Monday, May 24, 2010

This Week in My Jobs

This morning I finally got my act together to leave the house early and get to Day Job bright and early when there is still good parking and there is no one around to bother me. When I got into my office it was 86F, which is unheard of for the computer science building. Math building in the summer? Par for the course. Computer science building? Serious emergency that resulted in nearly a half-dozen guys from facilities standing around outside the building smoking cigarettes.

I found this particularly annoying because the building is usually freezing, so I've been wearing long pants and wool socks to work.

So I decamped to the coffee shop in the library and worked a while from there. I sent some email. I skimmed some books. I did not write a single line of code.

By afternoon it was lukewarm in the computer science building, so I returned to my office (and my 28" monitor -- which was not helping the temperature in the office) and did some more reading, sent some more emails, and made some plans of things to accomplish. And then I listened to a conference call while everyone else talked. They knew what they were talking about, and I didn't, so I had no reason to talk to them.

And then I obsessively rearranged power cords and connector cables and my power strip to optimize the cable management on my desk.

Meanwhile, my summer job sent me useless information that they have been collecting for the past five years for no good reason and that is not helpful at all. They didn't send me things that I actually do need. The new staff needs to be trained and brought up to speed, but I don't have everything I need to do that, either. Someone from the Home Office emailed me to ask if I'd yet reviewed a document that she never sent me. And I still need to find an internship for one more student who is obsessed with anything at all having to do with airplanes.

Summer Job also has me working on two sneaky combinatorial problems for which I don't have all the information that I need. There is the housing list that needs to be finalized, even though I don't have a final list of people. There are more complications, too, based on the quirks of our program and of the building. And I also have to assign participants to lecture slots. There are going to be nine lectures happening in four time-slots. No matter how I schedule things, someone is going to be unhappy, as two things that they want will meet at the same time, and they won't be able to go to both.

And Former Job: A student emailed me asking about the math placement test. I gave her the math department phone number.