All work and no play -- 04/04/04

The Sunday Brunch theme caught my interest this week... especially since I have been mixing work and play today. Spent the morning with the Sunday newspaper, then booted up my laptop and worked for half an hour or so, then did various chores around the house, went for a three and a half mile run, fixed a salad to bring over to my mother-in-law's for dinner, came back home and worked for another hour or so, watched the Sopranos and part of Deadwood, then did a little more work, and then decided that I should write up an entry for today, if for no other reason than I like the date: 04/04/04. (Yes, I guess sometimes I am easily amused.)

Sunday Brunch All Work and No Play

1. What is the longest you've held a job?
I've been in this job since mid-October of '95, so that's about eight and a half years. [Note to any new visitors: I work in training for a major computer company. For most of the time this has meant designing and writing courses as well as teaching them. These courses are advanced technical courses for programmers, sometimes our company's employees and sometimes from companies that have purchased our company's software. Recently I moved into the Education Standards and Practices area, which means I train our course developers on the various tools and techniques they should be using and also perform an editing and quality assurance function on course materials before a course goes to "production" status.] The specifics of what I do have changed over that time but I think of it as being the same job. I did work for a university for around ten years, but during the first three years I was in computer operations and then I took a new job at the same university as a programmer/analyst. Does that count as one job or two? Before I had this job I worked for Link Flight Simulation as senior business systems analyst for about seven years.

2. Do you like your job?
Yes. That's not to say that there aren't aspects of it that are annoying -- every picnic has ants -- but yes, I do like my job.

3. Do you get along with your co-workers?
Yes, they are a good group of people. We sometimes socialize outside of work, go to each other's parties and weddings and such. I like them and being with them.

4. Have you ever been fired?
In August of 1963 I was working in a supermarket. It was a Saturday, a hot Saturday. I mostly worked as a cashier and bagger, only once in a while doing stock work, but on Saturday afternoons I frequently had the task of cleaning out the butcher shop and meat locker area (this market did a big meat business) which involved, among other tasks, cleaning up the old sawdust on the floor in the very large meat locker (picture the scene from the first Rocky movie, big sides of beef hanging from the ceiling) which meant working in the cold locker, taking trash out across the baking hot parking lot to the dumpster on the far side of the parking lot, back into the refrigerated locker, back and forth three or for times over the space of an hour or two. That Saturday my head was congested and I was either coming down with a cold or was reacting to hay fever season (I think it was hay fever, but either way I was sneezing a lot). I asked the store manager if I could swap off for a different job that afternoon, stocking shelves or something so that I wouldn't be sneezing around the butcher department (the job also included cleaning all the work surfaces in the meat-cutting area). He replied "I assign the jobs around here. You can either clean the meat department or punch out and ask to be paid off." So I hung up my apron and went to the office and asked for my pay. I'm not sure if that counts as quitting or being fired.

5. Are your work hours during the day, evening or do they vary?
In theory my job is a normal business day, but things are very flexible -- especially now that I've moved out of the teaching end of things I don't have locked down times (i.e., I'm no longer scheduled to be in a classroom for specified days and times) and I frequently work from home. Of course this means that I tend to work a lot more than forty hours a week, but many of those hours I put in as I wish.

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