serinde: (brew-up)
The general state of the state is...a state of flux, in nearly every corner of existence. I still don't have a peep back from the co-op board where I want to move; I'm following up on that as I can, but at the moment just trusting that it will happen (and trying to silence the shrieking in my skull). I'm packing that which I can right now--starting with the easy stuff, books and DVDs and fabric and so on--in a collection of boxes kindly gifted by [ profile] cobrawoman and [ profile] sedai, and others I dumpster-picked from the student caff downstairs. I've also made another leap of faith by commanding U-Haul to deliver some specialized boxes (dish barrel and glass packs) early this week; they ship UPS so it may even make it safely into the building, Deo volente.

I had some emotional pinwheeling that was really screaming in the inside of my head for the last couple of months, making me unable to sleep or concentrate, all that rotten business; but, for the third leap of faith, I've actually talked about it, like I was some kind of grownup or balanced, rational being or something. Nothing is different in a real or practical sense, but getting it out of my head and into the world has at least made me able to sleep again (though, like Macbeth, I may have murdered sleep for others, and I am grieved at that).

Work is good, actually, but I am pre-loading some worry and strain. Next month is going to be a right bastard; I have to prep for this leadership program--oh, I didn't mention? Yes, I've been enrolled in a year-long leadership development program, very eminent, run by the dude who was CIO at MIT for twenty years, no fucking pressure at all why do you ask--the first session of which is in Stanford the last week of March, and there is homework one must complete beforehand. Plus, we are kicking off a major application implementation on March 1, and this is almost entirely my pidgin; it will stand or fall based on what I put into it, and it is costing us a number with a lot of zeros on the end, so I had bloody well better not be at home to the Fuckup Fairy. Plus there's the usual day-to-day stuff that keeps me off the street. And moving in the middle of it, which is always glorious for concentrating the mind on the work at hand.

I know I just have to keep on keepin' on, as the man says, and really that's what I do, and I can do it this time too; I know this even in the dark of the night. I could just really wish that it all didn't have to come down at once, and on top of all the other sorrow and chaos swirling around.
serinde: (on the short bus)
[In which I am describing to [personal profile] elibalin the cleaning out of my former henchperson's office, which office I have snarfed because it's one of the best on campus.]

[personal profile] serinde: I found a few items of interest.
[personal profile] serinde: E.g., a cute little palm-sized screwdriver widget. I will loftily ignore the fact that it's from Goldman Sachs.
[personal profile] elibalin: A Goldman Sachs-branded device for screwing. Indeed.
serinde: (job joy)
User: I keep getting this error with Firefox. {description elided}
Student Helper: This happens when Firefox detects another profile in use. {fix elided}
User: That didn't work. Also this started happening when we started using this application hosted elsewhere, and other schools are saying they're having the same problem with it too. So please come troubleshoot it.
serinde: (Delirium)
I haven't really posted about work since starting the new job a year ago. (Then again, I haven't posted much about anything, so it's not that I've been deliberately exclusionary.) But it is needful to set up some background before getting to the actual meat of this post.

Lo: Background. )

Primal conflict: man vs. self. )

What do you do when you don't know what to do? )

Takeaway: )
serinde: (job joy)
Department Assistant: "Hi, I'm calling from the XXXX department. We need to order a computer for our lab, and it has to be an HP, how do we do that?"
Your humble correspondent: "Is there a particular reason it has to be an HP? Is there some kind of peripheral or card it has to have? Because the desktop machines are pretty much created equal, and we should be able to get you a much better deal through Dell."
DA: "I don't know but they said it has to be HP because it needs to run this thing...what is it... L - I - N - U - X ?"
YHC: "...Why don't you email me the spec and we'll figure out what you need to order."

(Quoth [ profile] elibalin, "Maybe that's why my printer keeps jamming. I'm using Windows ink.")
serinde: (job joy)
In general, I am happy in my work (and I have a longer post I need to make on that head), but every now and again I get a reminder that perfect serenity is not granted to us this side of the grave. Vide, a cow-orker voicemail I received today:

"Hi, this is XXX, just to let you know, um, $BOSS stopped by and I just, and so everything's on your thing, I got pulled into this by a sideways motion, who knows. But in any case, I set you any information that I was given, and any policies that are already in place, and, um, that's what she told me to do. OK, talk to you later, bye."

