Friday, December 07, 2007

Behind The Scenes: Working Through The Holidays Really Stinks

Before the Thanksgiving holiday began I thought how nice it was that I would have some down time two months in a row. After all JFW 9.0 was out, a couple of my other betas were ending soon and my requests for research at work were down to a trickle. Then the air went out of that balloon on December 1st.

One of my betas got extended, I got two new products in for review and to top it off Windows XP and Vista Service Packs Release Candidate 1 hit on MSDN. Then the best part... in a wild turn of events I will be leaving my apartment complex of three years to move to the one right next door. The management of my current complex has changed, for the third time in three years, with the new mantra being that they want market rent for our area. Moving isn't a big deal for me as I jumped ship from place to place all the time when I lived in Houston. A few job moves in the 90's had me always set for "transfer" status. So it was common for me to keep stuff in boxes rather than on proper shelves. Still doing it during holiday season wasn't high on my list of things to do this December. But having an excuse to eat more so we can clean out the fridge may play nicely into that typical "office party guilt/lose weight" annual New Year's Resolution we all make on January 2nd.

Believe it or not this mini rant does have a point. The last move for me was in 2004 when I came to Austin from Houston. At that time there wasn't a big Web 2.0 push. Most sites were static or link based for things like utilities and core services. However this time around things are so not the same. Flash, Java menus and those freaking awful PDFs are everywhere. The hidden pop up fun that comes from updating plug ins I rarely use can only be described by a long list of obscenities that I don't need to quote here. Although the list does grow longer every time Adobe forces me to restart my system. Who knew there were so many ways to say something vulgar about that company? What a pain.

Here's a "for instance". I am going to have to switch from Time Warner to, gulp, AT&T Home Services due to the contract my new complex is tied into at the moment. I had used them before in Houston back in 2002 and hated the experience. In fact my time with them, formerly named SBC Home Video/DSL before Ma Bell rose again, was the catalyst for leaving the traditional phone companies all together for cable and cell based alternatives. And now I find myself dreading the long and laborious conversations I am going to have to suffer through because some portions of the service site are down right awful to read with or without their accessibility issues being called into question. In some areas of these sites I can not fathom how one can navigate through them at all without sighted assistance. Moreover, I think I will find a way to hurt someone over the phone if I get told one more time "that information can be found on our website". Um.. No. If it was I wouldn't be sitting on hold for 20 minutes just so I could hear you say that. Ugh.

Oh and the best part...

Talking to customer service, how dare they call themselves that, about not wanting or needing some of their bundled software and hardware because I have my own thank you very much. What a deal. Third party software for my convenience. "Please accept this bloatware from Yahoo as it takes up resources on your system with our complements". Not to mention the fact that I have already helped so many other people at work with trouble shooting this stuff with Screen Readers that the last thing I want to do is do the same thing at home. Sigh..

Anyway this is a long and rambeling way of saying that the blog will see odd updates at wierd times until I can get things back in order here at the Station. While some enjoy the smell of holiday trees and their beautiful lights.. I will love the smell of cardboard and the blinking movements of progress bars on monitor screens as I setup my stuff in a new orbit. The new abode is bigger and having dedicated office space will be a plus. Which means that not all of this post is written from my general dark sense of whity sarcasm. "Change is good" so they say. And I generally agree with one exception. Getting the gift of a new and bigger place without having to learn a new bus route is a pretty sweet deal as well. And it certainly beats that one family member who gives you one of those "fruitcake of the month" thingies.

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CresceNet said...
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