Today (Friday) is the last day of my sabbatical. My last true day, although I do have the weekend before I have to actually punch a timecard again. It's a sad day for me... the end of what now seems like an impossible dream that went way to fast. The non-working, still-paid, man's life... the life that I fantasize about. But, alas, the life that just ain't too realistic. And now it's over. I guess all good things... bah... let's do this.
Let me tell you about a time I was embarrassed (for no other reason than the story came to me). I think of it often, actually, as it was a fairly recent occurrence, and I think it does a good a job deflating me when my head's grown too big for its own good. Here goes: For work, I had traveled to a customer site for an important "face to face" meeting between their higher-ups and our higher-ups. Of the higher-ups from my sawmill, I was the lowest-up; but I had a good handle on the pulse of a certain program which was likely to become a topic of conversation at the meeting, so I was included. We all sat in a larger room, seated randomly at a large table in the form a 3-sided square/horseshoe (carefully staggering ourselves so as to not appear a single "front" to our customer, gotta be aware of that, y'know!). I am a pooperface.
The conversation was driven off a presentation on the big screen at the front of the room, but was all largely organic and free-flowing, as presentations to higher-ups tend to be. At one point, the highest-up who'd traveled from the sawmill with me was making a statement about when our customer would get something we'd promised them, and that something was part of the program I manage. The highest-up said something like, "And, you'll be happy to know that you should be getting ThingZ on....," and paused as if thinking. Taking this as my cue, and thinking him pausing for the "expert" to jump in and not make him look like he was unaware of the date, I jumped into the conversation with, "I'm pretty sure your ThingsZ shipped on Friday." What I hadn't heard, however, was the highest-up completing his own thought shortly after his pause - I had spoken right over his own date with my own, unknowingly, thinking he needed help. The highest-up most definitely did not like this, and apparently took it for the lowest-up trying to trump his piece of good news. The date was earlier than our customer would've expected, and I'm sure he thought I was trying to clutch at the glory of that announcement.
Without even looking at me, the highest-up stated, in an arrogant, no-nonsense tone, "Don't argue with me. I think I know my own ThingZs." It was like he was a mother on the phone with a friend, and I a child tugging on her apronstrings whining "Mommy! Mommy!" That was the tone he used. I heard his words more like, "Shut up, you know-nothing underling, we all know who's in charge here." The words stung immediately, but I was able to react quickly enough to laugh out loud, hoping to play it off as some good-natured ribbing between coworkers. It worked, to a degree, the room joined me in laughing, as did the higher-up, perhaps slightly embarrassed himself at calling out one of his own ranks so in front of customers. Oh but did I replay that quip in my head on the flight home, feeling the snub every single time. Seems a small thing, I know, but it was terribly embarrassing at the time. It does me good to think on it at times, to reign in my ego, get my head in check - even if it was a mistake on my part and no real vie for notoriety. Still sucked getting called out, though...
Nerd stuff coming, beware.
Oh man... I found the coolest thing online today, by pure happenstance, too. Seems that my torrent client of choice, µTorrent, has a plugin called WebUI that allows you to access the client over any standard HTTP connection. I know, this seems kinda nerdy, but I'm'a tell you what it means here next. See, I use BitTorrent to download all sorts of things. Mostly legal stuff, of course, like live concert recordings from sites like archive.org, Dime, Tapecity, and the Trader's Den, as well as TV shows Sharaun and I follow yet may have missed from sites like EZTV or shareTV. I've also occasionally used it to download a Linux LiveCD or two.
Anyway, suffice it to say that µTorrent is open on my home PC, sucking up my broadband on a regular basis. the WebUI plugin for µTorrent allows me to remotely login to the client software which is running on my home machine, from anywhere that has an internet connection, through the standard µTorrent port (which is open on my router). I supply a username and password, and I get a slick-looking web interface where I can manage all the torrents I'm seeding/leeching, as well as add a new torrent, delete a torrent, stop or pause a torrent, etc. You'd think this may be something you'd never want to do, but you'd be surprised when it may be useful to login to a torrent client and delete all your seedings every once in a while. WebUI is awesome. If I wanted to, I could find a cool new torrent online while I'm away from home, logon to µTorrent and add it, and it'd be waiting for me when I got there. Sweet.
I can't believe I have to go back to work...
Oh, lord... I have to go back to work. It's over.