So the conference call yesterday was scheduled for a time when I am usually on the train, and my government boss knew that and was fine with me calling in from my cell, so I left at the usual time. I kept an eye on my timepiece and at the appointed hour I dialed in. And was immediately asked for a passcode. Which I did not have written on the scrap of paper where I had jotted down the conference call number, so I tried to avail myself of the operator, only to wind up on hold for many minutes on end. I had e-mailed my boss a run down of all the information that I could have possibly provided on the call, so I just hoped for the best and hung up and steeled myself for a bumpy morning.
But today was fairly smooth. My boss stopped by to say that the whole call took only 5 minutes, the IT director is on our side, and we should start seeing some results. So, woot woot there. I still have no idea who actually owns the systems I’m trying to get access to, but the IT director himself took responsibility for finding out or signing the authorization paperwork himself, so that’s a plus. All my boss asked me to do was e-mail the IT director a technical overview of what specific technologies the system I’m trying to migrate runs on. No problem.
So then, mid-morning or so, I was contacted by the IT director’s assistant, who had questions for me about my clearance level for classified access and whatnot. Apparently, if I were an IT employee myself, whether government or contractor, I would have gone through very specific background checks, but as I’m a contractor on a more general assignment I wouldn’t have, necessarily. I OK’ed him looking up my info, and it turns out I don’t have the special bonus investigation on record. So now that’s another hoop to be jumped through, albeit one where I only have to fill out some paperwork and then wait for the investigation to proceed. This seems to be yet another example of how this whole project has dragged on and on for so long that the floor has literally shifted beneath my feet. Back at the beginning the coordinator between my agency and IT identified what needed to be done and I’ve been doing those things, and in the mean time new policies have gone into effect and what the old coordinator originally laid out as a roadmap has now been superseded so that in some ways it’s like I’m starting from square one.
But one additional bit of good fortune (derived pretty much directly from having the IT director on our side now) is that it is possible for me to obtain a waiver and start the next phase of work on the project sooner rather than later, with the background investigation still pending. Presumably if I were to fail the background check my permissions would be immediately revoked. And I kind of would love to see that happen, if it happens after I’ve moved the damn system where it needs to be, because honestly if I’m not allowed to touch it again after it’s moved I don’t care. I just need to move it. Or have someone else move. But no one else will move it, so that’s on me. And I should be starting that move soon.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the work-play equation, I happily noticed that the brand new neighborhood brewpub within walking distance of my house, which has had an OPENING SOON! banner in the window for several months now, is in fact about to throw its grand opening bash. It is doing this a week from tomorrow, and I am very tempted to attend, even though that would mean getting home from work, paying the babysitter, and loading all the kids in strollers and/or wagon to amble back up the street to the shopping center. That’s a lot of work just to get in on the ground floor of enjoying hyperlocal beer (all the better to roll my eyes and sigh disdainfully someday about how they used to be better before they sold out) but it’s good for the kids to see Mommy and Daddy supporting local businesses, right? I might need to check the local ordinances about transporting growlers of ale and small children in the same wagon. (Considering the relative age and history of my city, I would not be surprised if there actually were statutes pertaining to those exact circumstances on the books, actually.)
The main point, I suppose, is that things at work are not yet all sunshine and lollipops but they are not quite so bleak as to have me quitting in a rage. I can hang in there and continue to allow them to keep me flush with beer money, and that is on balance a good thing.