Friday, May 05, 2006

Friday complaints

Follow on to his Supreme Majesty.

Just read an article in the Feb 27 New Yorker magazine about Alberto Mora, former Navy general counsel, and his battle with the Pentagon and White House over memos authorizing torture. Oh, wait, it’s the redefinition of torture, we don’t do torture (did I use that word (torture) enough yet?), we agreed not to do it so we don’t. Only the definition of that word that the rest of the world uses, and that we signed treaties regarding, are currently at odds with the definitions being used by my government.

Seems like our president, and the providers of his legal opinions, have their own interpretation of things. This includes the Geneva Convention, UN articles we agreed to, laws passed by congress and signed by him, and even the US Constitution. Yup, there is a new interpretation of the constitution being used, which all of the wimps in congress and the rest of the government are somehow not bringing up with the courts. Of course, the new interpretation negates court decisions too, so it doesn’t really matter. So you don’t have to violently overthrow the government to become king, you just issue signing statements, redefine words you disagree with, and basically ignore the rest of the government and do what you want to do anyway. When Nixon tried this he was impeached (almost) (eventually). When you are W just do it and ‘your’ Republicans will keep Congress so tied up nothing will be done.

Congress gave the president a declaration of war on terror, and since that war has no boundaries and no defined end date it seems our government is doing whatever it pleases in the name of national security. I am impressed with that interpretation – it shows some real initiative; to assume that you can do anything you want. If anybody objects say they are weak on terror and don’t care enough about their country; in the past you could call them communists, but that word doesn’t mean much now.

I’m back to looking at New Zealand for a move. I’m trying to come up with a country that speaks English, is warm, and is small enough to not have dreams of world domination. Though I love France I think it would be hard to get a job not knowing how to speak French. Any other suggestions?

Back to something completely different:

Having a great time at work this week. Rob explained what he does at his bank, somehow it sounds like programmers worldwide end up with the same problems. Imagine that.

One of the responsibilities I have picked up is support of the help desk. If anybody in the company has a problem they call the help desk for help. The guys there know hardware and networking and how to set up programs, but if the programs fail then I get called. This job was formerly done by John, but after working here for almost ten years he has moved on to other things and did not want to keep doing his old job, especially since his boss told him to do the new stuff. So in addition (not as a replacement for) my existing jobs I also now do support. This has added an additional twenty hours or so to my workload, which has not decreased.

We mainly do credit card processing. I support a big group of people in the collections group, where they call people and ask for money. When credit card payments become too overdue we pass the job onto one of several outside agencies we pay, and they then try to collect the money. There are programs that run every night to pass new accounts out to these six agencies, most on the east coast. The programs that do this have not been changed in three years, and work quite well. Until this week. For some reason the transfer to an agency in Montreal, Canada has been failing every morning. This means that I have been getting a phone call around 3am from our night shift guy, and I end up on the computer for an hour jumping between remote computers in order to run things manually. Then back to bed until 5, when the alarm rings so that I can come in and continue on. This early morning wake up call has gotten to be a little tiresome (well, it became bad the first time it happened) and I am ready for the calls to stop.

I’ve been searching for three days to try and figure out the cause of the problem. None of the program authors still work here, so I am on my own in figuring this out. Except my boss for some reason wants me to work on things important to him, so I have not had the time to search, after all I’m the one woken up at 3, not him. This morning I told him I will not be working on anything else until I can get the Canada problem fixed, and chased him away. But it’s hard to turn down people asking for help. Aaaaaaaaaaggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh. I need a good uninterrupted nights sleep. So sorry if this post appears disjointed, I'll blame it on the lack of sleep instead of my careening mind.

And somebody is walking quite well, as long as there is something to hold on to.

No comments: