Can You Believe This [Expletive]?
The past week has been an extremely busy one for me. Work was kicking my ass and for the past few days I’ve come home completely mentally drained. And when I usually use my blog to wind down a bit after a day at the job, the mental exhaustion associated with the past few days caused me to really neglect my posts. As if to prove my point, the past week saw me make only three postings. I don’t think I’ve ever missed that many days, at least not without declaring an official blog vacation first.
Like I said, work has been extremely hard. We had a project to distribute some software to an extremely large number of workstations in a wide variety of environments. I was told to expect about twenty percent of the machines to be unable to receive or respond to the upgrade package. And of those that would respond, we should expect a ten percent of those to respond with an error. That was a typical. We managed to push our response rate to almost ninety percent and our success rate was ninety five percent.
But even with those numbers, we had nearly a thousand machines that needed some type of manual intervention. We had to track these machines down, find out why they didn’t respond to the upgrade commands, and then ram the upgrade package down its uncooperative electronic throat. A lot of our end users didn’t appreciate the upgrade and would’ve preferred we left well enough alone. Truth be told I’d rather leave well enough alone as well. However there are extenuating conditions that make upgrades mandatory and so is the nature of the technological beast.
In order to expedite the individual repair process, I volunteered to help the tech team put out fires in whatever way I could. The manager asked if I could go to one of the more high profile client groups and manage their expectations until one of the real techs could get over there. When I got there I told the receptionist that I was with the tech group. They were so desperate they didn’t bother to ask me another question. They simply pulled me behind the counter and took me to one of the workstations. I didn’t have the heart to tell them I couldn’t help. I started fiddling. I recalled an email about the distribution that included a package sample. And then I remembered doing user installations as an administrator when I was on my previous team. It took me a while, but I was able to put information together for a solution. Six workstations later I had the users cheering my name as I left. I went back and told the tech manager I was ready for another assignment. He was more than happy for some real help.
We worked all morning and half the afternoon. Once we got the word from management that the complaints from users reached acceptable levels (users are never a hundred percent satisfied) the team of people who helped put the project together started celebrating. We sat around the conference room and high fived each other like we had won the Super Bowl. The only thing that was missing was the champagne. We had just successfully finished a major rollout and we were ecstatic. And had somebody been overhearing, they probably would have heard some seriously politically incorrect language.
As I left the center for software distribution, I replayed a lot of the conversation in my head. A lot of that trash talk was too funny but it’s the kind of comedy you had to be there for and experience it first hand to truly appreciate it. Two of the techs really started to rip into each other and they really had me rolling. They were good natured about it but if somebody said half that shit about me I’d probably be offended. And I thought about what would’ve happened if someone from upper management heard the back and forth banter. I was glad they didn’t. I would have seriously hated having one of those upper management types with no sense of humor pretending to be shocked to hear grown men using such language amongst ourselves. Everybody who was being ripped was in the room and we weren’t talking about anybody else behind their back. It would’ve been truly an intrusion into a private conversation.
As I drove back to my office I thought about the shocking report that Bud Keene, the coach of Olympic snowboarder Shaun White, used some vulgar language when celebrating with his protégé athlete after the two received word that they had won a gold medal. NBC had aired their private conversation live without either one aware that they were being snooped on. Heavens to Murgatroyd! Coaches speak to competitors with vile language! I guess if anybody really found that shocking never played sports. And people actually expected Mr. Keene to issue a public apology for the foul language he never meant for anyone else to hear. If anybody is owed an apology it would’ve been Mr. Keene and Mr. White for the invasion into their privacy.
When Shaun asked his coach if he should take a celebratory ride down the pipe by dropping a double mick, the coach replied thusly,
“Yeah, drop a double mick at the end. Do whatever you want and [expletive] send that thing. Make sure you stomp the [expletive] out of that thing.”
The exact wording of the language has been preempted with the word expletive in brackets in the article I read. But I imagine that the first expletive was “fucking” and the second one was “shit”. But you can use your own imagination to fill in the blanks. You get the jest of the exchange. This wasn’t Jesse Jackson talking about Barack Obama while waiting for an interview with FOX News. This wasn’t Dawg the Bounty Hunter telling his son to dump his nigger girlfriend. This wasn’t George Allen standing on stage and telling the crowd to give macaca over there a warm welcome to America. This was two men taking a moment to enjoy their selves the way they know how, nothing more and nothing less.