welfare bum

Successfully missing the point since 1977.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

a magnet of awesome

so for the second time this year, i was hit by a car.
luckily for me this time, i was in my car when the other car hit me from behind.  and really, it wasn't a car, it was a van.  i wish i could say that nobody was at fault, but really - it was him.  when you hit someone from behind it's generally because you're following them too closely.  i managed to stop for the guy that cut me off - i would think that the guy following me should be able to return the favour.  it took every ounce of my energy to not shout at the guy and say words that would even get censored on canadian television.  i left it at "you were following too close and driving too fast - that's why you hit me.  get me your insurance papers NOW!"
and what's with people hitting me with their automobiles?  this happened to me a couple of years ago in my other car too.  it's not like i have a "Kick Me" sign taped to my back or something.  i even checked for that in the mirror.
there's not much damage to the car.  minor scrapes and the like, but i'm still filing an insurance claim.  i'll be damned if i get stuck paying for this when i have to return my car at the end of the lease.  the insurance people told me that despite the fact that there were no charges laid that they would still hold the other driver's insurance responsible for paying for the damages.  pure awesome in my opinion.  also, it's best that a proper mechanic make the decision rather than me.  last time this happened i would have gotten stuck with a $900 bill for the replacement of the entire bumper assembly if i'd listened to myself and said "aah, the damage isn't THAT bad."
still - there's more proof for you as to why insurance rates are so stupidly high in the GTA - because people who can barely speak or even read english are allowed to pass driving tests and drive however they want.  i seriously question how this person should be allowed to drive.  i actually had to help him spell the word "white" on the collision report when describing the colour of his van.  and on top of that, i also had to write out the story of what happened for him because he could not do it.  in fact, the majority of the collision report was beyond his level of english comprehension.  if someone who has that poor a grasp on the language that we speak here can pass a written test to drive a car, then perhaps things need to change a bit.  it could just be that he didn't understand the part of the driving book that says "don't drive fast really close to the car in front of you". 
don't get me wrong.  i understand that everyone who originally settled this country has faced this type of issue at one point or another, but perhaps a little more time should be spent on educating people as to the rules and regulations that accompany potentially life threatening situations - like driving an automobile.  and anyone who says that driving an automobile is not a life threatening situation should remember that people with cars kill more than people with guns in north america.


Monday, September 29, 2008

in which i wear a tuxedo, shave two days in a row and make a very short speech

so yes, it is in fact true.  i wore a tuxedo this weekend.
and let that also mark the first time in my 31 years that i've ever worn a suit of any kind (other than birthday of course!).  all in all, the day went quite well.  sure things were hectic during the setup in the morning of, and it did kinda rain during the outdoor ceremony, but the rain wasn't that bad and the day was pretty fun.
so - t. , if you're reading this:  happy birthday and thanks for a great time this weekend.  d:  thanks for picking me as your best man, and sorry my toast was short.  i could think of all the right things to say, but i think the nervousness of speaking to 50 people at the same time got me and everything got jumbled.
and that brings me to monday.  at work.  the expression "sounds like someone's got a case of the mondays" really applies to this work place.  it's so bizarre just how many of your standard office stereotypes actually happen here.  maybe it's just that i'm not accustomed to working in such an environment - maybe this is the "normal" office world and everything else i've worked in up to this point has been the exception.
it's been a day of waiting so far.  most days are.  today i have 4 assignments that require responses from the account manager that requested them, and i've had one assignment sent to me that was literally only about several minutes of work.  most of what i've done so far this morning has involved me eating mini-wheats, drinking coffee and texting my sister.  maybe i'll hit the bike shop today, or maybe even the guitar store.  or both if i'm feeling really ambitious.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

