It's not that there is nothing going on in the Tech Department, I've just been too busy to write this newsletter. What with eMaritz, and Boyds, and my ramblings about methodology, I've had precious little time for such frivolities as these. Last weekend I started sharpening up the old pencil, but then thought to hell with it and decided instead to go upstate see the foliage. But people are asking for their update again, and so it leaves me in the usual situation: a demanding client, no time, and lots left to do. I look on the bright side - there's no project plan for Technicalities, so I can't be over budget.
October is here, the fall spectacles are with us again: the multicolored forest... the World Series... and the letter telling us we aren't getting a bonus. Those of us who've been here for a while appreciate the Zen aspect of this - the company exceeded its goals and yet the company failed to hit its goals.
I know if we had all only worked a few minutes more per day, it would all have been different. If we miss again during the 4th quarter I'll know who's to blame: the Coke folks. Last week Katherine Youn and Libby Clarke were in the office working for two days straight. Still, they took a 4 hour nap during their 48 hour marathon. Dina Juliano slept in the office two nights running, but then spent 15 minutes in our newly-installed shower.
OK team, no more slacking! Get those hours in! We can do it!
So approximately two years after it was purchased, last week Remedy was finally launched. I'd bet there are those of you who believe that I feel about this event roughly the same as David Letterman's gag writers did the day Dan Quayle withdrew from the presidential race.
I disclaim any such sentiments! I want everyone to know that I am in fact a huge fan of Peter Randazzo and Angel Santiago, the intrepid administrators who (among many others) finally got it all working. (Really!) Hey, I even used the system last week to ask for something I needed. (Though I note that my request went in with the PRIORITY field set to LOW. Do you think that they've programmed it to recognize my name?)
No, I am a team player, let me tell you. Four weeks ago, when a message went out that the system would be launched in two weeks, I got several e-mails and an ICQ from Danny Gumport asking me please not to make fun of the situation. And, hey, did you hear a peep out of me? Rather than say a word, I deliberately went to look at the leaves. A paragon of discretion, that's me.
Ralph Seaman has been out of the country for so long that even those of us who know him can barely remember what he looks like. Ralph spent the first 3/4 of this year in our London office, Global Tech Director for the BA account. Last I spoke to him he was starting to effect British mannerisms, and referred to the local currency as "quid".
Well, he's moved on to Amsterdam. A certain unnamed project manager (whose time in London overlapped with Ralph's) has forwarded me a pile of e-mails that went around that office at the time of his departure. Seems Ralph was quite the popular fellow. Does anyone have an idea why so many of the messages were from women?
I did my career management checkin with Jamil a few weeks ago, and it was an eye-opener to say the least. Jamil came fully prepared with the complete list of everyone he's reporting to in his role as the wireless guru of the office. I lose track of everyone who is on it, but it ran to about 18 people. Working for 18 people... hey, it's what we call a "Matrix organization". You just didn't know how many dimensions the matrix had.
A few weeks ago a bunch of us on the eMaritz team went to a local watering hole to celebrate the client signing off on the commencement of the project. (Tony Ward was also along. Turns out that QA is part of every team, so anytime there's a team party, Tony is right there to share in the festivities. I don't want anyone to take any implications from this whatsoever.)
My first martini went pretty well, I thought. I was relaxed, enjoying the good news and the good company, and I spent some time with our French-Canadian team member, Florette Massillon, discoursing on the merits or lack thereof of the Quebecois separatist movement. I even tossed in a french sentence or two in there, to prove my erudition.
Then hubris got to me - I had another drink, and still no food. My discussion with Florette grew more animated as we moved on to the nature of the French Canadian "distinctive culture" - a subject Florette actually knows something about, while I am at best faking it. Nope, this is not the plan!
The team (and Tony) hung in there for quite a bit longer, I'm told, but I was done after that. I am proud to say that I was the first one in the next morning, to meet an IBM consultant who was helping us get our balky Websphere implementation to run. I had a suspicion some of the rest of the team might have a bit of trouble getting in by 9. I was in, but the coding was pretty difficult that morning with my cubicle spinning and swaying.
James McHugh finally put up the Colgate site. And Bluestone Software's stock has perked up a bit.
There is no news about Eugenia. This mention is totally gratuituous.
The Tech Department finally got in some of those forms for the second quarter bonus. I have to say that I was somewhat surprised that there was so little inclination toward the nerdy books and glare reducers I expected. (In fact, more of that sort of thing came from the site-builders than the tech consultants.) No, the noteworthy trend among the techies was toward hostility and violence. Two chipped in and bought gloves and a punching bag. Here I'm not talking about one of those lozenge-shaped thingies, but one in the shape of a man. (It stands on the east side of the 10th floor.) Two other folks decided to get kick-boxing lessons. I'm not precisely sure what to make of this tendency, but a clue might perhaps be furnished by noting that the punching bag sports an Allaire T-shirt and a Bluestone cap.
There are a bunch of rumors floating around about yours truly, and there's truth and not in them. Where things are at right now is that I will be taking some time off during the next couple of months. You can imagine that after more than 5 real years of web years it's time for a bit of R&R, and decompression.
As for after that, I will be trying to find a new and different role for myself here. Let's just say that things are being worked on, and those of you who are, for perverse reasons, interested in such matters will have to wait and listen to find out what happens next.