All in a day’s work

I work most of the week as a ‘business analyst’ which is a fancy way of saying that I do a lot of different things while sitting at a desk. I research new vendors/suppliers, place and track orders with existing vendors, confirm that invoices for equipment or services that have been received can be paid, etc., plus anything else that needs doing, including writing process, procedure and policy documents.  Some of it is boring and most of it is mundane, but the people are great… and a good relationship with my fellow employees means a lot to me.

“I searched for ‘Pussy Riot’ and this was what I got.”

Every week I get a ‘web use report’ emailed automatically from some bit of software in our network that I think is supposed to keep people from surfing the face-tubes or the you-books all day long. This shows me, with colorful pie-graphs, which users are downloading viruses or pornography or making hacking related searches or violence related searches.  Unfortunately, the software is usually quite tone-deaf — recently it exploded because nearly half of the people on the network viewed something related to ‘PUSSY RIOT.’  I suppose pornography buffs would have been disappointed when the ‘Pussy Riot’ search returned pictures of three fully dressed women sitting in a fish tank enclosure in a Russian court room.  I also get alerts for ‘hacking related’ search terms whenever one of the engineers that work here read something online about ‘Cracking.’ Unfortunately, the software doesn’t know the difference between ‘how to go about cracking a password’ and ‘Lab studies of stress cracking in polycarbonate widgets.’ Plus there are other funny ones, like when it flagged someone’s search for ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.’  Apparently, ‘teen’ and ‘teenage’ search terms are always flagged because pornographers like those key words — go figure. Usually, the searches that people at my workplace do are disappointingly mundane.  I guess I’m supposed to just make sure no one is doing searches like, “How to build a pipe bomb” or “What gun is best for going on a shooting spree?” and watch out for obvious and outrageous policy violations.  

In other job news, there may soon be an opening in the Maryland Legislature for a Republican delegate, so if you are between positions and live in Maryland, consider sending in your resume.  Delegate Don Dwyer was piloting a motorboat while shitfaced drunk and crashed his boat into another boat, injuring a total of 6 people (including himself). His re-election was considered a slam dunk up until he went sailing with ‘Capn’ Morgan.’ Dwyer is famous for being a vocal opponent to same sex marriage, because, in the delegate’s opinion, it “hurts children.” Ironically, several of the injured in the boat that the drunken Dwyer crashed into were children, so I would have to point out that it looks to me as if drunken state delegates piloting speed boats are probably more of a danger to the health of children than gay people getting married. 


One Comment on “All in a day’s work”

  1. Talysman says:

    The good news is: the people who were searching for “PUSSY RIOT” probably *were* looking for pictures — well, articles — about that court case. It's been in the international news lately. Can't tell you much about it, since most of what I know comes from Language Log, which has been examining the linguistic aspects (euphemisms, how they write their band name in Cyrillic, etc.)


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