It's been another week at work without actual work to do, despite the promising hopes of the past. The owner's been in a few times and has high hopes that I'll be ready to leap in to the project I was hired for any week now, if we can have some meetings and get the strategic plan approved. The plan, I've learned, allows for something like twenty weeks for my particular participation, even though my best estimate is -- if I haven't completely misunderstood things -- it's maybe a week of actual work, with another week of debugging if I want to do a rigorous job. This does nothing to help convince me that companies are not on a deep, fundamental level, deranged.
While I'm still not actually doing anything at work, I think I'm being accepted into the corporate culture. One of the guys has started including me on the mass e-mails to the whole staff of marginally funny but mostly tasteless pictures from a long chain of forwards. He's a funny guy in person; I don't know what gets into some naturally funny guys that provokes them to send unfunny things through e-mail. Unfunny people I understand why they would forward jokes: they're attempting to participate in comedy without necessarily being able to identify it. But a guy who knows how to compose a joke should be more skilled at it. Another guy is including me in passing along extremely dubious medical advice about things like the awful chemicals they put in table salt to make it look white. From what I gather, everyone reflexively ignores what that guy sends.
Much more important is that I finally learned how to get hot water from the water dispenser/filter. I don't have to use the coffee maker designated for non-coffee heating of water. (They have plenty of coffee, but I've always been a tea drinker, on fairly straightforward grounds: coffee you have to learn how to appreciate, while tea you can just drink.) I had to be shown how to use the hot water option on the dispenser, but in my defense the obvious things to do like pressing the ``hot water'' button don't produce any water. I regard my being shown this secret as evidence that I'm being welcomed into the community.
Trivia: England's first coffee house appears to have opened in Oxford in 1650. Source: Food In History, Reay Tannahill.
Currently Reading: Groucho and Me, Groucho Marx. It makes for an interesting companion piece to Harpo Speaks!
And a happy 42nd National Day to Singapore. Sorry I can't be there.