Second up was the unilateral declaration by the new Chief Executive Operating Vice-Deity (or some such similar, meaningless title) that the Dress Down days which had happened on Friday, were to be finished. So it's back to shirt and ties for us now: as a protest, a large number of the department have taken to wearing the company tie on Friday (see a previous editorial for bitching about this fatuous waste of money), and finding the most horrific shirt they can to clash with it [in my case, a white shirt covered in huge black stars. It's brilliantly awful]. The dress down days were great; they broke down barriers and improved working relationships, as well as the obvious point that when you are comfortable, you work better. AND I got to show off my enormous collection of really cool T-shirts. This seems to be less important than the "image" presented to our clients -- even though, in the Siberia-like outpost of the company where we work, clients are rarer than hen's teeth.
Third, and on a more personal level, muggins is looking likely to be lumbered with the delights of the early shift. This means being at your desk at 7am in the morning -- which is, as you can imagine, pretty incompatible with life as we know it. Negotiation is currently under way to see what compensation we'll get for having our social life wrecked one week in four; but whatever it is, it won't be enough. There is NO amount of money in the world that will make me leap out of bed at 05:30 with a song in my heart, and a spring in my step. Only recreational pharmaceuticals, in life-threatening amounts, would be up to that task.
Between all this, and the imminent prospect of losing my nice, comfy window seat in favour of one next to the boss (which as any student of such things will know, is a passport to menial tasks galore), I am giving serious contemplation to changing my job, after nine years here in once capacity or other. The only thing keeping me here are the share options, and if the Asian stock markets continue to do their impersonation of a brick, even that won't be much of an inducement. Maybe 1998 will be the year I finally rip loose and head for the Elysian Fields of free-lance computing. On the other hand, that might mean I have to do actual WORK -- which most of the time isn't a serious threat where I am. But if the current climate continues to deteriorate, I might have to reconsider...