Paper jam

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I’d really like to thank whichever co-worker(s) continually jams the paper towel dispenser in the bathroom. It takes talent to do it on a regular basis and make it so others can’t use it.

Pulling the paper out and away from the dispenser has proven time and again to be the most effective way to use the dispenser. The cutter inside the machine works best that way. It cuts the paper towels just like it supposed to.

But whomever is doing this jamming thing, consistently pulls the paper towels sideways thus gathing all the paper in the corner, bunching the paper into a wad and rendering the cutter ineffective because it isn’t in that part of the dispenser. The next time the autofeed runs (because it is a sensor) it rolls the paper up into a tangle inside the machine, further jamming the dispenser even more.

It’s a pretty simple design and the function is also pretty simple. So, making it complicated can only mean that the person doing this is a moron. Continually a moron.

Thanks, moron.

Perhaps they need to have a paper towel dispenser orientation in the bathroom during the building tour given to new hires. It seems silly but is likely the only solution to this problem.

Afternoon pondering

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Just had a thought float through the brain. It was sort of a random thing since I wasn’t thinking about this at all, but it just sort of popped in and now I can’t seem to get it out of my head?

Anyone been following the Elon Musk and Twitter thing? You know, that he wants to buy it for like $46 billion?

The thought that floated and stuck…what if he bought it for that boat load of money and then just pulled the plug? Like just shut it down. No more Twitter, period.

How cool would that be?

Anyone else think that would be cool?

Talk about the ultimate boss move. Buy it. Shut it down. Move on.

Cool.

Probably won’t happen, but I think it would be cool if it did.

WTH, Doc!?!

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When it comes to your personal health, who should be in charge – you or the doc? Being that you know your body best, should you be the one to make decisions about your own health and if you know something about your body should the doc respect your wishes and do what you have asked even if they disagree? Or, should a doc who may have more knowledge about a subject in general be able to make decisions regarding your health regardless of whether you agree or not?

A meeting with the cardiologist way back in February felt as though the doc wasn’t listening. As a result, an echocardiogram was done (results didn’t show much) and a cardio stress test was scheduled. During the first meeting with the doc, when asked about what kind of stress test it would be, we were told it was going to be a physical (treadmill) test. I specifically asked how much data (time) on the treadmill would be needed since the person likely wouldn’t be able to do more then maybe a minute or two before it would become physically impossible to continue. The doc said there was another option – a chemical stress test – if needed. We said it likely would be.

Much to our dismay, a physical test was scheduled. When asked about it, they said it was the best option.

Today, much to our frustration (and anger, quite frankly) when we showed up for the appointment, because the person needed a assistance to get to the room (a wheelchair) and assistance standing from the wheelchair, the tech wouldn’t do the test because of liability. They were worried they person couldn’t support themselves during the test and because of shortness of breath, the person wouldn’t be able to hold their breath during the echocardiogram to get pictures of the heart. They were going to send a message to the doc that the appointment couldn’t be completed and they sent us on our way.

After waiting for a more than a month for this appointment, there is no progress made on the medical mystery. Still no clue as to why the person is feeling this way.

Which brings me back to the original question – who’s in charge, you or the doc?

It seems these days you are less in control of your health and the decisions are being made by docs (or even insurance). You seemingly get ignored “because we know better” is the attitude.

Should it be this way? Is it supposed to be that way?

Who is the paying customer? Who is providing the service to said paying customer?

Something here is backwards…

Vacuum Tube

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*Eye roll*

*Sits back and watches insanity unfold*

So, there is still this argument by a large segment of the population that kept saying “Follow the science” that isn’t going to accept the fact that the science never supported the mandated masks on airplanes. In most cases, in general, the mandated masks were never really supported in most places. But, this is a victory for all who have ridden in a large, silver, metal vacuum tube and felt suffocated by the policy.

As I am sure you are all aware now, the mask mandate on public transportation, the biggest of which was airlines. The CDC, which instituted the policy while under the watch of President Trump, was ruled to have exceeded their authority – really no surprise here. At first, it seemed a reasonable step as there was so much unknown about what was going on (I am trying to avoid being shadowed banned here, possibly, so being a little vague but you know what I mean). Through every iteration of the unknown, the mandate has remained in place even though the severity, and risk, has diminished substantially.

