webcowgirl: (Tiara)
Today marks the second anniversary of the start of my job at Betfair, much as yesterday marked the one year anniversary of leaving that job. Can I say what a relief it is to not be working there anymore? I'm not looking over my shoulder for a knife coming at my back anymore, and, while the current place (Tango Foxtrot) is hardly perfect, I certainly feel like people are trying to do things right.

I still miss Expedia, though. It's a bit sad. I can't see how I could really ever work there again - I'd have to change careers and I don't think that would really work in my plan for life.

The 17th (Wednesday) will mark the one year anniversary of my job here. This is a much happier thing to celebrate. I feel like I could be doing much more here than I am, but hey, room to grow, room to improve, eh? We'll see where it goes. Now all I need is for my VISA to get renewed!

(PS: [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy won Alhambra last night by one point, which clearly meant he was cheating.)
webcowgirl: (Cat macro)
It is 5 PM and I am still at work. I am making double time, but, still. I am tired. It has been a long day and I am ready for it to be over.

This is funny if you're at work with me now (as opposed to the LOLYamory pictures, which are funny on their own):
So there's this thing you can do that brings down the website, and is basically normal behavior? HA HA HAH! (It's funny because it's true.)

Also this:
So there's a table that shows you 100 things? And if you have over 100 and try to add a new one you get an error? But if you delete one so there's more room, it pulls item 0 out of the database so you still really have 100 still because the DB doesn't limit how many were saved to it in the first place? (Really, this is total comedy.)

And:
Shouted out: PCP looks good.
Response: That's TCPIP, you idiot! PCP is drugs!

Uh, in other news, people are remembering again that we've got an idiot in the White House, the question being how did they ever forget, but 911 didn't change MY opinion of him. From the NYT: "But this economic crisis has been going on for months, and all the president could come up with sounded as if it had been composed for a Rotary Club and then delivered by a guy who had never read it before. “One thing is certain that Congress will do is waste some of your money,” he said. “So I’ve challenged members of Congress to cut the number of cost of earmarks in half.”

"Besides being incoherent, this is a perfect sign of an utterly phony speech. Earmarks are one of those easy-to-attack Congressional weaknesses, and in a perfect world, they would not exist. But they cost approximately two cents in the grand budgetary scheme of things. Saying you’re going to fix the economy or balance the budget by cutting out earmarks is like saying you’re going to end global warming by banning bathroom nightlights."

Anyway, she goes on to just rip him a new one. I'm not sure who this Gail Collins is, but I think I might like her.
webcowgirl: (Kitty Cards Snow)
So my new employers have just sent out a "company of the year" survey. Reading the question is making me think back to my corporate masters of old and LAUGH LAUGH LAUGH.

I am offered training or development to further myself professionally.
Management recognises honest mistakes as part of doing business.
Management genuinely seeks and responds to suggestions and ideas.
I feel I receive a fair share of the profits made by this organisation.
Management involves people in decisions that affect their jobs or work environment.
This is a psychologically and emotionally healthy place to work.
People look forward to coming to work here.
People here are treated fairly regardless of their sex.
I believe management would lay people off only as a last resort.
People avoid politics and backstabbing as ways to get things done.
People are encouraged to balance their work life and their personal life.
Management is competent at running the business.

This one at least rang true for $howboat: "We're all in this together," but it was more in a Donner Party kind of way.

Sure, we don't have profit sharing or private insurance at my new place, but at least I don't haev panic attacks in the morning and no one has threatened me with firing me in the last three months and I have hope that they're going to move me up and let me grow. It's a huge improvement!
webcowgirl: (disco ball)
Just got back from the doctor, and I'm now at 122/86! Given that I was at 149/99 while at $howboat, this is a real improvement and a remarkable validation of my decision to find a new job. It also really supports my belief that the stress of working there was the majority contibuting factor to the high blood pressure. Yay!

