9/06/2007

Splitting Hares*

Being back in a cube farm at my new job is a fascinating reorientation to the oddities of the people with whom I work. I fully recognize and admit that I have been amazingly spoiled at my last two jobs where I had an office. With a door. That I could shut. And walls that went all the way up the ceiling that handily kept out all the noise of people and their personal problems. Either that or I've just not worked somewhere before where people have this many personal problems. It's a toss up.


After sitting with a coworker and revising some dates in MS Project (stored on the SharePoint server to increase collaboration! Except in this case? When the SP server crashed while we were editing the dates unbeknownst to us...mostly it was just greatly irritating. Because two hours of work that we thought we'd been saving? Yeah, it's gone.) I went back to my cube. The guy who sits through the wall from me (if you know cube layouts, you know what I mean) is some combination of clueless, idiotic, and freakishly annoying. (The other week he stopped by my cube - we don't work together nor have we ever met - and says to me, "I know everything about you. I'm watching you! You should not yawn at 7:30 in the morning, it's too early to be yawning!" and then walks off. It's good he walked off, I was trying to decide if one can get a cube-based restraining order.) Anyway, he doesn't seem to understand the simple concepts in life like: Just because you can hear a conversation doesn't mean you're invited to participate in it. Or, When inside a building...use your inside voices.

So it was no surprise to me that sitting back down meant I got to hear the latest and greatest conversation in this other guy's crusade to educate this person. I had to pause though, because the conversation quickly morphed into discussion which then quickly morphed into outright argument (Now with raised voices!). The oh-so-critical topic: The difference between data and information.

Seriously.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I would say this is just about measured at -273.15 in terms of the importance of how having an absolute answer will impact ones ability to perform at work. If you ask me for information and what you really need is data - I'm 99.9999999% sure that I will know what you meant. Same goes the other way around. And for that 0.0000001% of the time that I'm not sure? I'll either make an educated guess or ask.

Perhaps next up will be how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. (Though I've always contended this answer depends greatly on the style of dance being employed. Ball room dance, with its orderly nature, could probably accomodate more dancing angels than, say, breakdancing.)

Ah, cubes...how I've missed you. (Next week: The amazing tale of the guy three cubes down and his quest for antidepressants!)

*I really do know it should be splitting hairs, I do. But the title spelling makes me think of bunnies running away from something. And bunnies are always good. Running away sounds even better.

4 comments:

Gwynne said...

And I read the post title as "spitting hairs" and as it turns out, that seems a fair description of events as well. ;-)

beth said...

I'm just living it up with the puns. :) Or...well, that wouldn't really be a pun. Double entendre? Dunno.

What's hillarious is that in my class right now, they're discussing that same difference. Why is this a hard concept for people?

Janie said...

I don't have enough data to compile the information. Or, no, wait, I don't have enough information to formulate the data.
Or...ah, never mind.

All I know is the tortoise beat the hair...hare...silly wabbit.

Lord, give her an office - with walls to the ceiling...and a huge raise, to boot!

Rach said...

(Next week: The amazing tale of the guy three cubes down and his quest for antidepressants!)

You do hear some interesting conversations!