the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur (plonq) wrote,
the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur

OK, then.

I went for a short walk down the length of the office after I got some interesting news about our current project dropped in my lap yesterday afternoon (more on that below). There is one corner of the office that is not yet occupied, so I put my phone on the end of the row of partitions and grabbed this shot.


In the midst of my walk-about, I spied a coworker sitting alone in one of the meeting rooms with his laptop. Odd that he would schedule a meeting with his computer, but I waved as I passed and he flagged me down and beckoned me into the meeting room. He confided that he was not actually hosting a meeting, rather he wanted some privacy so that he could look like he was working without having his manager and coworkers hovering over his shoulder while he shopped for flights to the UK.

We commiserated for a time over how awful our jobs have become before I turned the conversation to the odd choice of television programming in our lunch room. At least two of our three lunch rooms are equipped with large screen televisions that, when they are not showing an error from Bell saying that it cannot find a signal, stream various programming for our dining entertainment. I cannot say if the third lunch room has such a television because is is in that end of the office, and good folk don't venture down there.

I told him about how I questioned the choice of channels to stream into the lunch room. For the first few weeks it was just the error from Bell, then they had the 24/7 fire from early December through the first week of January. After that, they alternated between the error screen and 24/7 news. Now they seem to have chosen a channel in the same vein as Animal Planet. I am not sure what timezone this channel is based in, but from noon to thirteen o'clock our time, they have a show about emergency veterinarian services.

I mentioned to my coworker about how, when I had stopped in there briefly to get tea during the lunch hour, everyone was eating and enjoying a show in which a vet was sewing up a big hole in the side of a horse. He said, "I hadn't really noticed, but now that you mention it, when I was in there yesterday they were draining an abscess on a dog's foot."

Nothing whets the appetite like a flood of dog blood and pus.

I have been pulled into a project that everyone but the PM has come to see as a failure waiting to happen. It was on the cusp of being doable until the business added some surprise demands earlier this week that caused the data requirements to balloon more than twenty-fold. I did some napkin math with our data architect and we estimated that as of Tuesday's update from the business, we were looking at about ~1 trillion rows of data for the two years of records they were after.

I've built reports with ~200 million rows of data in this reporting tool we are using, and that is stretching its limits. Fortunately, one of our senior directors got wind of what was happening and he stepped in quickly and said, "There is no way you can deliver what they are after using this tool." Our next meeting with the project manager is this afternoon, and since he is the one who chose this tool without considering any other ones for the project, I am curious to hear his thoughts.

I have a hunch he will push this back on me, saying that I could have raised concerns earlier about the tool's ability to handle the load. He can try, but when they brought me in, they had already chosen the solution, and I had no idea of the full scope of the data involved - like I said above, the scope of it had not even been revealed to the project at the start. Now that they are not using the tool in which I am an alleged expert, maybe I will get moved on to a different project where I can contribute something other than being (in the words of our data architect) a scapegoat.
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