Charlie Hatton About This
About Me
Email Me

Bookmark
 FeedBurnerEmailTwitterFacebookAmazon
Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA



All Quotes
HomeAboutArchiveBestShopEmail

  |  

Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

I’m the Guy and I Don’t Know Why

(March marches on, and so does science. Namely, Secondhand SCIENCE. This week’s wackiness is all about tectonic plates. It’s an earth-moving experience. Probably. Check it out.)

There’s a troubling development at my office recently. It would seem I’ve become “the guy” for a thing.

Now, to a point, I’m okay with that. I’ve been “the guy” for things before. I scrap together little bits of software for people, and cram numbers into databases sometimes. So when one of those stops working or catches someone on fire, then sure — I’m “the guy” who has to fix it and clean up the mess and rub aloe vera on some poor users’ ruined fingers. That’s part of the job.

But this is different. This is not my thing, nor a thing I know much of anything about. It’s a big scary set of interlocking systems, all talking to each other — in Swahili, for all I know — and a couple of other guys built it and babysat it and kept scripts and monitors and pipelines full of aloe running for when things went haywire. For years, they did this, and nobody really knew — or wanted to know, frankly — exactly how those particular sausages were being prepared.

Which was fine.

Except now those guys are gone.

(Cost-cutting thing, from what I understand. You could keep the system or keep the people taking care of it. And since the people couldn’t remember as much data as the databases or spit pretty numbers into a spreadsheet, the people got the boot. And the system sputters on.

Sometimes.)

With the people who had any practical knowledge of this thing gone, the company turned to the next best thing: someone with no earthly idea how the thing works or which bits of string are glued to which other bits, but who sat down with one of the guys who built it for five minutes before he left to learn one very specific instruction for one tiny corner of the system, in case that bit looks like it’s going to crack and fall off some day.

In other words, me. “The guy”.

In fairness, I’m not the only “guy”. Other people learned little snippets of this monster from the builders, and they’re “the guys” and “the girls” for those pieces, and probably all sorts of surrounding bits they have no idea about. But not being alone in this really doesn’t help that much.

Basically, this is like that old parable where a bunch of blind people — or blindfolded, maybe, if this particular parable author was uncharacteristically generous about infirmities in the story — wander around feeling up an elephant.

“The tusk-toucher is magically the resident expert on tusks, horns, fangs, spikes, ivory, ebony, piano tuning and Beethoven’s Fifth.”

(I’m noting here that if you’re unfamiliar with this parable, the above description probably gives you a way kinkier impression of it than is really warranted.

Noting it, but not changing it. Because some Bollywood skin flick director will be all over that, and I want credit for the idea. But if you need the actual elephant story details, Wikipedia’s your huckleberry.)

Only our situation is a little different. Whoever touched the tail is now assumed to have encyclopedic knowledge of all things elephant ass. The tusk-toucher is magically the resident expert on tusks, horns, fangs, spikes, ivory, ebony, piano tuning and Beethoven’s Fifth.

I don’t have it the worst. I only brushed a wrinkly leg, figuratively speaking, but now I’m fielding questions about pants pressing, Oil of Olay and grandma gams.

Again, figuratively.

Still, these are questions I can’t answer. I’m looking at one corner of a giant black box covered in buttons and switches, and I know the one I can push to make a gumball come out. If you want a jelly bean, I can’t help you. If you’re looking for surf and turf, you’ll be sorely disappointed with what I know. And if you need your hair extinguished and a nice aloe vera shampoo, then I’m probably no help at all.

So it’s unfortunate. The only thing worse than being “the guy” for a thing is being “the guy” for a thing you really aren’t especially “the guy” for. And the people coming to me for help aren’t getting anywhere, either. Because I can only give them the same answer:

“Go ask elephant-ass guy. Maybe he knows something.”

But probably not. Dude’s blind, so Dumbo’s probably sat on him by now. I’m just saying, it’s a mess.

