Make work

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My job as a software analyst sometimes can be a real pain. Software is designed to do certain things and do them well. But, there are times where a client will want the software to do something it wasn’t designed to do.

I have a school district that is trying to do parent-teacher conferences next month. The software has the ability to create time slots and then allow the parents to schedule their conferences with the teacher. But, the software has some limitiations and the way one of the schools has done conferences in the past doesn’t fit the way the software is designed (yet). This was a huge issue for them last fall, as they were unwilling to rethink the way they do the conferences when they were told it wouldn’t work the way they would like them to (after many hours of investigation and problem-solving).

So, now it is spring and they are still insistent on doing it the same way as always, even though it didn’t work for them in the fall and it nothing in the software has changed to allow for the way they would like to do it. There is one caviate to that statement though. There are some rather inconvenient and labor intensive work-arounds that can be done to make the software kind of work for what they want. In essence, someone at the district figured out a way to trick the software and kinda sorta make it work for their needs.

Here’s where my problem comes in…in doing their work around, it doesn’t work well and there are issues with how the software functions. It doesn’t know you are doing a work-around, it just functions as it should. So, issues arise that are a direct result of the work-around. The district then calls me (after telling them, again, that it won’t work) to try to solve their work-around problems. I wasn’t fully involved in their work-around setup. I haven’t tested their work-around since it was advised they not use it. But, they want me to solve the issues when it doesn’t work like they would like it to.

I am being asked to “make it work” for something that isn’t supposed to work that way in the first place.

I am not sure how many times I can tell them it isn’t advisable and won’t work like you really want it to. If they are patient, and adjust the way they do conferences in the interim, it might actually work like they want in the future as we have been told it is being worked on (we are Tier 1 support so we have no control).

Anyway, that is my rant today. I don’t want to even try with this people.

Customer chat

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Don’t ya just love it when a major company won’t let you cancel a service without contacting them first? I fully expected to have to contact someone since I didn’t really want to cancel, but that is how you get movement. BUT, I found that when I tried to cancel online that their website magically had issues and you were forced to contact them.

The kicker here is that in the past you were able to go directly to a chat with a customer representative. This is apparently no longer a thing since there was nowhere on their website to access this help without getting the magical broken link.

When you get tot he information page for “additional help” there is a section that gives details about their chat feature and a button. Guess what? Button is greyed out (meaning not active) and unusable, even though the stated business hours are in full effect.

So, they actually force you to call them.

I was able to get what I want, but the fact that I have to go through this every year is stupid.

But, play the game I will.

Left hanging

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The current work world is filled with many frustrations. So numerous, in fact, that they can’t all be enumerated. Just the fact that I have to report to work each day is frustrating. But that is a discussion for another day…

Anyway, remote work obviously has it’s advantages and I really like it. However, the one aspect of remote work that I highly dislike is that co-workers are not all responsible about answering their IMs. Thus, when you are trying to get some help on a support ticket and a colleague leaves you hanging by leaving your message unread for extended periods of time is infuriating.

We are required to have TEAMS open at all time and visible (as in not hidden behind other windows) so that we can respond to teammates in a timely manner. We get alerts when someone has messaged us. The icon at the bottom of the screen in the task bar is a different color and blinks. So I am not sure what this particular co-worker’s problem is. It’s not like you can’t tell someone has messaged you, even if the window ends up buried behind other windows.

I know others have complained (as well as me) that messages get left sitting for long periods of time.

So, today I sent a message at 9:28am and I have sent a follow-up message to make the alerts trigger again at 10:19am. It’s been nearly an hour of no response. I finally received a response at 10:45am.

Hard to get work done, to help clients, with that kind of wait time from a co-worker, especially when you know they can see the message there waiting for them.

Do you hate it when you have to wait for a response from a co-worker? Does it infuriate you when you know they saw it and still don’t respond, even just to say “Let me check it out” or some kind of acknowledgement that they saw your message?

Good eating

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I like to eat way too much.

Check that statement. If you read that or make that statement in the wrong way, there is the impression that I consume more than I should (which, I suppose, is true to some degree), but that isn’t what I mean.

I like the act of eating and the taste of good food, way too much.

I was thinking last night about a kind of strange thing, or maybe not. It was in reference to food, good food. So, I’ll pose the question to the group, and don’t take health considerations into account. Ignore that for a moment and purely make a decision on variety, quality, and taste.

If you could only consume food from one restaurant menu for the rest your life, what restaurant would it be?

This is a challenging question. I would think you would want to choose one that serves a variety of types of food. Limiting yourself to one style or type of food would get rather mundane. As much as I may like Chick-Fil-A or Taco Bell or Wendy’s or whatever, the variety of food offerings isn’t diverse enough.

Instead, you probably would consider places that have more casual dining menus, places like Denny’s or Applebees or Red Robin or IHop or …. I am sure there are more to choose from and the list could go on.

For me, I guess the first choice I would make would probably be Applebees (unless presented with a better choice). I like the variety they offer and I have never really had a bad meal there.

So, what about you? What would you choose?

Unusual recall

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A bit of a curious solution to a vehicle recall.

A while back I got a recall notice for the Ram truck. The notice said that the tailgate could randomly open while traveling…obviously, that is an issue because you potentially could lose whatever you are transporting in the back of the truck (provided it isn’t secured properly). The repair was to have the latch replaced, free of charge, at the dealership.


Made the appointment and took it in yesterday. The guy scheduling the appointment said it took more time to do the paperwork than to do the recall. Curious statement.

