten other people, all of us in our cubicles, I'm thinking squealing is going to be a little disruptive. Thus, I'm thinking I can't be the only one who's jumpy. Thus, some freedom in our workspace has to be granted...right?

The only thing I can do is find out. It's too bad I can't google it.

Happy Wednesday...

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