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Lessons Learned
Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want
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24th-Oct-2016 10:13 am - Well, that was exciting!
Things I learned last week:

1. Locking your doors and having alarms on them is pointless. Why waste time picking locks or kicking down a door when rocks are so commonly available and easy to use? Burglars always come in through the windows. You need to arm the motion sensors as well.

2. Next time, call 911 first, THEN go chase the bad guy out. Or better yet, capture his ass so you don't have to be afraid he'll come back. Once he's out in the woods, those sheriff deputies are never going to find him.

3. Windex is the thing for taking fingerprint powder off surfaces. Anything else will just smear it all around everywhere.

4. Try harder to notice the details at the time, no matter how unexpected the situation is. It's embarrassing to be unable to pick someone out of a line-up when you were six feet away from them 8 hours ago.

Things the other guy learned last week:

1. If there's a motorcycle parked out front, there's probably a biker inside. Not all bikers are big mean guys, but there's probably some truth to the stereotype of them being a bit more independent-minded and action-oriented. Maybe you should try the house down the road with the Prius or the Volvo out front instead.

2. Don't turn on all the lights everywhere you go. It makes you easy to see and keep track of once you've poked your head in the wrong bedroom door. In fact, don't make a nest on the couch, go exploring, and then stop to heat a snack, just steal some shit and get out already.

3. A little old lady in a pink fleece bathrobe with happy kitties printed all over it is still pretty damned scary when she's pointing a .45 at you. Happily, it does turn out that meekly doing exactly what she tells you is a good way to not get shot.

4. If you plan to get high later, leave your dope pipe in your backpack instead of on the kitchen counter. You might forget it when you have to leave suddenly and that thing is covered with your fingerprints and DNA.
12th-Apr-2016 01:08 pm - hurt/comfort
Thanks to a crazed meth-addicted murderer, some over-zealous law enforcement and a less-than-zealous road crew, I have been confined to the recliner in the living room since the end of January. HR and PHB took a full month to find their asses with both hands so there was a period of initial stress before I settled into an approved working-from-home schedule which allowed sufficient conservation of my accumulated sick leave to ensure an uninterrupted income. Since then it's been nothing but cats supervising my recovery from my lap, laying about in increasingly stale pajamas, and morning PT exercises to keep me from getting too happy about waking up at a reasonable hour every day.

just a little compression fracture of the right tibial plateau, no need to worryCollapse )
The most common observation made by people working in animal rescue is that people suck. We see the results of neglect, abandonment, abuse, stupidity, and every other rotten feature of human psychology that can be visited upon an innocent and helpless creature, and it makes us hate people. Not all of them - we all love a good pet owner, a loving foster parent, a dedicated volunteer or deeply caring shelter worker. But those categories are definitely a minority of the population as a whole that affects the animals we spend our time helping.

so we generally assume people all suck until proven otherwiseCollapse )
18th-Dec-2015 03:22 pm - Ack! Already?!
It appears that while I was busy, Christmas sneaked up on me. Fortunately, I had some opportunities to go shopping for you in the last week or so, and here's what you got:

Snow leopards in Kyrgyzstan are protected and studied by the Snow Leopard Trust working with local people to preserve habitat and prevent poaching.

Puddies needing special care are getting assistance through the Guardian Angel Program run by the Homeless Animal Rescue Team in Cambria, CA.

The Exotic Feline Rescue Center continues to do an amazing job taking care of big puddies.

Local volunteer rescue groups Four Paws To Love and Animal Shelter Relief are saving cats and kittens (and even the occasional dog!) from several county shelters and fostering them until they can find their permanent homes.

You helped save a record number of stranded seals and sea lions this year through Marine Mammal Center research, rescue, rehabilitation, and release in California and Hawai'i.

