Day Three

Filed under: Work — iain @ 22:07:45

I’m getting used to this. The first few days were always going to be the toughest but I’m in the swing of things now. As long as I don’t reflect on the fact that I spend over six hours travelling every day…


Day Two

Filed under: Work — iain @ 21:44:11

Left the house ten minutes earlier than yesterday … and arrived at the office thirty minutes later. Left the office fifteen minutes earlier … and arrived home at the exact same time.

If UK trains run on time or are late I will be late.


Day One

Filed under: Work — iain @ 21:20:09

Awake and straight out of bed at 0600.

At Cambridge station at 0644.

On the train at 0645.

Into King’s Cross at 0740.

Into Paddington at 0802.

On the delayed 0800 train at 0805.

Into Maidenhead at 0845.

At Siemens at 0903.

Out of the office at 1745.

At Maidenhead station at 1810.

On the delayed 1818 train at 1827.

Into Paddington at 1910.

Into King’s Cross at 1930.

On the train at 1945.

Into Cambridge at 2030.

Back home at 2101.

If UK trains ran on time I would have been late.


Master of the understated exit

Filed under: Work — iain @ 11:22:12

Yesterday was my last day at CacheLogic. I had a good offer from Siemens Business Services and I will start there next week.

I like to get on with things with a minimum of fuss – I believe the buzzword-compliant term for this is I have a “no bullshit policy” – so it was good to be able to get through my final day without too much drama.

I was saved from people coming over to wish me good riddance by HR, who declined to send a formal announcement of my resignation. I didn’t have to bear the embarrassment of reading aloud a farewell card to gathered colleagues because the company didn’t organise one. And I would have been uncomfortable if they had insisted on collecting money for a gift.

I was concerned that my timely departure from the office would be interrupted by an exit interview; luckily that didn’t happen. Most important of all I was spared what might have been a tearful goodbye as I reflected on eighteen months of hard work and dedication. Realising how emotional I would have become, the company decided against shaking my hand and seeing me to the door.


Oh noes it’s the end of the quarter!

Filed under: Work — iain @ 19:17:15

So this whole thing about sales targets and closing deals before the end of the quarter is still comparatively new to me. I’ve got used to it being a mad panic on the last day of the quarter to get orders out the door so we can "recognise the revenue" and thanks to Tony (pre-sales techie guy, foot in both camps) explaining things I even understand the rush to blow your budget before the end of the month. Mostly.

At previous jobs, however, this was never an issue. I assume ISP sales drones have targets just like anyone else but from a technical perspective there isn’t any justifiable reason to get wound up about sales quotas. Internet access is a 24/7 operation and if the sales guys want to sign more people up that’s all well and good; we’re just concerned with keeping it running. The only reason we might have for worrying about adding customers is if the signup process is broken … which is an issue whether it’s the last day of the quarter or the first.

Here in the realm of pushing physical Things out the door it’s much easier to observe the focus on that magic last day and I justify my claim that I’m getting used to it by reporting to you now that in the absence of a mad panic to ship Stuff … I helped create one.

We had a machine all built, tested and configured ready to send to a prospective customer … if they sent in a purchase order. Meanwhile an existing customer had been having trouble with one of their machines and, since it was an older model for which we have a replacement policy, I had been considering just FedExing them a new one.

When the PO didn’t come in I had an idea! What if I took that machine, which had already passed QA, and reconfigured it for an RMA? Cue international calls to the customer saying I could just replace their faulty kit for them and get the new machine out the door this afternoon if they’d simply return this RMA form within the hour, then haring over to Marie to tell her to cancel one FedEx collection and replace it with another, fill out all the paperwork, oh and label up the packaging for a different customer, and I’ll just duck into the build room to get the box ready…

I ended up getting back from (a late) lunch in time to see FedEx dude carting the machine away. Voilà! Panic created where previously none existed and normal end-of-quarter service restored.

Undiluted rage

Filed under: Work — iain @ 18:12:38

You know when you get so furiously angry that you lose the capacity to moderate your speech and end up releasing all your invective-laden rage in a maelstrom of finger pointing and four-letter words?

That was me yesterday.



Filed under: Work — iain @ 18:15:36

I decided to note the number of times I was interrupted in my work today. It’s probably representative of a regular day though it felt as though there were unusually long periods where I was left alone. Unfortunately I was too furious with my boss to work productively during that time…

0928 Tina
Wanted to know how to remap network drives in Windows, as we are renaming our fileserver to "fileserver" so we can change the actual machine and update DNS.

1151 Bob
Asked that support requests for our new product be moved from the regular support queue to the NOC queue. Explained that later the NOC queue would be removed and the NOC guys would handle all queues.

1152 Tony
Wanted to know if an iPaq sync could sync with our Exchange server using Outlook Mobile Access. I told him I didn’t know but other mobile devices have been tested and do work.

1201 Tony
Wanted to know the server details to connect with Exchange.

1206 Bob
Asked when I might be free to train the NOC guys on our internal network infrastructure.

1208 Bob
Asked how to book a meeting with the NOC guys and myself.

1211 Tony
Complained that the iPaq to Exchange sync didn’t work.

1215 Bob
Couldn’t find one of the NOC engineers in Active Directory and hence couldn’t add him to the meeting.

1341 Bob
Had found the missing NOC engineer (it didn’t take him all that time; I was at lunch) and spotted that his username was wrong, hence the inability to join the meeting.

1416 Helen
Wanted a reminder on how to see which users were listed in a given email alias.

1420 Andy
Wanted some chocolate.

1445 Tony
Had an e-book he thought I might be interested in. I was.

1459 Richard
Asked if we had built the hardware for an important customer order. We had.

1527 Andy
Asked if it would be a good idea to write customer-facing release notes, ie ones which hid all the details about bugs we fixed and spoke in glowing terms about the features we added. I said it would. He said they definitely wouldn’t do that then!

Actually Andy interrupted me again during the day but I told him I wouldn’t add it to the list if he answered some questions about an open ticket. Thanks to his help we resolved the issue. Hurrah.

1645 Bob
Reminded me I had promised to move a machine from the build bench to where I found it (on the floor underneath the build bench) by the end of today.

1728 Bob
Had a final task to delegate before going away on holiday next week. I need to order some phone lines into two remote POPs. I love dealing with foreign telcos…


A year on

Filed under: Games,Work — iain @ 18:56:06

Today marks the first anniversary of my employment at CacheLogic. There isn’t really very much to say other than I’ve really enjoyed working there and that it’s an exciting time for the company at the moment with some big things in the pipeline.

Today also sees the release of a major patch to the online game I’m playing at the moment, City of Heroes. Yesterday I found out I had earned an unexpected fifteen minutes of fame thanks to a screenshot I submitted which was eventually used by the publisher in a profile of one of the game’s villain groups. My character, Catpain Ruffles, is pictured on page two of the linked article.

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