08 February 2007

Free Jared! And Tibet if you’ve got the time

Today, tomorrow, and Monday I am bound to a desk that is not my own. Part of my company’s contract with the Naval Treaty Implementation Program (NTIP) is to have an on-site contractor that remains, well, on-site. The man with this job is named Darnell, and he knows the ropes quite well. But what happens when Darnell takes leave?

Rather than go for one or two or, heaven forbid, three days without Johnny on the Spot, our liaison at NTIP insists on having someone fill Darnell’s chair. And fill his chair I can.

Unfortunately, I can’t do most of the other things associated with this particular job. Darnell has access to many things that required a lot of processing and account-making and approval. NTIP doesn’t want to bother with all of that for a guy who will only be here for three days, so I basically have a mouse, a keyboard, and a screen. The internet works (hooray!) but I have no email access, either business OR personal (boo). Nearly all of my business correspondence has to happen over the phone. Not that that’s inconvenient, it’s just not SOP.

Where is this all leading? To this point: I have nothing to do. I’m supposed to be performing Darnell’s duties, but I don’t have Darnell’s tools and resources. There are a few things that I can do, and do have access to. If I look hard I can find things to keep myself busy. But guess why I’m writing this post—I’ve already done them. I’m actually quite proud; I kept myself busy for four hours this morning. And now? I have a couple of things that I can look at, but nothing I can do. Thus I blog.

If you would like to donate to the Free Jared Fund (FJF), please post a comment to this or any other post on the blog, or put a new post on your own blog. You can make a Free Jared a reality.

05 February 2007

Great Moments in Pointer History II

A week and a half ago my team lead called me up at my desk and said, "Would you happen to have an extendible, retractable pointer? We need one."

At first I was a little incredulous. I asked if he was serious; he was. Apparently a group of executives from other companies was in our little corporate conference room giving presentations. One of them had asked my company, their host, for a pointer to use in his presentation. One of our vice presidents offered him a laser pointer, which he declined. He wanted a reliable mechanical device. In a flurry, people were assigned to track down a telescoping pointer. Our employees called everywhere and could not find them. Even the clerks at Staples were unaware of their own pointers (same aisle as protractors, $3.50). Finally someone asked one of my coworkers, who had seen me pointing at something only days earlier. He told my team lead, who promptly gave me a call.

Needless to say, I happily loaned my instrument of pointing for the good of the company. They used it for a full three days. At the end of the third day, my company president brought my pointer back to me himself. He had placed it in a foam-rubber lined case. Inside, wrapped around my pointer, was a crisp twenty-dollar bill.

And people ask why I carry a pointer around.

For Great Moments in Pointer History I, see the other blog I contribute to: Salsa Night.