Jul
03
2006

A different world

I think women should have big ears. One that stick out a fair bit, although quite thin still, not huge ones in all directions. The idea being they don’t have to constantly put their hair behind them because it keeps getting in their way. If they were larger (or even just a bit hooked) then it would stay behind them through the roughest of circumstances.

When I said women then I wasn’t actually 100% sure that was right, should I be saying girls. Hmm, actually, girls seems a big young and women seems a bit old (well, in my mind at least). I guess the interim is teenager, but that’s just odd. Why is it during the part of your life when you learn about/explorer sexuality is the one time you are not distinguished from the other. Strange.

Right, well today was my first day at Merrill Lynch and while I’m on firsts it was my first day in a “real” working environment. I feel as most of the people who read this are very much in the thrust of education (and holiday) I shall enlighten you on this deep dark world.

We in the IT industry think we use a lot of what we call TLA’s (Three Letter Acronym’s). We are correct, we do use a lot of them. What we don’t often realise is that the business word uses an awful lot of them too. Now in your head combine a business (think big) and IT (on a large scale). What you have left is a new language. I say language because it is beyond a code or even a dialect.

I think an example would be MLFC. This stands for Merrill Lynch Financial Centre. Now that’s very simple, its just a building. Now say it fast (something like EMMILLEFFSEE). What happens is it goes together to almost form some strange new word. Or an even more annoying one. FX mean for Foreign Exchange. Noe what happens when you say FX quickly, you get “effects”. So you might get “How are the current effects going”. That’s even worse than a new language, it’s buggering up the meanings off words we already know.

Ok, enough on that little rant, down to the day/cool stuff. My day started at 10am in London. This meant I was up at 6:50am here. I did this partly to get ready for Tuesday (tomorrow) when I have to come in at 9 and partly so I had time to wander around a bit before I started. I got up on the train dripping buckets of sweat (“nice warm day” would not being doing it justice) and had loads of time to walk to all the little stations round there and find the quick routes around. I then turned up at reception at 10am as instructed. Seems today was when a whole load of summer temp staff started because the queue for getting security passes took forever. I was waiting/being seen for about an hour and 20mins. Anyway, got that all done an dusted and went up to meet the rest of the team. After about half an hour of sorting out logins and chatting we all went down the pub for about an hour and a half. I’m told this is not how the normal working day goes, but I can dream. We chatted and just generally socialised over a few drinks (on the company card) before I was shifted onwards. You see, there is a change of plan, I’m not going to that department, I’m going to work at its sister department about 15mins walk down the road because they are short of staff. I’ve been told I’m being thrown in at the deep end, so that should be interesting.

Ok, the cool stuff about working in offices (well, this one). For one thing I look important as hell, and that always has to rate highly on the coolness meter. Next is a matter of coolness very close to my heart, air conditioning. This stuff (especially today) is a God send. Its single disadvantage is when you exit the building. You get hit by this wall of warm air and it’s nasty. Another very cool thing about where I work is us developers get dual 19inch TFT monitors with amazingly cool thin bezels and fun stands. Oh, and the chairs, they just rock, they must be like £300 each. It has the best part of 10 different things you can change, even the way the arm rest points!

Ok, I need to stop with the “school kid excitement” style entry, but trust me, they were cool.

The hours are exceptionally flexible and the environment is very relaxed. Its more, “You do your work to the standard we set and we don’t care after that” sort. Also, what you wear depends on how long you have been there, hence a manager of 20years service is in shorts and t-shit…in an office!

Ok, things that are not cool.

I am have been told that someone was fired for dropping a few tables by accident on the live system. Apparently they weren’t even very important tables but it caused about 30 people not to be able to do any work for a day, and that costs more than that persons salary. Myself I haven’t even added the Live environment database servers to my SQL sever list.

Another not co cool thing is the travelling. It could be worse, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it as it is. It’s an hour each way and it’s a very busy route. I didn’t sit for the journey up much really.

Hmm, I can’t think of that many bad things, well that’s a good start. I’m sure more will make themselves known in time though.

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