If you are laboring under the delusion that I had any degree of prior context for this, you do not know IT departments.
serinde: (brew-up)
So, a few developments for those who are not living in my brain.

1) I have a new job. My last day at Hunter was Friday, and I'm starting at Barnard on May 10th, where I will be Director of User Services (shut up). This is a big promotion-like thing, and I have moments of shrieking panic, but in my more rational moments I feel tolerably sure I can handle it. I also had the smart of giving myself some time between jobs, which I didn't really have last time 'round; I intended to spend it frolicking around in spring weather, except...

2) So that thing where I hurt my ankle at aikido and then some more in a mosh pit? It was feeling mostly better, so I kept going to class, and I kept going to yoga, and then it started to hurt somewhat when I walked, and then started hurting a lot when I walked, and I did the HMO referrals dance, and the referring ortho couldn't see me til July, and I went back and bibbled at Callen-Lorde's referral dept., and they sent me to the NYU walk-in clinic on Friday who tell me I have a chronic sprain because I haven't just let the stupid thing heal. So I have an air cast and crutches, and I'm supposed to keep off it as much as possible, and wear the (extremely ill-fitting) air cast when walking, and etc. I am coping with this with my usual grace and serenity: which is to say, hanging on by the skin of my teeth and being a whiny little bitch. I seem to have an enforced staycation, except the part where I still seem to be running around a lot. But I'm taking the bus whenever I can, and that's something, yes? In spite of the fact that some of the M66 drivers are rotten fucking people, to the point where one actually closed the doors in my face as I was about to put my foot on the step. (Some of the others are really nice, though, so I guess this evens out.)

3) I still have not hung my curtains. I faithfully swear that I shall call the landlady tomorrow and ask if we have a ladder. I have to change a light bulb anyways. Watch, I'll get them finally up and then hate how they look.

4) As far as I'm aware, we're all still supposed to put our plastic/glass recycling in clear plastic trash bags. So why do none of the stores around me sell 'em?

5) I'm having mental hysterics off-and-on that the progress I'd been making on the weight loss front will now be utterly destroyed by enforced inactivity. Because what can you do without a leg to stand on?

6) I went and asked a boy out, for a number of reasons, not least of which was to confirm that I was capable of doing so. I was ready for "yes", I was ready for "no"; I was not prepared for utter silence. The entire situation has led to numerous reflexions, including that my dating brain appears to be stuck at age 16.

7) I have Rock Band again, which makes me happy, except I really want to drum, but it's my right foot I hit the kick drum with, and that will just not do; and I prefer bass over guitar, but you can't have a solo career as a bassist (tell that to Lemmy, jerkweeds).

8) In spite of all of these bees, I'm doing pretty okay.
serinde: (maneki neko) whom I am well pleased:

serinde: (I see stupid people)
3/30: Professor Foo forwards a phishing attempt of the usual vintage (OMG UR OVER QUOTA, click here to fix) to the college mailing list, saying "Phish warning!" in the Subject, and removing the trawling link, but otherwise unedited

4/7: Professor Bar responds to the college mailing list, asking "Thank you but I do not see a link or password in order to do what you request. Is this still necessary?"

4/7: Professor Foo responds to the college mailing list, saying "I hesitate even to reply to an email, for fear that's a phish. Hopefully Dr. Bar is a real member of this list."
serinde: (I see stupid people)
...which is why most of the students in our School of Education should be banned from contact with them.

Exempli Gratia )
serinde: (self-control)
We have some several small-form-factor PCs which we were testing for use in the student terminal 2.0 roll-out. One such is a Dell Optiplex 760, which was way too big for the job at hand; and since trying to run Windows in a VM on my desktop iMac eats all my computrons, on [ profile] spride's advice I snarfed it to stick under my desk and remote into when I have the need to be plunged into the warm gelatinous mass of Redmond.

While I'm at it, why not see if it will PXE boot and talk to our management console? So I hook it up at our testing bench and turn it on.

1. No BIOS, it just
2. goes directly to a crippled XP configuration screen

Ensued then a Three Stooges-like routine involving me frantically searching it for a volume control (there isn't one), or an "off" tickybox on the screen (there isn't one), or a physical control on the machine itself (there isn't one), or failing that A PILLOW TO STICK IT UNDER (none of those either) so as not to disturb the fifteen other people in earshot.

