Thursday, March 30, 2006

Beep beep beep

Personnel rang me at my desk today. Lest that sound like I work for a multi-thousand person organisation I do; it's just that the piece of the company I work for has maybe 30 people in the office. The vast majority of the employees are in Malaysia and Singapore.

'Rob' said our personnel person (PP from now on). 'Is there a problem with your swipe card? You seem to be entering the building a lot'

'Ah' I said, 'let me come to your office and explain'.

About 3 seconds later I'm in the PP's office explaining! 'You remember when we moved to the new building and Ed made a song and dance routine out of swiping our cards? How we should never tailgate?' PP nodded. 'Well, it seems to me that if swiping the card once is good then swiping it twice must be better. And if twice is better then 25 times has to be bloody fantastic!'.

PP made a brave try but I fear she couldn't resist a smirk. Once the dike had been breached the flood turned into laughter just as my boss walked by. He stuck his head into the office in inquiry and shared the laughter once he knew what it was about.

You see, a week or so before Christmas last year we were busy crating ovens outside the building.

The oven I refer to is a big big box; I'd guess, never having actually measured it, about 12 feet wide, 8 feet deep and 12 feet tall. Weighs a couple of tons. It's big enough that it comes with anchor points so it can be tied to the floor in case of earthquake. A naked oven will just barely fit through the door of the new building. Unfortunately Ed didn't allow for crating; the crate with all the required padding etc adds just enough height that a crated oven won't fit through the door; it's 2 inches too high. So we crate em outside the building. Fortunate indeed that it doesn't rain often in Phoenix.

Remember that I'm talking 2 tons of metal inside a wooden crate robust enough to survive travel halfway around the world. How strange then that it was felt necessary to inveigle one of the employees to nursemaid the crates overnight armed? Yeah, I can see it now; an opportunistic thief with all the equipment necessary to hoist 2 plus tons onto a flat bed truck and drive away with it. And there's quite the black market for our product! How many times have you lain awake yearning for a semiconductor burn-in oven? Sometimes paranoia can go too far.

Anyway, there we were crating the buggers. I wasn't helping; not my area of expertise by any stretch of the imagination. I was smoking and swiping my entry card again and again and again. And again! My boss was overseeing when he became aware of the steady beep. One glance at the source and he cracked up laughing. Suddenly I was the focus of attention as I continued swiping the card. Then my bosses boss, the head honcho, strolled over and handed me his entry card. I swapped cards and continued swiping! :-)

Another employee once stuck his card onto a cordless drill, set it to the lowest speed possible and held it over the card reader. It registered maybe once every four revolutions but it ran the numbers up amazingly!

Treat me like a child and I just might make a childish response!

Fortunately it seems that the Ed era is over. I wrote a few months[^] ago that I'd met Eds before and outlived em; Methinks I've outlived another one. We have now returned to a reasonable state of affairs regarding time-keeping. I can, if I have no prearranged early morning appointments, start work pretty much when I want. As long as I get the work done that's all my boss asks.

Of course I still don't think I'm paid nearly enough for this job but it's getting better.

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