Mr Rogers is above all that nonsense.

Main Menu

The Compleat Billy Chronicles (thanks to Zenpatista)

Started by Doktor Howl, November 15, 2017, 01:33:15 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

Doktor Howl

Sep. 4
A quote from an email my boss sent me:
"You reek of non-compliance."

Sep. 11
Things I said in conversation today:
1. How much for just 13 megawatt hours?
2. There is no dancing in the 13,800 VAC cable room. Why do I even have to say this?
3. This is like watching the Titanic back up for another run at the iceberg.
4. All this needs to be perfect is 10 pounds of glitter fished out of raver ass crack.

Sep. 13
Today I drove home at 5 MPH slower than the speed limit in the left lane, with my right turn signal on the entire time.
I don't know what the hell is wrong with me, so don't ask.

Sep. 13
Things I said at work today:
1. "We're going to do great things. For bad people."
2. "Budgets are for people who worry about budgets."

Sep. 14
Things I said at work today:
1. "If you stick that in there, you probably won't get it back."
2. "He's Jesus the Son of Man, not Jesus the IT guy. Fuck's sake."
3. If the Thai place outside of the facility closes, one of you has to die."

Sep. 15
Things I said at work today:
1. "Okay, no, you're right. The magical maintenance fairy will come along and fix that shit for free. No worries."
2. "Yes, actually I DO have to be a smartass."
3. "Does being realistic make my ass look big?"

Sep. 18
Our religious nut engineer is apparently a genius. He waits til the technicians solve a problem, then investigates it, writes up the solution the techs found, and presents it as "solved". The only reason he's still got all his limbs is that he does in fact credit the techs, if you read the footnotes and squint really hard.
Sep. 21

Things I said at work today:
1. (In the morning staff meeting) "According to physics, work done is a net result. If you carry a 50 pound block up the stairs, then take it back down the stairs, you have done no work. Think about that while you do the same wrong-headed, tired-ass shit you have done for the last 6 months."

2. (To the new database admin lady) "If you see the engineer crying in his office, don't get too concerned. He's a bad person and whatever happened to him is probably well-deserved."

3. (To Billy) "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."

Sep. 22
Things I said at work today:
(To Billy) "I have added you to the safety committee, Billy. This is a position of great trust, and I expect you to shine. Just remember, the one who leaves the meeting with the most 'action items' wins."
(To My boss) "Yes, I just did that to Billy. But he has to LEARN. Right down in his bones. The fact that he believed that it was a position of great trust means that he has loads of learning to do."

Sep. 26
Things I said at work today:
(To Billy) "See that contractor technician working on that chiller? See how hard he works? I knew him back in 2005, and he was a tech back then, working just as hard. 12 years later, he's still a tech, still working hard. He will work hard his entire life and he will still be a tech."
(To one of my electricians, later on at the staff meeting) "You should work harder. It will take you farther in life."
(To Billy): "Why are you looking at me like that?"

Sep. 27
Things I said at work today:
(To Billy) "Yes, I did do that. You see, Billy, it's just us against entropy, really. Nobody else on the planet is even LOOKING at this mess, so it's up to us. Arguably, I didn't have a choice...Because how do you fight entropy? With monstrous deeds. Besides, I won't be lectured on morality by a guy who ran over someone's tiny home, so zip it."

Sep. 28
(Speech to working group today. Never ask me to give a speech.)
"Good morning. I am about to say impolite things.
But we are not here to be polite. We are not here to keep the customer happy. The customers hate us, and that is right and proper. The customers are seven and a half billion monkeys that insist on smoking three packs of cigarettes a day for thirty years, and we are the societal equivalent of an oncologist. We present solutions that *might* save them, but it will be very painful and we will charge them a lot of money.
The world of commerce is strange and terrible, and so I don't want you to think about commerce. I want you to think about pseudomonas and plastic microfibers in the tap water. I want you to think about sanitation overload. I want you to think about too much water everywhere, and none of it fit to drink. Commerce is a social fiction; cholera is real.
I am here to tell you today that government is not the solution. The market is not the solution. I am here to tell you that there *is no solution*, because those cancer monkeys will take the medicine we give them, and go on smoking cigarettes. Because people are stupid, and organized groups of stupid humans are just organized, efficient stupidity.
Which brings up another point: I do not want to see "efficiency" stinking up my facility. Efficiency is for people with diploma-mill MBAs, libertarians, and other parasites. Efficiency has never solved a problem in the entire history of the human race. Efficiency makes processes more profitable, but we are not in the business of processes. We are in the business of extracting money from cancer monkeys. They give us money, we give them ways to clean just enough water to live long enough to have more monkeys. You can see why, given this built-in advantage, efficiency is both unnecessary and in fact contrary to our interests.
Let me say this again: There is no room for efficiency in infrastructure analysis.
In closing, I don't want anyone to worry about the truck load of missiles that drove in circles in our parking lot for twenty minutes last night. That was just a shipping error on the part of one of our clients, and has been rectified.
That is all. You may now return to your labors."

