managing

I like my job. I am well paid, I have influence and can make a difference.  It is just that sometimes the machines are so much purer than the people.

Meetings consume most days.  Like high school, we progress from room to room to meet until the big hand strikes 12, and then off to the next meeting.   There is no bell now, we are already conditioned. The people are pleasant, but meetings seem to consume our souls.   Are we building consensus, removing roadblocks advancing the company or just rehashing and scheduling the next meeting?

Sometimes, after all the meetings when the day is done, I come back in and sit at my cubicle. The low lights and quiet hallways comfort me.  The living building houses many sounds which never seem noticeable in the day,  blowers coming on and off, creaks and groans of thermal contraction as the windows cool with the falling night.  Each mysterious sound might be the harbinger of  approaching monsters, but my cubicle is safe.

Irradiated by the ghostly glow of my two monitors, I log into various machines, selecting from those 500 plus servers that run the business, and tweak and tune. There are no politics here, no posturing, no empire building.  I ask, and if I ask correctly, they always tell the truth.   Where is that file:

  locate  limits.conf or

find / -print | egrep limits.conf

Cryptic commands that are like old friends, followed by

sudo vi /etc/security/limits.conf

%s/8192/32800/

<escape>:wq

To edit and change it. In the UNIX world there might be ten ways to change something, but it is always binary, two choices, it works or it doesn’t,   So I sit and type, my fingers often knowing the commands so well they spring forth without conscious thought.  Perhaps  this living language of technology, created so long ago by pioneers in the 1970s will soon fade into obscurity.  It may be so, but it is what I know.

I work late into the night, then I log out, and depart for the evening prepared to return the next morning.

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10 Comments on “managing”

  1. emjayzed says:

    I wish I felt about my work the way u do!!

    • billgncs says:

      Thanks for reading. Sometimes when I am down, I close my eyes and repeat the good things about the job to myself as I walk through the parking lot toward the building.

      • emjayzed says:

        That’s an excellent idea actually. Although I hate the work (it’s boring) I do enjoy some of the people, the fact that it is 5mins from home and the flexibility of working arrangements. It’s not all bad!

  2. cabecada says:

    the only code I know – IDDQD!

  3. Eric Alagan says:

    Until recently, I managed 24 countries and as time was a rare commodity, put a cap on meetings – maximum one per day in any subsidiary I managed, and no more than 1 hour.

    But it was different when I had to attend meetings at corporate in Germany. People there soon got wind of what I did – do ink sketches on my writing pads. I have dozens of ink sketches…got something worthwhile out of those meetings.

  4. billgncs says:

    oops — typo ” being in a cubicle all day would be horrible”. Sorry for the obfuscation.

  5. billgncs says:

    My daughter always tells me, Dad, being in the a would be horrible. But to paraphrase Churchill, “Meetings are a terrible way of communicating, but all the others are so much worse”.

  6. I work alone at home as a writer. My husband works for a large newspaper and has six meetings every day. I’d go mad!


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