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back to work

November 14th, 2006 at 04:32 am

walked with mom for 30 min

My vacation is over, so back to work. I only had 257 emails which is really good for a week. Most of them could just be deleted. Only 2 were really important. One was to enroll in benefits for next year. The long-term disability insurance went down from 75% of pay to 2/3 of pay and the price went up. Bummer.

The second important email was assignments for the next release. I looked at this and then called my boss since he added 3 things to my assignments from what we had discussed. I'm already overbooked as usual. One of the other people we only assigned 1 days worth of work to. When I pointed that out to him, he wasn't going to add anything else, just wait and see how she did. That is so ridiculous. The release is 7 weeks long. She can't do any of my stuff so I can't pass anything off, but give me a break, she could do something. I gave him some ideas for her and I guess he plans to give her something else to do. Several people are way under-tasked in my opinion.

I would be worried about keeping my job if the boss didn't trust me to give me more than 1 day's worth of work. Definitly shows you need to improve.

Finished reading the library book Dark Celebration by Christine Feehan. Romance. Very good.

Who did I piss off?

October 28th, 2006 at 03:30 am

Since I came back to work after my vacation two weeks ago I have been struggling with my computer. I had to install some new encryption software as part of the company mandate.

I tried to do it from the office the first day, but got an error, so logged a ticket with the help desk. For 3 days they tried to get it fixed from home but no go. So I went back to work last Friday and they determined I had a bad hard-drive. So I opened a ticket to get a new hard-drive. Went back in this Tuesday to get the new hard-drive put in and all my files transferred. Got the computer back at end of day and worked that evening on my actual job.

Next day came back to get encryption software added to computer. Installed and ran the software. Went home. That night huge blizzard. 2 ft of snow. 3 - 5 foot drifts. Can't get in to computer, it says i have a disk failure, blah, blah, blah. Call the tech support guy, also working from home and he can't undo the installation because of a glitch and while speaking to him, his electricity goes out. We agree as soon as I get dug out I will go into the office on Friday.

Go in today at noon - took that long for the maintenance people to plow out my driveway. He uninstalls the encryption software and we start the computer back up and get blue screen of death and second hard-drive is also bad. Frown

They steal a hard-drive out of someone else's machine and copy my same stuff over from Tuesday. Run disk check and is good. Start computer and get blue screen of death and missing a .dll file. So they take computer to run repair disk on.

In the meantime, I'm obviously not getting much testing done, but I only have one more test case that needs to get done by end of day. My second vacation starts next Monday. My boss calls and asks me if I don't have any hard plans if I can work some of my vacation days next week. I expected it, but it stills feel like a betrayal after all the work I've done. They want me to help someone else and do their testing, it's not even my testing.

I told her I preferred to take an entire week of vacation since it takes me several days to relax and get work out of my head. So I offerred to work next week and take off the following week.

So I have to go back into the office on Monday to get my computer, which will hopefully be working. Then I need to finish my one test case and work on someone else's work all week. Not to mention I still need to get the encryption software installed and working on my PC.

I'm depressed. It's such a struggle and it feels so unfair. I did 500 of the 2000 test cases we had this release in a team of 15 people. Just the fact that they even asked me to change some of my vacation hurts. Yes, I could say no and there most likely wouldn't be any repurcussions, but it puts pressure on me to say yes and help the team. Couldn't they even think of one of the other people on the team who could have done a little bit more work instead of asking me, who has already done so much?

I was joking with the tech guy about Karma and said I must have been a mass-murderer in a previous life to deserve all the crap I'm going thru right now. Smile

Walked everyday but yesterday and today.

starting to relax

September 22nd, 2006 at 02:15 am

walked with mom for 50 min

Thanks everyone for the welcome back comments.

Cashed in some of MyPoints for a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card.

I'm starting to relax finally after the several hard months of work. I was telling my folks that even if I retire at 50 I'll have worked as if I was 62 years old. I've always worked a lot of overtime. When I was a machinist it was great because I didn't make a lot and time and a half was a big incentive. Now that I'm salary and get the same pay regardless it's a lot harder to do for long periods of time. There's no tangible reward.

I was looking at our statistics at work today for the new release. We've had the release for 4 days. 149 tests have been run by 15 people. I ran 100 of them. Something really wrong with this picture. One of my co-workers gave her two week notice a couple weeks ago and tomorrow is her last day. I'm happy for her, but I kind of think it stinks not to give more notice for a release. We are swamped, I have no idea how her work will get done, hopefully it won't be by me.

