Posted by: Mark Nielsen | September 8, 2010

Fortune Smiles – Further Adventures in Corporate Limbo

Be careful what you wish for...

I’ve consulted two days so far for a large international corporation in an I.T. support role, and my head is already swimming with dozens of acronyms. I told two of the more experienced people on my team that they could just start talking to each other using made-up words and acronyms, and I’d never know the difference… till I catch up, that is, at which point there would be payback.

Worse yet, some words don’t even mean what they used to mean: a VCR doesn’t play an old Eddie Murphy movie, it’s now a Verified Customer Report. And a corrupt environment is now an unstable virtual space, not some dive bar where Tony Soprano hangs out.

It feels like a scene out of a Dilbert cartoon sometimes, too. [DETAILS DELETED TO COVER MY ASS…]

But I ain’t complaining. It’s all a strange sociological experiment still, for me. I watch and listen in the cafeteria. I look at the “Documents for Destruction” bin in the copy room and think of a heavy metal album of a very similar name. I compare Cape Cod stories with a coworker whose in-laws are from there (as was my late father-in-law). I apply all my English teacher reading strategies to complex documents: underlining the most important word in a sentence, looking at the big picture before bogging down in the details, reading “if” and making sure there’s a “then” that follows, and so forth. English isn’t math, isn’t formulaic to the extent that computer code is, but it IS logical, … and it’s my job as an analyst to make sure the problems all balance out.

Best of all, they brung me this here little computer that I’s typing on right now.  A Dell Latitude laptop. Not a keeper, I’m guessing. But they must have thousands, with the casual way they give ’em out… so maybe they’ll forget to ask for it back. For now, I get to take it home, and use it on our fairly new wi-fi network at home, and burn a couple CD’s onto the hard drive (to work to later on… classical works a bit better for me on this type of work), and learn a bit about Lotus Notes (which I’ve never used, but any decent replacement for those aggravating Microsoft products is definitely worth learning.

I even got a badge. To which my reply, for them that know me, should be obvious: “Badges? We don’ haf no badges. We don’ neeeed no steenking badges.”


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