I was at the dealership all of 15 minutes. They never even moved the truck from the parking spot I parked it in.

Apparently, the recall just meant they needed to check if something needed to be replaced. I was told they open and closed the tailgate several times and everything appeared to latch correctly so nothing was replaced.

Ummm, I wasted my time on that? I could have done that. They really needed to have a repair person check that?

Is it really a recall if you just open and close it and replace nothing?

Unnecessary apology #5

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Kinda late with this one today, but I was busy…

Once again I am here to humbly ask your forgiveness. Once again I am sure I have offended and disappointed someone out there, so let me issue this unnecessary apology just so I can cover all my bases in all instances from now until the end of time.

I bathed. Yes, I took a bath. It was a full bath tub and I actually enjoyed it.

Sorry if that makes you mad. Sorry if that makes me “less manly” or “more feminine.”

I didn’t take it to get clean. I took it to relax. I took it because it was time to be alone and in the quiet. Call it “self-care,” whatever the heck that is.

But, here’s the thing, and I am sure there is the part that will really rile some environmentalist or climate change activest’s feathers…

…the bath tub was FULL! And, it was full with HOT water!

Like, I put as much hot water in there as possible without making it spill over the edge as I lowered my body in.

What a waste, right? Too much water and too much energy was used. I am such a bad, horrible, irresponsible person.

I am sure there are poor thirsty people somewhere in the world where I could have sent all that water. Probably some farm or garden or some dried up lake/stream that supports a lower life form that could have used that water.

What’s that you say? Oh, sorry, I had my head underwater. I couldn’t hear your protests…

Not sorry, sorry.

Unnecessary apology #4

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It was the 80s. What can I say? We all did things back then that we probably look back and cringe with disdain. 1986 was the transistion year between middle school and high school. It was awkward. Despite being fitting for the time, I look back at my former self and realize now that if I judge myself through the current “progressive” lens (even though I am not) that I really should be ashamed of myself. So, today’s unnecessary apology goes out to…


Yes, Egyptians.

Why? Well, if you knew then what you know now, then today that the little dance you did in your bedroom or lockeroom or living room or bar would be prohibited. Why? Because of some kind of appropriation. I am not sure if it would be cultural or national or something else, but it is just so regretable now.

I am guilty. I am guilty of walking like an Egyptian.

Therefore, though I am not sure I really need to, I want to apologize to all the Egyptians (past, present, and into perpetuity) for doing this silly act.

I was young. I was impressionable.

I blame it on the Bangles. Their “Walk like an Egyptian” song is totally at fault. It was just such a catchy little tune. And, hey, if my silly and awkward movements might have caught Susanna Hoff’s attention somehow, well, that would have been just awesome.

So, yeah, sorry about that, Egyptians.

Just try not to get your groove (and appropriation) on when listening…

Unnecessary apology #3

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You don’t have to admit it, but I know you have done this one too, especially if you have your own children. I’ll admit it for you. Today’s apology goes out to all primates because it’s probably not fair or cool or proper or appropriate or politically correct of us humans to imitate your eating of a banana (or at least what we think you might look like when eating a banana).

It all started that one day, way back when my daughter was just a wee one and she was finally able to eat semi-solid food. Of course, one of the softer foods to serve a wee one is a banana.

So, as she was strapped into the high chair and I was doing the thing from Unnecessary apology #2, I was prepping for my primate impersonation….

…Assume the posture, make primate noises and sounds, imitate primate mobility, make primate faces, consume banana in the primate way…

All for the entertainment of a wee one. Smiles, giggles, and claps ensue from the wee one.

Goal achieved.

Except, now thinking back, it was wholey inappropriate of me to assume that I could or should take on primate charateristics. How rude and insensitive of me. I am sure they (the primates) would be offended had they seen me.

Apology served.

Unnecessary apology #2

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I don’t know if there is a term for this, but I probably have to apologize to someone, somewhere for it. Maybe the apology is owed to the young for being patronizing or maybe it is to the older folks for stooping so low as to “not act my age.”

So, today, I apologize to whomever needs to hear it – young or old.

I am sorry for talking like a baby (or very small child) to a baby.

Again, I have to admit it, but it comes as a rather natural reaction to revert back to this way of communication when someone small is involved. I just can’t help myself. The “goo-goo, ga-ga’s” just kind of fall out of my head. Is baby talk natural? It must be because we all tend to do it…and I don’t even really like babies all that much.

I find that I hate myself a little more after having regressed back to infantile language skills, but for whatever reason it seems to work in my meager attempt at communication to elicit a smile from the newly present humans.

So, please, small human, accept this unnecessary apology.

Unnecessary apology #1

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I’m sorry. I did it inadvertently. It was just a knee-jerk reaction.

During this month of honoring women, I want to apologize to all women.

I have been or am guilty of gender appropriation.

You see, when I have climbed under the house to access a dark, dank, and mildy creepy crawl space I have at times “screamed like a woman.”

I know, I know. I am not proud of it.

I shouldn’t do it because I am a man and things like this shouldn’t faze me.

To be honest, spiders don’t really freak me out. BUT, in the context of being in a dark, confined space and feeling the creepy crawlies on the back of your neck or by your ear, well, that is just going to get a reaction most guys aren’t proud of.

Please, accept by sincerest apologies for oppressing you by appropriating your screams.

I’ll do better.

**There will be more posts in a new series I am going to call, Unnecessary Apology. Keep an eye out for them and let me know if you agree or not.**