journal for 2002-10-31


In honor of Halloween today, I wore an orange shirt and ate a Snickers bar. I am a holiday-celebrating nut.

Work was pretty nutty. In fact, if I wasn’t saving my superlatives for next week, when I’m buried alive in work and writing a novel, I’d say it was the nuttiest day in a long time.

There are a few systems and potential systems on which my boss and I have been trying to sell other departments for a while now. I do a lot of silly work maintaining broken systems that no one likes, and I see a lot of duplication going on in other existing systems. Something spooky in the air, today, caused nearly everyone to whom we’d been pitching to accept our suggestions. I expect that tomorrow, one more suggestion might be taken.

This will mean that I’ll have upgrades to do to:

  • the auction system
  • the issue tracker
  • the opportunities tracker
  • the reactor log
  • the reporting system
  • the training db

On one hand, this is great! I’ll finally be able to replace some seriously unpleasant systems with systems that I feel are either well-designed or capable of being fine-tuned after deployment.

On the other hand, this is awful! The simultaneous acceptance of so much change (to be fair, the auction and training systems have been on my plate for a little while, now) means that I’m going to be working 12 hour days for a week or more trying to meet deadlines. Still, I’m mostly excited. If I can pull this off—and it’s really just a matter of staying focused—I will hopefully come out of it looking good.

A coworker said to me, today, that “your real value to your employer is measured by how badly they think they’d miss you if you left.” He told me that, on that scale, I was doing pretty well. I’m not sure if he meant to imply, too, that he thought it might be more a matter of their perception than of fact. Either way, what I’d really like to demonstrate is not that the company will hurt without me, because that’s probably not the truth; I’d like to demonstrate the benefits that can be reaped by investing in good in-house coders. Of course, this could all backfire. If they hire another developer who’s all gung go for using Visual Everything, I may well get pulled down into the ghetto of rapid application development. Of course, I can keep telling myself that I’ll leave before I let that happen.

animal crossing

Today was Halloween in Amxing, too. I gave out a lot of candy and got a few little prizes. I didn’t even have enough raffle tickets for one lousy spin. That was OK, though, because there were no NES games up to win.

The giraffe was in town with her car. I thought I did a boss job on polishing it for her, but she gave me a crappy one-ball shirt. Jeez!

Eric said he’d send me a few NES games, so I’ll finally be able to see what they’re like, emulated. That should be good, at least.

Alright. I need to get some sleep! Tomorrow, I start heavy coding and then I start writing. I need to be rested for both of those.

Written on October 31, 2002