Friday, August 15, 2003

Work was more rewarding today, both professionally and personally.

On a professional level, I got concrete evidence that my method handling the viruses was the right one, even if it might have broken a couple of other things in the process of pounding the virus to death. We got a list of all the infected machines today. There were three on the Hoosier that actually had--and replicated--the virus. That was three more than I would have liked to see, but it was better than the 20 or 30 or 100 machines on other forests. I do believe that it was my maverick behavior, my insistence on patching machines and running the virus cleaning tool despite my boss telling me not to, that kept us functioning at a basic level. Three days later, the WO still hasn't released an official fix for the virus, still hasn't pushed out a security patch, still hasn't helped anyone with anything, so a good deal of the Forest Service is still offline. The Hoosier is almost all back on, with the exception of two Catalyst machines, and a whole mess of people who can use the MS Office suite. We don't have a fix for that, and I'm sorry I have to leave before I could get everything back in order, but we're a lot better off than every other National Forest that is sitting there waiting for the WO to "certify" the Symantec cleaning tool and approve it for use.

On a personal level, everyone made it clear that they were sorry to see me go today. Made it *really* clear. They threw me a kind of funny surprise going away party. Everyone is always teasing me because I eat the same Subway sandwich for lunch every day. At the last Diversity Luncheon (south Indian food), Brenda stood up and said she heard that Subway was sending a search party to find me because they got worried when I didn't show up for lunch. So, today they brought in sandwiches from Subway, plus a bunch of food other people made. Brenda got a whole bunch of Subway sandwich wrappers and cut scalloped hearts out of them for place mats, and then tied up all the Subway napkins with yellow ribbon. So it was pretty funny, and good to know that they'll never forget me as long as Subway remains a viable franchise.

I got my first USDA "Certificate of Merit" today--the gov't is big on handing out certificates. It's really big, and even framed, and commends me for my "extra effort in the deployment and configuration of the Hoosier National Forest's computer systems, the rough inventory tracking, and friendly customer service." Kind of cool. Janet drew me goodbye card that I'm going to have framed, a picture of me working on a computer. It's perfect, it even shows how my feet never touch the floor because I'm so short. And apparently I griped too much about the price of getting my brakes fixed last week, because the Social Club gave me $85 toward the bill, enclosed in another really sweet card. And John said I should be expecting a bonus check in the mail. And he gave me tomorrow off, but with pay. Also they gave me this great long-sleeved denim shirt with the new Hoosier National Forest logo stitched on it. So, I guess they might actually miss me when I'm gone, if the financial investment in my departure is any indication.

I'm really, really tired, it's been a hellish week, but at least I'm leaving feeling a little better than I did yesterday when it seemed like everything I touched fell apart.

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