The CDC themselves said that the science showed that most face masks didn’t work for stopping the spread, but there was never a requirement instituted that you had to wear a certain kind of mask on a plane to stop the spread. More science showed that the air in an airplane (granted this is the industry that stands to benefit from riders) was mostly safe since it was cycled in and out regularly and often. As such, when you put those two scientific finding together, masks on an plane didn’t make much sense.

Isn’t it weird (actually it’s not) that one side of the aisle screams follow the science when it fits their agenda but doesn’t want to follow the science when it doesn’t?

Now, there are people all over social media screaming and crying about having to fly in a metal death trap tube because masks aren’t required. Hold up! Wait, wait, wait! It’s not required…not banned…meaning, if you still feel the need to wear a mask, wear one! If you feel at risk and the bare faces of the people around you makes you feel anxious, don’t fly.

It’s pretty simple…you know, just like they were telling those of us that didn’t want to get stuck or wear a mask or provide proof…if you don’t want to do it, just don’t go the the place that require it. Take your business somewhere else that will accommodate you. Or just don’t.

Shoe’s on the other foot now, isn’t it?

Clueless Chris

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It’s interesting that there are people doing jobs for others and they have no actual idea what the person they are working for does. A while back I mentioned that I was having “retirement envy” and that I was starting to wonder how I was doing on progression towards that goal (an evaluation) and possibly planning for the future. I have an acquaintance/ friend that I have known for a long time and it was my understanding that he did financial planning, as well as insurance sales.

Well, I called and booked an appointment and talked with whomever was answering phones, a guy named Chris. He didn’t get a lot of info from me (didn’t even ask my last name) and didn’t really even ask what it was that I wanted to meet about. I let him know with the initial phone call I was looking at financial planning for retirement. He booked the appointment.

I got a call today to confirm the appointment and when I confirmed that I would be there, I again mentioned that I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to bring to the appointment. He said he would find out because he wasn’t sure. He called back and told me to bring documentation for insurance comparison. I let him know that isn’t what I was coming in for. That I wanted financial planning. I asked if I had misunderstood what services were being offered. Again, he didn’t know and was going to ask his boss.

Huh.

You would think that if you work there you would have some understanding of what your boss does and what services are offered.

Needless to say, the first impression of the office person isn’t a good one. Clueless Chris may be hurting the business if the communication is this clumsy about what services are offered by the office he works in.

I have a feeling the meeting this afternoon is going to get cancelled as I am not exactly looking for insurance (well, maybe some additional life insurance, but that isn’t high priority) at this point.

Just mediocre

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I have a meeting with my supervisor, or manager, later today. It’s kind of a “check-in” and not an evaluation or anything like that. It’s a time to just chat about how things are going, visit, and a time to voice concerns, suggestions, etc.

So, the meeting usually starts with the same question, or the same line of questions – “How’s it going? How are you feeling?”

Over the last several years, it been getting harder and harder to answer those questions. Do I really (I mean REALLY) tell the truth or do I just minimize what or how I am feeling and fudge the truth? In the past, it never felt like I needed to hedge the truth (much). I felt like I could be honest. But, as time has gone on, there isn’t the same feeling with my manager, isn’t the same feeling in the team, and isn’t the same feeling in the organization. It’s hard to pinpoint the change, but much of it stems from the feeling that management is no longer listening to what we need or want, isn’t willing to be work with people, and then really that translates to they don’t really care what the employees telling them. Granted, it’s a government job of sorts, so that hasn’t ever really been totally true but over the last several years it has not gone in a positive direction.

What do I say this afternoon?

Well, for one thing I will say that I don’t feel like I am doing the best job I possibly can. It has become increasingly difficult to do a good job.