Have a wonderful solstice (because axial tilt is the reason for the season) and may you be forever blessed by the touch of His Noodly Appendage!
21st-Sep-2015 04:58 pm - Motivation works! Wow!!
This summer the annual performance appraisal season came around, like it does every year, and I faced it courageously by ignoring the whole thing until the last few days before deadline and spewing out whatever I could get done in the time remaining. It's a process that has served me well since I was in grade school and the end result remains the same: I get something done, and it never matters whether it's any good or not. Honestly, if I'd worked solidly for weeks on that report about Ecuador in fifth grade instead of cranking out a copy of the encyclopedia entry the day before it was due, would my life be any better today? I'm pretty sure finishing my thesis sooner by working harder on it instead of writing smarmy fic for an extra two years wouldn't have made me any richer either.

printing those zines has done more for me than the research ever didCollapse )
After believing for the last two years that my boss was the most idiotic nincompoop to ever be given a management job, I am beginning to wonder if he could be, in fact, a genius instead. Prior to his arrival the EHS department was a fractured snake pit of in-fighting factions that wouldn't work together no matter what the problem was, and bringing peace and cohesion to the group was his main task. Given his quickly apparent intellectual challenges we all figured that was a lost cause, but lately I've noticed that many of us are bonding with each other. Even I have sat and talked amiably with the person I despise most, DW himself, because no matter our other differences we are in complete agreement that we work for the most clueless fucking spineless jerk in the whole company. So did he really plan all along to have us all discover that the enemy of our enemy must be our friend and thus come together, even if it was with the single united purpose of getting rid of him? Such wisdom, such insight, such self-sacrificing nobility for the greater good?


5th-Feb-2015 05:15 pm - Because it does, that's why
We had a staff meeting this week, and it was as painful as usual. PHB read us a three-page agenda, or possibly his notes, that wasn't entirely clear, from a meeting apparently intended as an extended explanation of the corporate leadership's vision of our mission and future strategy. I can only be glad that I was not at that meeting although having him read each line to us word for word while the document was also projected on the screen was probably a close approximation of the original experience. The vice-president who hosted it is highly regarded for their command of content-free millennial jargon combined with endless enthusiasm.

The dozen or so of us who hadn't been able to escape being there sat grimly through his rendition. He didn't seem to understand most of it himself, as gamely as he struggled through the concepts. For most sentences he would give some sort of attempted context but there was one item, "Stewardship of the GuidePosts" that he read without elaboration and skipped onward.

Into the silence of utter apathy, I boldly strode forward. "What the heck does 'Stewardship of the GuidePosts' mean?" He rambled for a couple minutes about how it's important for us to assist the customers who come to us that are poor and less privileged because... something non-specific that boiled down to it being the right thing to do.

Me: "That's got nothing at all to do with either stewardship or guideposts."

PHB: "Well, that's what it means anyway."

Me: "All-righty then."

There were no further questions.
...the same as last year! Only more expensive because I am that much happier about not having to go find something and then stand in line at the PO to get it to you. Also, a 50% matching grant from Tigers In America made your Exotic Feline Rescue Center present even more wonderful. The kittens you're helping at Animal Shelter Relief are Jelly Belly, a little girl who needs cataract eye surgery; and Katoodle, a beautiful little guy who'll be getting gender re-assignment surgery to fix an awful injury to his little tiny private bit.

Happy holidays from the entire Thundering Herd of Puddies!
12th-Sep-2014 02:25 pm - Motivation
Every year, stupidvisors are required to submit official performance evaluations of all their minions. It's an organizational requirement without any purpose, since there are no bonuses to earn. Salaries and promotions are not tied to ratings, and the budget rarely includes raises but when we are occasionally blessed with increases, they are handed out at a flat rate for the entire workforce. Given the known pointlessness of the exercise, most managers assign the writing of the evaluations to the underlings themselves, then slap on a final rating, sign it, and mail it to whatever black hole in HR they are consigned to.

it reduces the element of surprise although the ritual is still awkwardCollapse )
7th-Apr-2014 12:33 pm - sticking it
At least twenty years ago, all the phones in the offices here at Surfer Dude had a sticker on them. It was carefully nestled between the pillars holding up the handset and said something helpful and obvious like "in case of emergency, dial 911." Over time digital phones replaced the old push-button ones and one day a few years ago somebody in an office somewhere called me and asked if they could have another sticker to put on their new phone. By that time nobody had any idea where the originals had come from and, as the safety person, I was the logical one to do something about it.

but I was smart enough not to fall for that one againCollapse )
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