PS: Proust is at page 46. Very distracted by the Kage Baker book my brother brought over for me.
webcowgirl: (Default)
It's been a month to the day since I left my old job. I have put in four weeks at my current job, and time has flown by. I feel so much less stressed out (even though I realize I'm a bit bored today) and upbeat, and I'm remembering what a ball of energy I am when I'm feeling good about things and feeling like people actually care about what I have to say. It makes me try harder and makes me care about doing it right, about my work, about everything.

So hurray for leaving my old job. It was a great decision. I absolutely did the right thing and I have no regrets.

(This is in part why I hate listening to people complain, because when they complain I want to give them ideas about how to fix the things that are making them complain, and then they think I'm irritating. It's just my way, though: change the things that make you unhappy, if you can. I do provide sympathy when needed, though, because some things make you happy and they can't be changed.)

To entertain you: why people read email wrong (lack of emotional input) and good design for cats.
webcowgirl: (Default)
Wow. I'm going to be working through lunch and staying late. I got the build for my new project this morning and I've already found three bugs, and thanks to the miracle of newby-itis I don't have all of my test cases written yet (thus staying late).

Rather angry this morning reading the Metro and seeing a story about my former employers and how they're sitting on a "huge pot of cash" due in part to a product I worked on (the casino) - and yet they wouldn't share profits with us during bonus and raise time, and they had about £50 per person as a training "budget." What a joke!

Anyway, back to making my new company profitable and earning my simoleons for my morning ham and cheese croissant - much nicer than cold yogurt and granola!
webcowgirl: (HotTomato)
Dinner tonight was So Full Of Wrong and yet ultimately so good. The killer main dish consisted of "costolette a scottadito," lambchops (DEFRA's autumnal gift to the bargain hunting English carnivore) prepared in a simple fashion (only three ingredients besides the meat), as below:

Brush the lamb chops with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Let stand 15 minutes.
Heat up broiler to high.
Broil lamb one minute on each side.

Yum. PERFECT! It was rarer than I would normally eat my meat but so tender I didn't mind. (The recipe was from the Silver Spoon, which I was inspired to get after seeing a copy show up as a birthday present for [livejournal.com profile] butterbee two years back. It's pure yum, all 1250 pages.)

The bad came in with the other things. I decided to make tortellini in broth as a side dish, using the cute tiny things I picked up from Borough Market, but the broth I used turned out to be leftover watery gravy from making chicken and dumplings some time back (left in the freezer all this time, don't you know). It was delicious. The vegetables, well, I was doing well with the organic yellow pepper and zucchini, fried in olive oil with a little garlic for flavoring (okay, maybe it was a whole head and a large one at that), and saying goodbye to my basil plant was a natural. But my EVIL GENIUS took hold and I pulled some frozen potato and ham croquettes out of their icy lair, baked them up (while the lamb was marinating and the lower oven was heating up and the broth was thawing), and tossed them in with the other healthy stuff. DEEE-LISH.

Anyway, I'm pretty full now. And yes, this was the highlight of my day. I make myself happy.

Uh, let's see. At Tango Foxtrot today, I went to the corporate overlord (Romeo Alpha)'s big New Employee Orientation event today. I have to say, hearing them say in front of a room full of attention, "We want to call attention to RBI's commitment to training and development" was music to my ears. What a contrast this formed with my previous employer, especially since I was, what, two minutes late to the start because I had to nip out to the loo before it started. This time there was no Rorie Devine, CTO and head monkey, chewing me out in front of a room full of my peers, because I am now working for PEOPLE WHO KNOW THEIR A** from a hole in the ground, as my dear departed mother would have said. Yay for that.

Highlight of orientation: going to charity sale onsite and picking up a pretty cotton dress with a rose print on it for a quid. (Sorry, that's just the part that I liked. Getting rained on on the way there didn't get things off to a good start and it was a long ride down south.)

