Montecristo Captain Quixote


The World Line of the Horizon Star

Some would say I was a lost man in a lost world

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Montecristo Captain Quixote

When the going gets tough, the tough go to the movies, damn it!

How can so much crap come down on a Friday? Why didn't somebody tell me that the universe was planning to take a dump in my vicinity, I'd have ducked! What a list I'm getting. Crazy junk should not be allowed to happen on a Friday. The first thing to go wrong was my bank...

I opened a new checking account with just my name on it, back in September when my wife bailed on me. Next, I told my job that I wanted my salary direct deposited to the new account instead of the old one. Okay, when you change direct deposit they cut you a live check for your next check and then the change takes effect and they direct-deposit all subsequent checks. Accountants, go figure. So, they messed up on my October check and direct-deposited it to my old account which I share with the soon-to-be-ex-wife, because they didn't process the request. All right, no real harm done, I just transferred the money back into my private account, and when our corporate HR people finally processed the request to change my direct deposit, then this month's check would be "live." This month, they got it right, so the check was live and I had to take it to the bank and deposit it. It was supposed to be here by the end of last month, but the mail was held up so it didn't get here until Monday. When I went to the bank on my lunch hour to cash it, the damned bank put a hold on the check until it cleared. Cripes! It's not like the company I work for, which has been around since the early part of the twentieth century, is going to fold sometime in the next week, and it's not like they haven't been direct-depositing all my other checks to the damned joint account, from the same source, all this time! Okay, I can even live with that too, although I really should have been smart and just had them cash the check and then turn right around and deposit the cash in my account. God, I hate bureaucrats!

So that was all Monday's mess, now I just needed to wait for the check to clear before I could put it to use. Anyway, I logged in with Quicken last night and found out that the damned thing had cleared. Wonderful. Okay, now part of my money is going to cleaning up financial obligations incurred with my ex, so I needed to give her some of it and she was going to write checks against it. The bank's hold on my check caused her to bounce a couple of checks at her bank. Crap. She can't afford that mess. This mid-life crisis of hers has got her in enough of a financial mess. When I saw that mine had cleared last night, I told her to go ahead and that I had moved the money into the old joint account for her to get. This morning, she called them and they told her that there had been no activity at all on the joint account, and even (IDIOTS) gave the woman information about my personal account -- the one without her name on it! Ack! Bozos. Of course, that wasn't all that horrible, but the fact that they told her wasn't as bad as what they told her. They told her that there had been no deposit to that account at all this week and that there were no checks on pending hold status, either. WHAT? Needless to say, she called me this morning, wondering where the money was. Well, I called the automatic phone teller feature at the bank and it DID have a record of the deposit and the correct balance! Fortunately, I was able to call the future-ex back and tell her that everything was okay, but it was certainly annoying to deal with those bank hijinks.

The next thing to go wrong, was a request from the customer service department for software feature changes in the code which implements one version of our product. The thing is, this is one version of the product that I thought was not going to require any work for awhile, but now that one of our largest customers wants it, it's going to have to be upgraded on a priority schedule to bring that version up to the same functionality that the rest of the product line has. Oh brother. It's not like I wasn't in the middle of anything else important. Unscheduled additional work is so wonderful, especially when you've already got other things on your plate! Bring it on.

To add insult to injury, this code is written in a very simplistic yet frustrating in-house-created language that is very problematic. It's just too damned bad that I'm one of the few people left in this joint that understands that bass-ackward obtuse language in the first place. Another e-mail in my in-box this morning informed me that one of the other engineers using this arcane gibberish (in our office in Washington State) found that the compiler that is used to build these applications out of this brain-damaging language, is itself, exhibiting bugs. It seems that when the code is compiled and the compiler is told to produce a listing (for non-software-geeks: a kind of "report" on the build process) it produces different executable code than when it is not told to produce a listing file. This should not happen! Whether or not a listing is produced should make no difference to the code generated. This is indicative of a problem with the damned thing somewhere. Ugh. The problem is, this is a new version of the compiler, which was released to fix a problem with the old version where it would crash at the end of a successful compile when the code file was over a certain size. It will be painful and annoying to have to revert to the older version. It took the head of engineering damned near a month to approve the last upgrade. This is looking annoying too. Now I have to talk to our compiler guys in Russia and explain the problem to them, wait for the new fix to come in, test it, get the boss to approve it and in the meantime, finish what I'm working on with the older version of the compiler which has it's own endearing quirks and bugs too! What else can go wrong? DON'T ANSER THAT.

The real clincher to this ridiculous day is that the entire place is being re-carpeted, one office at a time, so everyone is running around here moving furniture and equipment and office supplies and junk and it's really quite distracting! On a more minor note, there is also some strange smell associated with either the new carpet or the installation process and it's just irritating. There's nothing like an assault across all senses to really put the smack on your day.

