File Under: It Was Bound to Happen

Looks like today the honeymoon is over.  The Metra train from Lombard to Chicago was over an hour late.  In a moment of wisdom, Metra decided not to charge the angry, waiting riders.  Still…  that’s a lot of time to waste at a train stop.  Can someone say suck.

The worst part is that I was supposed to meet a buddy for dinner to celebrate his new job.  Since I didn’t know how long the train would be I called it off.  We rescheduled for next week.

Then my very cool bike decided today to have a weird problem.  The latch that keeps the folded part together while riding decided to loosen.  Fortunately, it stayed together enough for me to get home without much fuss.  I was able to fix the problem when I got home tonight (I hope).  Fingers crossed for the ride tomorrow.

In other news, my boss is nuts.  He’s basically forcing everyone to change offices.  I think it’s his way to keep our minds off the recent layoffs.  I have news for him…  not really working.  And joy of joys… I get to move into a windowless office that is half the size of my current one.  Yay?

And to leave on a positive note…  Here’s some music you might find interesting…

http://www.myspace.com/timfite

http://www.myspace.com/disfear

http://www.myspace.com/sonsanddaughters

Later Gators!

Consolidated

The e-mail about a mandatory meeting was suspicious.  Anytime you have a surprise mandatory meeting, you know it’s not good.  Well, the accounting department has been “consolidated” which is company-speak for we’re moving all the jobs to a central location.  Which, of course, means that everyone you know is essentially being laid off.

Even though I work in IT, I’m actually part of the accounting department.  It’s just one of the weird things about my company.  Luckily, the IT focus of my job means that I stay while others had to pack up their belongings and leave.

Spent the day calling a lot of friends in other offices to see who was staying and who was gone.  Had a pretty rough conversation with one of my oldest pals in the company.  He was given a choice to stay or go.  He chose to leave because he was close to retirement anyway.  I’ll be drinking a beer for him and the rest of the folks I won’t be interacting with anymore.

Today I’m feeling equal parts relief, shock and sadness.  Wake me up when the walls stop spinning.

–sam

Privacy?

Originally published at Kickin’ the new Kuh-nowledge. You can comment here or there.

Received a letter from the powers that be at work.  They will be doing an audit of health insurance beneficiaries to verify that the people employees list as dependents are actually…  well… you know…  dependents.  It’s a way to save money, and I totally get that.

However, they’ve hired an outside auditing firm to do the checking for them.  Where it gets really interesting is the part where we receive a letter in the mail that basically says.  Send proof of your status or we will turn off your health insurance.  If you’re married, you need to send a copy of your marriage certificate.  If you have kids, you need to send copies of birth certificates.

It was at that point that I said…  Whu????  You want me to send a copy of my marriage cert to some unknown third party?  Wouldn’t it make better sense for me to bring in a copy of the cert… show it to my boss and sign an affidavit of some sort?  Why on earth would I send it to some company I have no prior relationship with (heck, I doubt I would even send it to companies that I “trust”).

The response from my HR department is that these things are public records and readily obtainable by anyone.  My response, is, of course, if they are readily obtainable by anyone then why are you asking me to send them to this third party?  Shouldn’t the third party be able to…  well…  you know… obtain them without me being involved.

The reason why this argument falls flat on its face is that even though these records are obtainable, they aren’t readily obtainable.  It costs money to have the state send you a copy of some public record.  That is the check that state agencies put on just anybody asking for these things.  The idea being that forcing people to pay for these things is enough of a deterrent on just anybody grabbing these things up.  It’s not perfect, but there you have it.

Let’s be clear…  it’s not like I have a choice in the matter.  It’s not like I’m going to fight it on principle while they pull the plug on my wife’s health insurance.  The funniest part of this whole thing for me was when they told me, “We’ve hired this third party for YOUR privacy.”  Say what?  Laughable, I know.

As I told my HR folks…  I’m sure we’ll all have a laugh when the cost of this auditing firm is added to the list of reasons our health insurance goes up next year.

–sam