Looking back, I have found that my thoughts are more and more random as time goes on. I don’t apologize for that, but merely note it so that “Rob of the future” will not look back on this time of his life and think that the situation was totally chaotic.
Work has progressed to the point that I don’t actually know what my job is any more. On any given day I could be tasked with anything from development to product support to more managerial functions. Quite honestly, I’d be happy with any of these. What is lacking is some sense of how I would measure my own success. Is success an empty queue of support tickets? Is success happy developers? Is success a reasonable business plan for my product? Frankly, any of these could be the case at any specific moment. It’s funny because I really like my job. I adore the people I work with. I take it very personally when things go amiss. I just wish that I could actually finish something and have some sense that I’m “done” with it.
Related to the work end of things, I’ve been told as of late that people view me as…. Well, it’s difficult to find a word. Abrasive? Caustic? Not quite the right adjective, but I come across to my co-workers as *insert negative thing here*. I hope at least that they do not see me as a person who cannot get things done, but it’s been pointed out to me that I’m seen as anything but effusively positive about things. Honestly, I understand completely where that comes from. I am utterly realistic. If I think that something is completely wrong, I’m likely to say, in terms difficult to confuse with their antithesis, that something’s wrong. Typically though, this is a rhetorical construct. If I say, with vehemence, that the sky is pink, then often my intent is not to state an irrefutable premise, but instead to instigate debate. I say without doubt of contradiction, that I am the person most likely in your acquaintance to accept logical defeat. I come forward with some utterly determined opinions. I will argue and debate and bicker and complain endlessly but I’m also the first one to admit that you’re right and I’m wrong. Above all, I love debate and discussion because I believe that it brings out the best in both parties.
This reminds me… the other day, one of my work cohorts told me that a new QA person was being hired to oversee our product staring Monday. Personally, I’m absolutely thrilled by the prospect. To date, the product I oversee has been amazingly dynamic but it would benefit from some outside influence. It’s a great change, in my opinion. The real point of this paragraph though is to point out how skillfully and how tactfully my workmate brought this to my attention. I do tend to be a bit overwhelming at times and he simultaneously informed me of the change and also very gently told me enough about the new QA person to hopefully assure that she will be an incredibly positive influence on the product despite my somewhat overbearing personality. In retrospect I was exceptionally impressed with Mr. Barker’s delivery and message. I work with some truly incredible people.
OK, so moving on from the professional… I’ve been sitting here all evening half watching Netflix rot (has anyone else noticed that nothing seems to be loading on instant watch?) and half watching the screensaver on my computer. It’s set to show photos from my picasa albums. I find myself watching the photos more than the television and in some strange way my life automatically organizes the photos in terms of other people. Each one is either “Oh! Laura was there!” or… well, something else of a less positive nature. It’s funny to me how we organize our lives in terms of other people. “Oh, that was the time I spent with Chris” or “That was Dan time”…. In a very real way it seems like the other people in our lives are the milestones, the most important and notable things we have to look back on.
TOTALLY unrelated, I’ve been trying to spread an absolute craze throughout the nation. I call it the “License Plate Game”…. When I was a kid, this was much less entertaining. I’d take the 4-digit number in the plate ‘12a5747’ and find the prime factorization. Even I’m less than impressed by that, frankly, and since 5747 is 7 times 821, it’s an example of just how terrible this game could be. Now though license plates are alphanumeric so there’s an amazingly fun game to be played (at least in Indiana). So if your plate is 574 AWY you can take the character part of that and make a word. The rules are simple. For whatever 3-letter combination is in the license plate, you have to find a word that uses those three letters in the same order they appear in the plate. So if you get AZJ then your obvious answer is katzenjammer. You must use the same letters in the same order in a single word but you get extra “points” if the letters are non-consecutive and if the word does not begin with the same letter as the three-letter combination. For example, if you have AWY, then ‘anyway’ is a valid response, but no bonus because the ‘A’ is both the first letter of the word and the first letter of the three letters you needed to use. However, AZJ – kAtZenJammer earns extra points because the A, the Z and the J are non-consecutive. Also, the resulting word does not being with A. The rest of the rules are to be determined, but you get the idea. I’ve also pondered the idea that shorter words should earn more points than longer words. Play the game for a few months and send me your scoring recommendations.