Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Feeling Dumb

Don't know the status of this one. But here's where I got it.

There’s this thing called entropy. Physicists define it as energy not available to do useful work. Information theorists define entropy as information that’s missing when the value of a random variable is unknown.

Both definitions fit my work situation right now.

Problem is, there’s reverse entropy here as far as they physicists go – there’s energy available to do useful work, but since that useful work is partitioned off because only a certain number of writers have been authorized to do that work, there’s plenty of energy lying around for work that isn’t useful. It’s a frustrating situation, especially when those on the non-entropic side are screaming because they don’t have enough time to get done what needs to be done. But that’s government work for you.

Then there’s that unknown random variable, in this case known as layoffs. Up to 600 are planned next year, starting in January. Frankly, if I’m on the list, I’d rather know now. That knowledge might juice up my current job search – again, an application of that energy going into work that isn’t useful.

I try to remain busy and useful. I do have some work to do, just not in the amounts I’d like to help fill the days and not in the amounts I’d like in order to help those who are feeling overwhelmed. Helping out with non-partitioned documents works to a point, but that’s not where the pressure is. Unfortunately, that’s where the budget pressure is, so relief won’t be coming any time soon, though relief is close at hand, available and willing. Seems unfair in a way.

So this is why I try to maintain other pursuits, outside of work, and outside of work hours.

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