punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

The Gag Ball

About... I don't know, 5-6 years ago? Sometime like that, I posted my last full review of a convention I was working for. I won't go into details, but this following made-up fictional account will give you an idea of why I stopped in general (note, this is a FICTIONAL, made-up, fake parable for illustrative purposes only).

March 1st - CoffeeCon 8: Went, had a good time, did Emcee work, and posted review.
March 3rd - Bob, Head of con suite, had exception to my comments about cheese doodle dust on the rug. Goes into long diatribe about Nazi cleaning staff not giving him a working vacuum cleaner.
March 4th - E-mailing Bob, "It was no big deal" is apparently like pouring gasoline to a fire
March 5th - I remove comment from site. Get another e-mail from Jane, who was running video room. She complains that all I ever mentioned was anime, when she showed more than anime.
March 6th - I tell her "I don't know, all I saw when I dropped by was anime." Get immediate e-mail back stating that she doesn't care what the fark the head of the convention told me, she was showing other stuff than anime. Then she starts cursing out the people who run the con as "Nazis" and "A pair of diseased whores."
March 8th - Jane's friend posts a scathing comment about me on a public list. States I have a thing for Hentai and underage girl's panties. My friend Dawn jumps down her throat, thinking she's doing me a favor by being an ass on my behalf. Bob joins the fray.
March 10th - Bob, Dawn, Jane, and two of Jane's friends get thrown off of the list because the flame war got out of control. The con chairman calls me on the phone, wanting to know what the fark I said to make them react this way. Reads my review. Even though 90% of it is positive, he takes exception to where I mention the hotel desk clerk was rude, the restaurant food was horrible and overpriced, and that the room I was staying in had holes in the drywall. He tells me that it was not his fault. I don't recall saying it was his fault, but he starts to cry that the hotel changed management at the last moment, people are constantly fighting in his life, he's 45 and hasn't had a lover since 1979, and no one loves him. Then starts to turn his frustration into rage, and goes off on his own for a week, telling everyone to fark off.
March 12th - People think *I* make the Chairman drive up to the mountains and sit in a cabin for 5 days in a depressive funk. Now there are some people who hate me, and some people who think they have to choose sides, and choose my side. People are fighting battles FOR me, and I didn't even ask for a war. I take the review down, but the damage has already been done. Any generalities made about generic events, or even specific ones, are taken personally by some people. "You're talking about me, aren't you??" is a common anguished cry. You say someone looked nice in a costume, you get "You mean I normally look bad?? You ass-jerk!" You say you met someone's new boyfriend, you get "So, what now, are you saying I am a slut?" Tempers are out of control. I think about joining the Chairman in his parent's cabin. Finally, it starts to peter out, and the lists went from 50 posts a day back to the usual 2 or 3 a day.
March 31st - Chairman is back, war has died out. Some of the staff has left the convention in a huff, and I have made two new enemies (and their friends). It takes about a year for these "enemies" to fade away into the noise of the past.

This is an exaggerated tale, but some of these events frame the type of crap that kept happening to me. After a while, I was literally afraid to tell the truth, and there was no point to saying, "I went to this convention, it was shiny happy cherry sugar fairy lucky plum fun! Everything was bunnies and kittens and sunshine and flowers and barefoot children giggling and running through meadows..." So I stopped.

The reason I tell this tale is I am suffering... some work-related issues with certain people, but of course I can't say anything because what if it gets back to them? Well, it could cost me my job, or at the very least make it miserable. My job is not miserable, but certain people are so... dammit, morons. I work with some people on some projects that quite literally make me wonder if the person(s) involved work for the competition. You'd think in the technical world, you'd have to have good technical knowledge, but no. One of the amazing eye openers of working in the tech world is that some people seem to cling to jobs because not what they know about the subject their job title is attached to, but because they know how to "play the management" and are far better at politics than actual work. IBM called them "bloated ticks that suck out company blood and wedge themselves into cracks to tightly, you can't pry them out without burning the host." Thankfully, no one I directly work with is THAT bad, my issue is with simple, plain competence. That's all I ask.

If you have a card that says you're an MCSE, please don't ask me how to set up a static IP address in Windows NT. If you have a CCNA, don't you dare ask me what a "subnet mask is for." If you program in any language and write bloated code because you never use arrays, don't call yourself a programmer. I don't care what your card says; you are a $75,000 drain on the company I work for, a hindrance to my job, and an embarrassment to the industry. Sure, I realize sometimes we are thrust into jobs we're not suited for. But at least TRY to do your job. Hell, "fake it until you make it" is fine with me... as long at you are trying to make it. But if I see you coming in late every day, sit in your pod, eating popcorn and powdered donuts until the front your ill-fitting sweater looks like the top of a pine forest in early snowfall, and you ask me again how to do something that was a REQUIREMENT for your HIRE... and you haven't done a lick of real work since you got here a YEAR ago... I hate you. If I were in a fantasy RPG, I'd use you for Balrog fodder. Toss you to the wolves. Sell you to a slavemaster for some quick gold pieces and leave town before the slavemaster finds out how bad you are.

God, the things I could rant about that happen where I work. But can't. First, there's the proprietary disclosure agreement, so I can't say, "My company tests XYZ Hard Drives, and we have proof they cause tongue cancer, but they gave us a lot of money to call them 'bi-labial enhancements.'" Then, I can't even be vague about my work issues. If I say, "There's the guy in our Guam office who never shows up to work, he's out fishing all day, and when he comes back, he smells like old hot dogs..." That guy will read my site, and get all bent out of shape. And really, could you blame him? Some people probably have no idea I hate them because they seem clueless in general... and I want to keep it that way. Of course, someone read this journal right now and thinks I am talking about HIM and HIS powdered donuts. And while I did know someone years ago who wore filthy sweaters that had layers of the week's food on it ("Look, egg salad. Must be Tuesday..."), THAT guy was fired from a company I don't work for anymore, and I don't care what HE thinks at this time.

It's so frustrating.

Gag ball. Leather mask, zipper closed. Yes, master, I have been a bad blogger, can I have another, please?

This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000013.html
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