What Annoys Jeff this Week?

The One Network that Rules Them All. When I got back to the office on Monday my computer didn’t work. Well, it worked, but the network didn’t. After 30 hours we stretched a Ethernet cable halfway to Baltimore so I could at least check email, but so far the official response has been “we have a help ticket in.” If you want an employee to be productive it feels like the minimum they should do is make sure you have basic office equipment that works. But alas, that seems to be a bridge too far.

National security. Apparently the cell phone storage area at the office presents a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States. The solution to this was to move the unlocked cabinet that contains 20-30 personally owned cell phones at any given time out into an open hallway. Perhaps we have served national security, but it feels like all we’ve really done is encourage property theft in the process. Call me crazy, but leaving an $800 phone unsecured in a building where people steal pie from the fridge feels just a little bit stupid. Net result, instead of being able to check my phone periodically during the day when I’m on my way to to meetings or go take a whiz, I’ll now be adopting a smoker’s schedule and schlepping out to my car once an hour. If only there were an easier way to be compliant and not try to pretend your employees live in 1983. Sigh.

Blaming others for bad personal decisions. Two douchebags were cornered in a cheap motel room by the police earlier this week in my adopted home town. Then they decided that being on the run from felony charges in another state wasn’t the only bad decision they wanted to make. One after another they raised their very realistic looking BB guns and very quickly paid the price for that level of stupidity. There are a couple of lessons here: 1) If you’re planning on making a last stand, try to have something with a bit more kick than a kid’s toy and 2) If you’re wanted on a felony warrant and the tactical unit shows up, all of your options from that point forward are bad for you… but some are worse than others. Now to the people who say it should have been ended peacefully, that they should have starved them out, all I can say that the only people to blame for these deaths are the ones that ended up getting killed. They committed a violent crime, they fled the jurisdiction, and when the police caught up with them they threatened the officers. I’m sure they were someone’s son and daughter, after all someone loves even the most useless of human beings, but as for me, well, sometimes I think it’s nice when the gene pool cleans itself a bit.

Could he give up an arm instead…

I was perusing the New York Times mobile site this morning and ran across a story that actually made me feel sorry for a professional politician. It seems that because of some combination of national security concerns and the desire to avoid having email subpoenaed in the future, when he assumes office President-Elect Obama will have to give up his Blackberry. I guess I had never really thought of the president having time to send out missives from a potus@us.gov email address, but I think as president, my first executive order would be stay the hell away from my cellie.

The civilized world has embraced email as part and parcel of daily life. Surely a country that has tens of thousands of men and women who spend their working lives coming up with sophisticated cryptographic devices and ciphers can come up with a way to let the leader of the free world read his gmail and send a few text messages. Seriously, I get jumpy when I haven’t checked my email in an hour or two. Four years in an email free zone is just way too far beyond the pale. I say buck the system, Mr. President-Elect; make a Charlton Heston-esq stand for your inalienable right to wireless communication!