Sep. 28
Your universe is defective.
A proper universe would imply that a species that gained enough intelligence to have some sort of sense of self-interest wouldn't care about things like national "pride", race, or even making weapons specifically designed to wipe themselves out entirely.
It would probably also have great big Goddamn lizards stomping around. Because that would be kind of cool, too.

Sept. 29
Things I said at work today:
(To my boss) "This ain't your grandpa's apocalypse."
(To Billy) "Can you get me the numbers for cholera in Thailand right now? Also typhoid and psuedomonas. And infant mortality for the last 4 years. How about pizza for lunch?"
(To new database admin lady) "Stop worrying about Billy. He'll come around. Why are you looking at me like that?"

Oct. 3
So, bad 60s dancing to "Everybody Talks" in my office with my boss, Billy, and the Occupant Services lady. New database admin lady walks to office door. Stops. Stares.
Dances the Watusi.
She stays.

Oct. 4
So Billy and I come rolling back up to the plant in the truck. Seats back, hand on top of steering wheel, all pimped out with Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" bumping on the stereo.
My boss and new database admin lady just stared at us like we were some kinda weird bird, for reasons that escape me.

Oct. 5
Today's test run: Horrible failure. Plant off line. Chillers very over. Sewage treatment plant flooded. I think my office sank. Nobody has seen Billy in hours, religious engineer guy has locked himself in his office, and the coyotes are circling like hammerhead sharks.
This is what SCIENCE looks like.

Oct. 6
Today was like watching the future sail away on a burning camel.

Oct. 6
My boss: *yells at me for 2 HOURS.*
Me: "You're wrong."
My boss: "..."
Me: "That's an alarming shade of purple"

Oct. 6
Billy: "If you knew the world was ending, and there was no way to prevent it, would you tell anyone?"
Me: "I'd tell EVERYONE."

Oct. 14
Giraffes can't enjoy coffee because it's cold by the time it reaches their stomach. But you never think about that, because you only think about yourself.

Oct. 16
At work today:
Billy: "Matter tells space how to bend, and space tells matter how to move."
Me: "You know what tells me how to move?"
Billy: "No, and I don't..."
Me: "Devine. You know what tells me how to bend?"
Billy: "Stop."

Oct. 17
14.5 hours of nonstop WrongScience™, because the world is delivered to your doorstep by terrible deeds. And exhaustion.
Little Billy fell out at 12 hours, because he is young, and the young are weak, and they cannot concentrate without blood sugar. I, on the other hand, am made out of scabs and scar tissue, and can live for 3 days on a rat that I swallowed whole.

Oct. 19
Today at work:
Boss: "I have to go, so as soon as <horrible maintenance emergency> is over, I'm out of here."
Me: "You should go now. This is going to take hours."
Boss: "I can't, because <horrible maintenance emergency>"
Me: "And what are you going to accomplish here? Do you think we are somehow not going to do our best if you leave?"
Boss: "No, but..."
Me: "Go. You can text me or call me if it starts bugging you."
Boss: "Okay." *leaves*
*Billy walks in*
Me: "Billy, hold my cell phone for the next two hours."
Billy: "What? Why?"
Me: "Don't question it. If the boss calls, tell her you're trapped in the rubble."

Oct. 20
I now have 5 petabytes of storage at work, so you are all being moved into it.
I shall be a kindly overlord.

Oct. 23
My workplace is careening off into insanity. Today I was told the safety committee will be deciding what critical spare parts I need to stock in the plant.
At this point, I'm just riding the roller coaster. Which is on fire. And has run out of tracks.
"This is normal, Billy."

