Monday, March 12, 2007

Oh, the Simpering

I learned something new today. I don't remember what it was. I'll let you know when I think of it.

It's finally over. There are two, annual awful events at The Company. The first is the annual performance evaluation time, where you have to do detailed writeup of everything you did over the last year, plus three things that are your strengths and three things that are your "developments". If your developments don't include at least one thing that you screwed up during the year, they get sent back to you for a rewrite. Unless your boss is a complete prick, then two of the three things have to be things you screwed up. You also have to write detailed information on other people, as every boss needs to get feedback from at least three people about everybody. If you are exceptionally popular, you may have to do 30 of these. I only had to do 12 because everything I say is certified true, which means there are only about 12 people in The Company about whom I will say nice things. (Well, this year there turned out to only be 11 - hee hee!)

But all that is over in January.

Then, they give you a one-month break, and it becomes company conference paper submission time. Everyone likes to submit papers to the company conference, as advancement in the company is largely dependent upon how many people in other groups know who you are, and the conference is a great place to schmooze. A number of years back, they started requiring you to write complete, properly-formatted-for-publication papers to even be considered. So the entire technical leadership workforce for The Company grinds to a halt for two weeks while they all write papers that are mostly going to be rejected.

Last year I got to be a reviewer for one of the more popular tracks. We had to accept 8 papers, and we got about 200 submissions. So 192 teams of 1-4 engineers wasted about 2 weeks of company time writing something that will ultimately be never looked at again. There are roughly 20 tracks. We're talking many thousands of highly-paid wasted hours. Well, "highly-paid" is rather subjective. We're not lawyers or dentists or plumbers, but we do OK.

The submission deadline was 6pm today. I was co-author of two papers, one of which went right to the wire. But now it is done.

Speaking of plumbers, my shower is still leaking. You may all remember that water dripped through my dining room ceiling witin a week of us moving in, and we spent $9k replacing the shower pan and two of the three walls and the door in the shower. Then it still leaked, and we just spent another $3k replacing the third and final wall. The whole thing is new.

And it still leaks.

The plumber dude was here today taking a look at it. Happily, The Mrs. and I had diagnosed the problem to being the track of the shower door. We did that Saturday night at 2am by running the various shower heads aimed in different directions and watching for water, then pouring cups of water in places that seemed to make water appear on the floor when we were running the shower heads. Other married couples could have maybe thought of something better to do at 2am on a Saturday night, but we've been together for 21 years, so pouring cups of water on the walls in the shower stall seems like great excitement to us.

Or, at least, to one of us.

We discovered that water appeared immediately after pouring water on the fixed panel of the glass door. If we poured water into the weep hole of the door track, the water flowed like a faucet out onto the floor. The guy from the glass shop who had installed the glass door after the first $9k had told me that a lot of time, people forget to seal up the ends of the tracks by filling them with silicone, and then it will leak out the ends. But the door had been removed and re-installed by the general contractor during the second $3k redo. So the plumber removed the door, and sure 'nuff, the silicone plug was missing from the end that was leaking. There were remnants of one having been there once, but it wasn't there anymore.

Everyone say a prayer for our shower tonight.

The plumber was here to fix the leaking hot water tank. He diagnosed the problem as being a bad expansion tank, so he replaced that. When I was googling my problem (water coming out the pressure relief valve when you had used a whole lot of hot water and then stopped using it), I found it was usually a bad expansion tank. When I read the manual for the furnace/water heat, it suggested this was most likely a bad expansion tank. So the $250 I spent to replace the pressure relief valve was wasted (and didn't fix the water problem).

I'm afraid to go into the utility room to see if it is dry. I'll go in tomorrow.


Rhonda said...

I said a prayer to the shower gods...
hopefully this will do the trick and all your leakage problems are behind you.

CherkyB said...

At least until the prostate goes.

Anonymous said...

Or when I jump on the trampoline.

Anonymous said...

Who's dirty?

Nava said...

You're saying The Company is wasting time and money (and rainforests) on nothing?
And that is without even counting the pointless business trips from across the world that will follow, so managers can enlarge their stash of free miles and go for the semi-annual orgy at Fry's.

How very utterly shocking, isn't it?

Nah, it's actually in the "Duh!" category. Can be even upgraded to the "Keilu, Duh?".