Part of the reason is because our team has shrunk over the last year and it has been an incredibly slow process of bringing on people to replace those we have lost. There have been three new hires since the beginning of the year, but it takes time to get them up to speed (they have three years to be “proficient”) so they don’t contribute to an even distribution of the workload. Their knowledge base just doesn’t afford for that to happen. Additionally, because everyone has had to pick up extra slack, the projects we need to work on and the new knowledge we need to develop as experience software analysts can’t be done. Everything gets put on hold.

Another part of the problem is that we are supporting two different versions of the software at the same time. The migration process that was originally thought to take three years has turned into a disappointingly difficult process because of the poor development from the software creator. As such, there have been so many hurdles to overcome, software issues in the newer version of the software, that the process is now running on five years and there is at least another 3-5 to go before everyone is back to using the same software again. Learning and troubleshooting the newer version is slow, tedious, and unpredictable because when there are issues we are never sure if that is the way it was designed and supposed to work or if it is broken and needs fixed. Then trying to get the creator to make it work like schools need it to work (or at least similarly as the current software they already know and use) has been frustrating and tiring.

Needless to say, I don’t feel like I can give the clients the best of my efforts. I am spread too thin, can’t focus on much of anything without getting more duties, additional tasks, or trying to learn something new in either software. The best I can do is just mediocre.

Anyone feel like mediocre is a good thing?

I realize sometimes you just hang on and hope that things get better. It might. But how long do you hang on?

If my manager asks if I was looking for a different job, I probably would have to say that I am not actively looking but my eyes are open to other opportunities. I don’t have any at the moment, but if the right one came along I can’t say that I wouldn’t seriously consider it and jump ship if it was right for me. It’s not that I am unhappy, it’s just that I am not happy either.

Make sense? Probably not.

Mediocre.

I hate that.

Counter-productive

Or maybe mixed message.

Hell, all I know is the Democrats want to have their cake and eat it too.

Democrats push clean energy. Like PUSH it. It is the solution to all the world’s ills and will save the planet. We keep hearing this over and over and over. It doesn’t matter that creating clean energy also has it’s drawbacks. Except…see below.

Democrats also want to protect the environment. By that, they mean earth, plants, animals, etc etc etc. Thus, their push for clean energy is their answer. At all cost, protect the environment. Seems that protection has a cost that is intentional and unintentional at the same time.

Democrats are punishing clean energy (their answer for everything) for killing part of the environment (their favorite hill to die on) by using the very government they control (at the moment) to hurt the industry they tout because it hurt the environment they want to protect.

I mean, come on, this is kind of ludicrous any way you look at it. You want clean energy so they build it. But, in building it, there will be some wildlife that dies because, well, their wild and you can’t control their actions. So, you make suggestions to mitigate the damage and you make exceptions and create acceptable collateral damage waivers. If the companies don’t play your game, then you punish them for wild things doing what wild things do.

Equivelent? You need to get from one place to another. You need a road to get there. Someone wants to build said road (let’s say 100 miles) through an area where wild animals are known to exist. You tell the road builder (or the people using the road) that they need to do something to keep the wild animals crossing the road from getting hit by vehicles driving on the road. You tell them they either need to build a 8 foot fence on one side, both sides, or apply for a waiver that will exempt people from having to pay a fine when animals get killed. They decide the cost is too prohibitive to build the road because of the regulations, so they don’t build the road you wanted. OR, the rules get waived, the road gets built, and then the rules are reinstated afterwards leading to the people that built the road or travel the road to get punished because you changed the rules on them.

Anyway, you can see the stupidity here, right? Democrats hurting the very thing they encourage.

Retirement envy

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It hit me this week that I am having a serious case of retirement envy. I don’t think there is an official diagnosis for this sort of thing, but I have found as I have co-workers retiring or coming up on retirement (one retired this month, one coming at the end of the year, and at least two in the next two years) that I am extremely envious of the life they are entering or going to be entering.

Having turned 50 near the start of the year, it has gotten me thinking about the future and what I want that future to look like. I have heard talk of those who are (or have) retiring that they hit the 30/62 threshold (30 years, age 62) and it made sense for them to step away from the work world. Immediately I have started thinking, “Is that an option for me? Could I really have only 12 years left if done right? Or, am I a 15-17 year person?”