Oct. 24
Billy is pretending to be horrified by my behavior today. He's such a kidder.
"This is all normal, Billy."
"No, it's not, boss. That was totally out of line. You had people screaming at you in Polish."
"They made unreasonable demands, and I felt something should be said."
"You called them mental defectives. AND you scared Mister Rogers" (Note: our safety manager looks exactly like Mr Rogers, and acts like him for the most part.)
"Harsh times, Billy, harsh times."
"You can't make Mr Rogers hide in his office, Sam. For God's sake."
"I can. I did. I felt my point needed to be driven home."
"You're crazier than those Polish dudes, you know that?"
*stops walking and looks at Billy for like 2 seconds too long*
"This is all normal, Billy."

Oct. 25
Things my boss said:
"I have been training my entire life to even, and now I can't."

Oct. 25
America, you can rest easy during these turbulent times. Billy and I are working on a set of solutions. With actual SCIENCE™. So everyone stop screaming and send more funding.

Oct. 26
15 straight hours of SCIENCE. Work successful, probably no actual laws broken. Excerpt from 90 minutes ago:
Me "Wake the hell up, Billy."
Me: "You aren't paid to think, Billy, you are paid to spill science on things."
Me: "Having a life is like STEALING FROM THE COMPANY, BILLY. Also, if this is just work to you, you aren't being paid enough, or you're being paid way too much. Anyway, go home, I will finish up."
Billy: "FUCK. Thanks."
Me: "See you at 5:30 AM."
Billy: "Wait. What?"
Me: "Good night, Billy."

Oct. 28
17 hours of adventure. Sam spent an hour crawling through a utility tunnel with a flashlight in his teeth. Sam's boss wants to know why he's so happy than only 5 breakers failed on restart.
Me: "When you don't service substations for 5 years, shit sometimes doesn't come back on like you think it ought to."
Boss: "So we're down a chiller, a well, an air compressor and a half dozen instruments, and you're HAPPY?"
Me: "You take your victories where you find them, boss."
Boss: "WTF?"
Billy: "This is all normal, boss."
I love Billy. Billy needs a raise, and maybe even a day off. Well, maybe just a raise. No need to get all carried away.

Oct. 28
I live in the Sonoran desert and somehow I have gone 72 hours without seeing the sun.

Oct. 31
Our religious engineer got a new bumpersticker that says "Legalize Jesus."
Me: "I think they should legalize beer, too."
Engineer: "Beer is legal."
Me: "But people don't have to drink it, which is almost like making it illegal. People run around drinking whiskey, even."
Engineer: "That's hardly the same thing."
Billy: "Some freaks even drink hard cider."
Me: "It's like this isn't even AMERICA, anymore."
Engineer: "Fuck you guys."
Billy: "You just swore. For like the first time ever. You're ADORABLE."

Nov. 1
Tips on dealing with treachery on the part of your direct reports, #312:
Keep them too busy to plot effectively. Make necessary improvements to systems only when they get comfortable with said systems, if the changes can wait that long.
If you MUST communicate, tell everyone the information in a slightly different format, so you'll know who ratted you out to the boss.

Nov. 2
Things I said at work today, with my bare face hanging out:
1. "I told you those bugs [sulfur reducing bacteria] were gonna get out of control. You just stand there while we shame you, you soggy bastard."
2. "Yes, I do have to get lippy about it. I warned you about this for 6 months. I have to go shit, so Billy will be shaming you in my place."
3. "Who's afraid of Doktor Howl? Fucking nobody."

Nov. 4
17 hours of NOPE. No, you cannot do that, because of basic physical laws. No, put Billy down, he has some admittedly marginal value and I have no time to interview his replacement. No, if your project is now flat, slightly radioactive, and smoldering, you are not getting additional funding, and you should probably start the whole plausible denial thing now. Nope, I am not father confessor at this pay rate, and I am utterly uninterested in your horrible woes or slightly criminal/unethical behavior and the consequences thereof.
Go ahead and complain to my boss. I'm the EASY option, and SHE will frame your bits and hang them in the conference room.

