12 February 2010

Work is seriously kicking me in the nuts

With the wide away for a week visiting family, I thought it'd be a great time to catch up on tv, sleep, blogging, and video games. But noooooo...

There's a very very big highway bridge project that my company is doing down in the States1. I wasn't assigned to this project originally, as I'm already swamped with other work. Then last week one of the engineers on the job enexpectantly headed back to China for a family emergency; he's probably not coming back. So I'm suddenly thrust into the fray.

The problem: a very rapidly approaching deadline (today, in fact). As in, I have had less than a week and a half to get up to speed and start delivering calculations for two bridges I'm completely unfamiliar with, ruled by design codes that I don't know, and using five new software packages that I've never seen in my life. Oh, and the lead engineer on the project, the guy who's supposed to be helping me catch up to all this, left yesterday on a three week vacation. And another one of the engineers on the project left for a three week vacation last week, so any hope for assistance was gone.

So I'm in the office working Saturday and Sunday, Wednesday night, and all of Thursday night through to Friday, taking a quick 20 minute nap under my desk. I drank a lot of Coke and ate way way too many chewy peach candies. It's pretty damn tricky learning completely new things under incredible time constraints and sleep deprived.

Fortunately, through perseverance, I can say that I got my work done on time (for this submission anyway), though I can't guarantee anything about the correctness of the calcs.

I honestly have no idea what's going on around me right now. I drove past my house today after work.

And it's only going to get worse in the coming weeks as the rest of the submissions come due and other jobs start up again. Maybe I'll have time for sleep in the summer.


07 February 2010

Early Valentine's Hatred

I was at the mall today getting an early jump on my Valentine's Day shopping - not because I'm keen but because I have an assload of work to do this week and will likely not have time to shop again before the big day.

So I'm in the mall and I take a detour into Chapters and buy myself a discount copy of Victor J. Stenger's God: The Failed Hypothesis for $7. Sweet. Then I go across the hall to the Carlton Cards and start looking for the obligatory Valentine's Card and I remember my card requirements (expressed to me through forcefully implied statements by my dutiful wife) - no cheap cards, no funny cards (because our relationship is important and serious and if I joke about it I devalue our relationship ... or something like that), and it must be something with good, flowery words in it expressing a loving message, but not too thorough a message because I need to write at least a paragraph expressing something loving and flowery but personal as well. So I look for a bit and find a good one and look at the price: $7.

I think to myself, WTF? On one hand, I just bought a book, a culmination of years-worth of thought and effort put into it by author and editors, almost 300 pages of quality paper and a hard binding, with dust-cover art and everything. On the other hand, a reasonably-sized sheet of cardboard, some tissue paper, and 16 lines of lame-ass poetry. Same price.

At that moment I experienced an epiphany: "Why not just substitute the Valentine's card with God: The Failed Hypothesis?" What a great idea! I could just scribble a paragraph of lubby-dubby stuff on the first page and draw a big heart and presto! Instant card. They've both got paper and writing and cost $7. Why not?

Then I realized that I don't like having my head torn off and my gonads stomped on by an angry asian woman, so I bought the damn card.

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