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Antique Fridge Could Keep Venus Rover Cool

NoMoreNicksLeft Re:Length of days is a problem (229 comments)

I'm a flunky, incapable of the math. But I don't think that that's the problem so much.

It's one of circularizing the orbit to Venus's current one, especially in so short a time, that is problematic.

about 7 years ago


NoMoreNicksLeft hasn't submitted any stories.



Workplace absuridities as phone support for a DSL ISP.

NoMoreNicksLeft NoMoreNicksLeft writes  |  more than 9 years ago

This journal entry isn't about customers that call in, despite the numerous ijits out there that deserve to be mocked.

No, it's about the company I work for, specifically the bosses.

Yesterday, I recieved an email saying that "Firefox is on the list of banned software, and there will be disciplinary repercussions if anyone is caught using it."

Nevermind that all our webapps suck ass, or that I've spent time on and off the clock for the past 3 months, in between calls, trying to make it work with them. Bless you, greasemonkey.

Don't even consider, that on average, my calltimes have to be at least 1 minute shorter because of firefox. I have a single window open, not 20 IE windows. I've not only fixed the webapps, but extended them... when I pull up your phone number, I see all the information that I'd spend the next few minutes (and in a few select cases, the next 15-20 minutes) looking for in a mix of shared drive documents, webapps, and even printed out documents. That one CO location with the abbreviation that doesn't match its name, and since everyone on night shift has only been there 2 months, they can never figure out which... our main webapp now sports a button that I click, to log into it. 15 minutes reduced to 3 seconds.

If you've wandered through our phone menu and gotten lost, I can see immediately if you have our dialup or dsl, or if you're just a telephone only customer... I don't waste the next 60 seconds figuring this out before I transfer you.

So, why would this be a problem? Well, apparently, I let the wrong person test an older version of the greasemonkey script that even makes the webapp work at all. And it opened a ticket, but didn't save the comments. Now mind you, you only have to re-edit the ticket, add them again (and the guy should have noticed, it doesn't whisk you away to another page, it shows the saved ticket there after saving it). Also, consider this: we screw up alot of tickets. On average, a dozen a day, I'd think. Someone using IE forgets to put his comments/notes in, or schedules the wrong person to work on it, or doesn't send it back to the company that wholesales the phone lines when its their problem.

We screw up hundreds of tickets every year. The first one ever screwed up by firefox, because I didn't quite fix the webapp perfectly on one of the earlier beta greasemonkey scripts, and firefox simply can't be tolerated.

So, I go and ask my boss (think her title is Director, never spoken to her before) if she could spare a few minutes to talk to me.

I'm polite, I don't start screaming, or spouting ideological rhetoric. I simply state that this would be a hardship, and would impact my productivity. I explain how the enhancements I've made improve my calltimes, how I've got literally dozens upon dozens of saved passwords in firefox (that IE doesn't save), that I'd spend the next couple of months having helpdesk change for me, or that I'd have to look up in documents no one can find.

What do I get? Do I get anything like the minimal respect that a 30 yr old man is entitled to? That a human being is entitled to? How about because I'm a worker making shit wages who took it upon himself to actually try and improve things there, even just a little? No. I'm treated like a child in grade school. This from a woman that can't be 5 years older than I.

"Now I hate to do anything that would decrease your productivity, but I can't very well let you use it and prohibit it for everyone else."

This is ridiculous. She can say that. She's not giving out candy to kindergarteners, she is saying which workers can use which tools. At construction sites, do you have one guy whining that he wants to use the crane today, that Jimbob got to use it yesterday? Fucking ludicrous.

Side note: She thinks that "E" is the name of the web browser we are supposed to be using, because of the icon...

Finally, I somehow manage to pour more on, without whining (imo). She relents, and I won't be written up as long as "there's not another single incident of it creating a bad ticket".

So, I investigate a little further, after our talk. Seems it was just as I describe, it didn't save the comments (if indeed, he simply didn't forget to type them in). It didn't create some invalid ticket that fucked up the database, and it was caught that very same day.

There are several problems here:

1) A director managing a technical department that knows so litte, she can't name the web browser she uses.

2) The applications department isn't giving us the tools we need to do our job.

3) Making your own tools isn't praised as resourcefulness, it's punished for a single instance of a flaw that is so trivial that the triviality can not be over-emphasized.

4) This proclamation/rule/policy implies that my calltimes aren't important, and the corollary that our abandonment rate is not important either. That has a corollary too, which is that helping our customers isn't important... if they hang up before I can talk to them, then I'm not helping them.

5) It suggests that the managerial groupthink tends towards something I would describe as "militaristic", that is, it is more important I do what I'm told, rather than I've given a problem and left to my own devices to solve that problem.

6) It never ocurred to her that if it can reduce my calltimes, with as much experience as I have (seniority in just 6 months, kind ridiculous eh?), then it might also improve calltimes all-around, especially for the new guys. Not only would I not have to put a customer on hold every 30 seconds to answer them when they ask which CO an abbreviation is (they'd just click that button), they wouldn't have to put a customer on hold to ask me.

7) They're (by this, I mean the director and 2 supervisors) concerned with calltimes and abandonment rates, but only have managerial talents at their disposal to solve those problems. Not only do they not have the technical talent to solve these problems, they can't even recognize technical solutions when they see them.

