Thursday, March 05, 2009
The snow has come and gone and I'm just now getting around to posting pics of it...this church is just down the street from me...the cannon is a relic from Civil War, during which time the building served as a military hospital. I find the juxtaposition of church and artillery to be disturbingly natural.
A brief reprieve from work...work has become the mind-killer. I know that our operation will be bad, it's only a matter of how bad. I'm trying to piece the picture together and what I think I know is this : the contractor who was originally intended to supply the Help Desk tech support is (for unspecified reasons) no longer supplying the support and it's suddenly on the Bureau to develop and implement it's own Help Desk to assist the field staff.
The field staff will be using hand-held computers for the first time and will need lots of Help- I finally got a chance to experiment with one of the Top Secret gizmos and I found it quite frustrating. For example, there is a tiny LCD keyboard that uses a plastic stylus to add text by tapping each key, but the keys are ridiculously small- it takes a steady hand to navigate it at all- and is laden with a half-dozen keys (123; ;;/;? etc) that the manual warns you to NEVER USE. Given the size of the keys, it is inevitable that users will press the "123" key. Who knows what will happen? I reckon we'll find out.
There is an actual sub-chapter titled: "DO NOT PRESS THE 123 KEY". Pressing any one of the keys listed in the manual will produce data errors that could wipe out an entire day's work...it would make sense to remove or disable the keys, but I work for the Bureau and the Bureau is resolutely senseless...we finally received some of the supplies that we needed months ago, but the Recruiting operation is already finished and a change in the Department of Homeland Security's I-9 Law will render the forms we have obsolete as of April 1st - no joke. We will never use those forms- they are already as good as garbage.
We will probably have to hire a contractor to dispose of the mountain of paper generated when the old forms expire and become useless.
We will then need a similarly-sized mountain of the updated versions to replace them.
In real-life, I'm having a hard time dealing with the transition to my new department- I have a full staff that have nothing to do and creating "busy work" is driving me into a palpable funk. One of my clerks told me he hadn't seen me smile for two weeks. That worries me. I haven't seen a ghost in over a month but I've been having nightmares instead, so I don't see much improvement on the mental health side.
On the upside, our job comes with a new hi-tech technology-based risk: The Proximity Flux Effect.
If a person is using a cell phone (to call the Help Desk, for example) and the hand-held computer transmits data at the same time and the frequencies go out-of-phase, there is a small but significant chance that the dual transmissions will cause a non-cybernetic biometric feedback loop known as the Proximity Flux Effect- which will cause the computer to essentially upload the user's soul into it's memory card, which will then auto-reformat itself, deleting the hapless user's essence. The victim then becomes an empty husk with an insatiable appetite for human brains. I've never seen it happen, but I've heard it's ugly. There's a lot of paperwork involved in an "incident report" already, but the PFE requires a form that no living human has been granted access to- for security purposes, clearance is only granted to individuals post-humously.
I said upside because I'm pretty confident in my ability to survive a zombie plague. Bureaucracy, not so much.