Dream: Mark Hamish synth dogs

Lost most of the details, but we were at a party, restaurant was Josh Vernon’s, brass and marble. Well lit, open floor mingling, our company had the whole place. It was in a mall, but so was my company, a research firm.

My boss was not there, but his dogs were. They were getting sick, throwing up if they ate. We could not reach him on the phone, and no-one knew where he was.

I went to find him, but his office was torn apart. I found his research that indicated he had engineered them to starve to death. I could not believe he had not euthanized them.

I kept looking, and found him with the board if directors, and I laid into him, telling him he was horrible, etc etc. I knew I’d just resigned, so I left in a rush.

Somehow, between leaving, and getting out, I knew he was dead, andbthey thought I did it. My DNA was all over his office, and I took his jacket, because he was an ass, because it was cold, and because I could not find my jacket.

Ecxept, by the time I cleared out my locker, it was not cold out, and I was now wearing his jacket over mine. Two people asked me why I was wearing Hamish’s jacket, and I made up stories.

I just had to get out. I knew I was going to be investigated for his death now. I was sort of lost, but finally made it to a bar that was opening, and could pass from the “mall”, theough the bar, to the parking lot.

The lines were huge, so I just went for the compact car lot, because it openned first. I could not get to my car from there, but when I walked to the far edge of the lot, my mom, aunt, and sister saw me, and they drove over ti get me in their big SUV. They heard Mark Hamisch had died, and knew I would be upset.

How to show respect when bestowing honors…

It’s great to announce milestones when employees achieve certain number of years. However, if you’re going to do this verbally, it’s important to find out from the person, or their manager, how to pronounce their name.

It’s not acceptable for a CEO or other executive to claim they are honoring someone, but to say “I’m sorry I don’t know how to pronounce these.” If some of the names are really too tough, it’s fine to send out a list via email, and maybe a temporary blurb on the company page. Even having someone else read the list who can pronounce names is acceptable.

Also, if your company is a conglomerate, it’s not okay for the executive to announce only people in the business unit that promoted them, when it’s a call for the entire company. The list really needs to be complete for the audience selected. It is entirely acceptable to thank only a specific unit when only addressing that unit. It’s entirely acceptable to put a list up somewhere and ask people to review it, as long as they are given access and time.

Further, communication really needs to be targeted. If you have several business units, do not spam XYZ with things only related to PDQ, and vice versa. Technical people for one product do not need, and do not want, sales information for other, mostly unrelated products. On the same token, Sales people do not want, nor do they need, in-depth details about technical matters.

Lastly, when concerns about respect are brought up, it’s important to directly address them. Do not put them off to a later date, or assume they are okay. Put the issue on a list, and put follow up dates on your calendar. Make sure you understand the issue, and that it’s been resolved. Usually, it’s simply a communication error, or sometimes it’s a cultural difference.

Remember, honor and respect are key components. These little things are the pillars of any company. If their expression is hollow or incomplete, then what does that say about the foundation of your business?

My brain

Like to figure things out.  Am never fast, but in single contexts can maintain large amount of state.

Team of resources to help with workload and bouncing ideas, but I mostly like to do my own thing, or dole out independent chunks to others.  

Have high expectations, but TRY to be fair in balancing and shuffling bits to the right people.

Hate training people, and cannot write training.  Can answer questions, research, demonstrate, etc.

Particularly good at finding problems, especially with workflow or tech procedure gaps, but also in unexpected setup and use cases.

Am fine repeating complex tasks until the procedures are refined, but loathe to do repeated simple tasks.

Have decades of experience with AIX system recovery, virtualization, IBM storage, DebIan Linux, mdadm, etc.  Pretty crippled without google or my own build docs to deal with syntax.

Can code in BASH/ksh a bit, and have been proficient in PERL and Object Pascal.  Am not an efficient programmer, so I let most of it fade.

Run Windows desktop (98/2k/xp/7).  Not too content with Mac, Linux or AIX desktop, but can make due.

Too little workload, and I will eplore the intranet, or find some OSS toy, or maybe become a short term expert in something random (pilot, soap, cycling so far).

