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Under Construction

Ladies and Gents Who Lunch photos
Bainbridge Island, Washington

August 9th, 2003

Day Again Amazing
How did I start jabbering on about exporting jobs yesterday? I sat down at the computer feeling pretty upbeat for a Friday and suddenly I'd written more than I wanted to hear about IT evaporation to India. Nice people in India. We have many who visit us at the office from time to time and we train them in our various functions so they can duplicate them when they get home. Of course many of them are then hired away by other competing Indian companies (the IT job market is very hot in India, not unlike, one assumes, their weather) and another Indian person is sent to our office to be trained again, except the people who did the original training are gone (for obvious reason).

This is an interesting cycle and I'm sure the collective corporate "they" have been suppressing any negative news about it (corporate outsourcing is hot and any manager pointing out problems with what's hot won't be a manager anymore). This isn't going away, it's just, well, we don't seem to be able to do anything without going overboard. Going overboard throwing people overboard. I know, I know, but it's the weekend and I'm allowed.

Where did that come from?

Same place as the last. I'm considered an "engineer" in our business, a label rather than a reality, self-taught with a CNE and all that, and engineering (other than software engineering, read "programmer") jobs, we are told, are less transportable, so I'm "not to be concerned". The bad economy is more on my mind than job outsourcing, although that's what happened in the last (Industrial) revolution, did it not, ninety-eight percent of the populace moved from farm to city? At least the cities were located on the same continent. At my age, sliding toward home, you're not looking for surprises.

Then, of course, there's the health. If you waddle around feeling punk half the time you realize you're in no condition to look for work. You lose the bright face, cow lick combed to the side look of an employable person and prospective employers know you're no longer up for mindless all nighters to make brain dead project deadlines.

Oh, well. Here again I've gone on. Whatever happens will happen. I left a message for MRW earlier this afternoon asking after MSC (I know, I know, there's no way to tell who these people are, but that's the idea. I am consistent, MRW is MRW, MSC is MSC throughout, but beyond that no guarantees.), had she gone in to have hip replacement surgery? A message on the phone when I returned from a run to the corner store, yes, she was in, and no, it wasn't so OK, but the morphine was holding. Shit. Hip replacement surgery. MRW had his own in June. Hips, prostates, let's hope we can hold onto our livers. Some things you don't need to know as you watch the sun go down.

It's Saturday, the day again amazing.

Note added: They broke into the local NPR program just after ten with a disaster warning. Evidently a chemical release in the Richmond, north Richmond and San Pablo areas, the warning asking everyone to close all doors and windows, shut off all fans and air conditioners, close any fireplace flues and stay inside until further notice. No mention of duct tape. No mention on the news programs yet. Richmond is not all that far from here, I wonder in which direction the wind is blowing. Methinks I'll close the doors and windows and turn off the bedroom fan. Emmy and I are staying inside for the rest of the evening.

Chicken shit.

You bet.

45 Minutes later. A release of hydrogen sulfide gas, says the man on the radio, the old stink bomb. Emmy and I can handle the old stink bomb. Turn on the fan, forget about warning all those drunks out in the street partying in front of my building, there may well be life on the morrow.

The photograph was taken at the family party on Bainbridge Island.