The case of the never-closing support ticket

Usually, they are too quick to close issues that have not been solved.
This time, for fun, they will not close an issue that was successfully resolved in July last year.
Hilarity ensues.

I posted this not too long ago. Huh. I should probably find something else to whinge about.

In case you’re wondering, the attachment referred to in the entry for July 22 is here.

eProductivity: Survey Results are in

I’ve mentioned eProductivity before. Recently, they did a survey of their users, and here are some interesting factoids:

  • 97.3% of respondents feel like they receive a large amount of work-related emails
  • 55.8% use a BlackBerry while 34.8% use an iPhone
  • 90.4% said eProductivity saves them time, and 72.1% of those people said eProductivity saves them 30 minutes or more every day.
  • 87.1% said eProductivity makes it easy to get an empty email inbox
  • 91.2% can access LinkedIn at work, but only 73.5% can access Twitter
  • 90.5% reported being satisfied with Lotus Notes when using eProductivity, but only 31.1% reported being satisfied with Lotus Notes when eProductivity was taken out of the mix

The last fact sums it up: If you must use Notes, you must you eProductivity. It is that simple.

Second Breakfast

We have started referring to the snack at around 10 or 10:30 as second breakfast.  Not to be confused with elevenses, this is the little meal you have at work with your first coffee.

You can see this happening everywhere, and the term “second breakfast” is very convenient.  At the old building, there was a very good little Cerveceria in the ground floor, where you could get tostado con tomate, aciete y jamon.

Nowadays, this consists of people cramming into little vending machine vestibule and having a sandwich brought from home.  And when one of the two vending machines is broken, it’s best to avoid this time due to the lines.

eProductivity and GTD

Ok, I’ve never been a big fan of Lotus Notes, especially since we were stuck on version 6 for so long.  For a couple years, I took an Outlook break, and I’m also hooked on Gmail.

The upgrade to version 8 is a huge relief.

My good friend Toby put me onto the book by David Allen, “Getting Things Done”, which is a productivity system that really seems to work.  During my stint with Outlook, I started using the GTD add-in, and loved it so much that the idea of giving it up when I moved back into the Lotus world was a real bummer.

Then I found eProductivity, the GTD solution for Lotus Notes.  It is a replacement of the standard mail template.  I have installed it on my company laptop, without having any special privileges (or permission), and I have had no problems at all with replication or interaction with other corporate applications.  This is a significant statement considering the standard of our IT deparment, and the quality of our internal applications.

Luckily for me, I was an early Beta tester of the 1.x version, and just recently was selected for the 2.x Beta program.

Anyone who is interested should check out the Getting Started Video, and then download the trial template.  They have done a very good job of the trial template – it will copy a sample of your inbox, and guide you through the GTD process of emptying it.

SAP Warning

Do you want to proceed?
Do you want to proceed?

When logging on to do submit some expenses, I was asked about the Transaction CO Through-postings from F1, and about how they were locked.

You better ask yourself, “Do you want to proceed?  Well, do ya? Punk?!

Update: Turns out that this means that month has been closed.  It remains to be seen what that means for my expense claim.

DIY router upgrade (aka IT department workaround)

Lifehacker – Hack Attack: Turn your $60 router into a $600 router – DIY.

Funny, I had this draft post hanging around for a while, and then I came across this exact router configuration at work.  Turns out it was easier, faster and cheaper to buy 2 routers, flash the new firmware, and set up a point-to-point wireless connection into the staging area than it was to rely on the company’s IT department to do it.

They wanted to charge thousands of euros for a similar solution.  Thousands.   Seriously, the staging area is in the next room.

The IT department is actually outsourced to another company owned by the same parent company.  They offer shit service at a high price, and using them is mandatory.  I can’t say their name, but I say that it rhymes with this:

The new workplace: food

This post was drafted 23rd March, 2010, when I was living in Spain and working in the brand new campus built by the parent company. I’ve since relocated, and the parent company sold the company I worked for, who have since relocated out of the campus into another location. The rules below are no longer in effect.


Perhaps the biggest disappointed have been the rules regarding food.

Although I haven’t been able to find an official document, the following are the rules:

  • The cafeteria is not open outside the hours of 1:30 and 3:30
  • There are no kitchens any where else in any buildings.  No microwaves, no kettles, no sinks.
  • Coffee is only available from vending machines, and it is not very good terrible.
  • There is no tea.
  • There is no hot water to make your own tea.
  • You are not allowed to eat at your desk
  • You are not allowed to eat within the campus, but you are encouraged to enjoy the common green areas, which include lovely landscaping, ponds, plants and so on.  But only for a total of 30 minutes a day (see previous post)
  • You are not allowed to bring your own food into the cafeteria.
  • Cafeteria meals are a choice between 3 styles, and 2 sizes.  Large size is 7€, small size is 5€.
  • You can opt for a novation, which saves you 2€ on both sizes, and is deducted directly from your salary.

Some observations after the first couple of days:

  • The quality of the food is poor
  • The cafeteria does not have any of the sound proofing present in all the other buildings, so the result of thousands of people all eating within the alloted time is a cacophony that makes dining unpleasant.
  • People are bringing in their own food, and eating it in the car park. A bunch of these people were fired, and people stopped doing this.
  • People are driving out to the local neighborhoods and scoffing a sandwich and rushing back so as not to be penalised for being late.
  • Morning tea is a popular Spanish tradition, and people are now bringing in a sandwich, and standing around in the cramped vending machine vestibules.
  • People are very, very angry.  They are comparing the owner of the parent company to Mr Burns.

More Firewall weirdness

Ok, not weird, just crap.

This link is blocked:  The resulting page said it was in the “pornography” category.

Out of frustration, I typed in “Dirty Sex Sluts” into Google and selected the first link.  Can you guess what happened? I wasn’t blocked!  Boom! Full-on porn right there, on my screen, in the middle of the cube-farm!

And yet, I’m told that I can’t have the RDP port opened between internal offices on an intranet because of security concerns.  Right.

Lotus Notes: Wasting screen real estate

Screen real estate is precious.  If I want to see my calender for the week, on a 1280×800 screen, I expect to be able to see all the appointments for the week.

Lotus Notes somehow manages to not be able to show me more than about the first 10 characters of my appointments, and wastes all sorts of space in the process!