Eventually it booted to XP proper, and hopefully this will not recur on the next reboot; but I have procured a heavy coat to throw over it just in case.
serinde: (job joy)
As a result of the Plan to Take Over the World, I must needs get access to the university-wide ERP implementation thingie; and not only the account that, eventually, everyone shall have, but I must also get access to the "CRM", which is "Customer Relationship Management", module, which is The Thing What Lets You Submit Trouble Tickets.

So. I activate my account. (The web site is, unsurprisingly, steaming piles of shit, but at least it's better than the new Payroll application.) I go to acquire the form. Behold, this form: it is a PDF, but one that you cannot fill in the fields of. You must print it out, and fill it out, and then send it unto the Mothership.


OK, well, that is par for the course; so I print it out and start filling it out. And I stupidly start writing in my home phone instead of work, scratch it out, and then realize they only left about an inch of blank for phone number (tons of space if you're typing your PDF! but less so for handwriting), so I cannot fill it in.

So here I am with the jar of Liquid Paper I stole from downstairs, to get access to our shiny new system that's going to be all about electronic signatures.
serinde: (job joy)
I submit Yet Another bug report to Payroll about their precious new web app, which is once again puking unindicative server errors at me. The response, in its entirety:

"You need to find out first if you filled out it, please call me to go throu. x 12345"
serinde: (job joy)
[Your humble correspondent returns from a meeting to see the baleful red eye of the voicemail glaring at her from her desk phone. She curses, and plays the message.]
Random Git's Message: Hi, this is Foo Bar. Can someone there please call me back. X12345 *click*
Your Humble Correspondent: Because what we love is some context in our messages. *dials number*
YHC: Hi, this is {me}, I received your message asking for a call?
RG: Yes!
YHC: can I do for you? [1]
RG: Oh! I didn't...but...Maybe I have the wrong person.
YHC: ...............
RG: Are you in charge of the help desk?
YHC: I am in charge of the student help desk, yes.
RG: But for CUNYfirst? [2]
YHC: No, that's being handled by the Faculty/Staff help desk.
RG: So you're the wrong person?
YHC: . o O ( FOR WHAT? ) ....So it would seem.
RG: OK thanks *click*

[1] At this point I am assuming that it's some HR nonsense, as I happened to recognize the person's name as someone who works up there, not that she's actually said anything indicative yet.
[2]This is the big huge university-wide ERP implementation that's being slowly rolled out in stages, rather like successive biblical plagues.
serinde: (fighty!)
Dear Notworks Group:

We knew you were wrong, and that the fact that none of the West Building terminals could connect to, well, anything was actually a network problem. I did, the PFY did, the Windows Server admin did, the sysadmins did, and I'm pretty sure you did too. You lost any scrap of credibility you had in the first place when, an hour in, we found that indeed there was an entire switch turned off. After that was back in service, don't try and tell us that it's not you any more, when we can ping the gateway for the East Building terminals, but get 36 bytes from Communication prohibited by filter when pinging West--and most especially do not try and say "It's your computer!" when I report the above. Neither should you try and claim it's because the IP address they're using as a primary name server went out of commission Monday, because a) they've been working betwixt then and now, and b) the East building terminals with the same configuration still work.

No love,

serinde: (I see stupid people)
So, all last week, I was at an ITIL Foundations course at the Mothership. (Which was initially supposed to be in February, I might add, and they kept shifting the date.) It was moderately stultifying--apparently there had been Special Requests to make the course longer because "it was too hard"--and it will probably come as no surprise to the Gentle Reader that I aced the test to obtain my certification.

Then there is Part II, the Intermediate course, which is specifically on Operational Support & Analysis (i.e., helldesk and friends). This finally ended up being rescheduled for three weeks following, i.e., the week of May 18th. This was a pain in my ass, since my final is that week, but I talked to my really excellent and cool professor and got it rescheduled for the 15th, i.e., the day after our last class.

Therefore, of course, last night, the person at the Mothership who is (mis-)arranging these courses sent mail saying:
I'm trying to fill a class of 12 for next week. Please let me know if you
can definately attend. The May 18 class is not confirmed. It may have to
be rescheduled if I can't get it confirmed by tomorrow.


