The past week or so looks like the collision between a train carrying aluminum to the recycling plant and Billy Joe Bob’s Bait Barn–cans open, worms everywhere.
In the human female’s workplace, this is the first week of student labs. The students, many of them first-semester freshmen, mill about like motherless lambs. There is the one who confuses her Chemistry and Biology schedules and misses lab. There are the ones who can’t read their schedule and show up in not just the wrong section but the wrong COURSE. And there are the ones who come to the office to complain that their ID cards won’t let them swipe to enter the labs. Look, children, just because you see the instructors swipe in doesn’t mean YOU get to. But since I’ve seen to it that some of the electronic locks randomly refuse to recognize actual authorized card holders, I can see that someone might misunderstand how the system works.
The first week of labs means it’s TERMITE TIME! The split delivery plan actually worked. Or it would have, had the damned hexapods managed to stay alive. The human female swears she spent all week on the phone, ordering replacements and tracking the incoming shipments on Fed-up and Exhausted. It soon bored me, so I had the chat window for shipping from North Carolina to Texas show up in French. Also, it was loads of oodles of manies of fun driving up on to campus which was in kicked-over-anthill mode in the celebration of the first home football game to deliver the termites shipped to her house. She wonders if they are doing something wrong in how they house the delicate little creatures, since they die if you look at them funny. Again, no. Accommodations are satisfactory. I merely tell the little white crawlers bedtime horror stories about the experiment they’re to be a part of, and 70% just up and die of fright on the spot. (Ballpoint ink is surprisingly terrifying.)
In other Squiggly Things news, you will be relieved to hear that the local bovine genetics company (We-R-Cowspunk) is still selling gift certificates. Says so right on their website. Sleipnir’s fetlocks! Is it time for yule shopping already?
BAMN continues to delight me and baffle the mortals. Some high mucky-mucks met with the tribal chieftains of BAMN recently, and made it quite clear just how large of a rubbish heap it is. One user brought in a Voluminous Binder documenting the 1,400 problems he had had with the 2,800 orders his group had placed. The human female hasn’t ceased whining about BAMN, either. She has discovered that when she receives the jolly little “This PO #xxxxx has been sent to the vendor!” email, she has to consult the spreadsheet she meticulously keeps, log into the website, pull up all of her requisitions that have been sent to PO, and try to match the e-mail with the requisition. When she has only one open requisition, it’s not that hard. But on a busy day, when she’s made more than one order, she has to open all the just-gone-to-PO ones in BAMN, click on the requisition number, and find out what the new PO # is to make the match. Because they’re not the same. (And then click on the PO number if she actually wants to look at it.) She’s asked that the emails tell WHICH requisition # has been turned into PO #xxxx, or at least mention the vendor, but pfft! where’s the fun in that? Since BAMN generates one email when a requisition is submitted into routing, one when it converts to a PO and is sent, one when it is approved for payment, and one when it is paid, her mailbox is as full as Volstagg after a three-day food bender.
And the fun doesn’t stop there! Sometimes the vendors bobble the ball. Two so far this semester have either e-mailed or come by in person to inquire with varying degrees of civility why they have not been paid. Usually it is because they failed to notice the giant “Bill To” address on the purchase order and have not submitted an invoice. It’s not the human female’s fault, but she gets to track down and clean up the messes.
Ah, September… It’s that time again, the start of the Fiscal Year, when all the university employees’ insurance benefits can be updated. Everyone was encouraged to log in and make sure their current coverage choices are accurate. Of course, I arranged an outage on the website for that day–do you even have to ask?
I do hope the humans’ policies are up to date–they might need them. Three sinks on campus have tested positive for huge amounts of lead, and there is small but growing epidemic of flu.
Engineering continues to try to take over the whole campus. They now have designs on the second floor of the human female’s building, space her department sorely needs. Also, Engineering wants all the service courses on campus (English, History, Biology, etc.) to move to issuing only grades of A, B, and C, so their students can have a higher GPA when they take these courses. Now, I’m no mathematician, but someone has to be below average, right? Still, their power-hungry bullying certainly has my attention. I am strongly considering jumping ship and joining them!
Parking and Transit, in a move certain to please Bean Counters and no one else, has decided to sub-let all of the 24-hour reserved parking spots in two campus lots, to make them available on home football game days. This way, they can collect money on the spaces TWICE. The human male is most definitely not amused, since no one ever asked him it this was all right, and since he has to come up on campus on weekends to do nerdly things with computers, and he would like to park in the space he pays $$$$ for, thankyouverymuch. He says he can’t imagine who came up with this terrible idea. (Innocent whistling…)
The human male received a bill for the cop-pay for his eye exam–which he had already paid, since the battle maidens at the desk won’t let anyone pass without paying first. It amuses me to see that payments post up to a week later than bills. Everyone loves extra paperwork and the phone calls to straighten it out, right?
The humans’ shower is dripping, the front lawn looks positively leprous, the aged feline keeps missing the litterbox, the “check all the tires” light came on in the car yesterday, and the driveway needs weeding again. All part of a special little thing I like to call Death By Little Things. No one problem is large enough to do the humans in, but taken all together, they can some days erode the will to keep going.
It really is amazing how little things can really get to a person. Take last week for instance. It was nearing 6:00 p.m. and the human female was alone in her office, preparing to leave for the day, when suddenly, BOOM! “Ah,” she thought. “‘Tis the folks testing the cannon for this weekend’s football game.” The boom was followed by a pop!, sirens, and then several long minutes of what was unmistakably automatic weapons fire. The echoy-nature of a campus full of tall buildings meant she couldn’t tell where the shots were coming from. Alarmed, she called the campus police and asked whether there was some exercise being conducted by the Corps of Cadets or whether the campus was under attack from agent or agents unknown. After being put on hold, she was informed that it was just a drill and that everyone should have received the advance email stating time and date. Ehehehe! With just one deleted Distribution-A email memo, I panicked everyone in earshot.
Supervillain tip #248: Humans–the more tightly you wind them up, the more spectacular they are when they finally do snap.