Thursday, February 24, 2005

Criss cross

nope, not across the entire country, just between Dallas and Phoenix with the obligatory stop at El Paso or Albuquerque. Yup, I'm back in Phoenix but not for long.

I've been in Dallas on a task that requires co-ordination between 3 of us. Each of us is on the others critical paths. I do my bit then I have to wait whilst the second one does his part; then the two of us wait while the third does his part and so on... Each part can take from 2 days to a week. I did as much of my task as was possible by Monday and since then I've been waiting for other tasks to conclude. I haven't been idle since then of course; but what I've been doing could just as easily have been done in my hotel room or at home or at the office in Phoenix or pretty much anywhere in the world where I have an internet connection available. So, as you'll remember from a couple of days ago, I put the case to come home for a week or so. Today they finally agreed to let me come home.

Of course, they couldn't possibly make that decision early in the day. That'd be too easy. The decision was made at 5PM and I spent a whirlwind hour checking out of the hotel and getting to the airport. Packing didn't take long - I learned many years ago that no matter how long you're going to be in a hotel room you always live out of the suitcase and never ever use the drawers and wardrobes they so kindly provide. I got home at midnight (an hour or so ago).

Remember I commented that it's not a good idea to travel on a one way ticket? It's also not a good idea to front up at the airline desk with a flight booked a week hence and requesting it be brought forward to the next available flight. Uh huh - the dreaded secondary inspection yet again. Fortunately Wednesdays seem to be off peak for both Dallas Love Field and El Paso - I was the only one in secondary inspection and, given that I knew the drill, it went very quickly. On a side note, I've noticed that the TSA people are, if approached in a friendly manner, most affable. Doesn't stop em doing their job (nor should it) but they enjoy a (non threatening) joke* every bit as much as the rest of us.

Of course I'm only here for a few days; I have to fly back to Dallas on Sunday in time to be back at work Monday morning. Well I'm only doing that if the critical path has cleared so that I have something useful to do on Monday morning; otherwise I intend to delay travel until I do have something useful to do that can only be done in Dallas. This is complicated somewhat by the fact that on Friday March 4th I have an appointment with Phoenix INS to kick-start the processing of my replacement green card. Now shhh, don't tell management this but I can cancel that appointment any time. The INS web site indeed, specifically requests that if we can't make the appointment we cancel it and promises no penalty for doing so. I'm reluctant to tell management this because I know what will happen if they know about it; appointment after appointment will be cancelled and suddenly I'll be out of status and deportable.

And then, having flown back to Phoenix on Thursday next week for the appointment I'm expected to go back to Dallas the following Sunday for another stay of indeterminate length. Sometimes I hate this job!

*If your job ever involves Bills of Materials you'd be wise to use the full expression if discussing the subject with a co-worker in line at airport security :-)

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