July 30, 2002
True Tales from the Jobsite

TTLB and Chad Orzel have talked about a desire to see more diversity in blogging; more stuff about what people do and less armchair punditry. I find that I'm slowing down a bit on general purpose punditry these days. There's a lot of people out there with more time, interest, and knowledge than I who pound away at that stuff. I'd rather say something original than add to the echo chamber, so unless I feel I'm really adding some value I've preferred to read rather than write on those topics.

I'm more interested and have been more active of late in local and state politics, partly because it interests me sufficiently, and partly because there's a smaller chorus to sing in. That fits with my original philosophy for this blog, which is that I'll write about what I want to. If I start to feel compelled to write about things, this will start to feel like work, and that way burnout lies.

I just wish I had a sufficiently entertaining job to write about. I have a friend who has had many excellent jobsite tales to tell (I especially recommend this one and this one - standard No Beverage Warning applies to each), but as an email administrator, most of my job would bore a night watchman. If I ever bring my own kid to work on Take Our Children To Work Day I'll have to lie about what I do. "Hey, watch Daddy import this tab-delimited text file! Oooh, now I'm going to write a Perl script to format the output!" Some days I make Dilbert look like a thrill ride.

Even in my time as a Help Desk tech, I never had any truly juicy stories about stupid user tricks. I spent three years as the help desk for a company that made programming tools for DOS. Programmers do tend to be a bit more computer literate than the average user, so there wasn't too much humor potential. Of course, some of these guys used a high-level database language called Clipper, which was mostly geared towards fast application development by people who didn't much care about the inner workings of the system. Calling them programmers is kinda like calling George W. Bush a self-made man.

But I digress. I do have a couple of interesting tales from my work life. One is a Stupid Coworker story from when I'd moved to my current large multinational company. The other is from the small software shop days, and it's more of an It's A Small World kind of thing. I'll post them both in the next day or so. In the meantime, read about A Very Stinky Problem.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 30, 2002 to See, I do have a life!


FYI, your site is usually the first place that I hear about Texas news stories. If I were king, I'd hire you as my Texas correspondent.

Posted by: Ted Barlow on July 30, 2002 9:56 PM