Path to my Future

Ok, so my goal of a weekly post has not yet been met. I’m still feeling my way through working during the day, folks. I used to be able to do things like this late at night, while at work, so now I’m having to fit it into my daily schedule. I’m still going to keep trying, so there! Anyway, here I am with a recap of the last three weeks.

The week of 3/26 (3/26 was my brother’s birthday – happy birthday, bro!) was a blast because I got to cross-train with the deskside group at Techwood. The deskside group are the folks who, instead of just talking with people on the phone and trying to resolve their computer problems there, will go to the person’s desk and assist. They are the people who we in the call center will escalate tickets to if we can’t resolve them over the phone. There is a deskside group at the CNN Center, where I work, but also a deskside group at the Techwood campus, which is where the company originated. Ted Turner’s original mansion is there, although now it has been converted into an office building. I will have more on the mansion later, but for now on with the info on being at Techwood.

I enjoyed my week at Techwood primarily because it was something different (not having to answer the phones woo hoo!), but also because the Techwood campus is just a short walk from my apartment. I walked to work every day, which only took me 10 to 15 minutes depending on how long I had a wait at cross walks and such. It was also awesome to get to learn new things, such as imaging computers.

Imaging is done when we receive a new computer, or an existing computer that needs a fresh start and/or needs to have necessary Turner applications installed. We have a CD that we use to instruct the deployment server to completely reload windows and other applications on it so it’s ready for employees to use (or use again in the case of an existing machine). The procedure is slightly more involved than that, but those are the basics.

The Techwood campus has a number of different buildings, unlike the CNN Center which is just…the CNN center (hehe), so it was also fun getting to know the buildings that I’ve been sending tickets for all this time. My favorites were the Network Building, Turner Studios, and the Admin building (otherwise known as “the mansion”).

The Network Building is cool because each floor is themed for the different networks: TBS, TNT, Turner Classic Movies, and Cartoon Network. Everything on the floors is themed – right down to the paint on the elevator doors. The TBS floor has Sex and the City and Friends stuff all over it, not to mention the TBS logo everywhere. The TNT floor has that “We Know Drama” slogan and the TNT logo everywhere…not to mention “Law and Order” and “Charmed” (mmmmm Rose McGowan) standees scattered around. There were TVs all over the TNT floor playing Law and Order. That was really cool. The Classic movies and Cartoon Network floors were similarly themed. It was just a cool experience being there.

One dude on the cartoon network floor has like a dozen Emmys on his desk. I can’t remember what it was that he won each of them for, but I got to hold one. It was one of those sort of surreal experiences when you’re face to face with something you’ve seen on TV or in a movie a million times. I would like to accept this award because I kick ass, and the rest of you don’t. Well…at least not at much as me. So there, bitches!

I also enjoyed the Turner Studios building because we went down to the basement floors where the actual studios are. I got to walk around on the “Dinner and a Movie” and “Dinner and a Makeover” stages. That was cool. There were also a couple of stages where they are filming TNT mini-series and such and that was interesting to check out. This is the primary reason I enjoy this job so much: it has aspects that appeal to both of my main interests. There are computer/technical aspects to this job, and I also get to enjoy the creative/production side of things as well. In some small way the things I do for the company help keep the programs on the various networks within the company on the air. That rules.

The mansion was fun because I was walking through there knowing that Ted Turner used to live there at some point. It was so weird because you can walk through there and one moment be surrounded by office space and cubicles, then in the next moment the walls give way to the original brick, the floor to hard wood, and you can see that this used to be someone’s living space at some point in the past. There’s even a coffee shop in what used to be the mansion’s foyer. It was certainly an interesting experience.

It was also cool to meet the techwood deskside people that I had previously only communicated with via email. It’s always good to put faces to names. It also helped to see the job of Production Support from their side. I think I will try harder to resolve issues myself via the phone when I can, and when I can’t I know better what information to include in my ticket to deskside. All in all it was a good, productive experience.

The following week, April 2nd – 7th, I spent cross-training with the Hardware Repairs group, as well as with the deskside team, in the CNN Center building. This was the week that psycho shot his girlfriend here in the building, and a member of Turner Security shot him. I’ll write a little bit about that later, but for now I want to talk about my further cross training adventures.

I loved this week working in the repairs department. I want to promote to that department when the time comes to do so. I love poking around inside computers and other electronic equipment, so it’s a perfect job for me. During this week I got to replace about a half a dozen motherboards, take apart two printers and do maintenance on them (I’ve never repaired a printer before, so that was awesome), upgrade a couple of laptops (just minor memory and hard drive replacements), diagnose machines for the source of hardware errors (CPU, memory, power supply, motherboard), and image a couple more computers. It was just so much fun and I learned a ton of stuff. I’ll also get to be Dell certified, which is something Turner will pay for, since almost all of our PC equipment comes from Dell. No one here is Apple certified yet, but that is on the horizon so I’ll get to do that too at some point. My boss has already agreed to get me certified even though there’s no repairs position open yet, but at least I’m starting on the path to my future.