Too much workload, and I shut down.  Priorities shift, and my work output drops.  Worst with high context shifting, or consistent lack of respect (false justifications, or overt hostility).

Like a lot of flexibility in my schedule.  Some travel is okay. Work from home is great.

Not religious, and not athiest.  Sm my own thing.  Happy to talk politics, religion, etc unless logic is walled out.

Verbose, but I try to simplify emails when I have time.  Often have to talk through something iteratively to figure out what to do.  Mental filtering is some strange, magical thing.

Sometimes have no idea what emotional or other context exists.  Can iterate through and try to define, but not always intuit.

blah blah

Rough Day

I think I like riding bikes most because there are no customer demands when I’m riding my bike. No taking calls in the middle of the road. Just me, some friends, a beautiful machine, and personal challenge.

At least for a few hours, I can pretend everything is awesome.

Checkpoint / Summary

This was an email to a friend and coworker I haven’t seen in a while, and it seemed like a good overall current-life summary. I’m posting it here so I can find it again in the future.

The kids are a wrapped up in more elaborate game design stuff. Max gets out of the house to visit friends, and Khai does Karate 2x/week. Both still growing, but Max is formally a teen now.

Erica got a job at the Lewisville library. Part time, but it’s sort of a ramp-up to her having regular paychecks (a self-validation thing for her), and getting the kids used to being a little more self sufficient (unpossible). She still does her graphic design stuff about 25 hours per month. She wrote a book called “Secrets in the Ink”. It’s “done”, but she has a final formatting verify before activating the listing on Amazon.

Haven’t lost any weight in a while. Stuck between 260 and 265. Not super worried. Dropping more makes me VERY hungry, which slows me down on the bike. Definitely have continued to improve on riding. It’s been mostly mental, and stats help me with that. Also, it’s a good group socially.

Work-wise, I long for the days of one project at a time consisting only of new-system deployments with 100% access and few complications.

Mentally, I *feel* middle aged this year. I’m so ready to have retirement funded, but that’s so far away. At least it’s on track so far, but I see the next couple decades more as a grind than anything else. You know, that part of a game where everything looks just like the last 10 levels, but with different sparkles and all of the items are renamed.

Biking is the thing that’s different right now. I haven’t figure out “the next thing” yet, but I’ve toyed with the idea of jogging/running *gasp*. Cheaper than getting back in the cockpit.

I think it’s time we work out a company paintball or laser-tag or get-drunk-and-eat-food gathering. You know, for Thanks-July-mas.

Time travelling through dreams

Had a stretch of dreams:
I went back to IBM. There was a new center manager named stacey. She was very involved. Employee sat and team social activities were important. The whole center operated like one big happy team.

I went back to high school. There was a graduation party. A bunch of people were there, but all I remember are Blake, Hunter, and Megan. Megan morphed into the reason I’d gone back, but the party was fading. There were new photos on facebook to match the changed history. Megan morphed into Meghan James of the band Purity Ring.

I was walking back to my car, parked a few blocks away in this super-mall, and I saw a plane flying. I sent a message back to my parents when I was a kid for me to take flying lessons back then. “It’ll be cheaper, because fuel costs will be going up.”

Then I was at IBM in 1995, the year after graduating, but before going to IBM for real. I knew a bunch of the people because I had my current memories, but they did not know me yet.

Two dreams

In my dream, I set up a lot of stuff on my coprp desktop but I was not really used yet when I was let go for speaking out too much. (annoying to execs, not violations). I was trying to figure out how to clean it off before leaving so as to not have a security risk for the execs, but I didn’t want to leave people hanging by removing things that no one else had. I was fighting myself over whether to just wipe the system, which would be the easiest way out, but would be a hardship for those who were left. The thing is, no one else would know the hardship even existed. My other option was to save info for when people called me later in the year for help, but even though it would be secure, it would be questionable to have done so. Amazingly, I was not frustrated, just indecisive. Also disappointed in the exec.

Other dream, I remember individually placing hundreds of MineCraft blocks, but not why. This is odd because I really don’t play. IRL, my builds always got destroyed, repeatedly, so I gave up many months ago.