By the end of tomorrow I’ll have worked seven days in a row, and the only reason it’s not more is that I took last Wednesday off to let British Gas in yet again (I’m not naming and shaming this time, as they’ve replaced my radiatior with one that actually heats my room now). It’s thus entirely possible that mah jerrrb is taking over mah life, and the next stage might be for my boss to buy me a phone, so they can contact me any time they like…
I was always planning to go into work on Saturday in order to help one of my learned colleagues upgrade a server; this, however, was postponed indefinitely due to the fact that the server in question is too old and can’t be guaranteed to work with Windows Server 2012. We were also having problems with our website, but my other learned colleague (the one I think of as senpai in Japanese terms, even though he’s a black Londoner, with no Far Eastern blood) didn’t need my assistance with that, and so I went home early, content that I’d have a bit of extra money from the overtime, and watched Scarface properly for the first time (a Blu-ray target of opportunity).
So imagine my surprise when I got a call from senpai on Sunday, asking me (and one other) to come in to help with the website, at double-time! We didn’t get everything done on the day, but I helped restore sidebar navigation and replace broken URLs with working ones where I could… over about eight-and-a-half hours (so I’ll have no trouble paying for my mother and grandmother’s Christmas presents this year). And then on Monday and Tuesday (today), I did more of the same — but this time, in conjunction with my normal weekday computer-fixing, printer-toner-replacing, backup-tape-swapping, PDF-default-program-resetting, crashed-mobile-phone-battery-taking-out-and-putting-in tasks!
I like to think I’m making myself indispensable (again), as not only have I helped with a lot of the donkey work in restoring the website, I’ve also learned how to sort out these kinds of problems in the future as they come in, and thus can take some of the strain off my colleagues. Unfortunately I also learned some home truths this weekend: my other, other learned colleague (I have the three of them in a group called “Dorks” in my phone list) really doesn’t like or respect our boss, and is hoping to move on as soon as possible! If it does come to pass, my hope is to learn as much about Citrix from him as I can before he leaves (a process already begun), and thus take on those duties as well — but would the pay rise compensate for the additional out-of-hours duties, and the inevitable stress and disruption to my (ahem) social life…?
At least I’ve sorted out (to much acclaim) the problem that was causing Word on certain people’s PCs to crash during Group Policy updates (as I thought, it was the printer refreshing), and thus cleared out some lingering tickets from my queue. However, in the current website crisis, more than ever, I’ve noticed the tendency for two tickets to come in for every one ticket I close (hence the Sisyphus vibe in the image above) — and people still hold out a forlorn hope that we can press a button to restore the website fully, when in fact we (and they) have to go through what we currently have and manually fix the sidebars and links. There’s no quick fix, especially considering we’re not sure why the website went wrong in the first place, and that it won’t happen again and undo all our work!
(But don’t tell anyone who I work for, okay? It’s a good company, and I don’t want to bring dishonour upon them just because I wanted something work-related to talk about in my little-read blog!)
My other general life issues are mostly getting cleared up, and things are going well just before the end of a bad year: for one thing, the reason I won’t end up working eight days in a row (despite the Beatles-inspired title of this blog post) is that I’ve booked Thursday off work, and will thus be able to box with my personal trainer (the last time I see him this year), and go to Winter Wonderland with “best mate” when he’s back from Wales! I’ve also received a load of Transformers-related presents from my old friend in Michigan (hopefully I can get him something through Amazon USA, and thus have it delivered before Christmas), and best of all, as I said before, my room’s tolerably warm now thanks to my new radiator (and the mild weather), so I’m more content to stay in this house a bit longer.
In addition, I’ve fixed that Reliability History-trashing wmiprvse.exe startup crash on my PC I mentioned previously: it’s 99% sure to have been Samsung Magician (which monitors the SSD I’ve had as my Windows drive since 2013), as stopping it auto-starting has ended the issue at a stroke! Possibly it wasn’t contacting the Internet properly, thanks to the modified hosts file I use to block advertising and resist data harvesting, but there’s no way I’d stop doing that. So there you go — even if I can’t fix everything at work, I’m still master of my own PC’s destiny… and I’m building one for my mother as well, using my old processor!
(Damn, still need a low-profile CPU heatsink/fan that’ll fit in the box, but the only half-decent ones that might actually work are sold by Amazon USA… gah!)
We’ve also got a new housemate, who’s settling in nicely, and our landlady’s forgiven me for questioning the 10% rent rise and isn’t suggesting I move out — which is good, because where the hell would I go, my family home in Worthing?! Commuting from there to Oxford Circus would take two hours at the best of times, and Southern have ensured these are far, far worse times than ever (my mother’s still calling them “snivelling wretches” after one single visit to London during the summer!). The landlady’s proxy (my former-drummer-turned-trucker housemate) is also moving out next year, and I’ll likely take on the duty of liaising with Virgin Media in order to manage our Internet connection — which I’ll do with an iron fist (and a MAC whitelist)!
Boy, I’m really getting into this IT career thing, aren’t I… and it’s only taken six years, two nervous breakdowns, one self-finding visit to the western USA, and more money than I’ve earned thus far! I don’t know how far down the rabbit hole I can bear to go: if they buy me a work phone, I have an idea (from how frequently I hear senpai‘s work phone buzzing as he gets a message, even on a quiet day) of just how much work I’d be burdened with, even when I’m supposed to be on leave.
But considering how low I was this time in 2011, we can say that at least I’ve left behind the “dark night of the soul”, and found instead… a hard day’s night?
(And I’ve been working like a Scumdog! See, I’m still more a fan of Gwar than the Beatles…)