I'm getting my schedule together for next month but since the two people who use it the most are on Google, I'm not going to post it here. Suffice it to say Phillip Glass/Leonard Cohen is too expensive for me, the Peter Brook Brecht plays are sold out, and nobody here is willing to go to Butoh with me besides [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy, but that kind of explains why we're married, doesn't it? And despite all of these obstacles, I've still got six things scheduled for next month, not including several parties and a day in the Cotswolds. No wonder I'm home doing nothing tonight; I need to catch my breath!
webcowgirl: (Roxie)
picture.jpg

(The comment was actually from a girl who works there who, like me, shares envy at the great costumes the girls are wearing.)
webcowgirl: (ponies)
So the extremely experienced and very smart QA lead who started almost the same time I did - the one who'd worked for nearly a decade at IBM (I think) - also gave notice yesterday. And supposedly The Demotivator got chewed out on by the CTO on Friday because "resignations were higher than we expected." Do I hear the sweet sad sounds of "Autumn" playing in the background?

And this article, that says (as I summarize it), women who ask for more/challenge the status quo are seen as "not nice?" I've sent it on to two people here who most need to hear its message. (Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] booklectic, for the link.)

Otherwise, mostly useless here, am looking at getting tickets to see the Bacchae on September 6th.
webcowgirl: (Tiara)
General update: sick still, not going out tonight, despite having gorgeous black and white dress on.

So I went to a training event work sponsored on Tuesday called "Curiosity." It's part of their non-attempt to teach us about Agile. Truth be told, this event was about teaching us how to collaborate and what barriers to collaboration are. And if you're interested, I'll tell you what we did in an attempt to learn this. Read more... )
Also note, I've decided that ENTP is the Anti-me - while I'm trying to figure out any way to get things right, these people are determined to follow the procedures to the letter, then back-stab you to higher-ups. Both of us want to lead, but theirs is a constricting style, and mine is "here, have enough rope to hang yourself if you think you can get it done."

Feedback on the course from a curmudgeonly colleague ... )
webcowgirl: (Mano Poderosa)
The lead developer from our new Romanian development outpost is in the local offices today.

They took him around to meet the team.

I held out my hand for him to shake, and he kissed it.

I am so revolted. I would barely tolerate this from a friend of a friend, much less a peer in a business environment.

I'm tempted to corner him and tell him it's inappropriate behavior, but I didn't want to do it right in front of my boss, whom, I assume, was also creeped out. Or not. It's hard to tell around here.

Yuck.
webcowgirl: (Tiara)
While spending today reading on Agile (so I can say whether we're actually implementing it or just "cherry picking" - one guess what my conclusion is!), I found the website of this woman, who's apparently quite a big thing in the Agility QA world. Look at those pictures! Isn't this clear that it's where my life is going? Now all I need to do is starting writing papers and getting published and going to conferences and stuff. How do I do that, and how do I turn it into a career? It sounds like fun!

In other work related news, I found out the bullying I thought was limited to the CTO goes all the way to the CEO. Not happy with our 33% year on year growth? how about we fire a few people and publicly humiliate others and tell the rest of them they're a bunch of lazy underperformers?

*sigh*

Three more months, folks, all I need is three more months.
webcowgirl: (TopBug)
YAWN breakfast is here, I finished my testing half a hour ago, but we've got "miles to go before we sleep," as it were.

Meanwhile ... there's interesting news articles. The kiss Paul Allen's ass streetcar progresses on its road to nowhere, another fabulous sign of corruption in Seattle, while the most beautiful building in Seattle has been spared from the developers' axe (or steamshove) - the second a sign that religious institutions should NOT be able to get out from under "historical building" (aka "listed") status because of some silly "separation of church and state" folderol - this "separation" simply must not apply to development laws.

Third: feeding babies like they are little baby vegans will kill them. A diet of mother's milk is fine, but how dumb to you have to be to feed your baby soy milk and apple juice as a "nutritionally complete diet?" Did they not understand what the "formula" part of "formula" was about, or did they just think they could make it up and get it right? And why in the world weren't they nursing the baby? Did they think feeding off of the mother was going to violate their vegan tenets?