I also did some work with the CNN Deskside team during this week, but not much really. I wanted to spend as much time in Repairs as I could. I had already met most of the deskside crew here, but it was good to be able to hang out with them and talk. Again, seeing the job of production support of their perspectives was helpful. I found out that the guys in deskside run a fantasy football league every year, to which I got an invitation. That kicks ass hehe.

Alas, my cross training fun cannot last forever and I am now back in the call center. Last week, the 9th through the 13th, I spent here in the call center but I wasn’t actually logged into the main lines. I was one of the two tech assigned to monitor our queue. See, folks can send us tickets by either calling us or via the web or email. The tickets from the web or email go directly into our queue in the ticketing system, and every week two people (one person who comes in at 7AM and one who will leave at 7PM [like me]) are assigned to monitor the queue and route / work tickets accordingly. I really enjoyed doing this because my phone only rang if there were people on a significant hold, and I didn’t have to talk to people who make me want to clinch my fist and punch my desk as often. That’s always a plus.

Beyond work coolness, I went to several Thrashers games over the past three weeks – including the first ever Thrashers playoff game. Of course the Thrashers are getting ass raped by the Rangers right now (down 3 games to 0 – last night getting their sphincters dialated for all to see to the tune of 7 – 0), but hockey still rules and I’m glad I got to see the games I did.

Also, let’s not forget the madness that ensued here during the Final Four. There were crazy basketball fans everywhere. I’m glad Florida won – I was pulling for them due to my pals Smithwick and Burton being Florida alumni. Congrats to the Gators…again!

Things around here were of course hectic the day that shooter killed his girlfriend here in CNN Center, and a member of Turner Security shot him. I thought I had a lot to say about this, but I don’t. I don’t understand, and never will, why people have such a disregard for one another’s lives. Why do people want to kill other people just because they are unhappy or heartbroken? I don’t think “they’re crazy” does it for me. I don’t think that adequately explains it. I don’t understand such a complete lack of empathy that would lead someone to justify such actions to themselves. Now we have the massacre at Virginia Tech as well. I don’t understand how someone could be so empty. It would seem to me that someone with a soul couldn’t do such things. How can we all be children of God when some of us do things like this? I suppose such garbage is a part of humanity, always has been, and always will be. I hope that God will explain it all to me someday. I just want to understand. How does it happen? Why does it happen? Why is it necessary? In any event, things are the way they are. Please join me in saying a prayer or two for the families of these people. Keep in mind that the families of the killers, too, deserve your thoughts of support and prayers.

In any event, the day the CNN shooting occurred, I was down in the repairs lab. An announcement came over the system and told us not to leave the area. We were locked down there for a short time. I called Mom and Lee Jay right away to let them know all was well with me so they wouldn’t be concerned if they heard the news at the time when details were sketchy. Beyond that, the event didn’t affect my day all that much beyond the fact that it was all over the place all day – and the rest of the week, too, of course. The place where it happened, though, was an area that I walk around in all the time when I’m on my lunch break. I put on my iPod and walk around to relax and get away from the aggravations of the job. I’m glad that I wasn’t walking around there on that day.

We have to balance the madness that happens around us with joy and good times, and to that end I’m happy to report that this Monday I placed an order for my first ever laptop! I’m so excited! I ordered it from Dell because we get kick ass discounts from Dell through Time-Warner. My laptop would retail for over $2000, and I got it for just over $1500 (before tax). It’s going to be a mammoth laptop with a 17’ screen on it that I’m going to use exclusively once I get it. Meaning, I will retire my current desktop computer to backup / extra storage duties. Here are the specs on my new laptop:

Inspiron E1705, Intel Core 2 Duo processor T7200 (2.00GHz /4MB Cache/667MHz Front Side Bus)
17 inch TrueLife Wide-screen WXGA+ for Inspiron 9400/E1705
1GB, DDR2, 667MHz 2 Dimm, for Inspiron 9400/E1705
256MB NVIDIA GeForce Go 7900 GS, for Inspiron 9400/E1705
80GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive for Inspiron 9400/E1705
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium Edition, English
Integrated 10/100 Network Card and Modem, for Inspiron
8X DVD+/-RW Drive, for Inspiron 9400/E1705
Integrated Sound Blaster Audigy
Intel PRO/Wireless 3945 802.11a/g Mini Card (54Mbps) for Inspiron 9400/E1705
80 WHr 9-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery, for Inspiron 9400/E1705

I will of course write more about the laptop when I get it, which won’t be until next week at some point. The wait is agonizing for me! Hehe

Here are my random thoughts for this week/entry/whatever:

