Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Days of Unaccomplishment

Today was a muddle at work. It was one of those days where you go into work with a mental list of things you plan to accomplish and as soon as you settle in for the day, you realize that it's not going to be that kind of day.

I ended up getting little bits of everything done but no overall progress, if that makes any sense at all. By the time I left this evening, I felt like I hadn't done much but the day went so fast, I must have done something.

Of course, part of my day was spent watching 'practice' presentations from those who are going to be presenting at our conference next week. One of them was good, one of them was awful. I might be a little bias because the awful one was for the software that I've always presented in the past and feel like it's my jurisdiction. Our staff member who is going to present it is one of the few people in our company I really don't like mostly because he's horribly arrogant and condescending. Case in point: Last time I had to do a co-presentation for one of our awful staff in-services, he made a point of asking my co-presenter and me questions and then, as I started to answer, he'd completely ignore me and direct the question at my boss.

Anyway, his presentation today was definitely a little...bad. It was clear that he was winging it instead of actually having prepared and, as is his habit, if he noticed something he didn't like, he didn't accept it as part of the software the developers have spent so long building and I've spent so many hours documenting and testing. Instead, he demands that changes be made because he doesn't like it and it's not the same as the old version.

That's my biggest problem with him, I think. He's been working with the software for a very long time and he's used to the old version. We've built a new version and even though I think it's good to improve things, he's such a stick-in-the-mud, creature of habit that he doesn't stop and see if he likes the change. Instead, he says, "it's not the same. We need to fix it."

He does that a lot. I tried to watch his presentation through unjaded eyes but, alas, I failed. It also doesn't help that he thinks he's a good presenter and he's actually extremely boring and he mumbles. I ended up planning my dinner (salad, sausages on the grill, corn on the cob and mushrooms) and coming up with new ideas for my novel. It was actually quite a productive session.

We have more practice presentations to sit through tomorrow. I'd like to say it'll be a nice diversion but at the moment, I've actually got a project to work on that makes me happy and I would rather spend the time working on it. I get to learn all about ethical hacking and try to find ways to break our software. I think I already accidentally did last week when I was dabbling with some of the techniques I was reading about. Oops.

Still, the day did go fast and when I came home to the puppies, it didn't seem so long since I'd seen them since lunch whereas some days it seems like forever. I decided to spend the evening making up for my lack of accomplishment at work so I cut down the pampas grass that's been growing steadily taller and more unruly as the days pass. I ended up hacking it down completely. I'm not a fan of it and it makes my garden look messy. I'd like to dig it up and plant a tree and shrubs there.

It took a while but the grass is no more. I'm a wee bit worried about how the neighbours will take it- it seems to be the way they identify where I live: "You're the one with that tall grass plant in your yard." Now I have no tall grass plant. Also, the lady across the road was super good friends with the former owner of my house and she was the one who gave her the grass to plant in the first place. I'm not a huge fan of this neighbour anyway. At first, she seemed nice but I've realized she's not terribly impressed by me. After the first time I met her and she insisted on showing me around her immaculate garden and then insisting she saw what I'd done with mine last year, I think I disappointed her. At the time she came over, I'd only been living here a couple of months and though I'd started on the garden, it wasn't exactly my top priority. I didn't see her again after that until just after I got Sookie and Rory. She's the only person who has met them that didn't say, 'aw, how cute.'

In fact, I could see the disapproval in her eyes as she said, "they're going to tear up your yard." Last time I saw her, she said to me, 'if you need help with that tall grass in your front yard, let me know." If it had been anyone else, I would have been pleased at the offer. However, I know it was her way of saying, "your grass is tall and ugly and you need to fix it." I know this because she's what I call a 'jellyfish' who slams you when you're least expecting it. I noticed that when I first got to know her.

Thus, I managed to do something with the tall grass. I probably should just have trimmed it as she'd thought I would but, nope, I decided that this is my house and there's no point in keeping something the neighbour gave the former owner just because I'd feel bad. I won't mind if a little of it grows back but it was just out of control.

So, I did manage to accomplish something today which feels better. I'm hoping tomorrow at work will be a more productive day but I have a feeling that as the conference draws ever closer, things are going to get even more frantic and even those of us not attending will be expected to drop everything to assist.

But, in the end, it means next week should be super quiet at work since over half our staff will be gone. I intend to make the most of that time. I might even get to be productive.

Happy Wednesday and thanks for reading!

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