When the going gets tough, the tough go to the movies! Tonight I am going to bug out of here and hit Matrix Revolutions. Then I'll finally be able to read beyond the "spoiler" warning in f00dave's entry. He seems to have liked the movie, although I thought the second one lacked something that the first had. I think the Wachowski brothers began to stray outside of their philosophical depth beginning with the second movie. We'll see if that manage to pull the whole mess back up onto the tracks when they wrap up the series in this one.

That's it. I just got news that winter rain storm is starting to pour not a few blocks from where I sit. It's supposed to cover the state and run all weekend. I'm so outta here, before I get wet trying to get into my car. I have had enough work week. Elvis is leaving the building!

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I'm so sorry you had such a crap experience with the bank, the compiler/software complications, and the carpet.

Getting back to the software complications, we are going through one of our own. This involves the smarmy Larry character I mentioned in my journal. He subcontracted us out to build a custom application for one of his end clients, who is also a real jerk. We had our developers working on it for months with daily upgrades and delivered it in the time allotted when no other company could. Instead of going through the complete testing phase, the end client insisted on going live and with any new software, there are bugs. Now they don't want to pay for the product, which amounts to many thousands of dollars, as I'm sure you can imagine. Larry now wants us to work for free, which is ludicrous. It's just a bad scene all around with completely new specs added daily. Nightmare. My point is that I can understand.

I think it's very kind of you to help your ex financially. I did the exact same thing for mine and while there were points of bitterness along the way (I co-signed on an apt. for him and furnished it and then he shacked up with someone else one month into the lease and it went empty for a year), I regret nothing. The main point is that you are helping someone you love and you can't go wrong with that. Well done, you.

I hope you enjoyed the movie. :)

Larry's end client is an ass that knows nothing about how to purchase software. With behavior like that, he's not going to stay in business much longer. I'm not a data-pusher but an embedded systems engineer, which means the stuff I write handles signals and control instead of pushing around big blocks of database fodder and handling massive amounts of user input, but even I know that only a moron would expect to go live with untested software. I'm sure his customers are really happy with him. You want to get shed of boneheads like that as soon as possible, because they'll never be happy, they'll screw things up and blame them on you, and then they'll expect not to have to pay for what they get. I think you're finding that out though. Good luck dealing with that guy. Sheesh.

As you have seen, it is not just kindness that is involved with me "helping out" my ex. There is the children to think about, which is a big issue for me, even if it weren't a big issue for the legal system. There is also a bit more to it than that. I still love my ex, even though I really, really don't want her to come back. This I feel, despite the fact that my children's fondest wish is probably that their mother drop her idea of leaving me and put their family back together. How in the hell screwed up is that? How in the heck can somebody feel lonely, guilty, and relieved all at the same time? I'm just trying to sort that all out.

*hugs* bad days/weeks are going around. Stay positive.

I ditto morganaus comment, you are very considerate to your soon to be ex.

Your bank needs to be written a letter so they can fix some of their procedures. I had a similar story and wrote US Bank a nasty letter and changes were made. Perhaps the changes were made only to my account but hopefully it helped others as well. Good luck.

Hey, thanks for the hugs. What a day. Fortunately, I recover my "groove" easilly, or I would be ready for the cackle-factory these last few months! I'm not feeling down today, which is good. It comes and it goes. I think "the bummers" are getting fewer and farther between. I just have to ride them out and then get back on top of things again. My grin still works, I just have to remember to use it. Surprising as it is to me, considerate people like yourself really help me remember that. Thanks.

As for my bank, if I can't get to the bottom of all their non-service tomorrow, I'm just going to walk on them, even though I have been dealing with them since I got here in '96. I really think that Union Bank of California is just too big and bureaucratically-muscle-bound to be changed by a letter.

Ooh, you would be amazed by the effect of a single letter from a regular good customer. It's startling in fact. :)

No problem. I call it: Minor bouts of Terets/manic depressiveness or something like that... ;) Not really, but the cussing and mood swings when going through a hell moment is NOT a good thing. LOL! Glad you are feeling back up.

So ... how was the movie? Don't tell me I'm alone in my enjoyment of it, though. Please! =)

I enjoyed the movie, although I think the Wachowski brothers were way out of their depth with the comic-book philosophy attempts. In the end, they didn't really say anything at all, even though I'm sure they are walking around Hollywood cocktail parties thinking themselves really profound. My take on this movie is that if you can get past the enormous suspension of disbelief factor, you've got an exciting story about the nature of pyrhic victories, love and loss, told with some pretty wild special effects. With the help of a rational philosopher, this series could have been much more than it was. The first movie is still their best and it stands on its own. They could have stopped with that and I would have been impressed. The other two were reasonable entertainment as long as you didn't expect too much from them.

Okay, I can handle all of that. Maybe I had more fun with all three movies because I was always looking deeper than the "obvious". Like when they people piss on them for turning people into batteries, I claim that that was merely the surface metaphor Morpheus used: perhaps when he said "a new kind of fusion", he wasn't talking about fusion as in "cold fusion", but fusion as in "machines using human brains to perform certain 'cognitive' processing that humans do better, naturally".

*shrug* It's a puzzle, to me, which may explain why I enjoyed 'em so much, since I love puzzles.... ;-)

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