Slaying Dragons

You’d think that a day not spent behind my desk wouldn’t be all that stressful.

Of course, it was anyway. In this new engineering organization we’re building, we’ve brought in a young co-op. That isn’t stressful at all&emdash;in fact, it’s kinda cool, because I can pass on to him things that I wish I’d known when I’d hired in back in August of 1999. [Yeah, it’s been that long. Freaky. If you consider age to be a determinator of adulthood, you would be wise to note that I wasn’t yet 21 when I started working here. That seems so, so long ago … but let me say, that kind of job security’s amazing. My friend PJ, because he’s a job-jumping fool, has worked for four employers in that span. 😉 Okay, now I’m really off on a tangent.] He asked me a fun question: “How long did it take you to fit in?”

I stopped and thought back to November ’99, when we hired my boy Drake into the group. For the first week, James was convinced that I was a full-timer. When I told him a co-op, he gave me a classic “You cannot be serious!” look straight out of John McEnroe’s playbook. I told him that story and then said, “After about six months, they stopped considering me ‘the co-op’ and considered me just the junior engineer … the junior engineer they paid well-below-market, of course.” We both laughed.

All the running around getting him settled was great, but I had dragons to slay back at my desk. I don’t really want to go into it in any great detail, but let’s just say that I’m in Customs Hell: something went from A to C, and I’m B, but both A and C want B to sign off on the Customs forms. Considering that there’s no mention of B on there, we’re all, “Yeah, and have the FBI come down on us like a ton of bricks? No thanks.” That whole mess has been festering for over a week now, and I’m ready for someone not named Geof Morris to bite. Alas.

All this reminds me of some commentary from Dad back in the day about the project office at his work [probably in the AFLC days, but I’m not sure] about someone talking about how their job was slaying dragons and saving damsels in distress. While at the time I thought Dad was a tad bit loopy, I now understand&emdash;if you don’t romanticize it a little bit, the pure acid of most of the crap you’re dealing with will flat out eat you alive.

As the wonderful poster on my wall states: “Problems: No Matter how Great and Descturive your problems may seen now, remember, you’ve probably only seen the tip of them.”

All of this leaves one wanting, of course, to go home, shut down, and maybe play a little NHL 2004. Unfortunately, I gots things to do.

Slaying dragons indeed.

Gimme my sword.


  1. I believe the statement on the note letterhead was, “Problems solved and dragons slayed on demand; damsels saved by appointment only.”

    You are right, it was at AFLC.

    Illegitamatti Non Carborundum.

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