Friday, May 6 2022
I awoke in the greenhouse feeling a little worse than I had when I'd gone to sleep, which wasn't unexpected, given that I was just entering the hell of a covid infection, and Powerful (who is a few days ahead of me and received the assistance of an anti-viral drug due to his transplant-related immune system issues) had told me that it feels mild at first and then really gets you. Of course, we're all different, and a sizable fraction of even non-vaccinated people can reject a covid infection without experiencing any noticable symptoms.
I could tell working the day in the remote workplace was going to be a bit of a slog and I was mostly going to be phoning it in. I'd be reachable and in all the meetings, but there was no way I was going to be doing any development work. With that in mind, I wanted to have Teams set up on the greenhouse Chromebook. But it's an older Acer C710-2833 model with only 2 GB of RAM, and Microsoft isn't known for bending over backwards to provide its newer software for older hardware. It's also reliably terrible with its error messages. After just trying to load Teams in the browser, it cranked away for a long time before finally reporting "[Picture of a hipster experiencing a thought bubble consisting of a frowny-face] We're sorry, we've run into an issue." Thanks, Microsoft! So I installed Teams on a more capable Samsung Chromebook with 4 GB of RAM, although performance on that machine was sludgy at best.
I was actually able to research some issues related to Azure DevOps, particularly how to run a task (which might need to be inside a job which might need to be inside a stage; the jargon for job granularity is a bit maddening) after a series of looped stages. This required a question to StackOverflow, though fortunately this time a I got a good answer relative quickly.
Meanwhile the higher-ups in the company are suddenly in a panic about how us employees use our workday. They now want us to use Harvester, a dystopian software package (for which they've only paid for a 40-day free trial) to track all the work we do every day. This is the kind of thing exempt salaried employees such as myself are usually spared, and it sort of duplicates functionality already present in Jira, which we're already using. But I'm still kind of new here, so I'm not the one to be making a stink about it. Especially as I'm being ground down with covid.
Late this afternoon, my boss the CTO suddenly (as he often does) made a meeting for all of us in the development teams to join. In it, he walked us through how to use the Harvester plugin for Jira and Outlook and how to account for times spent in meetings, etc. It was clear from what he was saying that he wanted us to be sure to fudge our numbers to come out to working at least eight hours each day, which, again, is not in the spirit of how salaried employees (especially developers) actually work. I attended the meeting down in the greenhouse, and my only contribution was a series of snarky posts in the Web Team's Team channel, one of which included the Giphy'ized scene from Office Space when the Daves are asking a soon-to-be-terminated employee "What would you say... you do here?."
I went up to the house one last time before darkness fell, not feeling very good at all. Gretchen mentioned that Little John the Stoner Plumber had been unable to fix our cabin's hot water because it turned out there were tiny cracks in the fittings. I nearly lost it at that, saying I'd known this weeks ago and if John fucking read my messages to him he'd have known this. "Nobody fucking listens to me!" I groaned. And then I returned the greenhouse to convalesce.
In terms of my symptoms, I was now running a light fever and had a frequent tickling in my throat, which would cause me to hack up tiny divots of phlegm. My nose was running, but only a little.
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