Permalink  |  No Comments



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HomeAboutArchiveBestShopEmail © 2003-15 Charlie Hatton All Rights Reserved
Highlights
Me on Film 'n' Stage:
  Drinkstorm Studios


Me on Science (silly):
  Secondhand SCIENCE


Me on Science (real):
  Meta Science News


Me on ZuG (RIP):
  Zolton's FB Pranks
  Zolton Does Amazon


Favorite Posts:
30 Facts: Alton Brown
A Commute Dreary
A Hallmark Moment
Blue's Clues Explained
Eight Your 5-Hole?
El Classo de Espanol
Good News for Goofballs
Grammar, Charlie-Style
Grammar, Revisitated
How I Feel About Hippos
How I Feel About Pinatas
How I Feel About Pirates
Life Is Like...
Life Is Also Like...
Smartass 101
Twelve Simple Rules
Unreal Reality Shows
V-Day for Dummies
Wheel of Misfortune
Zolton, Interview Demon

Me, Elsewhere

Features
Standup Comedy Clips

Selected Clips:
  09/10/05: Com. Studio
  04/30/05: Goodfellaz
  04/09/05: Com. Studio
  01/28/05: Com. Studio
  12/11/04: Emerald Isle
  09/06/04: Connection

Boston Comedy Clubs

 My 100 Things Posts

Selected Things:
  #6: My Stitches
  #7: My Name
  #11: My Spelling Bee
  #35: My Spring Break
  #36: My Skydives
  #53: My Memory
  #55: My Quote
  #78: My Pencil
  #91: My Family
  #100: My Poor Knee

More Features:

List of Lists
33 Faces of Me
Cliche-O-Matic
Punchline Fever
Simpsons Quotes
Quantum Terminology

Favorites
Banterist
...Bleeding Obvious
By Ken Levine
Defective Yeti
DeJENNerate
Divorced Dad of Two
Gallivanting Monkey
Junk Drawer
Life... Weirder
Little. Red. Boat.
Mighty Geek
Mitchieville
PCPPP
Scaryduck
Scott's Tip of the Day
Something Authorly
TGNP
Unlikely Explanations

Archives
Full Archive

Category Archives:

(Stupid) Computers
100Things
A Doofus Is Me
Articles 'n' Zines
Audience Participation
Awkward Conversations
Bits About Blogging
Bitter Old Man Rants
Blasts from My Past
Cars 'n' Drivers
Dog Drivel
Eek!Cards
Foodstuff Fluff
Fun with Words!
Googlicious!
Grooming Gaffes
Just Life
Loopy Lists
Making Fun of Jerks
Marketing Weenies
Married and a Moron
Miscellaneous Nonsense
Potty Talk / Yes, I'm a Pig
Sleep, and Lack Thereof
Standup
Tales from the Stage
Tasty Beverages
The Happy Homeowner
TV & Movies & Games, O My!
Uncategorized
Vacations 'n' Holidays
Weird for the Sake of Weird
Whither the Weather
Wicked Pissah Bahstan
Wide World o' Sports
Work, Work, Work
Zug

Heroes
Alas Smith and Jones
Berkeley Breathed
Bill Hicks
Dave Barry
Dexter's Laboratory
Douglas Adams
Evening at the Improv
Fawlty Towers
George Alec Effinger
Grover
Jake Johannsen
Married... With Children
Monty Python
Nick Bakay
Peter King
Ren and Stimpy
Rob Neyer
Sluggy Freelance
The Simpsons
The State

Plugs, Shameless
100 Best Humor Blogs | Healthy Moms Magazine

Alltop, confirmation that I kick ass

TopOfBlogs

HumorSource

Blogging Fusion Blog Directory

bloglovin

Top Blogs

 

Feeds and More
Subscribe via FeedBurner

[Subscribe]

RDF
RSS 2.0
Atom
Credits
Site Hosting:
Solid Solutions

Powered by:
MovableType

Title Banner Photo:
Shirley Harshenin

Creative Commons License
  This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons License

Mint Installation

Performancing Metrics

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Valid XHTML 1.0

Valid CSS!

© 2003-15 Charlie Hatton
All Rights Reserved