I cannot, justly, complain much about work. I've got a nice telecommuting job in which I rarely have to leave the house, rarely have to stick to any particular schedule, and don't even have to leave home to travel back East and be away for long very often. But there's still stuff to drive me crazy.
The most annoying part is getting e-mails reporting some bug that's turned up in the work I'm responsible for, because I don't seem able to convince people that I need an explanation of (a) where the error happens, (b) what the expected behavior is, (c) what the actual behavior is, and (d) when the discrepancy between expected and actual behavior started happening. I can't even reliably get the use of antecedents so that I know which ``this'' it is that isn't working is under discussion. I don't want to have to impose something like a bug-report form with items to be checked out before I will lift a finger towards bug-fixing, but really, the company probably would do well if it had a little more bureaucracy and procedure.
I've also got a co-worker who sends me links to reports that someone else, one of the clients, has prepared with data he has available. I'm advised to look at them and see if there's something we could do. As near as I can figure, we could do any of them, if I had some idea (a) what of them is worth doing, (b) where the data to do them is to be found, (c) what kind of processing of that data is needed, and (d) who would be reading the results. I finally e-mailed the co-worker to explain that without all that there's no point mailing me these things because I have literally no idea what to do with them besides shrug and move on to the next e-mail. This has resulted in a promise that we should talk on the phone sometime and talk about new projects. And then, a couple days later, another e-mail with reports that I guess maybe someone might like, if someone did them, if we had information to do them with? Maybe?
Trivia: Each broadcast of the 1947 World Series cost about ten thousand dollars to produce. The most expensive studio show before that had run $4,500. Source: Please Stand By: A Prehistory of Television, Michael Ritchie.
Currently Reading: Arming America: The Origins Of A National Gun Culture, Michael A Bellesiles.
PS: The Thermodynamics of Life, passing on an interesting bit of work by the Carnot Cycle blog from back in student days in which the author was working on building a very simple model of how bodies work. Fourth math blog entry since the last roundup; and RSS feed and Livejournal Syndicate feed get you to them first anyway.