On the work front, I finally received network access on Thursday afternoon! I can actually do work now. I spent Friday installing software and familiarizing myself with some of the source code. I am expected to spend the next week doing such familiarization work before I actually begin doing real work in earnest.
I also managed to nab a flat screen monitor, so I was able to ditch one of the crappy monitors I had before. My dual-monitor setup now consists of a 17″ Samsung flat screen with a 17″ Samsung not-so-flat CRT next to it. Unfortunately, it won’t take me very long to start wishing for a 19″ flat screen here at home, because they sort of kick ass.
Government operations are quite strange. There are basically three categories of people in the building: 1) Government employees, who have fancy titles, make absurd amounts of money, and do almost no real work, 2) Consultants, who are retired Government employees, who are pretty bright and make incredibly absurd amounts of money, and 3) Contractors (like me), who don’t make as much money and do almost all of the work that the government employees are supposed to be doing. It makes for some interesting office politics.
It’s also a bit weird how it takes 2 or 3 people to perform tasks that I have previously done myself. Like, for example, setting up an account on the big Army portal system. Thursday afternoon, the guy who came in to setup my computer said he couldn’t get the portal working and would try again “in the morning.” Well, I got there in the morning at 7:30 and proceeded to log into the portal and change my password like I was supposed to. Noon came and went, and the computer guy never showed up. I got a message from my “sponser” wanting me to call her, so I did, and left a message. Apparently, they were still having trouble setting up my portal account (which, btw, I had successfully been using all day). At the end of the day, I got another call from my sponser wanting me to call the portal help desk people to straighten out my account. I dutifully did so, got the expected response of “there’s nothing wrong with your account,” waited a little bit, and called my sponser back and told her everything was fixed and she didn’t need to send the computer guy over anymore. Yikes.
I am unhappy with my web site again. I think it’s about time for the ground-up rewrite. For now, though, I will just change the font.