Monday, January 25, 2016

teeth of winter

We are now, sadly, fully in the teeth of Old Man Winter…at least here in Kentucky, it’s hard-core winter now.  We got our first troublesome snow early last week, and then come Friday - all hell broke loose.  By the accumulation on our deck railing, I’m guessing nearly a foot of snow dropped on us in 24 hours’ time.  Universities and schools called off Friday and weekend classes.  I left my office at 10 AM on Friday and drove home to work from there for the rest of the day.  Fortunately, my job is one that can be done from anywhere that has Internet access, and fortunately, my supervisor is agreeable to let me work from home when weather becomes an issue.

Snow is melting today.  Bring spring, please.  

We refer to winter as Old Man Winter, but no other seasons are personified (as far as I know).  If spring were a person, I’m certain she would be female – a beautiful, youngish, energetic, motherly sort with long, flowing hair.  Spring is a time of rebirth – green grass, flowers, new leaves, and baby birds.  Mother Spring is happy and hums to herself while she stays busy tending to growing things and bringing life back to the world.  Old Man Winter is sour and cranky.  I’m pretty sure he has a nagging cough, squinty eyes, and the stench of something rotten on his breath.  Instead of singing, he grumbles to himself (much like one of my co-workers, years ago).  In defense of this man I used to work with, I honestly believe he had no awareness that he was talking to himself as much as he did.   A few times when we were sitting across from each other and his mumbling got on my nerves, I’d ask him if he was talking to me, knowing full well he was entirely at work in his own world.  He’d look up at me with a look of total surprise, or perhaps he thought I was hearing things.
Old Man Winter bared his nasty fangs with this last snowstorm.   After the snow, the temperature became bitterly cold.  It was so cold Saturday, in fact, that I got up in the wee hours to get another blanket.  Someone can’t sleep with anything covering him other than he always puts a pillow over his head.  If I’m the least little bit chilly, I can’t sleep at all.  So while he laid there on top of the comforter, dead to the world  in a short-sleeved tee-shirt and shorts, I slid out from my cocoon (sheet, blanket, and heavy comforter) wearing fleecy warm pajamas to retrieve another blanket to put overtop my side of the bed.  Once, settled back into my place, Molly curled up on one side of me and Gracie on the other (between me and Someone).  It was very cozy with my furry bed warmers and the extra blanket.
Here I sit at work writing a blog post…again.  It’s not like I’m doing nothing productive though.  A conference call is droning on (and on) and probably will go on for another hour.  Young people (all men, of course) insist I listen in on their debate regarding what to do about a particular situation.  As the subject matter expert (SME) on the topic, I gave them six options: two options are not great but the other four are decent.  The best option is going to cost money but will be easy and fast to deploy (that’s why it’s best).  But no, they want to DISCUSS the options (even the bad ones) in agonizing detail.  While they are dragging their feet with meetings and discussions and endless emails, the people in the field are suffering.  Productivity is suffering, and the consequences could be dire if we get some bad circumstances before this is resolved.  But I am only the old SME with a dead career; they each hope to distinguish themselves at all costs and at the expense of the poor workers in the trenches of this company. 

Not only this lovely conference call, but also I’ve written and kicked off a massive batch script this afternoon.  The script is doing work in one afternoon that would take me a month to do with my hands and eyeballs.  In a nutshell, it’s crawling through folders of a massive shared drive looking to see if any of 365,000+ specific files are missing.  It’s a QA effort that needs to be done.  I’m productive as hell today; they’re f***ing lucky I haven’t retired yet. 
Speaking of leaving, I’ve made time to apply to a few more universities this month.  There are several more I want to apply to as soon as I can make time.  If I could just pick up that third adjunct job, I would plan a precise date for my exit.  As it is now, I’m just going to work until my vacation runs out (perhaps mid-July???).
Teaching is going well this session (at least so far).  The face-to-face classes (at University #1) are different this session as compared to the last (which was my first face-to-face teaching experience).  It just seems easier now and it’s even fun, believe it or not.  Perhaps it’s having more experience that is making the difference.  Class time goes by very quickly.  It’s nothing like my real job…thank heavens!!


My classes at University #2 are all online.  The current session ends in seven days.   If there is a break before the next session starts (I may get one if enrollment is low), that’ll give me time to get more applications out.  Rust never sleeps, and neither should I, but I’m tired of working all the time.  Too much work and not enough play gets tiresome.     

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