  • How long do you think it will take before the liberal presidential candidates start talking shite about gun control in the light of the recent shootings? I’m guessing that it won’t take long. Here’s the primary problem with gun control laws. Let’s say that they manage to outlaw hand guns at some point. Okay…but criminals aren’t criminals because they obey the law. If hand guns are outlawed, then the only people outside of law enforcement who will have guns are… criminals. How, exactly, does this help the innocent? How does this help people who need protection from criminals? Answer: it doesn’t, but liberals either don’t care or they suck ass at chess because they can’t think ahead and consider how what they do now will affect the future. I believe if handguns were ever outlawed, then crime would rise considerably. It is a possibility everyone should consider.
  • Why does it take a week to put a laptop together? Just send me the parts – I’ll put the freaking thing together myself.
  • Who else thinks it’s amazing that Florida has managed to put together back to back NCAA Basketball Championships, as well as a Football Championship as well, all at the same time? If I were an athlete coming out of high school, I would definitely be looking at them to teach me the ways of athletic glory.
  • I had a woman call me today who needed to set up a conference call, and wanted to use the same meeting ID on it that she had used in the past. When I asked her what it the meeting ID was, she didn’t know. The reason why people like using the same meeting ID over it so they don’t have to remember a new one. But if you can’t remember the old one, then why would you ask me to use it? What the hell is wrong with people? I mean…honestly. I think some people couldn’t touch their fingers to their nose even if they were stone cold sober.
  • Have you seen those TV commercials about the Texas Instruments DLP HDTVs? Someone needs to tell that retarded little girl that the word “mirror” has two syllables. Every time one of those commercials comes on, I find myself wondering, “What the *uck is a mere? It’s amazing, it’s the meres? What? Oh, you mean it’s the ‘mere-ors’. I wish someone would pay me thousands of dollars to be in a commercial and mispronounce simple English words!” I just don’t understand how that happened. Didn’t they ask her to read the script before they hired her? Didn’t one of the ad people ask themselves, or at least her, the same question I did? Is everyone taking the car out tonight? I’m not ever buying a Texas Instruments TV, I can tell you that. If they can’t hire a spokes person who can actually freaking say ‘mirror’ correctly, then how reliable can they be?
  • Is my laptop here yet? No? Dammit!
  • There is no such thing as a hot water heater. If the water is already hot, it doesn’t need to be heated! They are just water heaters. Okay?
  • You don’t take something out of the freezer to “de-thaw” it. “De-thawing” is the same thing as freezing. If you de-claw your cat, you’re not having new claws inserted into it, right? Freaks!
  • Note to self – put some of these things in the list of things that aggravate me. Good idea….
  • Two weeks ago it was all spring like outside, with temperatures in the 70s everyday. Then last week sucked ass with temperatures in the 20s and 30s all the time! Global warming, my ass! If I ever meet Al Gore, I’m going to kick him square in the nuts! What a douche bag.
  • The Thrashers play game 4 tonight of the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs vs the Rangers. If they lose tonight, they’re out. In fact, they have to win 4 straight games now that they’ve lost 3 straight. I’m hoping that doesn’t happen. I want to go to another hockey game before October! Grrrrr…..
  • Did you see the South Park episode where Cartman freezes himself so that he doesn’t have to wait for the Nintendo Wii to come out? I wish I could freeze myself until next week…. Hahahahahahahahaha! Of course, I wouldn’t want to wake up a thousand years in the future. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to wait.

Well that is all for now. Check out the gallery link in the “Pages” menu to the right for pictures of basketball fans, hockey stuff, and the Stanley Cup. Maybe I’ll put other pictures up in the future….

————————————————-

The way you’re bathed in light
Reminds me of that night
God led me down into your rose
garden of trust
And I was swept away
With nothing left to say
Some helpless fool yet I was lost
in a swoon of peace
You’re all I need to find
So when the time is right
Come to me sweetly come to me
Come to me

Love will lead us
All right
Love will lead us
She will lead us
Can you hear the dolphins cry?
See the road rise up to meet us
It’s in the air we breathe tonight
Love will lead us
She will lead us

Oh yeah we’ll meet again
It’s like we never left
Time in between was just a dream
Did we leave this place?
This crazy fog surrounds me
You wrap your legs around me
It’s all I can do to try and breathe
Let me breathe
So that I
So we can be together

Love will lead us
All right
Love will lead us
She will lead us
Can you hear the dolphins cry?
See the road rise up to meet us
It’s in the air we breathe tonight
Love will lead us
She will lead us

Life is like a shooting star
It don’t matter who you are
If you only run for cover — it’s just a waste of time
We are lost ’til we are found
This phoenix rises up from the ground
And all these wars are over
Over
Over
Over
Come to me
Come to me
Come to me

Love will lead us
All right
Love will lead us
She will lead us
Can you hear the dolphins cry?
See the road rise up to meet us
It’s in the air we breathe tonight
Love will lead us
She will lead us

Life is like a shooting star
It don’t matter who you are
If you only run for cover — it’s just a waste of time
We are lost ’til we are found
This phoenix rises up from the ground
And all these wars are over
Over
Over
Over

Love will lead us
All right
Love will lead us
She will lead us
Can you hear the dolphins cry?
See the road rise up to meet us
It’s in the air we breathe tonight
Love will lead us
She will lead us

Love will lead us
All right
To the loner
She will lead us
Love will lead us
All right
Just surrender
Love receive us
Love will lead us
All right
To the loner
She will lead us
Love will lead us
All right
Just surrender
Love receive us
Love will lead us
All right
To the loner she will lead us

–“The Dolphin’s Cry”
Live

Until next time,
B

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