Walking (walking away (walking with my back toward the world again today))

I think I’ve been unusually piss-off-able lately, and I’m not sure why. I don’t think Aunt Irma is an issue for menfolk, especially for an entire month, but I’m starting to wonder. I was probably no more irritated / irritable today than any Normal Person given the same circumstances, but for me I considered it significant, because I normally don’t piss off easily at all.

This fine day started off with our annual performance review at work. The format of this has changed once again, but this time for the (far) worse: I don’t/can’t know the specifics, because the process is entirely opaque (in fact, I didn’t know we were even having them until I saw a statistically significant number of people in DG’s office the past couple days with the door closed), but it appears that Management*, which sits scattered around the building (WHERE ‘scattered around the building’ != ‘my office’), is now evaluating individual engineers on such equally unobservable things as our problem-solving process, etc. Since much of what I do is too complicated to be explained (especially by me, who has enough trouble composing a sentence in realtime with all the words in the right order), and hidden inscrutibly in flash ROM**, they have no idea, on the nitty-gritty level, what goes on in ELAB, and so this system of review bothers me somewhat. Luckily(?), for questions for which they clearly have no reference base, they’ll most likely just say ‘average’ for everything.

On thing in particular melted my cheese though: one not-quite-anonymous reviewer actually wrote: “was unable or unwilling to complete DSP project in time”. Yeah, that DSP. Yup, that’s the one***. Unable, yeah, I’ll hand that to ’em on a platter. I should have realized early on that I was in over my head and thrown in the towel. (Technically, I should have told [as politely as possible] the person who dropped it in my lap to fuck off and hire an actual DSP guy to do it, but then I might have looked…unwilling…BTW, telling your boss to fuck off, even politely, is commonly regarded as a career-limiting move.) Instead, I burned night after night grinding on it, assuming “there’s no WAY the hardware is that braindead, I must just be doing something wrong, and as soon as I figure it out, it’ll be smooth sailing from there.” Not as if I had anything better to do during this time frame. So in light of all my late nights in the office, I’d say “…or unwilling…” is stretching the silly putty a bit (and/or that I am owed an apology).

(I know, I know, just 2 days ago I was saying how much I love my workplace, and that’s still true. I just feel like ranting right now.)

There were random little things today that pissed me off more than they should. I had stuff to transport and was meeting GJM in Davis, so I drove to work today. On the way, there’s one of these funny 3-way intersections where, due to screwy layout and high-traffic crosswalk next to a college campus, it has a green light for about 6 seconds per minute. The minivan in front of me decides that this six-second window is the perfect time to park in the middle of the single lane, put the blinkers on and start loading and unloading passengers. On the way to Anna’s afterward, I spy an open parking space, put on my blinker and am about to back into it, when the jerkoff behind me swoops in from behind with the forward slide. Little stuff. On the way out of Anna’s I bumped into my ex and Three of N (James?), and after much waving and looking like an ass managed to elicit a word out of her (“hi”) in passing, but I had somewhere to be, and presumably so did they, and they were in opposite directions, so that was that. I think this also contributed to my general pisseditude, even though it logically shouldn’t.

* I’m usually pretty cool with them all, and prefer to think of them as individual humans rather than some lump of process called Management. But bear with me here.

** the typical observable for management is sort of a “works/doesn’t work” flag; because unless I yell “heads up!” and physically throw it at them (i.e. the Noiseballs prototype), they never really see an end product beyond “Tim did something, and it does something”. It’s all little green squiggles anyway.

*** in fact, if you have a look at the plant picture there, you’ll notice it’s taken in front of a window, and outside that window there’s dark. Not generic “late afternoon in december” dark, but that deep, inky, 9-pm-on-a-friday-what-the-fuck-am-I-still-doing-at-work dark.


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