Early Shift Is Frightening

My new job as an application support analyst requires that someone be at the office from 5 a. m. to 6 p. m. during Daylight time. It will shift to 6 - 7 when the rest of the nation reverts to normal time. This week it is my task to show up at 5 a. m. I am not and never have been a morning person. Waking up before 4 a. m. so that I can shower, shave and slide down the highway is not something I thought I was capable of doing.

This is the second day of the shift and I am discovering I am not able to do it. I was so very tired at work today that I could feel myself pausing to contemplate the answers to simple dialog box questions I normally click through in a nearly precognitive fashion. I wanted nothing more than to drive myself home before falling asleep behind the wheel and hitting the sack!

I did that. After a few hours discussing the finer points of tile installation with the bathroom tile installer. Then his family's health. Then their relative poverty. Then I literally had to walk away to get him to drop the subject, all subjects and go home.

I finally got up to the bedroom and fell asleep. This lead to my worse nightmare in recent decades. I scared the dog too as I woke screaming out loud! I think I need to consider what the early shift is costing me.

System Admin Training

I completed the Documentum 5.3 System Administration I course today. Lots of supporting applications have changed since 4.2 and I think they are improvements. Need to rethink how some stuff is deployed in light of the new information.

Online classes are very nice on the travel budget, but not as nice to attend. I like the idea of working from home. In practice, it is a different matter. Especially now, with the bathroom project in full swing. Things here are noisy and dusty. Nothing fills the air like pulverized concrete. It gets everywhere and you can feel it when you breathe it. I am gaining an understanding of the 9/11 "ghost look" that covered everyone you could see in the coverage on CNN. This stuff sticks to everything.

Working Late

We had a hard crash at work. Pretty much blew the whole day getting the system to respond. We had a dozen experts guessing what went wrong and I am not sure anything was fixed. They rolled back one change and got everything restarted.

It was then time for mopping up. I put in a few extra hours monitoring render queues. It is not exciting work, but it is vital.

Trouble is I couldn't sleep. I am sure today will be a continuation of the problem and I don't see any glaring configuration problem we can fix to make this system right. Here is hoping WebSphere behaves today!


Smooth Sailing with a Short Crew

Today was the first days without our Level 3 Experts. When I started at Countrywide we had two groups of analysts supporting VLF. Our group was called level 2 and a Level 3 group was scattered in California and Texas. Level 3 had 4 people. One became our supervisor, one left the company, one switched departments and the other was out sick today.

Strangely thing went smoothly. Apparently they did a great job transferring the knowledge.


Countrywide Employee

I became a Countrywide employee today. I went in to work at 8:00 a. m. and signed a pile of papers. I was at my desk like nothing happened by 9:00.

So, that was an easy process. Not bad for the first day back after Jamaica.

Documentum 5

I complete the Documentum Technical Fundamentals class today. I had this course under my belt for version 4, but that was years ago. It is fun to see and use some of the features that were talking about then as actual product now.

Another Weekend Interruption

I was only back up on call this weekend and still the pager went off and the string of disappointing the boss began. I think I need to consider the value of this paycheck compared with the number of weekends I seem to be working.

I Have 6 Minutes

As mentioned earlier I have some time in the morning before work because I get up well before I need to be there. It is nice not having to rush. It is better feeling awake when the alarm goes off! Karen is trying to get in earlier, but has not succeeded today. She is almost ready and said she would be ready in 6 minutes. SO here I am typing drivel.

204 (Oops, how did that happen?)

Greg and Carol

Greg and Carol were here for dinner last night. We ate well and had a great time. We even managed to keep "worried mother" Carol out to almost midnight.

We started with martinis and appetizers. Olives, cheese plate, garlic mushrooms and an onion tart. The olives were a huge hit with Greg. We all loved the mushrooms. The onion tart was tasty, but definitely needs to be warm when served. The first few bite were very good, but it lost something as it cooled.

Dinner was Swordfish Siracusa and Prosciutto Asparagus with a Mark West Pinot Noir. Normally she make the Siracusa sauce with chicken for me. It was very good with the swordfish and the guests loved it.

Karen tried her hand at baking again. Blueberry Butter cake is somewhere between blueberry cobbler and cheesecake. It was great, I had two pieces. Well, off to clean up...

204 (How do you eat like that and lose weight?) (Damned beeper went off 3 times during dinner for stuff I could do nothing about!)


Working late has it's upside, I am usually up before I have to leave so I get a moment to update the web log!

Starting to Become a Job

The queue is filling up and we are handling trouble tickets at work. We established an on call schedule and are spreading the start times out among the team.


VLF Training

I attended training on the Countrywide Virtual Loan File system for the last two days. The trainer was dynamic. We got piles of trinkets.

Back To Work

I returned to work today. Fortunately I only missed one day of training and I think I can catch up. I have an electronic mail account now: james_melcher@countrywide.com1 so you can all send me a note.

The team is still ramping up for support. The training is on a system that should (soon) be replaced. The current support personnel are leaving the company. This change adds some pressure for our group to pick it up until it goes away.

1 No longer active after I left Countrywide in 2007 and they ceased to exist in 2009