Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hacking My Own Brain And Random Departments

The other day, Friday by Rebecca Black (no link provided because I’m not that cruel) popped into Scott’s head, and, because that’s how the sickness works, he tried to pass it along to me via IM.
However, with considerable effort – I commented that I thought I’d burned over a thousand calories from the act of concentration – I managed to prevent it from infecting me.
I accomplished it by voluntarily getting the song Like a Stone by Audioslave stuck in my head:

The reason that this worked is that, while I kind of like the song, I don’t really know it that well, and, while I hate Friday, I do, unfortunately, know it well.
This was the key to keeping young Miss Black out of my head, as I know that, when presented an option, my brain will always go with the song I don’t know very well, as I tend to find it more irritating to have a song – even one I that I like – that I don’t know playing over and over again in my head, even when the alternative is much, much more annoying.
Scott described it as “hacking my own brain.”  I pointed out that it’s just a matter of having learned a few tricks in the nearly four decades that I’ve spent living with the thing.

A New (Old) Department Department:
After more than a year after mentioning that it was coming, and then never officially talking about it again, we recently had a reorg at work.  Because they decided that the employee opinion survey-identified goal of improved communication is something that they’re going to work on for what remains of the year – and also because I’m reasonably certain they had no idea what they were doing – our managers were provided with virtually no details about what was coming beyond a vague guess as to when.
Naturally, the rumors started swirling, because, as much as executives hate to have rumors circulating, it never occurs to them that there’s a very effective method for stopping the rumors before they start.  (Hint:  It’s not keeping everything top secret and flat-out refusing to answer direct questions.)
For a while it seemed as though some major changes were in store for me – though I was assured that my neck wasn’t on the chopping block – such as being moved to a completely different department.  This was a bummer, as it meant that I’d be losing out on having the great boss I’ve had for over a year and a half.
However, at the last minute, those plans changed, and the end result is that not much of anything is changing for me.  Same job, same boss, but she’ll have a different boss, and our team is undergoing yet another name change.
I did, however, lose some team members – who performed an entirely different function from whatever the hell it is that I do – as they got moved to a different manager, and three entirely new (to us) people are joining the team, presumably to the same thing that I do, whatever the hell that may be.
In the announcement that went out, the names of the five people who will now be reporting to my boss were called out, and while it wasn’t an alphabetical listing of names, there did seem to be some kind of order in how the names were listed, which made me take note of the fact that my name was listed dead last.
I copied that bit out of the announcement and e-mailed it to my boss – who was on vacation – with the subject line “Well, at least I know my place…” and said, “Whoo!  I’m Number 5!  I’m Number 5!”  (I also told her that I was glad that she was still the boss.)
She replied that maybe “5 is the new 1.”
Like I said, I’m glad she’s still the boss…
Ultimately I can’t complain too much, as this is still much better than some of the rumored changes, and while my neck was, apparently, never in any danger, there were a lot of other necks that ended up on the chopping block.

The Key Takeaway Department:
(In briefly explaining the history of the Java programming language to someone much, much younger than I am at work, I realize that I’m talking about things that happened when she was still in grade school.)
Me:  …anyway, the key takeaway from all of this is that I’m old.

Life Expectations Department:
Some things I – perhaps foolishly – expected to see in my lifetime:
Humanoid household robots
Off-world colonies
Cold fusion
The discovery of extraterrestrial life

Something I never expected to see in my life:
A Captain America movie that’s even halfway decent

The jury is still out on some of those expectations, but today I learned that I was wrong about the Captain America movie.  Not just wrong:  dead wrong.  Captain America:  The First Avenger is excellent.  I couldn’t have – and didn’t – hoped for a better Cap movie.

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