Sunday, August 17, 2003

[MISC] Paragraphs only vaguely related to each other

So, I've been working at SodexhoPASS USA for the last couple of weeks, give or take. Not a bad place, but it's still only a contract job with a hard October due-date. It's also out in Newton, which makes for an hour-long commute where I've been very fortunate as far as the weather is concerned (note to self: buy umbrella). Hopefully, the dream high-paying with benefits job in downtown Cambridge will appear sometime soon.

In a total non-sequiter, I miss Fresh Samantha already. I sadly haven't been able to afford $2.50 juice drinks in my current semi-jobless state, but today Star Market had coupons right on the "Odwalla" fridge (Odwalla being the company that bought Fresh Samantha and has now retired the brand) for 75c off and the self-checout lane was ignoring the do-not-double stamp on it. So a $2 lemonade could be had for fifty cents.

Or, in this case, a "Strawberry Lemonade Quencher". Which didn't really impress me much at all. Sure, it's better than a 5% juice Snapple (what isn't?), but it didn't have much of a lemonade taste (and Fresh Samantha lemonade was really good stuff). Not bad, but not worth a premium price for.

It just sort of irritates me that Odwalla chose to enter the New England market by buying and shuttering Fresh Samantha rather than coming in on their own. It reminds me of how, back in the eighties, Broderbund bought Synapse software. Both were companies that made games and productivity file for 6502-based computers. Broderbund, though, wrote for the Apple II and converted to other systems, while Synapse wrote for the Atari and Commodore lines and converted from that. Within a couple years, though, Synapse was gone, and fans of theirs had to make do with what Broderbund put out. Not that Synapse would have lasted much longer - the industry was changing too much, and Broderbund itself isn't even a pale shadow of what it was - but it just sucks to see a company beat out its competition with their wallet as opposed to their product.


Friday, August 01, 2003

[MISC] Did something vaguely like work today

And I guess I'll even get paid for it. I got a call from someone at Randstad earlier this week, who found my resume on Monster and apparently wasn't aware I had already signed on with them nine months ago. They asked me to go to the Harvard Square branch and take some tests on Access. Which seemed silly - the stuff on my resume was much more complicated and useful than what they tested me on (honestly, is the ability of a DB guy to change the font on a table particularly important?). Then I go out to Newton in order to meet the folks who need an "Access guru", and he quizzes me on all sorts of things.

So what do I do when I come in today? I'm supposed to design one of those paper forms with the little boxes that an automated scanner can read. And either those scanners don't come with software to do it or they don't know about it, so I wind up doing it in Visio, which really isn't suited to the task, but seemed better for it than anything else installed on the machine they sat me at. So, in the end, you had a database/Visual Basic guy using charting software to create a text form, and they apparently loved it. I just shook my head; this is an important office for a large international company.

But, hey, they're willing to pay me. Fortunately, I got email/calls from another company that might actually want me to do development work full-time. Hopefully that'll come through, because then you get the medical benefits and potential raises and all that good stuff. And no more dealing with Randstad, where the left hand really seems to have no clue what the right hand is doing and the assignments they come up with are just strange.