Thursday, April 28, 2005
another toxic thursday...
we've got this scheme at work for dealing with old computers. we budget for replacing so many computers each year. we use a special selection process for replacing them as well. which is partly to do with how old they are, how much they've been mucking up, and if i've walked past a particular section of people at work and though "shit, look at the crap they've got to deal with, they're next".
it's a very exact science. if i just remember to add the square root of your maiden aunt's birthday into the equation and don't explain it to anyone anyway.
the old computers we wipe, scrub, and install a fresh operating system on. then ship off to auction. as we've got so much shit happening, and we're a few staff members down, retiring old computers is not a priority. so for the last auction we busted our humps, wiped a bunch of them (well mostly one lady did it, she really dug in and made a big effort) then i spent a day loading them into a van and trailer (a few trips) to flog them off. at the end of the day we averaged about $30 for each computer. in time, and effort, and because our storage is all gone we're gonna be paying for storage from now on, it's actually costing us money to remove this shit. if you take about an hour to stuff around, remove the machine from storage, wipe it, load an operating system and then store it again, you're spending more than $30 in labour. and i've got a lot more important things i'd rather they were doing. a lot more interesting too.
i can see it in their faces. we've been short staffed for too long. they're struggling and getting the shits. i'd rather they were doing interesting jobs and having the time to do them properly. it's very fucking frustrating.
so the boss came across a few ideas for organisations that will come and take them from us, no cost, and i also got the lady who spent so much time getting rid of the last lot to look into it as well. i figured she'd be fairly motivated into easier ways of getting rid of them. plus we instantly remove the whole storage problem, triple handling of machines by having to store them, wipe and install again, then store again, then get out of storage for auction.
i came across the coolest solution. mission australia in wollongong has a work for the dole program. you donate computers to them. they'll wipe them. (only we'll wipe them first as well, it's quick and i'm paranoid), check them for faults, install an operating system, then hand them onto whoever asks for them. i figure even though we're giving them away for free we're saving money. the cost of storing them, installing an operating system, and transporting them is more than we're getting for them at auction. and to be fair, they are really worth nothing. we've already depreciated them to zero anyway. 4-5-6 year old computers are worth nothing. if these people have a market of people who want them, good on them.
and we can tell the local organisations about them, and they can ask for computers from them. schools, charities, whatever. and it's all someone elses problem. i don't even have time for the fucking logistics of this shit. the boss is busting my arse about a lot more important shit than this. i want it to go away!
so i figure the end justifies the means. i bust my hump. i ring around, write up some pretty stuff to present the the boss so he can present it to his boss. i'm as happy as a cheshire cat. it's all logical. no sensible human being can fail to be swayed by the cost cutting logic and general goodwill of supporting the work for the dole scheme, (and some people might actually get some useful skills out of it), plus some people might actually get some computers that will be of some use to them.
the boss comes back. he says "step into my office". have i mentioned how much i hate fucking thursdays?
the big boss has completely failed to see the big picture. maybe i should have presented it myself. he says first we must offer them to an external part of our organisation that we don't usually support. sure we still don't have to support them, but we have to set them up with operating systems, and then store the mother-fucking pieces of shit while we wait for them to tell us how many they need and pick them up. and then we have to offer them to the local schools, and wait for 3 weeks for them to get back to us. then we can offer them to mission aust.
hello!! i spit my fucking dummy. this is worse than our current situation. at the moment we are only wasting so much time, and getting money back, and if we work hard and waste some time, we can get rid of them each month. this way i'm storing them, waiting for them to get back to me for weeks and weeks. and if the schools want these old computers they can have them from mission australia. they don't have to have them from us. so i sulk a bit, calm down. and tell the boss i've finished my rant.
with hindsight i think he listened. we're still held up a bit, but after i got an assurance that local schools and organisations will get the first preference for any computers we donate, he said he'd run it past the big boss and try to short circuit the second part where we wait for the schools to get back to us. he'll tell him that the schools can get them straight from mission aust, that way we don't have to wait or store them. and the external groups that can have computers from us, well we've got computers going all the time, we don't have to wait on them either. so i'm waiting with baited breath. nowhere near as confident as i was this morning though, for tomorrow morning.
so maybe i can still get the damned ball rolling after all and then my staff will lose the very grumpy fucking looks they got this afternoon. maybe it's a leadership fuckup. i built them up, told them what a cool idea it was and how much time it'd save them, and then someone slid into us at the knees and slide tackled us from the side. but things have been so hard, so fucking hard. any good news i could find i had to give them.
so you could say that today was potentially a wasted day. i didn't accomplish a lot, but i worked hard at it. story of my life. but if i get the nod. then it could all be worth it. and if i don't, well i already get the impression my new keen staff member is jacking up and getting the shits with the pressure. and he's right. you can do this, or this or this, but not all 3 all at once. and to be honest the others are the same. i've got to get some wins. these guys have put in the hard yards, it's time for the pressure to drop a bit. another department at my work lost just about every useful staff member. they all resigned. they're working on contract for a bit until they are replaced. but that would be a very very ugly situation
and after my rant, my boss listened and came to the party. he's injected his special brand of bullshit that he saves for when he really needs it, to send back up to the big boss. i don't mean he lies, but he explains it in a way that i can only do by browbeating the living shit out of someone, one on one. with his support (he supported me before but didn't add his spin. he had enough on his plate already) i have a much better chance of getting my own way, and pleasing everyone. but he'll have his pound of flesh. next year we replace twice as many computers as this year, and the project i have to make this smoother and faster, i now have to bring off in a stunning display of class, ass, and bullshit.
in other news. soccer tonight. 4-4 draw. ran my guts out. i'm not fit yet. nowhere near. i think on the weekend i'm gonna sticky plaster my right big toenail down, as it started to float a bit towards the end of the game and really fucking hurt. we were up 1-0 at half time. playing strong. 5 mins into the second half we're 3-1 down. one of our backs we swap with the keeper, who goes out and scores 2 goals, along with 2 by one of our strikers. fucking lovely goals as well. a bullshit penalty against us (in fairness, the referee is blind in one eye, really really, pity he can't see out of the other fucking one though) and it's 4-4. but at least it's fair. he pulled up some bullshit calls both ways, so you just grin and keep running. at least our lads don't panic anyway. 3-1 down and we're still playing the same, no-one is yelling or being annoying. when we are 4-3 up the opposition are going off their nuts. gees, get a fucking grip.
45 mins later we're all havin a few beers. who gives a shit :-)
(what a big sulk i've had today....)