Monday, December 12, 2005


For some time now, I have suspected that upper management has been playing cubicle chess with us peons. Workers have been shuffled from cube to cube, floor to floor, and in some cases building to building with no explanation or apparent logic. The microwave ovens keep moving. Every couple of weeks at lunchtime I see people wandering around clutching frozen dinners looking for their latest hiding place. The game finally ended. Last Friday they cleared the game board and set the pieces back up, by which I mean they relocated all of us to another building. I now have a further drive to get to a parking lot further from the building in which I work. The new office is much brighter than the last one, which is not good first thing in the morning. The new cubicles are much smaller and have windows in them to ensure we have no semblance of privacy at all. At least the carpet has a hint of red in it to liven the otherwise dead grey and brown color scheme.

Friday was a fun waste of time. We got to wear jeans for the move. The plan was to have everything packed and ready for the move beginning at 9:00 AM. After seeing the old stuff off we would take a long lunch, arrive at the new building, reassemble our offices and get back to work. Our stuff didn’t arrive until after business hours, so I stayed a late to connect my PC, ensure that it worked, and then I drove home.

Saturday I had planned to use for heavy duty writing and catching up on old projects. Project one was to discover why my DSL has been so slow and to fix it. After some tinkering, I discovered that the surge suppressor outlet for the phone like was slowing things, so I ran the line directly from the wall and got it back up to speed. While clicking on a button in my browser, a window popped up in front of it and I clicked it instead. I never saw what it said, but I suddenly found my computer infected with a bunch of spyware programs. I ran my antivirus program, something called AVG Free which I no longer recommend, and it confirmed the computer was infected but couldn’t fix the problem. I uninstalled it, reinstalled Norton Anti-Virus, and ran it. It was able to get rid of the main virus (something with the word KLONE in the title), but not all of the infected files. I manually removed the infected ones, but the virus kept spreading. I thought about checking to see if it was a new problem, one that NAV has yet to fully address, but then my PC opened a dialog box and attempted to ping a site, so I decided drastic measures were necessary.

My Gateway PC comes with a Gateway 2000 program that will completely reinstall the operating system and all software shipped with the computer while preserving the user files – only a few settings and preferences would be lost. Since the user files were clean but the operating system infected, I tried the restore program. It worked perfectly – wrong. It lost 99% of my user files (all stories and spreadsheets and pictures and music, but it saved my wave files and one downloaded executable for some reason), but it preserved the old operating system including the infected files.

Fortunately for me, the infected files weren’t active so NAV was able to remove all vestiges of the virus after another run. Also, Satan Sue (my iPod) had backups of nearly everything, so in the end I only lost one recently downloaded song. I spent all Saturday and Sunday nursing a sick computer back to health, reinstalling programs, and resetting preferences. And now I’m back. Back to work.

Final product ratings – Gateway bad, AVG bad, NAV pretty good, iPod good.


Liz said...

Man that blows. Glad you got things back up though.

Incidentally my brother’s office does much the same thing to him. He has changed buildings, back and forth across the street, 4 times in 2 years. Gets him pissed too.

Weary Hag said...

If you've never seen Office Space, watch it and take heed. They kept rearranging the cubicle of this one loser guy they planned to axe until eventually, he was moved to the basement with storage files. At least he got to set the place on fire, which was good.

At my old job, when they started moving people around (my office, three times in two years), it meant they didn't really need you anymore but couldn't find a logical reason to trash you so they'll try to hide you as best as they can till they let you go.

Window cubicles are the WORST. After being accustomed to privacy, I felt quite naked (and not in a good way) to move into my window cubicle. It's like a free-for-all. Open a candy bar and six vultures looked in asking "whatcha got there, got more?" Ugh.

Sorry about your computer woes. It sucks. We're held by the balls with these things, aren't we?