04 January, 2016

Time for Work

Wake up. We don't want to be late for work.

Groggily, I stir. No music or podcast to help me wake this morning because I left my phone downstairs. I try to open my eyes. It doesn't work. It's the first day of work after a long holiday vacation, and I'm still not in the right headspace for getting up this early. But I manage anyway, mostly through a combination of masturbation and pointing a fan directly into my face.

Within the hour, I'm stepping outside the car and walking into Panera. I order a spinach and artichoke soufflĂ©  and a cup for iced tea. Four refills later, I'm finally ready for the metro.

Usually I like the metro. Living in Germantown, MD, and commuting twice each week to Alexandria, VA, really isn't that bad when you have podcasts and a comfortable pillow. But today is the first cold day of winter, despite it being january 4, and I left my phone at home. So I pull out my 3DS and play an old copy of Link's Awakening for the entirety of the trip.

Once at the office, I feel like I can finally relax. I know exactly what I need to accomplish today, and I'm anxious to get started. Long breaks have their ups and downs; when I'm away from work for too long, I generally start to worry. What if the automation I set up breaks? What if the tracking codes I set up aren't tracking correctly? What would ordinarily be a mild inconvenience can turn into a moderate disaster when I'm away from the office for a few weeks at a time. But now, I am back, and more is right with the world.

So now: the problem solving.

  • First, a new keycard system has been implemented. My current keycard won't let me onto my floor, so I need to get a new one. But that's several floors away, so first, a coworker buzzes me in and I see what else I need to do before getting a new keycard.
  • Ah, a form needs to be filled out. This happens at the beginning of every month, but for some reason I always forget until my calendar reminds me. This needs to be submitted to another floor as well; I should fill this out and submit immediately after getting my new keycard.
  • Hm... I have uncashed checks? These emails always throw me for a loop. I have two checks from the company that I apparently never cashed; one back in January of last year and one this past June. For a moment, I scold myself. Am I really so bad about money that I can just forget to cash two checks from my employer like this? The email is asking if I need the checks re-issued. .:sigh:. I guess I should look and see if I have the checks first. The last time I misplaced a check it was because I used it as a bookmark, thinking that there'd be no way to lose it, since of course I'd come back to the book and find it. Except it took me several months before I opened that book again. /c:
  • Next is a reminder that I'm supposed to take a lunch each day. I didn't in my last two work days, because there was so much to do at the end of the year and I went without lunch. I need to remember not to do that kind of thing. I still remember the time in a previous job when, to hit a deadline, I worked all night long, literally sleeping at my desk that night so I could finish on time. Back then, I thought it said something positive about my work ethic. Now I realize it said something negative about my ability to plan ahead. I haven't done anything that bad since, but skipping lunch two days last month is a move in that direction, and I don't like it. I'll definitely take a lunch today.
  • Next up is the monthly report. I only work two days each week at this place, so compiling a monthly report takes up way more time than it should. I really need to code up an automated version, but I won't have time to do that today. Maybe next month.

Okay. The rest is analysis, which I need dedicated time to spend on, so I should fill out this form and grab my keycard first. When I get back, I can begin checking up on how well the store performed over the holiday season.

But first, I should probably publish this blog entry.


  1. I had a particularly cringe-worthy moment later this day:

    At work, we had a team lunch today to celebrate the new year. Things were casual, and Trump was brought up. We had half republicans, half democrats (and me), but no one present was in favor of Trump. Conversation turned to wondering who these Trump supporters are. He seems to have a lot of supporters, so why do we not know any?

    So I bring up a point I first read about on Slate Star Codex, where Scott Alexander writes about social circles and how even though we don't know these people personally, they nevertheless make up a huge segment of society.

    Sayeth me: "For example, nearly half of Americans identify as young earth creationists. It's an unbelievable number; had I tried to guess in advance, I would have said something like 1%-5%. But it's actually around 45%. It's amazing that there can be that many people who believe something so...crazy. But it's important to remember that our friends and colleagues tend to have views like us, so the people who we happen to know really aren't representative of the public at large. That's why there can be so many Trump supporters, even though we don't personally know anyone who supports Trump as president."

    Slowly, I look around the table of ten people, only to belatedly realize that somewhere around 40% of the table identifies as a YEC.

    I think I'm going to go back to only talking about work while at work. .:sigh:.

    1. huh, I wonder how much of the perceived power of filter bubbles is actually just typical mind fallacy

    2. For some of us it's actual filter bubbles. Like I'm pretty sure I have more libertarians among my FB friends than Republicans.

    3. Surprised by this, I had imagined that a circle with so many YECs would know some Trump supporters.

    4. Trump supporters believe trump created the earth so they are likely at odds with standard YECs

    5. Herzliches Beileid!

      I know a few stories about how that must feel, an old friend of mine moved to Omaha from Germany and has to deal with asscraploads of conservative shenanigans on a daily basis.

    6. I have had the exact same conversation in an office in Derroit.

    7. This is an important reminder that there are actually (at least) two effects at work. First, that we do tend to cluster with people who have like minded views. Second, we are most likely to reveal our views to other people whose behavior signals they will agree with us.

      In other words if your coworkers always see you eating organic, avoiding disposable containers and notice you drive a Prius they probably won't mention their gun collection or complain about Obama to you.

    8. The advantage of being a radical contrarian--I've almost never been in a room (physical or virtual) in which most of the people agreed with me.