Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Late night ramblings

It's never good when one is wide awake in the middle of the night, but since I couldn't fall back asleep, I figure now is as good of time as ever to blog. I hate it when I can't sleep. I fell asleep just fine, but at 1:30 I woke up and when I wasn't able to fall back asleep, decided to get up and get on the computer. I should have taken melatonian; now it's too late as I have to be up in a few hours. Even the dogs are restless. Maybe that's why I couldn't fall asleep. Two adults, two dogs and 1 cat locked in the same room and the only one asleep was Doug. Now I'm in the living room, Dante is chasing Dexter and Allegra is outside, getting into something.

This is a busy week. As school, we are having our annual Mass Comm Week, where we host professionals from various fields of journalism and mass communication. I am on the Mass Comm Week committee and was able to secure several of the week's speakers, to whom I have to play host. In addition, I have to teach my regular classes and manage extra credit opportunities for my student who are attending Mass Comm Week sessions. For example, I normally don't go to San Marcos on Wednesdays, but I am going down this morning because there are several sessions where my students get extra credit for attending. A group of my students is handling the PR campaign to promote our graduate program and they are going to be there for the grad school panel, so I should go and see if they are doing okay. This afternoon I am hosting the bloggers (of course) and the interviewing workshop. Additionally, I have a lecture to prepare before tomorrow at 8 a.m. and papers to grade. No wonder I can't sleep.

At least Doug is sleeping. Monday night was his turn at insomnia. Basically we are at the point of waiting until he is told to leave his current contract. He has been doing ITIL work, which is an IT process improvement methodology. Early last week the company where he is contracting decided to kill its ITIL initiative. One of the people Doug works with/for was given her two weeks notice (was written into her contract). The company also cut all the ITIL project codes, so no one can meet with Doug because they can't charge out their time. But they haven't cut Doug. In the meantime, the company had purchased an expensive enterprise software package, which had some detractors. The champion of the product was the former (emphasis on former) CIO. Of course the detractors are still around. Doug and the team gave a demo on the product Monday. There were three phases to the project and they were only able to get the requirements for the first two. Of course the decision maker, who is one of the detractors, was all upset that the demo didn't focus on phase three, even though Doug could never get the scope of phase three. During the demo, the guy didn't acknowledge Doug and the team, instead asking all his questions to some other guy. Yesterday he wouldn't even say hello to Doug when Doug passed him in the hall and wished him good morning. To top it off, the girl Doug works with/for who was given her notice, told him yesterday she didn't know if he would get paid this week because they didn't have cost codes to charge his time to. While he was firm with her, Doug should be glad I wasn't there because I would have told her that was illegal and would have asked if should I call the Texas Workforce Commission now, or when I didn't get paid.

This is all very Dilbert and I feel bad for Doug. The only reason he hasn't quit is that if he waits until the terminate the contract, he can collect unemployment. In the meantime, he has some people calling about other job opportunities and his name has been submitted for a few positions where he looks to be the leading candidate. It's just waiting for the interviews. The good news is that I'm hearing the job market for IT is starting to pick up in Austin and the pool of good, talented people is getting thin. Doug is just so specialized now in process improvement that the trick will be finding the companies that need his services.

But that's something to ponder another day. Seems like the dogs have settled down and I need to do the same and see if I can get a couple hours of sleep.

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