I don't work here by choice, I'm paying down 5 figure credit card bills from when I was unemployed. Last payment is this month, after which my girlfriend and I will be debt free. My other job pays better, is telecommuting, and I can work in my underwear if I so wish. I don't know if I will continue to work the second job (would be nice to actually put away some savings for once), but the real question is, how can I?

Next time you're on hold for an hour because your DSL is down for the third time in a month, remember that your ISP chases away workers like myself.


Day Three: Apathy

NoMoreNicksLeft NoMoreNicksLeft writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Well, I wonder if temporary bans last this long, or if my sarcastic email managed to get me an editor pimpslap.

Strangely, I don't miss it as much as I would have thought.


Day Two: Bannination.

NoMoreNicksLeft NoMoreNicksLeft writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Well, it's been well over 24 hours. May have to wait til I get my DSL before I can comment again. So all you losers that think you won our arguments... wrong, you've been protected from my stinging sarcasm and subtle wit by none other than the editors. They can't protect you forever. One day, you'll say something stupid on fark, or k5, and my vitriolic rebuttals will tear your wimpering souls to shreds. That, or you'll just ignore logic and continue blabbering on.

On DSL: It sucks. I work for the DSL company. I'm figuring that it will be down 5 days a month. About on par with my cable modem. That said, I plan on keeping both of them, and praying to the Gods of Networking that the 5 day periods never overlap. Yet another reason why a consumer broadband router is a poor substitute for a linux machine with quad port nics...


After getting a few flamebait mods..

NoMoreNicksLeft NoMoreNicksLeft writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I recieved the:

Due to excessive bad posting from this IP or Subnet, comment posting has temporarily been disabled. If it's you, consider this a chance to sit in the timeout corner . If it's someone else, this is a chance to hunt them down. If you think this is unfair, please email moderation@slashdot.org

So I decided to email them. Here is the gist of it.

Robert Rozeboom wrote:

> So, I'm lumped in with all the GNAA trolls?: No you'll get the ability to post again after a timeout period. You were banned because you have been downmodded too many times.

I apologize, obviously something I wrote mistakenly led you to believe I was a retard. I respectfully submit that I am indeed of normal intelligence and that I suffer from no chromosomal abnormalities or other birth defects that cause me below average intelligence.

As you may be aware, your warning message doesn't say "if you believe this to be in error", which if it did, I would think it might mean "if you believe a random slashcode math error caused this". It says "if you think this is unfair". My previous email should indicate that yes, I think it is unfair, even though I don't necessarily believe it to be in error.

That being the case, I am slightly confused that you would reply with an email that says in effect, "there is no error, you've been downmodded". I understand that the moderation system is a very tricky thing, and that you have little control over it even when gibbering idiots somehow get mod points and go running amok like chimps randomly clicking buttons. Perhaps you should change the wording, so that you no longer use the word "unfair" and instead use something like "in error" or maybe "by misktake". That way, people like me will be able to see that you and the other powers that be at slashdot don't care about fairness, or that you have no control over it.

Or you could just ignore me, and allow nature to take its course. Here in a year or two, when no attitude/sarcasm/strong opinions are left and the great slashdot groupthink experiment is complete, will it matter as long as advertising revenue is strong?



Lwared lives!

NoMoreNicksLeft NoMoreNicksLeft writes  |  more than 12 years ago

Well, it turns out that Lwared hasn't worked since the early 2.0 kernels, ouch. Just got permission from the original authors to continue development, and will be releasing lwared-0.95-jo1 soon. Builds without a warning now, but still some issues with functionality... it's unable to recognize an interface's IPX addr. I have no explanation, as well as I can read the C code, it's not even trying, maybe I got ahold of a broken beta? Will have to check some of the pre 0.95 code to be sure.

Beginning to do prelimnary research on a VIP protocol stack for linux. (Banyan VINES, for those wondering). It won't be easy, I'm not that great of a programmer. Looks like I'm on my own though, no one else would even be interested.

Some friends and I are finally launching spalp.org. Society for the preservation of assembly language programming. Text book quality tutorials on asm for just about any cpu you can name, is our goal. At the moment, we have an intro to asm, and several 65xx chapters. Look forward to books on the z80, pic microcontroller, and motorola 68k before the end of the year. Contact us if you can help!


Unemployment still sucks.

NoMoreNicksLeft NoMoreNicksLeft writes  |  more than 12 years ago

Managed to hack the ipx utils and lwared enough to compile on 2.4.x. Mostly just incorrect includes, they must have switched alot around from 2.2 to 2.4. So I get the daemons to compile, and no segfaulting even... and still can't get the damn things to run right. When finished though, my home uberserver will be able to broadcast reboot messages via samba, netware's nsend, appletalk broadcast, and even pitou's onscreen messaging feature. Gotta get around to installing SNA on the thing too, but decnet didn't work very well, and I really want to get that working first.

Still need to work on PAMizing slackware, and getting my uberdirectory built... local accounts suck ass when you have close to 50 active boxen.

Of course, when I am employed, with the jobs I usually have, I'm given no credit whatsoever. Maybe I don't deserve any.


Journal entry, Febuary 4, 2002

NoMoreNicksLeft NoMoreNicksLeft writes  |  more than 12 years ago

Discovered there is such a thing as a journal. Wow. Got mis-moderated by a troupe of chimpanzees masquerading as slashdot readers. Some idiot accused me of cutting and pasting a list of OS's I claimed to use. Haha. The list would have been twice as big, had I been able to remember them all. Must find work, unemployment about to run out. Very uncool.

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