Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Tastes Like Chicken...and Rice!

What's up with chicken and rice on the Mother Ship??? That's the question my cohorts and I have been asking lately. A sampling of this week's offerings from Cafe 110:

Monday: "Chicken Tikka" (served on a bed of white rice)
Tuesday: "Chicken Burger"
Wednesday: "Chef's Table Chicken Fajitas" (probably with Spanish rice on the side)
Thursday: "Grilled Chipotle Chicken Sandwich". The carvery will be serving "Beef & Broccoli". Guess what they serve it on? That's right, a bed of rice.
Friday in Cafe 110: "Grilled Chicken Pita".

About 3 months ago I jokingly asked the manager of Cafe 110 if he had a surplus of chicken. Seriously, he responded "Yes."

When I browse the menus for the other fine dining establishments on board, I find chicken and rice in one form or another. Seems the whole campus has a surplus of chicken and rice. So much so, in fact, I'm surprised that a certain unnamed yet famous buxom blonde doesn't show up in front of the flags and protest for PETA. I'd bet we on the Mother Ship consume more chicken than the entire west-coast chain of KFC stores! Okay, maybe not that much. But we do have it A LOT!!!

After doing some digging, I think I figured out what's going on:

Chicken and rice are the fundamental elements of the Mother Ship.

Think about it:
That low-fat hamburger patty…surely made with chicken

The bun...rice bread
Friday’s Chicken Soup: Leftovers from Monday through Thursday
Pad Thai…rice noodles
Logo Stress Balls…You guessed it. Filled with rice kernels
Door stops…left-over chicken
ID Badges…laminated rice paper

But I’ve noticed even more versatile uses. Heck, I'll bet we have some machine next to an underground parking garage that converts some of our rice to ethanol. I’d go so far to even suggest that our backup generators run on this ethanol. Imagine the cost savings...

After all, if we can make ethanol from the rice, we can use it to run the turbines that start the nuclear reactor that generates the power to spin the disk platters containing the bits of the new framework that runs the innovative new web-service based scientific calculator on our new Web 2.0 operating system (sans media player).

While I have highlighted some of the benefits of the ubiquity of chicken and rice on the Mother Ship, there is also a downside. I’ve noticed that several people have developed a slight tick, their heads rapidly lurching forward and snapping back every few seconds. If we don’t stop the madness we’re going to start clucking.

That reminds me, they’ve been serving more egg dishes in the morning lately…

People for the Ethical Treatment of Software Developers

Three to an office...
3-2-an office...

Yep, that's what they call me. My wife: "Mrs. 32".

So how did I get labeled with this name? If you haven't been able to see it by now, I'm a pilot. In the pilot world, we have call signs and nicknames. My instructor, upon learning that I had to share an office at work with not one, but two other employees, thought it was so amusing that he decided to start calling me "Three to an Office". It was easy for him to say that since he had his own office.

While the name is unusual and the way I received it is kind of humorous, office overcrowding is a rampant problem here at the Mother Ship.

It seems that the powers-that-be have been hiring new employees much faster than expected. As a result, people are getting shoehorned into offices designed for one occupant. Worse yet, the newbies or those without "game" are relegated to a spacious 6'x6' estate with a steel and fabric view in a "cube farm".

Yesterday, while taking an afternoon coffee break, two of my cohorts (who share an office) and I were discussing chicken and rice. More on that topic in my next post. The conversation then became about Pamela Anderson, KFC and PETA. Then "Dan" jokingly made a comment along the lines of "Developers need to be treated more ethically". So now we have this entry.

When an alien envisions joining the Mother Ship, he/she envisions one's own office, furniture and lava lamps. The reality is you get a room-mate (or two or three), a garbage can in the hallway and soaring 80+ room temps. However, all is not lost. One also gets the occasional debate, the aroma of what a cohort had for lunch, or even dinner the previous night, and the occasional F-bomb screamed @ 95 db. I personally enjoyed playing "bumper chairs" with my office mates. I highly recommend bringing your own crash helmet since the company doesn't provide them and the desk edges are sharp!

Surely such overcrowding leads to loss of comfort, concentration and ultimately productivity. Software developers on the Mother Ship deserve better. At least give us a padded office for our bumper chair sessions, or when we ultimately go crazy. Either way, it will be put to good use.

As I wrap up this entry, I took a quick look in the address book. My instructor, Random Rick, now shares an office with two others. Random, if you're rerading this, your new call sign is "Three to 4325"!