following a thread of thought

Well, I walked in today and had great news. My boss quickly stops me, and lets me know that he has offered my services for phone support to a client and their client. Huh?

Let’s start with some background. There is a company, which we will call Company A, who wanted a piece of software. They hired Company B, from Russia, to handle the project. Then, Company B subcontracts the programming work to Company C, which is in India. Do you see a problem here? I do.

So, by the time the money that has been quoted, budgeted, and the other money that was later added to the budget, is all used up, the final software does not meet specs, barely works, and is completely written in .NET.

So, Company A decides that they will take what they’ve got, and hire us, Company X (I know, D should be next, but we are leet, so X it is). We take it, our .NET guy nearly hires hit-men to take out the people in India who coded it, and starts trying to fix it. We get it working, at least to some concept of minimum specification. We quote them how much it would take for us to write it to the full specification they originally had. Compared to the amount they have spent, it is cheap. However, they decided to take the working software they now have, and wait until they absolutely, positively, needed the full one yesterday, then they will hire us to finish it.

So, our developer has fixed up the code, added some debugging, and even added some fixes for it to work in odd network setups. We have shipped it back to them, with documentation and everything. So, one of their clients is having problems, and can not get it to work. So, instead of the rep for Company A having THEIR PEOPLE support it, they call my boss and ask for help. He tries calling the developer (who is a contract guy) and leaves messages for him, and then decides that I can support the software. I know less about the software than the support guys at Company A, because I don’t use it, I just setup the hardware for it to run on while being developed and tested here, all of which was done by the developer. The only advantage I have, is that I have been in the same office as the developer while he was writing it.

My boss tells me that I will be supporting this program over the phone, with a client of a client, with the only person from Company A involved being the sales rep, and they won’t be on site, this will be a conference call. I seriously start considering setting fire to the building at this point to get out of this. The call is supposed to happen at noon, but since we are West Coast time, and he doesn’t know if the client of the client is also West Coast, that could mean anytime. Honestly, it could be our time, it could be their time, which would be sooner, or they could be trying to do the time zone math in their head and getting it wrong. All I know, is that I need to be ready at 11, 12, and possibly 1. Lunch? That will wait until we are clear.

So, as noon starts approaching, I drop down into low-power mode, especially since I will be talking a non-tech person through network diagnosis, and If I am in the middle of big brain stuff, I might not be able to gear down to them.

So, I now have an excuse to start cruising sites like Fark and Use My Computer. So, from UMC, I end up at Hot Chicks with Douchebags. Yes, a site devoted to posting pictures of hot chicks hanging out with guys who are douchebags, with douchebag1, making commentary about it. Really, there is some funny stuff there.

Finally, I came across this youtube video.

Nice overacting. Are you related to William Shatner? Yes fine folks, this is one of those many Youtube jokes. Sometime back in August, dear xSJPx decided to have a little fun, and made it. I guess the resulting publicity was a little much, especially since it seems her comments section for the user account she had at the time exploded.

Was the video entertaining? Yeah, a bit. The HCwD site is still better. However, it did give me an outlet for my brain to work on while waiting for the call. Which, by this time had not happened yet, and I had to switch to plan B, snack on something, and wait until 1 to see if the call will come in then. So, I went to xSJPx’s YouTube profile, followed the link to the MySpace page (which the link is broken, but you can figure it out), which then led to the blogspot page. Wow, it is like a treasure hunt, but you know there is no treasure, just more links.

She has some… weird… video blogs. Her other blogs aren’t updated, but there were some links to some nice stuff, mostly this link to a youtube music video of Regina Spektor. Though, I like this song by Regina Spektor a little better.

So, 1 rolls around, and it seems that the call is not coming in. Yeah! Now, I get to ride my bike to lunch. I start with the long way, which takes 30 minutes, eat for 15 minutes, then ride the short way back, which is the remaining 15 minutes. Had this gone as planned, it would be great. Yeah, like that will work out. About 10 minutes into the ride, my phone rings. It’s my boss. No, the call hasn’t come in. Another call came in. A machine which has been waiting at a clients site for a week is finally connected and we need to test it. So, does my boss ask the developer of that program how to test it? No, of course of not, he is asking me. I walk him through connecting to it. He connects and sees it is up and running. Now he asks “what do I do know?” I told him just a few minutes before, at the very beginning of the phone call, that he would need to talk to the developer to test it. I say then, “ask {developer’s name} to test it.” Oh, OK.

Fun. Finally back now, writing this post to help me vent a little. I think I really like that first Regina Spektor song a little more now. I think I will listen to it again.

Have fun folks!

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