Fourth: a review of a harpsichord concert says, "Received wisdom has it that Scarlatti was perfectly happy in the service of the Infanta Maria Barbara, writing little else but increasingly eccentric sonatas for nearly four decades. Personally, I suspect the diminished chords were a cry for help, but it is difficult to imagine a more elegant or affecting performance than this." (Last night's show was dull to me, merely "serviceable," so hearing a composer's music described this way makes me laugh.)
webcowgirl: (Clematis)
Dang. Uh, update:
Work: spent most of the day trying to preserve my headcount. Had three last week; two people were hired by EOD Friday; discovered start of day today that two of my "heads" had been given away - only we've already offered those people jobs. God. Still need third person. Argued about this and horsetraded for hours. Got all places restored and then had the CTO just "take" one away at the end of the day. Also was told that being able to fake it was the key to success, especially since no one at $howboat will bother telling you how to do what you need to do, and only occasionally will you even be told WHAT it is you need to do.

It was nice out so even though I ate my lunch while waiting to talk to my boss's boss I decided to go for a walk, and used the excuse of hitting the Tesco as my motivation to enjoy the sunshine and rather brisk wind. It really feels like spring!

Evening: [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy met me at work and we went to Angel together to see Estrella Morente at Sadler's Wells. She's fantastic and her voice really blew me away, but I loved just as much that the show had fantastic guitar and (flamenco) dancing, and all three elements (and the guys doing the clapping!) would play off of each other, singers inspiring dancers feeding guitarists and so forth, all jazzy and improvisational. My only wish is that I could have understood what she was singing better than I did - something about that style and the way they string out the vowels makes it really impossible for me to pick out more than about one word in ten. Make me think I really ought to see the Seville or even the Malaga Flamenco bienniale. So many things to do here, so little time!
webcowgirl: (Default)
The day at work went well though I got to check LJ for all of about 10 minutes. The day ended a bit irritatingly as I was in an interview with a very high quality candidate applying for, basically, a job at my level, trying to convince him the company I work for is reasonably professional, and after 15 minutes of stalling the dev director came by and said, "You're not waiting for me, right? Because I didn't get the invite and I have a commitment and we need to reschedule." GAH! Undo all my hard work!

That said, someone else took a position on my team. I've now hired three people and will be taking on a fourth I didn't interview - very cool considering I didn't hire a single person the whole time I was a manager type at Tripadelic. And I've still got one more person to hire, yay! (Admittedly too bad one of my guys quit for huge contract dollars and the other one got promoted, but you've just got to expect stuff like that.)

After work [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy and I met at Angel station, unfortunately too late to do any proper dinner type stuff, so we decided to try the dim sum place across the street from the station. Ah, another completely pathetic dining option! Thank God we'd eaten at the awesome place near the British Museum last Saturday so I didn't feel so crushed at having yet another completely sucktastic London Chinese meal.

At any rate, Eva Yerbabuena flamenco was WONDERFUL. I got so caught up in the performances that apparently I was crushing [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy's hands into mush. It made me want to go to Madrid again to listen to music in the cavas near the Plaza del Sol and then somehow go back to Barcelona to see the flamenco festival again. Instead, for now, we'll be seeing Estrella Morente on Monday - well, now, really, is drinking cider time, as it's late Friday, probably late enough that I should be thinking about going to bed.
webcowgirl: (Tiara)
Today I ate my lunch (nice leftovers) standing up in front of my QA/dotted line boss. I am feeling a bit busy - two phone interviews today, two reports, one really long triage session. I'll see if I can get him to take me to the two hour lunch place next week. I bet he tells me he's too busy.

Tonight I'll eat the nice dinner [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy is making for me, after I do physiotherapy. It's the recipe for "Zappa family tomato sauce" and meatballs that's currently hogging up space on the New York Times' most emailed articles list. Also new and interesting: an article about Korean men going to Vietnam to find brides. It's an interesting conjunction of the ever popular "The women seem devoted and family-oriented" crap (like in the US) hitting the unsurprising results of 25 years of gender selection of babies.