YES OF COURSE SOME FIFTEEN PEOPLE, MANAGERS UP THROUGH DIRECTORS, CAN DROP EVERYTHING ON A WEEK'S NOTICE. What in the hell? It can take two weeks' notice to get an hour of time on $OVERBOSS's schedule, and a few of the people in this course are at his level. A full week? Forget it.
serinde: (job joy)
So, next week we shall have a visitation of the Middle States Commission, or some portion thereof. They will go everywhere and peek in everything and write up a report at the end to prove that we are Serious College and this is Serious Education. Therefore, of course, the entire school is busily employed in cleaning, painting, tidying, shoving things under beds, and in general preparing for the Admiral's inspection--or, to put it another way, building a Potemkin village. For the most part, this was not going to affect my life much other than "clean desk" and "make sure the minions toe the line", but then...

So, these terminals around campus, which we call PACs, and which the PFY is responsible for. Their current design (which predates both of us) is old, ill-considered, and running on well-past-EOL'd hardware; maintenance ranges from "difficult" to "impossible", and so we are just keeping them stumbling along while Version 2.0 is being worked out (should be deployed over the summer, in a much saner fashion). This was fine, and all knew of it, including $OVERBOSS, who has even made sure we had teh munneyz to implement 2.0, and without scrimping at that.

Until, in the wake of a late Middle States meeting at the beginning of the week, the decision was passed to me that All PACs Must Work before the commission arrives at 7am Monday. IF IT WAS THAT EASY THEY'D ALL BE WORKING

Gory details here. )

So, in a nutshell, the PFY and I are almost certainly working Saturday. I had to come in anyways, for another damn freshman orientation, but I thought not such a big deal, stagger over at 11am, give short speech, stagger home; but it will be A Full Day, I am sure. (And then Sunday is another interstate moving adventure.)
serinde: (job joy)
Several weeks ago, when I was ranting about some irreconcilably-differing data I had gotten from the Mothership's HR division, $BOSS told me: "Don't try to understand what's going on over there. If you ever finally manage to understand all of it, you'll go completely insane."

This is a perfect analogy and I need to print it out and tack it above my desk.

Comes now a student, who I shall call Sally Smith. Sally's problem is that, in Blackboard (the course management system), she keeps showing up as "Sam". This information being fed from CUNY's LDAP, we look there, and sho' nuff, they have her as "Sam Smith". This means that some college database, somewhere, is telling them that she's Sam. Now, the only one of these I can check is the student database, and it knows she's Sally, so that's not it. So we open a trouble ticket with the Mothership's help desk. In due course, they respond, informing us that it's our employee database feeding the bad info. OK; we send Sally off to bug HR.

But, I ponder more deeply, why does her LDAP record not show that she has a staff affiliation at Hunter? That's supposed to be automagic. If $PERSON is in the employee database, the next pull gives them staff affiliation in the LDAP. And if her info isn't being pulled, how can that be the source of her involuntary gender change? I reply to the Mothership, I ask this question. Oh, Theron Marks, where are your children now?

Quotha: "She does have a staff affiliation. When you look at the Campus LDAP, the role & the campuses doesn't necessarily line up."

So, look at that image again. She has N student affiliations and one staff affiliation. And what they tell us, what the official answer is, and I confirmed this with $FORMER_OFFICEMATE who has to deal with them all the time, "you worthless gits at the college have no way of knowing which college that single Staff affilliation really goes with".

I should mention that EVERYTHING a person can do is linked to their college/role affiliations. So if something is fucked up, if a person can't register or can't log into course management or a million other things, we can't actually tell what the problem is, because they give us garbage reporting. The actual data may be right, or it might not; we can't tell. Effectively, they have fingerpainted a picture on canvas, tacked it to a cardboard box, and said "Here's your TV, now shut the fuck up". I don't know why they think that giving eighteen support desks a tool that they know gives bogus information is in any wise helpful. BRAIN EXPLODE NOW

Lest you think this unusual, I present you with $FORMER_OFFICEMATE's record. He is not twice a student at CCNY; he's a student there, a student here, and staff here. And we know the actual directory entry is correct, because he can register for classes; but if he came up with a registration problem, we would take one look and say "well, you aren't listed as a student with Hunter, you need to double-check with Admissions to see that you're actually admitted this semester", thus wasting scads of time and making him run around to places that cannot help him, because he's actually correct everywhere.

This is what they give us to work with. And they wonder why we want as little to do with them as possible, and jeer loudly at their insistence that they should run campus email.


serinde: (Default)

September 2013

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