It’s that time of year again in the humans’ workplace. Summer projects are winding down, and preparations for the fall semester are ramping up. It’s like the top of the roller coaster: Nowhere to go from here except down, with the concomitant screaming, unexpected turns, and occasional upchuck.
The students are back in town, which means driving, parking, and eating out have gone from pleasant pursuits to full-contact sports.
The City finally came and picked up the dead oak carcass that was decorating the front yard, so the human female is not confronted with her horticultural shortcomings each morning as she leaves the house. No, the dead spots in the front lawn will just have to suffice for that. The lawn is looking particularly patchy, as 8+” of rain in the last two weeks have precluded mowing.
I taught the front bathroom toilet how to make a startling high-pitched squeal. Cue new float assembly. Home repair is such fun.
You will recall that the human female has initiated a split-delivery order for termites. She thought she had the situation well in hand, after having corrected the initial snafu. Not so! The Purveyor of Squiggly Things called to remind her that her requested second ship date was Labor Day, and thus no labor would occur. Since the POST does not ship on Saturday or Sunday, the human female has had to stipulate that the insects be shipped to her home on the previous Friday for Saturday arrival. She attempted a delivery like this once before, and a tag-team foul-up involving me, the Purveyor of Squiggly Things, and Fed-up and Exhausted resulted in the delicate little beasties being delivered to the loading dock on campus, where they languished and eventually perished in the early fall heat, while the human female sat awaiting them on the other side of town. Will we have a repeat of this tangle this year? Stay tuned to find out!
I am sure you are all eager to know: Is there any progress on attempts to acquire the rest of the ingredients for Dead Thing Paella? Why, yes indeed! There has been a little flurry of back-and-forth e-mail between the human female and the Purveyor of Dead Things just this very morning. The cephalopods are present and accounted for, with clams just now entering the processing stream. Does the human female want squiddies now and bivalves now, or should the PODT wait and make a mega-shipment when the clams are done? One shipment, please! That way the 24 dead cats on back order since last December (don’t you love a PO that stays open between one fiscal year an the next? I know I do!) have a theoretical hope of hitching a ride. “But what of the lampreys?” you plaintively ask? (Or maybe you don’t ask, but I shall tell you anyway.) The lampreys are supposedly inbound. As are the fourteen dead, naked felines ordered from the Purveyor of Squiggly Things (who also sells Dead Things), which the human female ordered from POST because the PODT had kitties on back-order since last December. In the meantime, the Anatomy and Physiology instructor has requested 25 more cats for next fall, which need to be ordered NOW if there’s a hope in Hel of obtaining them before 2018.
Fall 2018…That is when one noted Seller of Computers told the human male the urgently-needed laptops ordered for the Anatomy and Physiology labs would be available. They later amended that date to mid-September of this year, which is better, but not really satisfactory, as they are needed when the semester starts, and it is going to take some time to load up the software on them. And that would be the virtual-cat-dissecting software that A&P is switching to because of the Dead Cat Conundrum! See how I have brought things full circle and tied them with a sparkly green bow?
Oh, and last week the human female received a call from the Purveyor of Squiggly Things asking about the simply enormous order for Mr. Unfamiliar Name in the Biology Department. A little sleuthing turned up Mr. U. Name in the Biology Department of one of the university’s satellite campuses. So close! She almost ended up with a ton of supplies she didn’t need and can’t pay for.
The humans have attempted to relieve some of the dead-animal-related stress by purchasing entertainment at a discount. One of the local video and bookstores has been “circling the drain” for quite some time and has recently announced that it is going out of business. FORTY PERCENT OFF EVERYTHING! their advertisements screamed. So down the humans hurried, only to find out that no, only the used books are 40% off. The next week, they announced a massive SALE! The human male (who should have known by now to call ahead) went over on his lunch hour only to find out that that sale did not apply to that particular store. All hail Loki, god of misleading advertisements.
I have also taken over the position of god of unwanted Spam. (Wait, that’s redundant. God of Spam.) The university’s mail program used to have a pretty good filter, catching most of the spam and unsolicited offers of riches, larger mammaries, and enhanced sexual prowess and just chucking it into oblivion. I’ve been tinkering, and now the spam filter just flags all of these and then sends each user a huge daily (or twice or thrice daily) post stating, “We have quarantined all these and you may wish not to view them.” Then it lists them. Fifty or sixty or seventy at a time. Sex dating online! Make love use best men’s health medicine! Perfect mood with strong health! You are a winner! This would not be so bad in and of itself, but I have set it up so that each gargantuan serving of garbage goes back nearly three weeks, meaning users get notices of each message a dozen or more times before it ages off the bottom of the list. As well, each BIG dump of verbal refuse is accompanied by a smaller dump of 7 to 9 messages, as if the system is gleefully interrupting with, “Oh, hey, look! More crap here!” (This is the e-mail equivalent of the Imodium not having taken effect yet.) I’ve also arranged matters such that a good handful of messages in each user’s box appear to come from the user. Congratulations, human female! You’ve just offered a lucrative job at K-Mart to yourself! Pleas to the campus IT Help Desk result in 1) a copy of the plea being returned to the supplicant with no further verbiage, 2) a brief note which boils down to “Yeah, sucks, doesn’t it?” and 3) absolutely nothing.
And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Mischief Update if I didn’t have BAMN shenanigans to report. One of the human female’s most reliable vendors, He of the Gloves, Bags, and Booties, dropped by to politely ask why he hadn’t been paid for the delivery he made back in June. It turns out that with BAMN, which requires the human female to log in and do receiving for all received goods, she is no longer scanning packing slips and forwarding them to the Department’s accountant for payment. The vendor was not presenting an invoice to BAMN or the Department as the human female was assuming he had. It’s all cleared up now, but the human female looked petty and miserly for a bit there, which is not a good look on her. I should do this more.
In other BAMN Receiving issues, the human female finally got in the very last of the huge fall order from Vendor Who’s Responsible. In one of my finer touches, the program, when displaying a large PO for doing receiving, displays only 5 line items. The user must manually expand it. After the user selects an item, receives it, and saves the receipt thereof, the view defaults back to just 5 items. Every. Single. Time. Also, saving the receipts as the items come in does not actually result in the receipts being submitted for payment. No, the human female unknowingly ended up with a big pile of “open” receipts” that all had to be submitted in a two-screen process for each one. My favorite part, though, is how if a user needs to view the PO to remind herself what has been received/submitted and what has not, the only way to do it is to hit the generate a receipt button, which makes a new receipt with its very own number, a receipt that may not actually have any received items on it. It just sits there, open, until it is manually cancelled.
And the human female just sits there, open-mouthed, with a blank stare. I think she might be broken… Have I gone too far? Should I relent in my campaign to reduce her to tears and bring the university to a screeching halt? Should I be rethinking my life’s choices? Hmmm.
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