Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Monday, October 01, 2012

The Door Slams Shut

Gloom, Despair & Agony On Me! Deep Dark Depression, Excessive Misery!

Well, October is shaping up to be a real kidneystone of a month...

Hit #1 - No West Houston Smoke & Powder Crawl this year.   I've done the crawl for many years now, quite often joined by the Cisco Kid and the Layabout Sailor.  For a variety of reasons, the organizer pulled the plug this year.  So, if I want to smoke cigars whilst blasting at targets, I'll have to do it on my own.

Hit #2 - I'm informed today that one of my co-workers will be taking a leave of absence for the next two months.  I have no idea what's going on, but this afternoon he asked me to help him research Do Not Resuscitate orders and requirements for a Texas Last Will & Testament.  I'm not feeling good about this state of affairs, to say the least...

We're already understaffed by two people, and the one replacement we've been approved for is still being slowly digested through The Man's hiring process, and won't be up to speed until late November at the earliest.  Assuming they don't split after 2 weeks like the last one.

We've thinned out our course offerings and pushed a couple of projects into 2013, but even spreading the load, we're all looking at adding 6-8 hours per week just to keep up.

Hit #3 - Last week, the director of The Man's HR department assigned me to a workgroup that'll be flogging away on a project until the end of the year.  Ordinarily, I'd welcome any opportunity to crush the competition cooperate with my co-workers, but being short-staffed is already grinding away at any extra time I might have had.

I'm desperate to take a solid two weeks off, but I just don't see that happening until January at the earliest, and I'm not sure I can go that long without blowing a cranial artery.

Hit #4 - This started out as a good thing, but as time goes on, it's becoming more & more of a drain on my time & energy.

After literally years of lobbying, I managed to get approval to get a seat in one of The Man's management accreditation programs.  It's a one day a week gig from July to mid-November.  It's a huge time-suck, but you get face time with dozens of The Man's Grand Nabobs and Exalted Poo-bahs.  If you're planning on moving up the food chain, this program is a prerequisite.

Since I don't actually have any direct reports, it was a miracle I made the cut.  I successfully argued my network of indirect reports over 23 departments was actually 3 or 4 times the typical number of employees a supervisor is responsible for.

At any rate, I can't fuck this up, and I can't really miss any sessions.

Adding to the fun is a couple of guest speaking gigs in October & November, and a consulting gig with a local community college, and I'm just about up to my earlobes in work.

So, here's the bad news.  I'm too old and arthritic to drive cross country without a day or two on either side to recover.  I won't fly.  (Buying two seats and getting cavity searched by the TSA is not for me...)
I just can't take off enough time to get to Tennessee and back this year.

So, the bottom line is that El Capitan will NOT be at the Hysterics at Eric's this year, and I am not happy about it.

I'm reminded of that scene in John Wayne's 'The Cowboys', where Mr. Nightlinger asks the caravan of "soiled doves" to not proposition the young drovers.  When the Madam asks if he would like to sample the wares, he replies:

"Well, I have the inclination, the maturity, and the wherewithal... but unfortunately, I don't have the time..."