Archive for the 'Bureaucratic Whimsy' Category

Life Before Retirement

‘My work week in retrospect: One meeting added to the thirteen originally scheduled, one cancelled, one rescheduled to April, and two missed because I can’t be in two places simultaneously. Had a stretch like this ten years ago; never expected it to happen again.’

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Winter Through the Work Window

I actually had this cubicle twice. A reorganization took me away for an upstairs cubby with a view of the swamp, but then we moved to another building and a desk without windows. A few months later I transferred back to this building, and soon reclaimed this desk.

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Cheri, John, & John

So Jorge spent the morning on his cell with his server team, and we spent the morning waiting. And staring at the computers. We adjourned at noon. The next day went better.

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Capitol Complex, with Smokestacks

While I had other responsibilities, there were stretches–sometimes long stretches–when my job consisted mostly of meetings.

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I’m Feeling Lucky by Douglas Edwards: a short review

This is a better book than I anticipated. Edwards was obviously fascinated by Google’s founders, and the culture of the company they created. We watch as they repeatedly reorganize the leadership structure–an important concern for a middle manager–and as the author learns how he can contribute to the company. It’s an interesting, nitty-gritty view of the office (and its politics) from a privileged seat. This is well worth your time.

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ExpressSOS

Stand in line no more.

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BAM’ll Fix It

After years of missed targets, it’s fair to say we’ve proven that a system which took decades to build cannot be easily replaced. I’m reasonably comfortable with that, but my opinion’s not universally shared. Moreover, recognizing that the problem is difficult is very different from accepting an inadequate solution, which remains a real danger.

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Bureaucratic Whimsy

When I began this journal, my main purpose was to document the things I did for a living. I wrote these work-triggered essays so for about a year, then stopped. A few months later, as I moved the site to a new server, I removed most of the work-related pages, leaving only a handful of job-related pages which didn’t directly touch on my job. I always planned to recover and repost the removed pages at some future date, and have now done so. They can be found in the site’s Bureaucratic Whimsy category. A few have minor edits, and I’ve added an occasional explanatory note. Please be aware that all names (except mine) have been changed, though in most cases the identity will be obvious to folks who worked with me.

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Computer Decide

An unavoidable reality of DMV life is that the Legislature rewrites the Drunk Driving laws every two or three years. The Legislative package typically includes well-intended amendments to other driver licensing laws. The Legislators rarely give much thought to the new act’s impacts on the driver’s prior record, nor to their predecessors’ attempts to improve traffic safety. This routinely gives rise to odd interactions which need to be implemented in the workflow–and written into the programming supporting that workflow. A side effect is that Computer Decide has grown quite complex. Mainframe programs supporting other departmental operations have similar issues, and have grown similarly complex.

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Pensioned Off

Many of us were planning to retire in the relatively near future, with or without incentives; inevitably we’d be exchanging experience for youth in the process. On the whole, this is a good thing. But this incentive distorts the hiring pattern, as well as the retirement plans, and the effects will be more obvious than they might otherwise have been.

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