Finished reading the library book Invasion USA by William Johnstone. Action/Adventure. OK

funny email

July 26th, 2006 at 03:53 am

walked with mom for 55 min

Mom invited me over for a baked potato bar tonight with the girls. Very good.

I got a very funny, if unexpected, email at work today. The manager of the development group made a mistake on one of our systems and sent me an email to ask me to fix it. So I did and sent her an email telling her it was done.

She sent an email back saying:

"Thanks, Sorry for the incontinence."

So I replied NP

She finally figured out what she had written and sent me another email saying:

"Wow - I've got to check my use of spell check... Ahem. I meant to say - sorry for the inconvenience..... ;-) "

I got a good laugh out of it though.

Finished listening to the library book on tape Dark Guardian by Christina Feehan. Romance. Very good.

new boss

July 18th, 2006 at 03:23 am

no walking again today. We planned on it, but then got a big lightening and thunder rainstorm. First one in several days.

Got a sample of Fibersure from WalMart in the mail.

I found out my direct boss was laid off on Friday. I guess the company laid off a bunch of Managers. Going for the high salaries probably. So I have a new boss. Don't know much about her yet. Suppossedly she will be visiting each of the sites to meet people. Could be good, could be bad. Too early to say. It does mean I have to impress a new boss though.

My old boss knew my capabilities and saved my job once when layoffs where happening, I had moved to another group that they were cutting out and he intervened and brought me back to his group. He's always gotten me pretty good raises and several bonuses also. I had built up a lot of trust and goodwill with him over 9 years so I'll miss that. But he was kind of laid back and too many things fell through the cracks, rumor has it the new boss is more on top of things. As long as that doesn't mean micro-managing, that should be good. I'm pretty used to being given a job and left alone till it's done.

Finished reading the library book The Hard Way by Lee Child. Mystery. Very good. These books really suck you in.

back to normal work hours

July 11th, 2006 at 04:25 am

walked with mom for 30 min. Had a huge rainstorm and that's all we could fit in before it got dark. Now of course it's gorgeous out, the moom is fantastic, big and round and full.

This Friday is our release deadline, I've been working like crazy for the last several weeks. Today I knew that I would make the deadline with my remaining tasks. Then I started looking into one of the last areas I need to test. In order to get to this area I have to go through another area that was supposed to be tested last release. So I started looking for the test cases to find out what I needed to know in order to pass through this area. I couldn't find any. Turns out the person this was assigned to never wrote test cases or tested this area. I know that it wasn't tested because as soon as you click on the link you get Page cannot be displayed. Big Clue there that it's not working.

So now, since this person quit last week, my boss wants me to test this area. This totally stinks. I'm going to test it, but I refuse to put in anymore unpaid overtime this release. I've worked 60 extra hours in the last 6 weeks, 1/2 of my vacation time.

It was the bosses job to stay on top of the assignments and make sure people are doing their jobs and all new features get tested. I can't believe how often I find stuff like this. I think that other tester should be required to return some of their salary. In my opinion it's theft.

Finished listening to the library book on tape For the Roses by Julie Garwood. Romance. Good, very cute.

Kiplinger's finally came

June 28th, 2006 at 03:20 am

walked with mom for 55 min

I finally got the first issue of my 3 year contract with Kiplinger's that I paid $4 something for. Almost 10 weeks ago, but it is finally here. Unfortunately I don't have time to read it Frown I'm still working at 9:00pm started at 8. I have tests running on the other computer. So tired I can hardly think. I can't keep up this pace too much longer. When I was younger 50-60 hours a week were normal plus the occassional 80+ hour week. I just can't do it any more, nor do I want to. I think by Friday I will be caught up and can catch a breath. But then all the home stuff will be waiting for me to catch up on it. Bitch and moan, bitch and moan Smile

Went into work today. Got gas for $2.63/gal. Spent $25.31. Went to Super Salad for dinner on the way home. Spent $6.36

Got free Necafe coffee in the mail. Gave it to my dad, since I don't drink coffee. He was telling me how he used the $100 in gas cards he got for test driving Fords. These were deals that I got for him, so he was pretty happy that he got the gas for free.

new 401K rules

June 9th, 2006 at 03:45 am

walked with mom for 55 min

My company merged with another company the first of the year. Now they are trying to merge the 401Ks so the rules are changing, some are better and some aren't.