things i have to do this weekend

  • wear a tuxedo (my sister's getting married and i'm the best man eh!)
  • shave (see above reasoning)
  • drink beer (again, see above)
i actually shaved today in preparation for tomorrow.  i figured i probably hadn't done so in two or three weeks so if i tried scraping all that hair off my face tomorrow it would probably be more painful and bloody than a mel gibson movie.
also?  i ordered an iPhone from my cell phone provider the other day and was informed that there are backlogs in shipping them out still so i might not receive it until october even though i want it now.
the people that clean the office where i work seem to spend an odd amount of time trying to make sure that my desk is neat and tidy.  every morning the mess of papers is stacked and the plethora of cereal and cracker boxes that are strewn about my desktop are neatly aligned by size and content.  the pop cans and water bottles that litter my desk are always taken away, my pens are lined up neatly and my cutlery is put in proper order (fork, knife THEN spoon).
the only thing the cleaning staff doesn't seem to do is wash my coffee mug which is, in my opinion, probably the easiest thing they could do.  it's probably the most obvious thing that warrants attention on my desk too.  lined up cereal boxes and stacked paper are great, but day old coffee starts to smell if it's not attended to in a prompt manner.
but then again, nothing really makes sense in this place.  it seems like everyone in the company is extremely busy with shit to do EVERY DAY and that i'm the only one who's making their best effort to just kill time but not make it blatantly obvious that i'm doing so.  the really odd thing is that i think it's largely because other people here are ridiculously inefficient in their day-to-day tasks.  like an executive or a manager may request a report, i'd run the report and send it to them.  assuming that i do ever hear back from one of these people it's usually to the effect of "can you export this to Excel - it's not working on my computer for some reason."  this is usually a result of them trying to just copy and paste the information from the reporting application directly, which just plain doesn't work - so they have to ask for help.
and not just ask for help, but get in the elevator, come down two floors walk over to me and ask me at my desk rather than just pick up the phone and call me (i.e. pick up the phone, push four buttons, talk, hang up).  the whole "getting help exporting to excel" process generally eats up about 20-25 minutes of executive/manager time because they've got to stop and shoot the shit about how much rain we've had, and is this nice weather we're having going to last, and holy crap is gas ever expensive eh?
you know, another odd thing about this place is that i've never worked anywhere that had such an emphasis on the end of the day and the end of the week.  i'd go out on a limb and guess that at least one in ten computers in the office has a screen saver set to say something like "is it friday yet???" or "is it 5 o'clock yet???"  is that a regular thing in office land or have i been magically transported to some bizarre tv show?
i wonder if Jack White will give me guitar lessons.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

698 is awfully close

close, but not quite enough.  my 4GB iPod nano currently has 698 songs on it, but that's not quite enough for the entire work week plus travel time.  i figure that i'll have to repeat some songs starting late tomorrow afternoon.
that's the excitement that i'm looking forward to.  or the the excitement to which i'm looking forward i suppose is the gooder grammer.
i'm not going to pretend that spelling is my forte (pretend i typed the accent in there so it sounds like fortay).  it once was.  in my university edumucation days, or even my college edumucation, but it seems to me that in the last couple of years of being bored to death in the work place that my spelling skills are slowly declining.  i think it means i need to read more.
this week did have its busy moments though.  i had 12 reports that i had to deploy for a client, although when i deployed them it turned out their logins aren't set up correctly so they can't even access them anyways.  not to mention the fact that the dude that requested the reports hasn't replied to any of my questions.  do these reports suit his needs?  who knows?  not me, nor do i care.
i've also determined that caring about the end result is not nearly as important as actually just finishing the product.  in the roughly 128 days of my employment at this company i've completed 78 projects and have received only 2 acknowledgements that what i sent out was good.  i know that generally you can follow the "no news is good news" rule, but this place seems to take the "no news" part a little too far.
i have also yet to determine whether or not coming to work between 30 and 40 minutes late every day is impacting my employer's opinion of me.  my 3 month probationary status with the company has come and gone without a hint of notice from anyone other than myself and my direct supervisor seems to be of the opinion that if his boss doesn't mention that it's necessary, then it isn't.  in the grand scheme of things i can't see it being a terrible thing to come in late if you're not actually doing any work when you get here.  i'm almost as productive in my car on the way to work as i am sitting in front of this computer.  the main difference between me at work and me in the car is that in the car i can't hit the web to determine what kind of guitar i want to buy or what kind of bike would suit me best for the winter months.
in theory, i should probably be more cautious about the things i mention with respect to me working.  all internet activity is monitored by the Surf Control and about half of the world's best time-wasting web sites are blocked.
boss, if you're reading this - i'm working my ass off here.  the report's almost done.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

it's september, so this must be about a charity eh?

so, what's happened in the last two weeks since i posted last? not much if you're referring to my job. i'm doing pretty much the same nothing now that i was two weeks ago except that today i had spaghetti for lunch.

also? i'm taking part in the Terry Fox run for cancer research again. i will be running 10 km at the Port Credit run location this upcoming Sunday September 14th. my fundraising goal is $500 this time around. when Terry Fox originally did his Marathon of Hope, all he asked for was $1 from every Canadian. i don't think i'm going to get every to canadian with this post, but feel free to pass the link around for everyone you know to donate. and i'm not limiting myself to just canadians either - i'm more than happy to take donations from anywhere and everywhere.

not only is it for a good cause, but know that the Terry Fox Foundation makes sure that almost 90% of every dollar goes directly into cancer research. overhead and administration is always kept as low as possible, and nobody is turned away from the Terry Fox Run because they didn't raise enough money. every dollar counts.

so sponsor me on my 10 km adventure. if you're so inclined, you can come down to the Port Credit location and run with me - i'm not very fast so you shouldn't have any issue keeping up with me. it's fun, and it's for a good cause.