atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#6436: It won't always go perfectly

After 26 successful booster recoveries, #27 went awry. Looks like one of the grid fins jammed, and that made the booster spin uncontrollably; so instead of landing where it was supposed to, it landed in water.

The interesting thing is, it landed as if it were landing on a landing pad--so it basically settled onto the water, then fell over. This means it's likely that they'll recover it mostly intact, if not entirely so, and can determine what caused the failure.

Which, not to put too fine a point on it, makes it that much less likely to recur, because they can adjust the design to make this kind of failure less likely.

Even their failures are impressive.

* * *

Illinois is so boned it's not even remotely humorous. Not just the pension time bomb, but health benefits for retired state employees have gone underfunded for too long.

* * *

I'm in a pretty bad mood today. Today was a craptastic day.

As expected, I'm going to have to work on the holiday, but--also as expected--I'll be working from home. I am told that call volume on Christmas Day is vanishingly small. Christmas Eve is more like a typical day, I am told, but not as busy. Then on the 26th I'll be working from home, as well, which will be a regular day with regular call volume. So, the first three days of that week, no getting up at 5 AM--just work my regular (training) hours, and from the comfort of my desk here at home.

I'm going to need to make a space on my desk for the laptop and a spare monitor, but that shouldn't be too hard. Connecting via WiFi is verboten, so there has to be a cable connecting my laptop with the Internet. That means sitting in the computer room--but that's fine, because then I can also have my main machine going and--between calls--do as I please.

As a bonus the headset is wireless, so one of the first things I'll do will be to check the range on the thing. I'd bet money I could sit in the family room with it on one ear and watch TV with my wife, and then get up and go to the computer when (if) the phone rings.

Learning about the Christmas schedule wasn't why today was craptastic. That was a bright spot. Not only do I get to be home on Christmas, but I get paid for it, and can enjoy my holiday around calls; and when work is done there isn't a two-hour drive before I'm home! I've always loved Christmas Eve the most, and I don't mind working until usual quitting time on that day since I won't be making that drive.

And I can sleep a couple extra hours to boot. No, that's great news, and I'm happy.

No, this is all about the "state of the company" meeting that was held today.

Days ago--last week, I think, or Monday at the latest--I got a "schedule reminder" thing in Outlook telling me that there was a required company-wide meeting on Wednesday the 5th. I dutifully said I'd attend, and forgot all about it until 9 AM rolled around today and the reminder popped up on my screen.

I was taking calls--I had several in a row, bam bam bam--and as I was working on the last one my supervisor was kind of hovering around behind me, the way call center supervisors do when you're supposed to be somewhere but your call is running long. He disappeared after I made it obvious that I was wrapping things up; and once it was done I went into "training" (thinking it was a training session for the big new client starting tomorrow) and grabbed my laptop and headed for the conference room. One of the supervisors told me I didn't need it, though, so I put it back, then went into the conference room and sat down.

This was when I realized it was the "state of the company" meeting, not training--but the three guys who started this past Monday were in the meeting, and they're phone grunts like me, so I figured this was part of the induction process or something.

Problem is, I did not sleep well last night, and after the first half-hour I was fighting sleep. I'm in a conference room, in a comfortable chair, the lights are off, and people are droning about P&L this and BTIC and EIEIO, and I got googly-eyed. I actually dozed off a couple of times, for a few seconds. It was not for lack of trying to remain awake, but when you're that tired sleep will get you. And being in a meeting, I couldn't do what I do in the Jeep to stay awake when the googly-eyes hit me while driving home, which is to slap myself across the face or turn on loud music and sing along with it or open the window and let the cold air in.

So: after the meeting, my sup came over to my desk, wanting to check a couple things. Was I getting the "team chat" messages? Yes, I was. See, one of the team leads sent out a message on the chat app telling reps they didn't need to attend. Not in one of the regular channels, mind you, but as a "team chat" message. This message went out when I was in the middle of handling a call, so I didn't see it before the meeting. I didn't even know one had been sent. When I clicked on the "recent activity" thing, there was the announcement, which he explained to me.

Spiffy. The fact that he came over to me and verified that I'd seen the message meant that management was unhappy about me being in the meeting instead of on the phones. They were already unhappy about that, and then for me to doze off in the middle of the damned thing--

So I got taken to the little room so my supervisor could "discuss" it with me, of course, and that pretty much ruined my fucking day entirely.

The thing that really pisses me off about it is the complete lack of communication. The email invite went out days ago, and all that the management had to do was to send an email in its wake to the call center saying, "Hey, only team leads and managers need attend!" I would have been fine with that; I had no real desire to attend the meeting because I knew it would be boring crap, but the invite said "required". And the new guys were all in it! What would you think? I think you'd think what I thought.

You know, sending an actual email to everyone, days before the meeting--instead of a chat message in a nonstandard channel minutes before--that would have ensured that people got the message, you know? It's called communication!

That's what I'm angry about. I'm not angry about the talking-to; I did fall asleep. I'm just angry about being put in the situation because the higher-ups couldn't be fucked to send an email about it and make sure everyone knew what the scoop was.

The one saving grace is that I did actually get trained on the new client this afternoon. Supporting them requires a bewildering maze of applications and web sites, of course, and total training for this was an hour and a half of a team lead showing us (me and one other guy) the applications we'll be using. I can only hope it's not as complicated as it looks.


* * *

AMD's 3600G intrigues me. Eight cores plus twenty GPU cores, base clock speed of 3.2 GHz, and it's going to be $200.

In general I am still skeptical of CPUs that include graphics cores, but at the same time it's also true that the memory bus is a great deal faster than the PCI bus is, and putting the graphics chips on the same IC as the processor means very fast crossloading from CPU to GPU. Certainly this means that one could build a system without a dedicated video card which would nonetheless display video as well as one with a video card would.

Let's face it: such a system would not perform as well as one with a GtX-2070, but it would not be a slouch in the graphics department, either.

* * *

Off to kill some monsters in Azeroth for the fifteen minutes I have before bedtime.
Tags: #27

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