Sunday, February 22, 2015

But It's Instant!

It's time for me to rant about one of my pet peeves. I realize that those of you who know me are probably trying to figure out which of my many pet peeves I could be talking about. It's true. I have more than a couple. But I also have more than a couple pets, so I figure if I can feed and house multiple real pets, I ought to be able to hang on to more than a couple of pet peeves as well.

Anyhow, the one that has been bugging me most lately (other than the whole "ask as a noun" nonsense, as in "the current ask is...") is people who abuse instant messaging.

I don't work in the office with everyone else 80% of the time, so I admit it's normally a little difficult to just walk over to my desk and ask me a question or request something. So I understand that instant messaging might possibly have a place in the workplace. But given that we also have email and software for meetings, here is what it is good for:

  • Those times when you have a quick question or request that requires an immediate response
That's it. I mean, I made it a list, but really there's only one item.

Here's what it isn't good for:
  • A request to start a major project that will require (at the very least) actual requirements
  • A random question about a report that was sent out four hours ago 
  • A question about something that you could figure out on your own
What's even worse (and so many people know that this drives me crazy that they do it on purpose just to mess with me) are the people that start the IM conversation with:
"Hi Theresa"
and then they wait for me to respond. Let me tell you... If I have to write back "What do you want?" and then sit around five minutes for you to type a sentence that says "I was wondering whether that four in the second column of the report should be in a different font", your chances of me doing anything for you drop down to almost zero.

I type reasonably quickly. The people who interrupt me with this sort of message inevitably don't. Before they interrupted me,  it was very possible that I was trying to figure out how to join five database tables together to get the results that I need. I was concentrating. I concentrate a lot when I'm working. I can't concentrate when I have to pay attention to IM. So now I'm just sitting around thinking about how irritated I am that this person is IMing me. Seriously, these people are lucky if they ever get anything from me ever again.

So, yeah, that's the rant of the week. Next week I may cover companies that are convinced that the way to prove they are a technology company is to get rid of the white boards and paint the walls with special paint so that all of the walls can be used as whiteboards... except the ink doesn't actually come off so it just looks like a bunch of graffiti inside the building and there's no space left to discuss anything new. Also, white boards are white, and orange walls are not. But I guess that can wait for next time...

Sunday, February 8, 2015

All the Latest News

I finally managed to turn in (and discuss) all three writing prompts in my writing group, which means that now I am eligible to have them critique something I care about. However, since we have discussed my work, and only my work, for the last three meetings, I think I'll try to give everyone a one-meeting break. Frankly I'm sick of me. I can't even imagine how everyone else feels.

(We did have The Great Semicolon Debate of 2015 at one meeting, though. I think it's fairly awesome that I know people that will argue about stuff like this. Weird, but awesome.)

Anyhow, the only other thing I really have to say is that there needs to be a better rating system for television shows. Forget the sex, violence, and swearing. Who really cares about that? No, I just want to know how depressing the show is going to be so I know whether I should watch it right before going to bed.

Here is my proposed rating system:

C - Cheerful. (C+ indicates that there is a smile and wink by the main character toward the camera in the last scene.)

D - Depressing. The show kills off a major (well-liked) character during the episode, or a minor (well-liked) character in the last scene.

DD - The dog dies. (I'm not the only one who feels the need to know this -- there's actually a web site that rates movies based solely on this criterion.)

Between Elementary and A Touch of Frost, I feel this rating system should be implemented immediately. I realize that there might be some pushback on these categories mostly because it will sound like people are talking about bra sizes, but people just need to get over it.