Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Track is Laid

The author is perhaps a different story.

Today, I gave up. Normally, I am known for my tenacious fortitude, but I just couldn't take it any longer. I postponed the rest of my vacation and went back to work.

You see, it all started when I checked my calendar this morning and realized I was booked for 5 hours of meetings (actually, 5 hours of the same meeting scheduled as two blocks) that I simply could not skip on account of I'm kind of in charge of this aspect of our project (and by "kinda", I mean it is officially owned by someone in a different department, the analysis is run by someone in a different division, the manager under whose charter it falls is at a different site, and my only official responsibilities in the area according to our roles and responsibilities charter is "quality", which means I take responsibility for the accuracy of everyone else's work, which means that I'm the only one required to actually understand the whole thing, though truth-be-told there are at least 4 other guys who actually appear to care about the quality of the work, not of this should be construed to imply that I am a quality assurance engineer, as I am not, because the jobs of assuring quality of the analysis and assuring "quality and reliability" of the product are two distinctly different roles, and it is, in fact, part of my job to assure that the quality assurance people do a quality job of their analysis). So, given that we want to give a high quality update tomorrow, I couldn't skip the final-final warm-up, strategy meetings.

Both the sessionss went 1 hour over. So I had 7 hours of one meeting today. But, hey, we did a quality job.

At the end, we boiled it all down into a 1.5MB powerpoint foilset with one cover page, three pages of update, and 18 pages of backup material explaining all the bajillion things we looked at in order to reach our recommendation. And at the very end, I axed what I figured was an innocuous question, "Who is going to read the foils?"

I figured that the logical choices would be either (a) the guy who wrote them, or (b) the guy whose job it is according to our roles and responsibilities charter to roll out the recommendations of this team to the rest of the world. But, nooooo.... Mr. (b) chimed in that "CherkyB is the face of this group. He should do it."

Then the manager guy said to (b), "Isn't that your job as the chair of this team, you know, to roll out our recommendations?" And he replied, "It's not my job to throw bombs. CherkyB seems to like throwing bombs. He should do it."

Translation: CherkyB is the chosen one to deliver bad news. I wonder if I'll also get to deliver good news.

I'll probably never find out.

I need to find a new line of work. I hear there may be a job opening up managing the construction of a boiler making plant down near the airport.

But I promised you pictured of the train setup, and I always keeps my promises.

This first photo is pre-train, from the day after Thanksgiving when we set up the tree. I call it, "MaxieC, what the hell are you doing?"

Here's a side shot of the train setup under the tree. I don't have the electric switches hooked up yet, but the track is all in place and the rest of the electric accessories are wired. You may note how the layout is unbalanced with the left side larger than the right. This is because the right side would block the entrance to the room if it went farther. You can also see the seam where the two pieces of the base slide together eminating from the center of the circular cutout for the tree base. This lets you put up and take down the tree withought having to have the train layout down to get trampled on.

A shot from above. Notice how this angle has a slimming effect.

The business end, containing a pneumatic log loader, a gravity fed log mill with lever-actuated dumper, and electronic log dumper, an electric train whistle, a railroad crossing with pressure-activated crossing arm, an Arco petroleuom storage tank with flashing airplane warning light, and a model hotel. All of this stuff I have had since I was a kid.


Anonymous said...

That's a great tree!

Anonymous said...

Is reading foils like reading tea leaves?

- blogauthor on her phone

blogauthor said...

Now that I can see this, I'm on a real computer, that photo of MaxieC is utterly hilarious.

Yesterday I meant to put our train around the tree in my further request to become assimilated or something, but I ran out of steam before I got to it. Maybe one night this week and I'll post a photo if it turns out alright.