January 28th, 2005


Today is the Anniversary of the Challenger Blow-up

has a well-written first person account, and several pages of "where I was" comments

Here's mine:

When I arrived at my Silicon Valley workplace, a now-deceased modem company, I was greeted at the door by the always-joking, always-smiling East Indian head of the repair lab, who said the shuttle had blown up. He was smiling. He seemed to be pulling my leg. But he insisted he was not. We went into the lab where the TV was on and everyone was watching the aftermath.

We didn't get much work done that day.

My little sister was devastated. She lived in Laconia, NH, about 25 miles from where Christa McAuliffe taught. After the Teacher-in-Space contest, *everyone* in NH knew her. My sister later worked for NASA, and was the launch social director for the FUSE project, an un-manned ultraviolet space telescope.

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All Hands

Every month after the board of directors has met, our CEO has an all hands meeting to tell us the latest news and numbers, and basically show us the same presentation the board was given.

Last month they said they were pushing to expand the tech support department. That's my group. This month it was the QA department, which they call QE, possibly because there is no assurance of quality, only some engineering vaguely aimed in that direction.

Next month it will be the finance department. It has to be because the entire department was fired or quit last month, and they just introduced us to the new CFO at this meeting.

I only just barely made the meeting because one of our big customers had me on a conference call for two hours, the final 20 minutes of which they had established that the problems were not from our machine, but on a couple of network gadgets.

I'm on call this week - pager duty starts on Friday morning. I'd made reservations to see a friend who is starring in San Jose City Light's production of The Waiting Room, not knowing I was on call - I thought it was next week. Since it looked almost certain I would get paged tonight, I canceled and re-booked for next weekend. Bummer.

And I told my boss that if the focus is going to be on QA, I'm going to ask for a transfer. Get me off the damned pager, and away from the short notice travel. Which means I could do theater again.