Crap like this is also one of the reasons why my interest is waning:
I sent these two ships out to knock out a blockade. They had a 96% chance of success, and both ships were levelled up to their maximum, which is supposed to make them harder to sink if they fail. Well, in spite of the odds, they failed, and they both sunk. This means I need to spend a lot of resources, and go through the whole process of levelling up replacement ships.
This is not the first time this has happened to me either. I had two ships sunk in a mission with a 97% chance of success not too long ago. You can buy improvements to make them unsinkable, but that is only good for a single mission, and equipping that skill replaces ones that are critical to actually succeeding at the missions. In short, I could make my ships unsinkable, but only have a 40% chance of actually succeeding at any given time. At least they have shortened up the sortie times though. Before, you might have to wait a couple of days to fail. Now you can fail within 11-12 hours.
In other news, I got shipped off to Thunder Bay this past weekend to help repair rail cars.
The call actually came on Thursday evening, but they left a message on my company cell phone that I do not check when I am not on call. When I played the message, I considered that they might have called the wrong plonq because I have the same first and last name as another person in the company, and we tend to get a lot of each others' calls and email. I checked my voice mail and email at work the next morning, but there was nothing. I was just getting ready to call them back and suggested they had called the wrong guy when two of the people who had been in my car inspection training class last January wandered by and asked if I had been called to report for duty.
I called them back, and I was told that I was to report to Thunder Bay first thing Saturday morning to assist with car repairs because they were very backlogged. I learned the reason for that on the weekend, and I might write up a missive about that at some point. The short of it was that I was told this was an executive order, and not a call for volunteers.
When I brought it up with my director, he was understandably upset since I am working on a project that is already behind schedule. He promised to take it up with his director and give me direction. Then his status, and the status of his director both switched to "in a meeting" for the next couple of hours.
As an added complication, Friday was also the day when I had to power everything down and pack up my desk and computer for our move to the new office. As the morning wore on, and none of my leaders got back to me, I finally made a decision and booked the flight and hotel. There was only one suitable flight to get out there, and with the added crunch of packing up my work station and still having time to get home and pack, I was caught in a squeeze. I booked everything, touched base with the contact I would be working with in Thunder Bay, and then sent an update to my director and managing director.
And my managing director hit the roof. She and my director got together in a meeting room, called me and gave me what could only charitably be called a dressing down. It was brutal to the point that if I had recorded the call, I think a lawyer could have had a case for workplace abuse. She had not communicated it to me, but she had been talking with our department's VP to try and get me out of deployment since IT needed my services more. She let me know that I had put her in a very bad position, and that I had just screwed myself over.
She called me back about an hour later to apologize, and said that she understood that I had only been doing what I felt was right for the company, even if it wasn't right for my department. She admitted that she had been advised about the situation right away by my director, but she decided to finish with her long series of meetings rather than stepping away to deal with it right away. She had not understood the pressure and short time-line I had been put under to make a decision and act on it.
Then on the weekend I got an even more contrite note from her. The Chief Operating Officer (#2 guy in the company) went to her and the VP and read them the riot act for trying to get the people in their department out of deployment. He was the one who had ordered us deployed, and it was not their place to contradict his orders under the assumption that the people in their department were more important than the ones in other groups. The spiteful part of me hopes that he seared them as badly as they laid into me on Friday. She told me that I did exactly the right thing in booking my trip on Friday when I had.
The trip was interesting. They did not seem to know what to do with us once we got there. We were not trained in repairs, and barely qualified to do inspections. We spent most of our time hanging around the break room drinking coffee, and awkwardly avoiding the regular staff who, in spite of being friendly and polite, were not happy to have us there. Most of our duties involved driving into town to bring back lunch for the crew, and doing odd errands that came up now and again. Over the course of the three days we were there, we inspected one train, and walked three others to close gates and hook up air hoses.
The highlight of the trip was networking with some of the folks whose names I only knew in passing. All I have to show for the trip today is a big bruise on my left arm where I managed to bang it pretty good while working on one of the cars.
In other news, they managed to destroy one of my monitors during the move. I guess I'll have to see about a replacement for it when I am back in the office on Friday.