Anne B. Walsh - Do you believe in magic?

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Anne's Randomness

Learning experience

When I was growing up, my younger siblings and I used to love the VeggieTales videos. For anyone who is unaware, VeggieTales are computer-animated cartoons of talking vegetables with fun songs and a quirky sense of humor, which teach Christian lessons like kindness, friendship, and sharing. And that pirates don't do anything.
Whether it was about pirates, superheroes, or rubber-duck-loving kings, every VeggieTales show ended with a little song about what we learned today. Bob the Tomato hated that song, both because it would interrupt him while he was talking and because it's so very catchy that once you hear it, it Never. Gets Out. Of Your Head.
I have been humming that song all morning so far, because what I have learned today is that I should never, ever, ever complain that something in my workplace doesn't work right. (Fair warning: rant ahead.) Bellyache a little to coworkers, maybe, but make a formal complaint to management or some kind of suggestion box? No, no, no. Not ever, ever, ever.
Why should I not complain about things? I hear you ask, and rightly so. We're taught in school as children that if we don't speak up about things, they won't get fixed. Which is true. The problem is that in my place of employment, if you speak up about something, the response is basically, "Oh, you want it fixed? Fine. You fix it. Go on, we'll wait."
In my case, the problem I'm having is with conference rooms. We have a lot of conference rooms in our many buildings in the downtown area of this lovely city of mine, but the online database that is supposed to keep track of them all and allow us to schedule them for use is difficult to understand, badly organized, and almost never updated. Most conference room scheduling is actually done via paper planners.
Like a fool, when I was asked what frustrates me most about my job, I mentioned this database. With the result that I have now been told to "work on this issue". I have no skills in databases, no idea how to find out the information I need, and no desire for the "credit" I've been promised for doing this job I don't know how to do. All I want is not to have to make ten phone calls to book one conference room!
So, if your chapter is a little bit delayed, yet again, blame the latest addition to my enormous list of bosses, a very gung-ho sort of fellow who's not that much older than me but is convinced he is the one to single-handedly save my employer from its foolish ways. If his best strategy is to dump jobs on people that they don't want and aren't equipped to do, I doubt he's going to get very far.
All of which is a very long and ranty lead-in to the bad news that yes, Chapter 63 of Surpassing Danger is being delayed yet again. I'm sorry, truly I am, but if I can't focus, I can't write. I will work as quickly as I can, but I can't even promise that I'll have something ready for this Friday. My deepest apologies, and I hope to have better news later this week. Thanks, as always, for reading.

6 Comments to Learning experience:

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Scott on Tuesday, September 09, 2014 11:16 AM
Ugh, that is a very annoying way to approach the fixing of problems. Perhaps somewhere among your readers (or people at work for that matter) is someone with database experience that could help out. My own unfortunately is limited to a small section in one of the web design courses I took several years ago, so I don't remember enough to be much help myself. I might be able to find the lesson material for it though, if that would be useful to you. In any case, I hope things ease up for you soon, and do feel free to take as much time as you need with the writing. We'll be glad to read it whenever it occurs. :-)
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NotACat on Tuesday, September 09, 2014 12:46 PM
Oh, the old "you can knock this up in an afternoon" ploy…we hates it, precious, we hates it with a burning hatred >_<
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Haminac on Tuesday, September 09, 2014 1:25 PM
Sweet Jesus, that sounds horrible (The new boss-man, not the christian veggies!). Since I know any try of me helping you with the scheduling/database-thing will utterly miserably fail, I won't. And feel pretty smart about it. I don't think your deepest apologies will be needed, since nothing that delayed you - at least nothing I read about - was really up to you. Things like this happen. They suck. But still happen. Maybe you can focus after that rant of yours so if reading this rant, or more specifically you wrote it and have the feeling you blew off some steam helped, than it's all worth it. I'll go search for my pep-up-pompoms to do a silly motivation dance *rumble*
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erebor452 on Tuesday, September 09, 2014 1:45 PM
I in no way mean to tell you your job or how to do it, or even if your company would allow such a thing, but its seems like you've been thrown into a bit of a pickle. So take the following with a sack of salt (and garlic and vinegar). Google Calendars can be set up to keep track of the schedule for any given room. It's what my university uses to keep track of conference rooms and classrooms and such, and it seems to work very well-- people simply need to remember to actually book the room instead of simply waltzing in. The only way to enforce that, unfortunately, is to have the backing of upper management within the company. (To wit, an official notice that if you have not booked the room using the new system, you have not booked the room at all. Furthermore, that any unbooked meetings are subject to eviction in favor of meetings that have been properly booked.) I don't know if you can call on this sort of support considering how this problem was dumped on your lap, but it's worth a shot. Best of luck. If this is something you might want to pursue but need help implementing it, feel free to email me directly. Learning precisely how our system is set up is something that I've been meaning to do for a while, and I'd be glad to help out if I can.
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lilyginnyrose on Tuesday, September 09, 2014 2:06 PM
Hey, It might not be what you're looking for, but we're covering databases in computerscience right now. What kind of program is your company using? Maybe I know somehting about it. As for the chapter, you're the author, we will wait. I don't mind, you have a life outside writing, and we ought to respect that.
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Judith on Tuesday, September 09, 2014 2:11 PM
Hej Anne! I'm a longtime reader of the dangerverse and your originals. They're wonderful work and have really great and elaborate character development! I remember rereading Goblet of Fire sometime after Facing Danger and thinking: "Why is Draco so out of character? He behaves like a snotty purebl... oh, nevermind, he originally WAS a snotty pureblood" Your version of him just stuck with me :) Shamefully, while I have given feedbeack on your originals, I must confess that I left maybe one comment on the dangerverse in the .... o my gosh, 7!?! years i've been following it. Mostly because I just really, really dislike registering for things and leaving digital footprints of private passtimes. Shame on me. Buuuut, now I read your blog-post and I thought first: that's mean AND uneffective, and then: wait, we have something like this at work, and it's simple to use and effective. We use an online service called, which is more-or-less-self-explanatory. Unfortunately, if you need more than 10 calenders you have to pay the subcription. But you can perhaps set up a system where a group of rooms uses one calendar to avoid this. I hope this helps (and - totally unselfish - I hope this means you'll have time to write... ;) I'll miss the dangerverse, but oh, I cannot wait for the final chapters! Such a dilemma!
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