There is, of course, a trade off with retirement. The obvious one is that you are trading age for income, unless you are extremely successful or independently wealthy. To retire earlier, you need money that will support your current lifestyle and last. To retire later, you have to age (get older) to a point where enjoying the retirement years could be jeopardized by the uncertainty of health. There is no perfect answer here.

I am just finding I want the life they are about to get. Envy. The life I would like to lead right now and enjoy seems so far off and I want to be young enough and healthy enough to really enjoy it!

I know I need to set up a meeting with a financial advisor and actually get a better, more complete picture of what needs to be done to make the picture in my head a reality. It is on the agenda for this month. The envy is causing me to get anxious to see what really needs to be done at this point.

Anyone with some experience have some helpful tips or tricks? Advice that would suddenly make the picture more clear and the path forward easier?

Insane or stupid?

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Or both?

Conversations recently have me wondering if there is a different between the two. This might not make a whole lot of sense since I won’t be giving all the details (or maybe it will), but it’s got me thinking way harder about the conversations than I probably need to. Sometimes I wonder why I even care.

Generally, people learn or at least have the capability to learn. Some people learn by doing the right thing and having success. Some people learn by doing the wrong thing and having results that are less than successful. Others simply learn by screwing up so badly that they have (seemingly) have no choice but to learn. In any of these three cases, learning is someting that is vital to making headway in life and is a the essence of moving forward with moderate success.

The traditional definition of stupid is easy to understand. We usually associate lack of common sense, intelligence, discernment, etc. with being stupid.

Can you become not stupid? I would like to think so. I believe that is where learning enters in. If you learn from the results of being stupid, you should in fact be less stupid because you would alter your behavior or choices or thinking or reasoning or actions or whatever in order to not repeat the same stupidity. If you didn’t have common sense before, mistakes (even if a made a couple times) should help you learn from them and eventually you should have…common sense, thus making wiser and smarter choices going forward.

But. BUT…there is always a but…

The traditional definition of insane is fairly easy to understand as well. However, there is another definition that sometimes gets referred to as the definition of insanity – “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” This definition has been attributed to Albert Einstein and Ben Franklin, though it appears that neither actually said it. However, for our little discussion today it fits rather nicely no matter who said it. If you continually do the same thing, the same actions, the same approach, think the same thoughts, and you don’t get a different result, then you must be insane. At least it seems that way. But are they really insane or just stupid?

Can you “unlearn” insanity? There may be a debate about that. I tend to lean towards, no, but then with treatment (and maybe drugs) I guess maybe that is something that can be unlearned. But that might not actually be learning so much as adjustment.

Can you “unlearn” stupidity? Most definitely.

So why are there so many people who refuse to unlearn their stupidity and just act like they are insane?

Conversations as of late make it difficult to tell the difference and certain perplex the hell out of me because it makes so much common sense to me, but they fail to see it.

Maybe I am the insane one…for continually hoping they unlearn their stupidity…

End nearing

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The end of the staycation is here. It seems like the week (plus) went to fast that it is hard to think it was a week. I had so many plans, so many projects to work on, so many things to…well, get done.

As I ponder the return to work tomorrow, I wonder if I should just relax today or use the day productively and end the week with a bang. I have a few more projects that need to be done, so I could work on those. I wouldn’t finish any of them, but at least I would have made a good start. OR…I could just use the day to relax and just shuffle some papers around, clean up the email and desk at home. I can’t really decide what I want to do today.

I was successful in knocking a couple of the projects off this list this week. It wasn’t like the vacation wasn’t productive. However, several planned projects that I would like done outside didn’t get done, but it is raining today and I don’t really feel like going out and getting wet and muddy. I have a few small projects in the house and garage that I could do, but the motivation seems to be waning today…

So, I think I’ll mix it up and do some relaxing and small things today. Nothing that requires a lot of effort. Mentally prepare for returning to work tomorrow.

Does anyone else like to have a “buffer day” between vacation and returning to work? I have discovered that I kinda like it and purposely planned it that way. It’s a good way to make that transition, I think. What do you think? How do you like to use the last day of your vacation?