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Things ain't what they used to be. - The Paranoid Android
...musings of a mechanically depressed robot...
Things ain't what they used to be.
Today: Woody and the Fish are leaving JPMF after a combined 45 years of service. Both have been a part of my "team" for as long as I have worked for the various companies that have become JPMF, and that is a very long time.

This has caused a fair amount of retrospection, and a whole load of nostalgia. So today will go down as a milestone. The end of an era. Maybe even the beginning of the end. What with Murph, Berone and Stoney disappearing in the next 3 weeks the days of the Romford Crew are numbered.

Woody, the Fish, Murph and I spoke about how the times have changed in the pub last night. Murph was lamenting how his leaving drinks couldn't be tonight... and how the "old company" would have let him go early. Things really were diferent back then. They were not just different - they were better!

Looking back though nostalgia tinted glasses can make things seem a whole lot better than they really were, but even if you just stick to the basic facts things really were not as bad as they are now. The firm as a whole might not have cared about you as much as you thought it did, but the team did, right from the top to the bottom.

I was just a kid back then, still wet behind the ears and I thought I knew it all. I thought rules and restrictions were for the other people - you know - the sheep of the world. I accessed the computer network with someone elses password. This someone else was a techy god in my eyes back then. He had access to lots of stuff on our system that I didn't. I signed in as him for that very reason, I had foolishly deleted some work, and I wanted to be able to restore it. I knew he had access to the Norton Utilities, and I knew that came with a program that could undelete files.

This all happened on a weekend... a weekend that the techy guys were running some test software that tracked who was logged in and roughly where they were. This was cutting edge stuff - and I didn't know a danm thing about it. When they checked their records on Monday morning, they saw that the "Techy God" has signed in, and they knew he wasn't in that weekend. They also knew that there were only about 6 other people that were in that weekend and I was the number one suspect. After all - most of the other people in the office were the sheep types.

They approached the head of the Finance department, and demanded that I be fired on the spot. I was called to his office, and there was the head of IT, the head network admin guy, two or three other assorted managers and the Techy God. I knew instantly I was in a lot of trouble. The head of Finance, Rodger, was a big guy and he had a fierce reputation.

Before anyone else had a chance to say anything he asked me if I had been in the office on the weekend. I had. It was the look he gave me when he asked the next question that I remember to this day. He asked if I had signed into a computer as anyone other than myself. Now I knew that to do so was very bad, but I also knew he was the kind of guy that would rather the truth be told than make things worse, and I am generally the sort of guy to come clean very quickly. It has saved my neck many a time. But that look put me on my guard. Suddenly I knew that if I wanted to have a job ever again then I knew I had to tell this assembled lynch mob that there was no way I had signed in as anybody else. I said "No."

He dismissed me before anyone else could say anything - and there was a clear disagreement behind the closed door.

I was summoned back to his office within minutes. This time is was just me and him. Needless to say he knew damn well it had been me, and he didn't need me to admit it. He told me that if I ever abused the technology at work I'd be instantly fired. He told me that he better not ever find out that I had abused the technology the previous weekend. He then tore me a new arse. But the thing that I remember is he looked out for me. He wasn't going to give me to the dogs. He knew as well as I did that I had done that, but he stuck his neck out for me and protected me from the lynching party.

That incedent was never discussed in work again. The Techy God and I eventually made our peace without me ever admitting to doing wrong, and very few people at work know it ever happened, and although a couple may find out from this entry, the few that did already are leaving so I guess it evens itself out in the end.

That event could never take place now. I would have been fired. The Gov'ner wouldn't have to think twice before ridding himself of the problem. There is no longer the family that was my working team.

Over the next few weeks as my friends depart for pastures new, I will be reminded how different things are now, and how old and cynical I have become.

Things really ain't what they used to be.

Tags: ,
Current Mood: nostalgic nostalgic

2 comments or Leave a comment
brightspot From: brightspot Date: August 15th, 2003 05:52 am (UTC) (Link)
*sits in completely sympathetic understanding of this emotion*

But maybe they get better, eh? Surely if they didn't, ages of humans would have killed themselves in their 30's. Memories of better, kinder, more loving times can't possibly be enough for anyone to live on for a lifetime.

*crosses her fingers* I hope.
teya_uk From: teya_uk Date: August 15th, 2003 06:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Where were you at lunchtime :(
2 comments or Leave a comment