Nov. 6
Things I said at work today:
*Billy and I watching a guy in <corporation X>'s lab coat walking down the middle of the road in a trance-like state*
Billy: "We should call someone."
Me: "Yep. Gonna call <corporation X> security and have this guy collected up."
Billy: "Shouldn't we maybe call the paramedics?"
Me: "Have you never watched a horror film? Or an epidemic scare flick?"
Billy: "But this is real life."
Me: "Yes, Billy, and that is *exactly* why I am doing what everyone in those horror films SHOULD have done. 500 needless deaths a year would be prevented if people just followed protocol."
Billy: "You just made that number up."
Me: "Yes, but it's still true."

Nov. 6
So today I learned that not only do I have to give Billy a day off every 13 days, but I have to take one myself.
How the hell is shit supposed to get done?

Nov. 7
Billy: "So you're being investigated by the safety department for *following* both the law and the IEEE best practices?"
Me: "This is all normal, Billy."

Nov. 9
So, I am under investigation at work for *following* code & IEEE standards, and the two weasels who initiated it managed to pull the sole controlling meter out of a tank without isolating the process equipment, dumping a few dozen thousand gallons of potable water onto the desert, and by sheer luck alone managed to not smoke the pumps, which are at the bottom of 500 foot shafts. I am not allowed to name them in the incident investigation, because "no regulations were violated" (except every single OSHA rule on energy isolation, and county, state, and federal rules on containment, but who's counting?)
I am now actively looking for another job.

Nov. 14
Okay, so Billy and I are looking at this jockey pump that keeps pressure up on a few larger pumps. It's pumping from a tank system at 200 gallons per minute, for 8 hours or so a day.
Problem: None of the tank levels are going down. We checked, both in the system, and by physically climbing up on the tanks and looking in to verify their levels.
Billy: "I think we should quit, this place is haunted."
Me: "Nonsense. This is just one of those reality cracks we have in Tucson from time to time. Water is probably just leaking in from another universe."
Billy: "Or water is somehow getting back into the tank."
Me: "There are no other ways for water to get in. Look."
Billy: "Okay, haunted. We should quit."
Me: "People sometimes PAY for this kind of shit, you know."
Billy: "I didn't. This is spooky, and I don't like it. Who ordered this?"
Me: "This is all nor..."
Me: "This is all ftang, Billy."

Molon Lube



Reading this was the perfect start to my day. Keep on keepin' on, Dok.

Q. G. Pennyworth

tyrannosaurus vex

i'm going to make a comic strip based on your adventures and make millions.
Evil and Unfeeling Arse-Flenser From The City of the Damned.

Doktor Howl

Quote from: tyrannosaurus vex on November 16, 2017, 01:19:15 AM
i'm going to make a comic strip based on your adventures and make millions.

Comics artists all starve to death.  This is known.
Molon Lube

Doktor Howl

Another day of absolute failure.  The controllers I said were bad - and of which I was assured by *non-technical people* could not be the problem, because I am Doktor Howl and Doktor Howl cannot be right - shat the bed completely today, knocking the system down and stopping 3800 tons of water on a dime.  This created a water hammer that shook the entire building, and cracked a pipe that cannot be isolated without taking down the jockey pump.  The main pumps cannot run without the jockey pump.  The chillers cannot run without the mains.

So now we need a full unplanned outage, because I am leaking 100 GPM of water, molybdenum, phosphoric acid, chlorine, and chlorine dioxide into the basement.  And that crack ain't getting any smaller, if you know what I mean.  And I think you do.

So no weekend for me.  Again.

On the bright side, this happened:

Me:  "So you are 4 classes from your masters, and you aren't enrolled?"

New Database Admin Lady:  "Um, I just started here.  I can't take that kind of time off.  The classes are all daytime."

Me:  "So work odd hours.  Your job is not shift-dependent."

NDBAL:  "You're serious?"

Me:  "Yes.  I will put it in an email, if you like.  Also, we have tuition reimbursement."

NDBAL:  *Walks off looking happy*

Billy: "I knew you were a big softie, boss."

Me:  "Pffft.  That lady is going to be our boss one fine day."

Billy:  "You think?"

Me:  "I know.  At least if I have anything to say about it.  You can't pick many things in life, but if you're lucky, you can pick your boss."