Better

The new company matches up to 6%, plus if they do well they will kick in up to another 3% first quarter next year. The old company matched 5%.

Worse

The new company matches 50% with company stock and 50% cash. I don't like money going into company stock, especially when you can't move it when you want to. Has to stay there for 3 years before you can sell it. Old company was 100% cash.

Worse

The new company only allows you to contribute up to 16% of salary, the old company allowed up to 20%. I won't be able to reach the max amount of $15,000 this year because of the difference and will have to pay taxes on over $2000 that I could have contributed costing me $600+ in taxes, that's a lot of money that could be invested and earning me money.

Worse

Moving from Merrill Lynch to Fidelity. Have to research all new funds and find out what's compatible with my investment strategy.

I don't like these kinds of changes, but not much I can do about it. Just have to pick my new funds and hope they do ok.

Finished reading my book A Secret Atlas by Michael A. Stackpole. Sci/Fi. Good.

oyster sand

May 11th, 2006 at 04:08 am

walked with mom for 55 min

Went to Rosie's for dinner. Spent $5

I'm a software tester and my job is to verify the code and the requirements match each other. When there are descrepancies I don't care which one changes as long as they match. So I've been testing a new, to me, area and I've found out that the test cases are poorly written and do a poor job of testing the product, so I basically had to start over, writing new tests. The only document I have is an out of day User Guide that I use for my requirements.

To make a very long story short, I've been finding lots of defects in the code and writing them up, based on the documentation. Most of them are legit, but some of them are because the documentation is wrong. Like I said I don't care which one changes as long as one of them does. But I've been pissing people off because this stuff was all supposed to be tested years ago, so how come I keep finding all these defects etc. I can't help what happened before it came to me, but I refuse to ignore problems and will not let the developers reject my defect tickets until I agree with the resolution. Thus, pissing people off.

So when I was talking to my boss today i told him I know I'm pissing people off, but I won't let it go. He said, "You're the sand in the oyster that makes the pearl out the product". So I said, "In other words I'm irritating!" Funny, but true. I guess that's my job and I do it well and it's why I've lasted through 12 layoffs. My new nickname is oyster sand. Smile

gas for car

April 12th, 2006 at 03:10 am

walked with mom for 55 mni

I've been working till 10 or 11 everynight for several days now. I decided to take tonight off. Went to Rosie's for dinner. Spent $8.50. This will be a bad month for eating out. When I work so many hours I don't want to fix anything and I don't plan ahead.

Got gas $2.59/gal, spent $24.24. The station accross the street had it at $2.69 so I figured I should fill up before it went up another 10 cents. Totally ridiculous.

Got a $50 rebate from my computer. I think there's only 3 left.

Finished listening to the library book on tape Freedom's Ransom by Anne McCaffrey. Sci Fi. Very good. This is one of my favorite series from her. Basically rebuilding civilization type of story.

3 tons of work to do

April 9th, 2006 at 02:07 am

walked with mom for 55 min

Besides walking and going to the library, I've been stuck in front of my computer working all day. At least 10 hours.

I have 3 tons of work to do in the next month so probably won't be doing much reading or anything else for a while.

Last night I finished reading The Mom's Guide to Earning and Saving Thousands on the Internet. Make money with mystery shopping, surveys, and point programs by Barb Webb with Maureen Heck. Financial. I thought this was a pretty good book. Especially if you are new to these subjects. Lots of good websites are included in the book too.

salary refunds

March 25th, 2006 at 04:15 am

walked with mom for 35 min

Got a IAMS dog treat sample today. I don't have any pets so it goes to my sister for her dog.

I had a very frustrating day at work. I hate it when people hide the state of their work. Then when I take it over, it's a disaster. I have to spend hours and hours fixing it to make it work properly. It's not fair for one thing, but I always feel so outraged that they lied. I also feel outraged that when management finds out about it, it's oh well do the best you can to fix it. BLEAGHHH!!

It's wasteful and inefficient. When you find out people haven't been doing there jobs you ought to be able to ask for some of their salary back. That's what happens when you purchase something and don't get the value you expected.

