Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Monday, March 09, 2009

Wow. Courtesy. Who'da Thunk It?

Next Surprise, A Random Pay Raise Of More Than 1.5%!!!

Well, that was certainly an unexpected phone call!

Let's back up to last week for an explanation...

I had a presentation last Friday afternoon, guest starring some Legal Beagles who were going to help me twist some arms and get some wayward minions of The Man back on the straight & narrow.

The presentation had already been postponed once, due to conflicts with the Beagle's massage therapy, or perhaps their tee time. Who knows. I'd been promising this seminar since last fall, and it was finally going to be struck off my "To Do" list.

Legal Beagle #1 requests I supply the means to project Powerpoint slides upon a screen. OK, no problem. We have a laptop & an Infocus projector, and if the facility I've reserved doesn't have a screen, they've got a big white wall. Got it covered, I just need to reserve the gear.

Luckily, the presentation gear is free that afternoon, but it's currently over at Remote Site #1. Remote Site #1 isn't all that remote, it's not but 4 blocks away, but there's no parking, and I'll be damned if I want to schlep gear over in what's turning out to be an 85 degree day. Besides, just as with the fleet vehicles we share, you bring it back to where you checked it out, namely our IT flunky in the office around the corner.

So, realizing that a bit of diplomacy, bureaucratic chicanery and outright apple-polishing will get me what I want, I email the IT flunky formally requesting the gear, and ask that she use her incomparable tech skills to inspect it and test it before I pick it up from her office. I CC my boss, her boss and the Senior Flunky over at Remote Site #1.

The email has the effect I desire, in that someone other than me walks the gear back to our office. I email the IT flunky and let her know I'll pick it up, and not to worry about testing it. Mistake #1!

I also get a testy email from Senior Flunky over at Remote Site #1, indignantly informing me that the gear is in tiptop shape, is always left in order, and I need not worry.

So, I don't worry. Mistake #2!!

I get over to the presentation facility with 45 minutes to spare, plenty of time to set up everything. They do indeed have a screen, and things are going swimmingly.

Right up to the point where I try to connect the laptop to the projector...

Cable? Where's the got-dam video cable??!? I call the IT flunky. Where's the cable?

The cable, she is not here.

Lost forever 'neath the streets of Houston, it's the cable that never returned... until Monday morning.

Cut to the presentation 30 minutes later, where an extremely annoyed Legal Beagle is attempting to use a 14" laptop screen to instruct a roomful of Minions on the finer points of employment law.

El Capitan is using crumpled up copies of the presentation notes and bitter tears of rage to fashion a voodoo doll of Senior Flunky in preparation to skewering his liver out with a spork and cooking it with a Zippo for having the temerity to sabotage the roadshow.

And then, of course, is when the cavalry showed up.

IT flunky finds in the deepest depths of the Obsolete Tech Closet a late 90's vintage Infocus projector. It has power supply, vid cable, and powers on. IT flunky grabs a driver from one of the idle staff and has herself chauffered over to the facility I'm at, about 5 miles away, and comes swooping in with the replacement gear. We've got the show up on the screen within 5 minutes of her arrival.

Things are not perfect, the image geometry of the old projector has a perma-skew to it, so much so that I have to wedge my cell phone under one corner, leaving the whole shebang tilted like one of those Balancing Rocks out west just to keep the image on the screen.

Naturally, this is exactly the moment that the Cisco Kid calls on my cell to remind me about Friday night's poker game. The Legal Beagle's presentation is interrupted by my ringtone, "Scotland the Brave" emanating from under the projector, and quite out of reach. I somehow get it turned off without tipping over the projector...

Luckily, the rest of the afternoon passed without further incident.

So, after all that hullabaloo, they find the missing cable over in a Not-So-Senior Flunky's office at Remote Site #1, and I receive a phone call this afternoon from Not-So-Senior Flunky to apologize for mishandling the equipment and nearly scuppering my roadshow.

The apology was a gracious effort on their part, but I have to admit I would have rather heard it from Senior Flunky instead of him pawning it off on an underling, even if she was ultimately responsible.

Besides, I've still got that voodoo doll...