F for Phil

The most frustrating part of the job I’ve encountered so far relate to language barriers. Had to call up a meat processing plant to install some software for admin staff.

They use a 25 year old program written in Assembly running on an IBM AS/400 from 1989 to track the meat from farm to fork. But I was calling to install a program for vector graphics for signatures. The person did not have English as a native language, and all of their files were written in Polish. An announcement in Polish came over the intercom while I was in the call.

Their firewall is very strict, and the usual things like Teamviewer, Logmein weren’t working. So I tried to walk the user through the step by step process to install the software and fix their internet issue. Big mistake. It was a painstaking, repetitive sequence to a user that couldn’t understand what I was asking, and couldn’t give me information.

So I got them to get me their IP address, allow remote connections, and then RDP’d into their machine’s admin account. This took about 25 minutes. The actual install took 90 seconds from start to finish. The user had also gone home the next day, so I had to repeat the process again the next day to troubleshoot their “internet issues”. They were trying to bypass the firewall to get on Facebook and the like, and had disabled lots of things in their Internet Explorer.

This required me to log into their account, which required me to get the user’s password. Their pronunciation of the individual letters was non-standard: “i” as in icon sounded like “eecon”, so that required another 5 minutes to reliably get the password. Which wasn’t working for whatever reason. I had to reset the password anyway from the server, and again RDP’d into the desktop, enabled the IE settings (those who still use IE will rarely change to another browser), and unfucked their shit.

No one expects foreigners to know technical terms in the local language, and it’s a high-level thing to know that. It’s like when I was in China, I took a call from a provincial salesman of ours, and only threw my hands up to say I was a foreigner and couldn’t understand when he started talking about CAT scanners and X-rays. So I can sympathise.

If I go to China, I don’t know how feasible doing suppport-side IT work will be.  But I may be going to England first, depending on if the woman is successful in an interview next week. I think it’s worth considering the software engineering side of the degree.

Ruby on Rails project is nearly finished for tomorrow. Then one final android thing for next week. After that, exams start of May, and final project due May 20th.

All this stress and ass-sitting is making me worry about my back and neck, but they have been mostly pain-free. I feel loose enough, and have been getting a little stronger.

Excercises are OK, generally getting it 2-3 times weekly.

2 mins front.

1.45 side

3×6 pullups

12.5kg DB press x 10

10kg external rotation x 20

2.5kg x 15 lying RC rotation

20 one leg bridges with heel raised

25 pushups pain free. Will probably start progressing these 3×12. I’m supposed to do 40 pain free.

glute raise x 60

110-120km cycling weekly at 25-30km/h average. At probably under 5 hours total.


3 thoughts on “F for Phil

  1. Unrelated, but I’m watching the Macross TV series now and at episode 4. I like the amount of times Hikaru has gone literally full retard and had it turn out OK. Prop plane while in the upper level of Earth’s atmosphere during a space fold? Eh, it’s cool. Break some pipes on the Macross ship, Lynn Minmay takes a shower.

  2. Here’s something great. My sister is in state college and in a Java programming class for her library science degree. Her boyfriend does most of her work. She never knew until I told her about 20 minutes ago that “View Page Source” option on websites even existed.

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