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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Work Miscellania

Got a spam email today with the subject "More flesh on your pole". I didn't open it, but it did make me laugh. The lengths that some spammers go to so they can avoid the spam filter. What's more funny, I think, is that the business of embiggening [sic] one's penis is such a huge business that all these spammers pursue it so ferociously.

At work, we've sold just one unit. One. It was supposed to be tracking a train that traveled from PA to NM. However, somewhere after Midville Ohio the unit stopped transmitting entirely. This was two days ago now. Geometrically, it should have a clear line of sight to two satellites, so transmission shouldn't be a problem (notice my judicious use of words like "should" and "shouldn't" here). The potential reasons for this are many: Improper assembly, incomplete waterproofing, hardware defect, software defect, out-of-spec temperature changes, being covered by a box or blanket or something, interference, a hobo hitting it with a sledge hammer, the incompetent department of homeland security hitting it with a sledge hammer, theft, crushing, avalanche, tornado, atomic explosive, or spontaneous combustion. We're sending a guy out to intercept it in Colorado and replace it with a unit that hasn't been sledge hammered. Needless to say that when we get the first unit back (if we get it back) that I'll have to spend a lot of time dissecting and diagnosing it.

One of my coworkers at work today said that the job posting that I responded to was very misleading. I agree with him. The original job posting was titled "Software Engineer" and listed as skills "Assembly language" and "C Programming". I don't use either of those two skills in my job. I don't really write any software, except for a few tools I've written for my personal use to facilitate my job. Before I got there, engineers used to spend hours in the morning going down rows in a table and counting messages. Now, I type in a single command and hit enter, and everything is counted and compared and graphed for us. My job description is more like a "Systems Engineer" or "Embedded Systems Engineer" because of the sheer scope of what I've been doing.

I got new business cards this week, "Andrew Whitworth, Software Engineer". Unfortunately, as soon as I get my cards, I had to move to a different desk that's closer to the lab. So, we had to rush around to get my phone number moved to my new desk. I would have just changed phone numbers except I now have a whole box of business cards with the old number on it. Plus, my cards now say "Software Engineer", even though I'm thinking that I'm really not a software engineer right now. Maybe things will change, however, in a case of life imitating art. Would sure be nice.

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