Monthly Archives: June 2008

The happiest day ever; the saddest day ever. Oh the juxtapositions of life!

Today sounded the death knell to my job-quitting-stress. For, as much as I didn’t care about my job, I couldn’t conscience leaving anything major undone.

And, unfortunately, just over two weeks ago I had decided to completely re-build the asset tracking database I built way back in the start of my job.

And, I had decided to re-build it in Ruby on Rails, whereas the original is in PHP. This meant that I had to learn a new programming language and system and build a new webserver to run it all, ALL IN TWO WEEKS!

Needless to say, I was having more fun at work than I’d had in a long time, because I was doing something I wanted to do, and shirking pretty much anything else I could get out of. For some reason, my new manager (I never mentioned it, but up until recently, my manager was the guy who hired me originally, and who had been my boss for about a year at a previous company. He had recruited me specifically to work for him at the new start-up due to my special skills, talents, and sparkling personality. A few months ago, though, he realized he was too busy with all his director responsibilities to personally manage two other teams so he hired two managers, one for me and one for the other team.) picked me to learn how to do two specific tasks and do them before I left.

But then, he and the other guys would have to re-learn how to do what I did in order to maintain or update the stuff.

Luckily, I never even had to do one of the tasks (post software to the internet), because the software didn’t get released, and I didn’t have to do the other one because it wasn’t physically possible, so I got to pretend like I was figuring it out but failing, only to be validated by the support team that it wasn’t possible so I couldn’t do it.

So, I was able to happily focus on developing my new website, learn new stuff, and get it all working. Fun!

The biggest hitch was building the web server to run it. Although there are plenty of websites and tutorials and books about how to build a Ruby on Rails website, documentation was pretty slim on what exactly was needed to build a Ruby on Rails webserver. A few tutorials explained how to build a webserver for Rails, but none of them had details on structure, or where the files go, or configuration, or blah blah or whatever.

So I’d try a tutorial, it wouldn’t work, and then I’d go back to developing and hoping for the best.

Finally, yesterday, I discovered a plug-in for the webserver that supposedly would make it all work great… and it didn’t work. So I googled and tweaked and did some stuff, but it didn’t work.

So I stressed, work up early, came in, and tweaked some more. I’d been praying all week to finish, and it was down to the wire.

Finally, I found where to read the log files, and a tip in the FAQ about tweaks required specifically for my operating system, and got it running! WOHOO!

So then I did all the last things I needed to do, added a bit more functionality, and called it a day. I went out to lunch with one of my former employees from when I managed a team there 4 years earlier, then went looking for my boss to turn in my laptop and badge.


Then at home, we packed and ate and then I took Ivon, Maggie, and Amy to Kendo. I asked Becky to bring a watermelon at closing time, because I figured they’d have a going-away party for us, and I wanted to pitch in but the ingredients for snickerdoodles were already packed.

It was a blast of a practice, but I had to hold back tears the entire time and try to avoid thinking about it being my last.

The dojo has a special treat they reserve for special occasions – the guest of honor fights EVERYBODY in the dojo. I was really hoping I’d get to do that, for the sheer honor of fighting everyone, and also for the pleasure of fighting with everyone, one last time.

And, HOORAY, they did it for me and Ivon! Ivon got to fight all the kids, and I fought the adults. They’d come at me one at a time, sparring for a bit, then rotating out.

And boy did I wear out quick! All the adults are well beyond black belt, and they are darn fast, and hit hard. I got through most of them before I had to call uncle because I was seeing stars.

And then we all changed back into street clothes, pulled out some tables, and had a party, complete with the delicious watermelon Becky and Veronica had brought.

Good times, but then I had to say goodbye to all those friends. Ivon and I had joined the core group of regulars, being some of the few who attend nearly every practice, over the last four years.

So, whenever we come back to the bay area to visit, we’re going to have to pack our Kendo gear in the van somehow, and visit the dojo.

And next up: Moving!

What will be my legacy?

I don’t think I ever wrote about it, but the Fat Guy is gone.

He’d not been around very much, mostly working in a different building with a different group, since he didn’t have any work to do in our group since we moved over to the main campus. So, we only saw him once a month or so, when he’d visit all his stuff in his cube.

And then, one Monday, I went into his cube to look for a book he had let me borrow on a previous occasion, and surprise surprise, a whole bunch of his stuff was gone! There was still a ton of stuff there, and his name plate, so it wasn’t obvious that he was actually gone.

And then I got the assignment of cleaning out his cube to make room for some other guy on our team who was moving into that space.

So I went through all the boxes he hadn’t unpacked after moving from the old building (two years ago!), through his drawers, and through the overhead bin.

In the drawers I found a whole bunch of pizza coupons he hadn’t been able to use yet, and some of the microwave popcorn we had in the old building.

In his boxes, I found a bunch of random stuff, and a few notebooks.

Actually, a LOT of notebooks.

Most with writing only on the first page or two. Some had dates, and were many years old.

So I gave them to the kids and threw the rest of the leftover stuff away.

So, now that I’m leaving the company, what will I leave behind for my co-workers to find? Definitely not notebooks, they are too fun to leave behind!

It’s become like living in Soviet Russia, where they make you stand around in line all day waiting for just one measley punch in the face!!!

I had the misfortune of going to Subway Sandwiches for lunch today, and I was looking forward to my old standby – 6″ Tuna on Wheat with Lettuce and Tomatoes and a little bit of Onion.

But, it turned out the Sub of the Day was the 6″ Ham and Turkey, so I had to get that instead, as it was a full $1.50 less than the non-Sub of the Day, and within the realm of my limited purchasing power, as I had not been to an ATM all month!

So I was happily rattling off the ingredients I wanted to the Hispanic guy who couldn’t speak Menu, meaning he not only didn’t know which was the Sub of the Day, but he didn’t know what was supposed to go in it, and barely knew the English words for Ham, Turkey, Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, and Pickle.

And even though I very enunciatingly told him I wanted Tomatoes, he did not put any on. So I asked him again, and then he said they didn’t have any.

I looked around the various bins in disbelief, and indeed, saw none full of the red flesh of the luscious herb. Then someone in line muttered something about a spinach and tomato scare, and how it’s safer to not eat it.

I can’t believe it. Tomatoes unsafe? More likely, Kim and her Anti-Tomato Underground are spreading false stories on the AP wire in order to pull tomatoes from modern society. Commies against the red fruit, how ironic!!