Blast! No blog from Debbie. I forgot she has this week off because of the DNC.
I am afraid to use my sink. After not having one for so long, it's quite overwhelming even just looking at it. This morning I took stuff down to be washed, stared at my sink and then took all the stuff to the bathroom instead. They are still sitting there. I am thinking about whether it is time to break in the new sink.
Woody the Detail Guy continued to work on the stairs to the upstairs unit today. The holes in the ceiling are still there. Dave the Plumber came to hook up the gas. Worked for about 3-4 hours. Hopes to finish up the remaining 3-4 hours when he brings the inspector by - hopefully later in the week. No one knows where Scotty the Contractor is. The Granite People STILL didn't come to put up the backsplash - could have been the rain this morning - the granite would have been all wet, etc etc etc. And Judy the Painter took the day off.
Didn't run today - still letting the foot rest. Now I am wondering if I am developing PF in the righ foot! GAH!!!
I had the day off today - until the day started. We were supposed to go to in Norton to watch the Deutsche Bank Classic golf tournament. But there was lots of rain and we didn't feel the need to drive down there, with rain delays and then turning around and driving back with nothing to show for it. Of course, I just looked out the window and the day is just beautiful. The question is, what do I tell the person who gave us the tickets? For free.
So, this morning, I spent about three hours on the phone with our company help desk. THREE HOURS. Now, this is NOT a sign of their stupidity but a sign of the complex nature of the problem.
You see, I have this wireless laptop. We also have a company supplied wireless firewall/router that plugs into our broadband. Got that? Good.
We also have the ability to connect in remotely to our company computers and have our laptops function exactly as they do at the office. Got that too? Good good.
Yup. It's way convenient. All of this is done by way of digital certificates and VPN's (Virtual Private Network). And it's complicated by the fact that our firewall security is so tight that we have lots of gatekeeper applications that don't allow things to just "pop in". And I don't mean pop up ads. In fact, I get a lot of pop up ads. I mean the kind of things that leak in from outside without you ever finding out or knowing about it. The stuff works so well that sometimes it won't even allow itself in. Got that? Good.
And to complicate matters even more, you have different groups handling different pilots, rollouts and implementations of this software. AND different help desks through a single 800-number. It's like a buncha doctors that do not communicate. One will want to cut without consulting the other doctor who knows that the problem doesn't have to be cut out over there, but gently pressed way over here and the pain will go away. Got that?
Okay... feeling a little dizzy? Good. That's how it's supposed to feel.
Now, we have a great help desk. We have very sophisticated software. And complex integration. All compounded by the fact that our software isn't straight-off-the-shelf-vanilla. Nope. When we work with a software vendor, we work with them to "corporate-tize" it to our tastes and likings. In fact, our company logo is everywhere as opposed to the underly vendor logo. To the extent that these vendors have special corporate builds just for us. And if they won't, we BUY THEM! The whole damn company! [Resistance is futile; you will be assimilated...] Got that? Yes, I work for a very big company with lots o' power.
So, back to my problem. I got the wireless laptop and then the wireless firewall/router. I could never get my remote access software to work. But I had internet access. So I started to use the web access to my email. Problem is that for me to be fully functional at home, my desktop and access has to be IDENTICAL TO HOW IT LOOKS AT WORK!!! And without the remote access software working that was NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN!!!! GAH!!!!
On top of that, I was using wireless software at work - it was pretty much "internally pirated" or unofficial, meaning using a wireless router at work that was piloted a few years ago, never really implemented into production and my new wireless laptop to access the "bleed" from two floors down.
This worked fine for a year. One Year. Yup yup yup.
Then Mobile Office project came in. This is essentially allowing people to work anywhere at any time - included with it were blackberries, phones, automatically assigned IP's, laptops, etc etc etc - which was in conjunction with The Move to RI and NH from Boston of a slew of people. Including my entire staff - except me. [Same thing with another couple of managers. Whatever.] My company (or sub-company for those who work for companies that really are a single company as opposed to a big company that have lots of a-little-smaller-companies under the big company umbrella and I am not talking about things like Colgate-Palmolive with different divisions that don't talk to each other because WE ALL TALK TO ONE ANOTHER and TRY to act like one company only when we want to or need to. GOT THAT??) started the move out of Boston - setting the "example." Whatever.
The problem is that LOTS of our customers are STILL IN BOSTON! HELLOOO!!! So LOTS OF PEOPLE MUST TRAVEL! From Site to Site.
In comes Mobile Office. Like a GOD!
Okay. Still with me?
Now. In comes the TRUE WIRELESS LAN PILOT. Real official stuff gets loaded on my laptop. I am a part of the pilot group (suckers) and the Wireless Routers are REAL and OFFICIAL. Yeah! All of a sudden, my wireless is terrific.
At home, my wireless is terrific, too! Before the Pilot, my "not-real" wireless software would connect to my wireless router than then mysteriously disconnect. This would happen about every 1-3 minutes. ONE to THREE MINUTES! ARG!!! Do you know how UNPRODUCTIVE THAT IS???? That means hundreds of manual reconnects and automagic disconnects a day if I were to work from home. And the fact that I couldn't connect through Remote Access made me work through the web browser on email, which only gave me about 2% of the functionality I needed from home.
Needless to say I wasn't very productive.
Okay. Since I've been traveling to the remote sites, I realized that I need to work from home and be productive. So on this fine day, I decided to call the Help Desk.
The Help Desk Guy remoted into my laptop and took control. He pushed a lot of buttons, unloaded stuff, uninstalled stuff, reset stuff, and rebooted alot. Remote access worked directly wired to the cable modem. Good.
Then more stuff with checks and clicks and Remote Access worked directly from my wireless modem/router. Very Good.
But, something is going on with the wireless stuff. It should all be dynamic. Both the network options for Wireless and Wired should be enabled. The Switching from one to the other should be dynamic depending on what the computer detects. But the wireless software decides it must be King and pushes itself up in the stack and tries to connect and pushes out the Wired and all sorts of stuff ensues.
So, I finally managed to get into Remote Access using the wired capability of the wireless router and I've been VERY PRODUCTIVE TODAY! :o))
I got a follow up call from the Help Desk guy about an hour ago - after working about 5 hours. He said he had to forward the rest of the problem to the Wireless Pilot Help Desk guys. But he will monitor the information and follow everything that is going on because he not only wants to make sure that I am being serviced correctly but so that he can learn so he can help the next person that comes along.
We are almost there. It is still a tangled web. But I think we know where the tangles lead and how to untangle it. I think.
And the Help Desk Guy? He's in RI at the same campus we are at (we only have one campus - duh...). I might give him a You've Earned It award which comes with a $150 or $300 check (with taxes applied) or an On the Spot award that comes with the cash award of $50. The OtS might be better applied here.
So today, I managed to tie up some loose ends, create the draft of a presentation to the CIO I am giving next week and forward it to my boss, and yell at someone about duplicating my work on headcount forecasts for the work that MY GROUP DOES!! HELLO!!! DO I TELL YOU HOW TO DO YOUR WORK, YOU MICRO-MANAGING OVER-ACHIEVING EXTRA-WORKING-DOING INEFFICIENT PERSON, YOU???
I even managed to THINK about the presentation that I need to do for the EVP of our company.
It's been a good, productive day.
Now I might go and see about those dishes and take another look at my sink.
Happy happy happy!