Tomorrow I have a meeting at 9 sharp - yuck. Friday at 6 cannot come soon enough.
webcowgirl: (Default)
I had a good afternoon today. I left work early (well, after I'd been there for 9 hours) and headed off to a doctor's appointment. This time I got a good doctor; she diagnosed what I came to see her about AND gave me a referral for physical therapy for my knee. Hurray! She also helped me understand how she came to her diagnosis and gave me some information on figuring out how to use my employer health insurance. Oddly my blood pressure also was lower than it was when I was there earlier - go figure.

Then it was time for a bit of tottering around the high street as my ridiculous waking hour started to take its toll. I managed to find a copy of Kavalier and Clay (sp?) for £1 at one of the charity shops and my (free in the UK!) prescription at Boots, but at some point in the Sainsbury's I got a little brain dead and started feeling quite upset that I couldn't figure out where they were hiding the English muffins or the cookies that I wanted (Weston's Wagon Wheels, were you to be found with the "tea" items, the various cakes served with tea, the chocolate, or the snack foods?). This kind of near-breakdown is typical of me in an exhausted state, and I was fortunately saved by a phone call from [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy, who managed to talk me out of the store and back to the house, where I took a nap.

So a good afternoon all in all, and a pleasant slack evening with company for my Moroccan chicken with stewed squash and prunes (still working on that one) and doing little else. Hopefully I'll get enough sleep and tomorrow will go well - I'm excited because I'm taking my team out for a pizza party for lunch.
webcowgirl: (Tiara)
That's right, we went out for pints over lunch. I also had a chicken melt on a wholemeal sub roll, which was delicious. The waitress was a peach and gave us all some Christmas crackers, and we had just the right amount of people to split them. I won mine, but was amused to discover all three of us had the same joke in our crackers (some joke about beavers) as well as the same prize and same color of paper crowns.

Afterwards I went shopping in Hammersmith and got a little of this ("a little this-a, a little that-a") and a little wrapping paper, then sauntered back to work. All that's left for the rest of the day is two hours of listening to people give presentations, reading some resumes, and filling out my timesheet. And setting my OOF email. I can do this.
webcowgirl: (TopBug)
I was taken out for a Christmas lunch today by my dotted-line boss. We six went to the Stonemason's Arms in Hammersmith, which is apparently what they call a "gastro pub." We almost all got the Irish sirloin steak for lunch (one outlier got halibut, the fool). We did all have pints (nice on my post-breakfast emptied stomach) and starters (tomato/motz salad for me, it was microscopic). The boys all ordered toffee pudding (which was caramel sauce and cake with a scoop of really good ice cream on top) and coffee for dessert. We talked about movies and snowboarding and I was teased for saying, "Awesome!" when they bought me a side of gravy for my potatoes. Total: £200, glad I wasn't paying.

Needless to say I won't be accomplishing much this afternoon other than digesting. I do think I've really got the health issues under control now, though - back to semi-normal appetite, and all of the protein I will need for the next week. And I'm feeling very chipper and looking forward to having just one day more before my vacation starts.

I made [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy walk me to work because the fog was making me worry I'd inadvertently go into another space time dimension as I walked across the bridge, and if I was stuck in Victorian London I wanted to make sure I had at least one familiar face around. I'm a bit afraid he didn't really know what I was going on about, as he wasn't awake 15 minutes before I had him walking out the door ...

* Best spam title of the day.
webcowgirl: (Morning cuppa)
Nice walk into work today - sunny and gorgeous outside. It's amazing how many more people are in Bishop's Park on a Saturday than when I'm normally walking through it - lots more joggers, a whole different set of people with babies, and shoals of kids playing soccer.

The sad thing about this all was that, of course, I was walking into work, a far cry from my original plan of What I Would Do Today, which included going to Borough Market and generally farting around. And now that I'm into work (having forgot my badge, but fortunately catching up with my boss as he was walking in), the testing environment is not working even one little bit, and it is all pathetic and sad as 1) it's a Saturday 2) the company party was last night so people just AREN'T rolling in when they said they would, and 3) they didn't get stuff done last night so we can't get jack done today.

Rah. I wonder if I can get my Christmas shopping done?

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