Thursday, December 22, 2016

Will This Day EVER End?

NOTE: Today is the last work day prior to curtailment – tradition at the Idaho National Laboratory says the “Site” is shut down for Taint, the period between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Typically for me, a technical writer, it’s a slow day. So I thought I’d keep a log, bowing, of course to the new Conduct of Operations training I took earlier in the week which says to record everything.

0722 – Today has the markings of a long day written all over it. Only a half dozen people on the bus this morning, and already things at work are quiet. I’m here for the whole day. We’ll see how it goes.

0723 – The tray my keyboard is on squeaks a lot. Not as noticeable when it’s noisier here. Maybe if I move it a little. Yeah, that’s better.

0726 – My Christmas pistachios are gone. Now what am I gonna do?

0730 – I have no idea what I’m going to do today. My paper clips are still sorted from the last time we had a slow day.

0743 – Returned from potty break. Overheard two former cow-punchers talk about punching cows – they really used that term – in severely below zero weather. Decided if I were a cow-puncher, I’d let the cows punch themselves if it were too cold.

0755 – Just had a visit from one of the shift supervisors with a form revision. Didn’t expect actual work to appear today.

0757 Good news: I am officially done with my BYU-Idaho classes. Though having papers to grade today might have been a good thing.

0808 – There’s still at least one member of upper management here (at least in the AM). Better put my pants back on.

0814 – More work coming in? What the hell is this, a full-time job or something? They’ll have to deal with the fact that I can start a document revision, but that with many people gone and the rest of them going mostly before noon today, it ain’t gonna be finished by close of business. Which’ll make coming back to work really interesting. Good thing I hadn’t planned on taking Jan. 2 off.

0827 – Although I was going to ask for it off. Guess I won’t now.

0859 – Futzing over a white paper for which I’m getting additions today. This was supposed to be a slack day.

0907 – And now ANOTHER “gotta have it now” procedure fix. Don’t these people look at their calendars? Ya just gotta laugh, clown, laugh.

1008 – This is at least helping the day go by faster.

1044 – Hit a small lull. Sent a document into town for some formatting assistance. Calm before the storm, I’m sure.

1045 – I suppose I could still catch an early bus . . . 

1110 – Still in a lull. Things are brewing; I can hear them. But as time ticks by, more and more people will be taking the early buses home. So, whatever is cooking out there won’t be done until the oven dings in January.

1128 – There goes my environmental reviewer. Abandon Hope All Ye Who Bring Emergency Document Revisions.

1133 – Waiting for our text processor in town to fix a formatting issue on aforementioned white paper. I’m sure she’s as shocked as I am that there’s work to be done today.
1159 – Day nearly halfway done. Potential reviewers fleeing. And it smells of ham and disinfectant in the cafeteria. For lunch: Ice and diet caffeine-free Coke, meaning I get the health detriments of diet soda but not the altertness-inducing caffeine.

1201 – One of the “emergency” document guys is on the phone apologizing to one of the bosses – who alerted him to the emergency and then scarpered – for calling him. I’d say CALL AWAY.

1211 – I think what’s happened is that it dawned on management that getting one document out earlier this week, which allowed one box of waste to be brought here, was only one part of the puzzle and many other things have to happen before that box can be opened. So they want to repeat the process. I’m a little hazy on the details. And maybe I’m wrong. I’m just a one-man rumor mill here.

1248 – White paper draft is back to the customers. There’s a little whooping and hollering from the corner where the other potential emergency is. Who knows what brews there?

1309 – Pee break.

1318 – From the corner, much discussion. Sounds like Monday, Jan. 2, is shaping up to be hellish. And today, maybe a prelude to hell.

1323 -- I REALLY should have taken the day off. Or not. Because getting blindsided with a rush on the first day back would be pretty stinky.

1354 – Naughty words emanating from the corner.

1414 – “It’s a buncha bulls**t today,” from the corner. “It’s supposed to be an easy day.” Amen, brother.

1420 – Reading this.

1427 – Just got called to the corner. Yeah, emergency’s likely off for today, due to lack of time and reviewers. But Jan. 2 is gonna be fun.

1454 – Things are getting quiet. And that’s okay with me. I’m ready for a break.

1520 – Now have a hot document in hand, building the review form for it. Monday’s gonna be great, I can tell already.

1539 – Review for emergency document was out . . .  for about thirty seconds. Heard “F-word” from the corner, then a request to kill the review. There were other babblings as to a reason why, but I was too far away to hear. Anyhoo, that’s how things work here sometimes, even when the platypus who was controlling me is no longer underneath the table.

1552 – And it’s out for review again, on a different review form. Panic evaded.

1553 – Only just over an hour to go. I may go lock myself in the Records Storage closet.

1601 – One. Hour. To. Go.

1604 – Error: Desire to Go On for Another Hour Not Found.

1621 – First email from a reviewer on curtailment. Surprisingly, not an angry one.

1630 – Half. Hour. To. Go. But my bag is packed with the stuff I brought to keep myself busy while I had a slack day. Didn’t use any of it.

1637 – Folding up this log. Wondering whether I should clean my desk off. I’m partial to no.

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