Annoyance April Mixed Environments


Annoyance April: Mixed Environments

If you’ve ever done any IT work, you know how difficult it can be to go between multiple environments.  For example, I work in a shop that is mostly Microsoft.  Well, suddenly, we start putting in a bunch of Linux and Oracle setups.  All well and good, minus the fact that we don’t have the in-house expertise to handle them, so we’re constantly relying on various third party vendors to handle things.  My experience with many third party vendors is that can often leave a lot to be desired.

Yes, you can certainly hire the people in-house to handle the new systems, but it’s oddly easier said than done.  Upper management doesn’t care about what is going on in IT, it turns out.  They want everything working, and they want to spend the least money possible, so sometimes you do NOT get the personnel that you desperately need.  They figure that you can manage, or that the third party vendor will handle it, or that hey, this is supposed to be a set it and forget it type of system, so what could POSSIBLY go wrong after the initial implementation?  A LOT, it turns out.

So yeah.  That bugs the hell out of me.  I think that if you’re asking your IT department to complete a massive project, then we should be involved from the very start, and be a part of the decision making process more than we are now, at the very least.  If and Oracle and SQL Server based solution could both work for the company, why not let IT make the call based on which one we can better support, and which makes more sense for the IT department that you’ve assembled?



How Did I Get Here, Part VI

Being out alone, deep in the woods, had felt serene and relaxing.  Now, though, I questioned the intelligence behind the decision.  It’s easy to second guess yourself when things go awry though, I suppose.

I wasn’t sure exactly what was behind me, but it sounded big.  Branches were tearing at my face and skin as I sprinted through the woods, but I barely even noticed until blood began to run into one eye.  I was moving as fast as I possibly could, leaping over downed tree branches and praying I didn’t trip in some tiny hole in the ground that might have been covered by the autumn leaves.

It didn’t sound like it was actually catching up to me, which at least gave me some hope.  I didn’t want to take the time to turn around, just in case it cost me a precious few feet of space as it closed in on me.  I could hear the rhythm of 4 legs thrumping along the ground, that I was sure about.

It was a strange experience, like something out of a bad dream.  The sun had mostly set at this point, so there was just enough light to make out what was around me.  I wiped the blood out of my eye as best I was able and pumped my legs as hard as I could.  I saw the edge of the woods ahead, and for some reason, that felt comforting: a finish line of sorts, some spot that, if I could reach it, would provide me an odd safety.  I knew, of course, that that was utterly false, and if anything, open ground was where I’d have zero advantage.  It didn’t really matter though – all I could do was keep sprinting forward.  One way or another, as I burst through the tree line, I figured things were coming to an end.



How Did I Get Here, Part V

I had about a minute or two left at most.  That, I could tell.  My friend sitting shotgun in my car was talking nonchalantly, no idea that I was mere moments from shitting myself.  Not a pleasant feeling.

“I GOTTA PULL OVER, HANG ON!” I said, hysteria creeping into my voice.  I was not in the best area… in fact, it was pretty ghetto.  I pulled over, told my friend to wait, and ran into the only building I could see that I knew would likely have a bathroom: a bar.

I burst into the bar, see a sign for the bathroom, and beeline straight for the back.  The bartender sees what is happening, and does not look pleased.  The bar patrons – an unfriendly looking crew of locals all easily 30 years old than me – stare menacingly.

As I run into the bathroom – a single room, one toilet and that’s it – I slam the door and suddenly realize that there’s no doorknob.  Too late now though, as my pants are already hitting the floor and my stomach completely gives out.  I did my best to hold my hand over the gaping hole where the doorknob should be as my body falls apart.

Once I was finally done, Horrible Reality #2 sets in: there is no toilet paper.  The only thing I can find in the bathroom is a disgusting-looking wadded up paper towel in the even more vile-looking trashcan.  The kind of trashcan that gets puked in, that holds used condoms, and which the bar simply dumps out once in a while, leaving the puke and condom juice to crush along the bottom and sides of the inside of the can.  I grabbed the paper towel.

As I shamefully made my way out of the bar and back to my car, I gave a sad, pathetic wave to the bartender and muttered thanks.  I dropped my friend off and went home for the evening to feel terrible about life.



How Did I Get Here, Part IV

I tried to excuse myself, but it wasn’t really working.  It was one of those classic moments where I was being yelled at without much of an idea why.  It was slow to start – a rant, more than anything – but as it went on, it kept picking up steam, and I slowly came to the awful realization that this was about to take on a life of its own and become a monster.  The crescendo continued until we were at maximum volume, and somehow, despite the fact that my back was to the door, there was no way to extricate myself from the situation.

I kept slowly backing up and attempting to end the “conversation” and exit the situation, but it seems nearly impossible.  Eventually, when it came clear that that was my intent, that’s when the throwing started.  I dodged an item or two taken from the night stand, and finally just ran for it once framed pictures of us started coming my way.  I slipped out the door and pulled it shut behind me, using it as a shield, and thank goodness – as I shut it, I heard the largest of all of our pictures slam against the door and shatter.

A day later, I got a small box on my doorstep which contained the shredded remains of one of my favorite vintage t-shirts, which I suppose I had left at her apartment.  THAT really pissed me off, but what could I do.  I went across the street to an abandoned build and threw rocks at it until I’d shattered as many windows as I could.  I felt a bit better.  Once I noticed that neighbors were now staring at me and likely to possibly call the cops, I ceased my rock throwing and went back inside.




The evening of 9/10, I was in New York City.  A friend and I drove up to see a concert at the Wetlands, but by the time we got there, the act that we wanted to see had already played.  We hung around for one of the other bands, but after a short time we decided they were not worth sticking around for, and went about deciding what to do with our evening.  Our idea was to call his friend and crash on her couch there in NYC, but we were unable to reach her.  We eventually decided to just drive home, and around 1:00 AM on the morning of 9/11, we left.

The next morning, a roommate known for messing with us comes in to our room and told us that planes were flying into buildings in NYC.  We told him to stop messing with us and let us sleep.  He tried to convince us, but we told him to buzz off.  It was only when my parents called to see if I was OK that we realized our roommate was in fact not messing with us.  It’s so strange to look back at that moment in particular, because on that morning, prior to that one moment, it was quite literally unthinkable that something like that would or could happen.