Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Idle Thoughts While Working Virtually

I've been working virtually today. I woke up and just felt a general malaise. For the last couple of days I seem to have had just the leading edge of a cold - not enough to be sick - but just enough to feel run down. I am clear through the day, but I have been waking up with the morning sniffles. So, I thought I would make a pre-emptive strike against it today and spent the day drinking juice, taking Vitamin C, and eating chicken noodle soup.

I've spent most of the morning on teleconferences and I have one more to go. If you ever want to imagine what it is an information systems manager actually does - picture a lot of teleconferences talking about stuff and reading and writing a lot of email about other stuff - and you will not be very far off.

I often tell the story that when I was very young (less then ten) my father was a construction manager for a company in Rapid City, SD. He had an office with a round window and spent his day doing paper work. I can remember very clearly going to visit him at his office and behing enthralled by the paperwork. I can remember going home and...playing...paperwork with my siblings. If only I knew...

It is another beautiful California day - the sun is shining brightly, the sky is a very vivid blue, and it is cool and crisp out. As I sit here writing, the soup is heating up! Being an information technology worker I have the option to work virtually at my discretion. Sometimes working from home is more productive (less incidental interruptions), but I am basically a social person. I could not work virtually for an extended period of time - I like being around other people to much.

I did have an amusing moment this morning. I was hosting a teleconference and the gardeners showed up to mow the lawn in the courtyard of the apartment complex. Now, keep in mind this is a patch of grass that is about fifteen feet wide and thirty feet long. That is it. Nothing more. They mowed it...and mowed it...and stopped and took a break...and mowed it again. It was pretty amusing since each pass of it took about ten minutes and they managed to stretch it into an hour long job - with a break.

I am slowly adjusting to the move here from AOL Journals. I managed to get the counter installed last night. It was one of those things where...I knew how to do it...but I just couldn't seem to do it right...and then I figured out that...if I put it on, and then actually clicked the submit button, it would work! Sometimes, when I am doing something, I just need to stop, step away, and come back and the answer is right in front of me.

I often relate a work story - I had been struggling for several days with a technical problem that had a bunch of people stumped. It seemed to me that the solution was right there in front of me, but I could not quite tease it out. After a twelve hour day I gave up and started to go home. I turned my computer off, packed it up, and went out the back door of the office. As I walked across the parking lot I notice a rock in the middle of the parking lot, so I picked it up and threw it off into the unpaved portion of the parking lot.

As that rock arced through the sky, the solution to the problem suddenly popped into my brain, complete and concise. I then turned around and dashed back into the office and started the computer again - all the while trying not to lose the solution! It is pretty amazing how the brain solves things.

Well, I am going to settle in and enjoy the soup, take a little time for lunch, play online for a while and probably poke at the journal settings and see what else I can do to get it where I want it to be.

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