Finished listening to the libary book on tape Stranger in a strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein. Sci/Fi. Very good. One of the great science fiction writers. I remember reading this book 10 years ago and it was written in 1961 yet is still fresh and interesting.

fighting for vacation time

March 16th, 2006 at 04:58 am

walked with mom for 55 min

Won 5 more bottles of Coke today.

I so want to retire and not have to worry about deadlines or losing my job. I asked for my days off for my Canada trip. I'm going with my parents and we probably worked at this for two weeks to find a time that fit everyone's schedule, was during the cheap time to go, missed mother's day and memorial day weekend, etc. We came up with the perfect time. It happens to co-incide with one of my work deadlines. So my boss doesn't want me to go then.

I think that stinks. There is never a good time workwise. There is always something happening. This is a big deadline, but these kinds of deadlines have never been met in 3 years, they always move. So if I move my vacation there is no guarantee that the deadline would be on that date anyways. The thing I would be doing on that date is also being done by 3 other people. It's not necessary for all 4 of us to do the same thing on the same night.

I work almost all of my vacation time throughout the year unpaid. I get 3 weeks of vacation but an extra 2 - 3 hours a week adds up to 100 - 150 hours, which nullifies my vacation time. Anyways my boss hasn't said no he's just asked me how important it is to go on that date. My parents have agreed to move the date, but I just don't think it's right to have to do that. I plan to talk to him tomorrow to see if I can talk him into saying it's ok to go on the dates we want.

Finished reading my book Blame it on Chocolate by Jennifer Greene. Romance. Very cute. If you like Janet Evanovich you will probably like Jennifer Greene.

no raise this year

March 4th, 2006 at 04:43 am

walked with mom for 55 min

We had an all-hands meeting at work today where the main boss told us the news, no raises this year. It seems that the company that bought us gives out their merit increases the first week of Jan. So since they took over the second week, everyone in our company is out of luck till next year. Gee! do you think they planned the timing of that move? PLEBHHHH!!!

But according to our manager we should be happy because next year we'll probably get 10-15% raises. Yeah right. Assuming we all still have jobs by then. Regardless that would be 5% each year and money today is always worth more than money tomorrow.

I had alreay increased my 401K contributions in anticipation of at least a little raise. I was working on my budget and I'm $17 over each month. I don't count extra money that comes in like rebates, etc and I don't count the two months were i get 3 paychecks so I can easily cover the $17, but I wanted to loosen up a little and maybe save/invest even more.

Speaking of 401Ks that was the other kicker. The old company matched 5% and the new company will match 6% with a possibility of 9% depending on how much money they make. But that doesn't kick in until July 1 and when it does kick in all the matching money goes into their stock and you can't sell it. Hasn't anyone learned anything from Enron, etc? It is not a good idea to hold so much company stock. Who knows what the value of that will be in 5 years when I'm hopefully ready to retire?

The old company match went wherever you directed it. All of that money and all of my weekly paycheck contributions still goes where I direct it, but they are talking about changing our investment provider, so who knows what the new options will be?

But we should all be very happy about this. I think that's what ticked me off the most, the manager kept telling us what opportunities there were and how we should all be excited about all of these changes and next years raise, etc. Standing in a pile of cr@p and he can't smell anything. Don't tell me what to think or how to feel about the fact that you're screwing with my money. They are basically telling me that all the work I did last year has no merit, because the company was took over the second week of January.

Then for the last piece of news. The managers finished our reviews, LATE, but HR mandates that they have to deliver them to us and have them signed and returned by next Friday. So of course the managers have no time to talk to everyone, so we're supposed to just go out and read our reviews, sign them and return them and don't bother asking managers to take a lousy hour out of the whole year to actually talk to you about your job. Some people had to write their reviews. What's the point, just skip the whole ordeal, it obviously means nothing, since there is no merit attached to it.

Sorry for the rant, but this has been stewing all day.

Got a free sample of Olay Regenerist in the mail today.

Finished reading the library book Yes, You can still retire comfortably! by Ben Stein and Phil DeMuth. Finance. Good. The book details some scary scenarios about the future for the baby-boomer retires. Mostly about how they won't be able to retire because they spent everything they earned their whole lives and how the government is over-burdened and won't be able to provide for them with Social Security and Medicare. It had some ideas on how to invest for retirement, but they are too conservative for me. The book if very short, 180 pages and worth reading. There's some very funny lines in the book, which I'm sure came from Ben Stein. He has a very dry sense of humor.