|Saturday, March 27th, 2004|
12:36a - Soooooo Sleepy...
Well, it's Friday night... the first one in a very long time that actually means something. As in "It's the weekend!"
Today at NASA was the first one when I could officially touch hardware in any meaningful way. I finally got my internal e-mail address today, and thus could take the IT Security test (I got a 95%... I missed one question out of 20, but it was an extremely tricky one).
Once that was done, I was finally able to really dig in and do the job, which made for a Happy Yo. As I've said before, being paid to do nothing is not really my bag, whereas keeping busy helping people and processing upgrades (and so forth) makes the day whoosh by.
Roni's face to face with Blowfish went well... she should hear something next week. Since she had the interview we both drove in to NASA together, so she could drop me off and take the car. Since she doesn't have clearance and all to get on the base, she had to leave me by the back gate behind what could be arguably the world largest air vent -- they have this HUGE wind tunnel hat flares to this 10 story wall. I saw some people playing roller hockey in front of it today, which was just a fraction of the surreality of working there.
There's a lot more, but I think my internal clock is resetting itself something fierce... I'm having great difficulty in keeping my eyes open. Since I awoke at 6, it's almost as if I had stayed up until 5 AM under my old sleep schedule. Watch me go "thud" now.
current mood: sleepy
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9:41p - Saturday... In The Park
First a rant: I woke up this morning to Roni asking if the DSL had been working when I went to bed. Short answer.... it had been working then, but wasn't now.
Now last time we had trouble, calling EarthLink, while not what could be considered "fun", was relatively painless. This time...
Well, I missed the first 20 minutes while showering and shaving. When I got back Roni was almost ready to throttle someone... she was detailing her dissatisfaction at being relayed to 4 different people to what was presumably some supervisor creature.
I wound up trying to talk to them, because she doesn't know all the tech details as well as I did. It was immediately apparent that I was being "handled" (I *hate* that) and I had to pull out my "Do NOT screw with me... I'm a tech" mode. He said I had to be transferred to a tech, which made next to no sense to me, but I let him do it anyway.
The tech was a complete imbecile. This is NOT a word I use lightly... I had to repeat myself constantly, to the point I was wondering if some craze dental vigilante had snuck into the house and shot up a jaw with the large econo-size novocaine syringe.
While on hold (again) Roni pointed out that every single person who she had spoken with had the same accent, which seemed odd to her as all their names were clearly "american" -- Jimmy, Rob, Gilbert, Mark, and so forth. That's when the coin dropped.
I finally convinced the idiot that it was NOT a computer problem. He kept trying to route me to another department to based on what computer I used, which was particularly stupid as we were using a wireless router that did all of the connecting, which meant the computers had nothing to do with it. Later, Roni told me how one of the earlier techs kept trying to tell her she had to have software installed to connect, even though she kept telling them that it had been working fine a mere 6 hours earlier, and NOTHING had changed since then.
I finally just told him I had tested with both a Mac AND a PC, and began to simply repeat "This is NOT a computer problem, it's not a problem with the DSL modem, it's a problem with the DSL line itself. Please open a trouble ticket, NOW."
I literally had to dress, go down to the car, and start driving as I was already behind schedule, all while waiting for this moron to give me the stupid number. After he finally did, I straight out asked him: "What country is this call center physically located in?" I suspect they aren't supposed to answer a question like that, but I think no one has had the guts to ask before now... so he simply answered "India".
Note to EarthLink: You're losing a customer when we re-locate. Even SBC handles support calls in a country where English isn't a second language. Oh, and people ask me about high speed connectivity all the time... I will make it a point to warn them away from y'all until you realize how much outsourcing like that REALLY costs.
So, after a trip to Burlingame (detailed in a lock post, for reasons that will be obvious in that post) Roni and I wandered over to the East Bay to do some neighborhood shopping. Later, we came back to the city to catch Scooby Doo 2 (and we LIKED it! Sorry, sometimes you have to put your mind on hold and enjoy the ride... besides, Seth Green was in it)... and now we're at the house watching the TiVo.
current mood: accomplished
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10:40p - Wow... What An Ironic Situation
So, as you all know, Apple called me Tuesday (yes, the same day as the NASA interview) to schedule an interview for the Mac Genius position at the Burlingame store. Even though NASA gave me the the job later the same day, I decided to go to the interview... even made sure I got the time off before NASA offered the job. Not that I told them what it was for...
Anyway, it went well enough. In fact, when I got home late last night I find an e-mail from the man who interviewed me asking if I could come in today to see how the Genius Bar at the store worked and to meet the other Mac Geniuses. An extension of the interview process... or an attempt to sell ME on the position?
So, that's why I was in such a hurry to leave this morning. It went really well... they said I should hear something by Tuesday.
Which leaves me in a bit of an ethical dilemma.
The NASA gig isn't perm by any stretch... at best they can guarantee 6 weeks, with a shred of hope that they'll keep me on longer. The Apple gig would pay about the same, and they're going to pay me for a month just to be trained in all the latest Apple tech. It's also permanent AND there's benefits. Lots of them.
lavendersage says that I should try and stall Apple for as long as I can so I can give NASA as much as possible before I have to shift over. I think I can as for two, maybe three weeks reasonably on the basis of ethics, especially since the recruiter at Apple had been so vague about the position in the first place -- no one could expect me not to try and get another job when there was no reason to think I would ever get a call back, after all.
While it's unlikely, I'm terrified the rule of three will toss another "opportunity" in my lap. When it rains, eh? I'm specifically asking for advice from my savvy friends as to what they think I should do.
current mood: confused
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