Wednesday, February 20, 2008

And now

Well, last week was a lot of fun, and all fun comes to an end eventually. I put The Husband on his plane north this morning.

The birthday was very successful, even without the cake and candles (I'm kinda ok with that). I got cards from people, some cool presents, and several free meals. Valentine's day was a little odd without my husband, but we chatted online, played a little City of Heroes together, and while not a perfect night out, it wasn't too bad.

We've lowered the price on the house yet again. There are only 200+ homes for sale IN OUR ZIP CODE. We go back and forth on the idea of renting -- yes, it would let me move north, but renters are a chancy lot, and we would still have to look out for the house and pay expenses for it. On the other hand, we are going to be renters, too, and we could hold on to the house until the market improves, or in case we actually do move back here (not likely, but anything is possible). We keep going back and forth on the issue -- as soon as it seems settled, something else comes up.

In any case, I have to get even more stuff packed up and moved into the garage. Then everything must be vacuumed, dusted, polished, mopped, swept, picked up, hidden, put away, or whatever else until the house looks JUST this side of lived in. I don't really want to -- I'd like to save all that energy for actually moving, and I miss a lot of the stuff already packed up. Nevertheless, everything I box is one less thing to box when we actually back the truck up to the house.

In other news, I've been ASSIGNED time to work with Little Monster each week until he learns to write a work instruction, is moved into another department, or is told he should check job opportunities at Wal-Mart. Yeah, two weeks later and he has not only continued to irritate everyone, he's underwhelmed even Bosszilla with his abilities. Now, when he walks into a department to talk to anyone, the supervisor is hovering -- apparently he took one of his work instructions to someone ON THE PRODUCTION FLOOR for review and proofing. This was wrong for two reasons: first, he has clear instructions that only The Husband is supposed to be reviewing his work; second, the people in production are producing, and they don't have time to proof his work. One of the supervisors interceded in this case and offered to review the thing, only to report back that even with 20 years experience he had no idea what Little Monster was talking about in the document.

Add to that Little Monster's "initiative" in starting instructions he hasn't been asked to do while not doing the ones he has been asked for, and you get some idea what I'm up against. I already have plans, though. I'm going to take in a flashlight, take it apart, have him assemble it, and then have him WRITE about how to assemble it. If he can't manage that, I'm gonna try Legos. Either he will get the idea or he will get tired and go away. But he's been assigned to me and I am not just 'helping' him -- my position as Work Instruction Guru has been reinforced in his Very Smart brain by Bosszilla himself. He does what I tell him when I tell him and to my satisfaction, or my reports about him won't be positive.

The funny thing is, I don't want Little Monster to fail. I feel kind of sad for him, a fish swimming in a new pond. He really seems unfamiliar with how to work in a private company in the US. The cultural differences between the private sector and academia are large enough. Add in cultural differences between his homeland and the US (especially Florida) and I grasp where he might feel the need to prove himself somehow.

My sympathy, though, it only about an inch deep. What I'm trying to teach just isn't that hard to learn. If he's really the smart guy with the big degree from the Very Good School, I would expect him to pick up on this skill set pretty quickly. I've asked him directly if language was a barrier, and he denies that it is. So...there ya go.

I'll tell you all about it on Friday, after my second session with him.

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