Billy:  "So it wasn't altruism.  Strangely enough, that makes me feel better."

Me:  "Who's afraid of Doktor Howl?  Fucking nobody."
Molon Lube

Doktor Howl

Me:  "...And so the programming is setting up the problem, because an "or" condition should have been an "and" condition, so if one sensor of two goes bad, the whole system freaks out, all the pumps come on, we overfill the tank, and we put poop on dirt."

Boss:  *looks dubious*

Me:  "It's simple Boolean algebra.  Look for yourself."

Boss:  "We need to get an engineer involved." 

Billy:  "What?  Why?"

Me:  "Billy, that is management code for "We're not going to address the problem, because doing something is riskier than, say, putting poop on dirt and getting the county up our colons sideways with a surfboard."

Boss:  "What?  No it isn't."

Me:  "How many problems that we have 'gotten an engineer involved' in have been completed?"

Boss:  "You aren't paid to be an engineer."

Me:  "No, I am paid to wait for engineering.  I am going to my office to listen to Lady Gaga and wait for the engineers to fix everything."

Boss:  *freaks the hell out, stomps off*

Billy:  "You're going to push her too far one day, boss."

Me:  "This is all normal, Billy."

Billy:  "You're going to get fired."

Me:  "Hush, Billy, it's Lady Gaga time."
Molon Lube

Doktor Howl

Also today:

Me:  "That girl threw *what* at you?"

Billy:  "Her cat."

Me:  "Why do you keep hanging out with her?"

Billy:  "She has a big butt."

Me:  "A big butt isn't everything, Billy."

Molon Lube



Comics artists starving to death notwithstanding, I truly believe this could have potential to be a "Dilbert for a new generation" kinda thing. I mean that in the best way possible; no offense intended whatsoever.

Not that any of this NEEDS graphical representation. It's pretty much perfect as-is.

Doktor Howl

Me:  "Okay, Billy, we're employed again.  I start next Monday, you'll start on Thursday."

Billy:  "We're really going to do this?  Run a friggin' town full of rich old people?"

Me:  "Is that somehow different than running a research facility?  Both are full of people who know everything, want to make sure you know they know everything, and who are insanely afraid of any change at all.  Difference is, the old people are right to fear change."

Billy:  "Yeah?"

Me:  "If you're 70 years old and rich, what does upcoming change have to offer you?"

Billy:  "Intubation for the last few months of your life?"

Me:  "Exactly.  So it is our job to make sure they don't ever notice any change ever."

Billy:  "I think they're going to notice the tube."

Me:  "Yes, but by that point, they're not our problem anymore."

Billy:  "I can't put my finger on it, but what you just said sounds unethical somehow."

Me:  "It's the circle, Billy.  The circle of liiiiiiiiiiife!"
Molon Lube


I eagerly await updates (or minutes from council meetings)

The Wizard Joseph

I missed this thread somehow until the most recent bump. It's awesome!
You can't get out backward.  You have to go forward to go back.. better press on! - Willie Wonka, PBUH

Life can be seen as a game with no reset button, no extra lives, and if the power goes out there is no restarting.  If that's all you see life as you are not long for this world, and never will get it.

"Ayn Rand never swung a hammer in her life and had serious dominance issues" - The Fountainhead

"World domination is such an ugly phrase. I prefer to call it world optimisation."
- Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality :lulz:

"You program the controller to do the thing, only it doesn't do the thing.  It does something else entirely, or nothing at all.  It's like voting."
- Billy, Aug 21st, 2019

"It's not even chaos anymore. It's BANAL."
- Doktor Hamish Howl

Doktor Howl

Things I said at work today:

"Billy, this is Chef Ronald.  Don't get too close, he is a tightly-wound ball of anger and lives to make people cry.  Chef, this is Billy.  He has never in his life cried, and I doubt you can do the job, either."

"There is absolutely no reason for signs that say 'no adult diapers' around a pool for rich old people who have never had to obey rules in their lives.  Just order more pool supplies and try not to think about it."

"Before, I was untitled and lowly.  Now I am DIRECTOR Tarwell, and it has in fact gone straight to my head.  I am mad with power.  I'm basically the shithead politician/exec that dies gruesomely at the end of the movie, but has amazing cuff links.  Stop looking at me that way."
Molon Lube