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Visitor at the office.

November 15th, 2001

Who Is Last?
(SF Chronicle) PISCES (Feb 18 - March 19) Keep commitments vague. There are many upcoming reversals, instead of plans falling through, they'll be put on the fast track.

A reason to avoid horoscopes. Reading it this morning at my weekend cafe, this, my first day of vacation, it brought to mind my manager's suggestion that he and I get together all day Wednesday to go over the mechanics of my web job, how I'm running surveys and reports, where things are located, before I go on vacation. That and an email I read this morning when I dialed into my email account at work. A meeting has been called by our director for this afternoon, our entire group, to go over, um, something. We know that other groups have been told, either today or tomorrow, to expect layoff announcements, whole sections out sourced or moved to an east coast office. Me? My group? Could be. There are many upcoming reversals.

Still, this is the first day of my vacation. If I do learn that I've been axed, well, it gives me something to think about next week over Thanksgiving. I'd moan and groan, but my experience has been things happen for the best. In retrospect. When the shock's worn off. When you can pay the rent again. When the cat stops peeing on the rugs. I wonder how many physical exams and lab tests I can get done before my health insurance runs out? A bunch.

The weather is nice. I pick up a rental car on Saturday and drive up to Oregon early Sunday morning.Fellow worker and contractor at the office Wuss, poor Wuss, will go into a cage at the vets for a week and, when I return, up to Davis for a physical. Things to do, things to do. Meanwhile, right now, I'm sitting here playing a game of Freecell, sending out an email or two: MSJ, let me know what happens this afternoon at the meeting, hey, MRF, up near the border in the Pacific woods, got any room for another techie working for the government? Have cat, will travel. So much time spent thinking about things that may never happen, although, who knows, by the time I finish this entry I may achieve career enlightenment.

Hmmm. An email just now from the front. A more likely announcement at the meeting this afternoon is they are combining our two groups into one (a long story, but there are two groups, both fairly senior, I am a member of one and webmaster of both, which we shall not go into here), which we've been told has been coming for some time. Now, this is not altogether bad from my point of view, although there are other considerations for my fellow members that might make it more problematic. See, not useful to even think about it. Pinwheel, pinwheel spinning fast, who is first, who is last?

Later. ...instead of plans falling through, they'll be put on the fast track. A side bar, something that happens more often than it should around the time I'm leaving on vacation. I'd ordered refills for my prescriptions at the beginning of the month, plenty of time to get them before I left for Oregon, stuff it's best not to skip, and I'd included my change of address (written carefully and clearly - "lookie here! lookie here!") on the reorder form. You have to send them new written prescriptions once a year, each one good for a 90 day supply, each one with three additional refills you can call in and refill just by punching numbers into their computer.

So I was careful and noted the change of address on the form, which they ignored. Fast track for this afternoon was calling the mail order operation and arranging to pick up a one week's local supply here in Oakland and have refills sent to Portland, since the five prescriptions they'd sent had, in fact, gone to the old address, probably today, which means they won't get here until after I leave on Sunday. ...they'll be put on the fast track. Well, they did.

By the way, I like horoscopes more as a literary device than anything else. Len Deighton made good use of them in his first book, The Ipcress File. His spy with no name character was an Aquarius doing his best to lose, not keep his job, as I recall. Bullets, you understand. Aquarian troubles with traitors and assassins. None of the adventure took place in Oakland.

The word from the front is we've all still got our jobs. The word from the front is others with whom we've worked over these many years don't.

Both photographs were taken at the office.