Saturday, March 17, 2007

Customer Pop

Just when you think you're done walking through snow, bang.... it snows on March 17th. Not cool. I'm sick of snow. I want to see my brown grass turn green. I want to pick up 1,200 dog turds in my back yard. I want to smell the exhaust of my lawn mower and weed eater. I want to grill and light up tiki torches. I want to get back to shorts and t-shirts. I want a clean truck.

I don't think that's asking too much.

In other news, the only TV that's operational in my house right now is a 19" SHARP that I bought when I was in 10th grade. Perfect for watching March Madness, the single greatest sports event in the world. Both of my big screen TV's decided to fry the lamps in the same week. I just got off the phone with Customer Support and they said there's a known problem with a faulty balast in both of my TV's (They're both exactly the same model, only difference is their screen size), and they'll replace the lamps/balasts for free. I'm supposed to be getting 8,000 - 10,000 hours off of one lamp, so watching TV for 6 months doesn't really add up to 10,000 hours. They're also extending the standard 1 year warranty to 2 years, just in case.

To my surprise, replacing the bulbs is a "do it yourself" job. I took the old lamps out in about 20 seconds each. It consists of taking one screw off of a little trap door on the left side of the TV, then removing the bulb contraption by it's easily accessible pull handle.

Something that I thought was a little odd, is when the customer service rep told me to email my receipts into customer support, and in the subject line I need to put "Customer Pop". I guess that's the sound the lamp makes when it blows up.

Work is going really good. Like, beyond good.... good. For those of you who know where I work, you know that we're a company who relies on loaning money to sub-prime customers as our main source of revenue, to the tune of about 100 billion in receivables, give or take a few million. My company is replacing it's origination and servicing system (which are the systems the loans are booked and serviced on) starting in a couple of months. My database team has been chosen to lead the reporting conversion, and it's causing quite the disruption throughout the Chain of Command.

Since we're not officially under "IT", the entire technology group is wondering why they didn't get to take on this high profile project. Well, I got news for you IT nerds.... you're too nerdy, and you take waayyy too long to get things done.

This is going to be a really good project to showcase the skills of my team, and show the company how talented we are. If this project goes well, or I should say, when this project goes well, it will open up a lot of doors for my team. We've already been gaining some fantastic recognition lately, and this is just icing on the cake.

I also have a new guy hired who will be starting on the 26th of this month. He's much needed and I can't wait for him to start. I have 1 more opening to fill, and then I'm done recruiting. For awhile hopefully.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Snow Day

Just like back in the days of going to school, we had a snow day at work on Friday and for some reason, I was more excited now then I was back then. Maybe it's because I actually get paid to stay home now. Either way....

I started off my day with a trip to the gym in the morning and I had to ram through about 4 feet of piled up snow at the end of my driveway to get out of it. I barely made it out, but with 4 wheel drive, you can pretty much do anything you want. Right? So I thought. On my way back home, getting in wasn't quite as easy.
That, my friends, is the picture of a 4 wheel drive vehicle, with 0 tires touching the pavement. I had to dig that thing out for about an hour. There was so much snow compacted beneath that vehicle, I had to basically chip it away with a spade little by little. What does that remind you of dad? If you replace the Explorer with a 1976 Trans Am and add about 6 feet of snow beneath the vehicle the memory might come back to you.

After I was dug out I went to the casino with a couple coworkers. We bet on some dog races and some horse races for a few hours and really didn't have much luck. I think I lost about $20. We went to the blackjack tables and in about 30 minutes I was up $125 and my boss was up $165 so we called it quits and had a few beers at the Casino bar while we waited for our other companions to finish up.

We scooped up Andrea on our way back home and went and played some darts, ate some pizza and drank some beers at a bar called Stix. Greg and Steph and Chad and Lindsay came a little later and we had a grand old time.

One thing that still blows my mind is how someone didn't lose an eye with Andrea throwing darts. I guess I'll just consider myself lucky and call it good.