Do any of your friends occasionally transform into hypercompetitive little shits? One of mine does and it drives me nuts.
Here's the basic facts. We are the same age, but he is a few months older than me. Both of us work for the Evil Corporation, but he was hired in before I was by about a year. We were hired in to the same section, and worse yet, into the same team. I was promoted to Lead about six months before he was. Several years and promotions later, we once again have the same pay grade in the Evil Corporation, but I was promoted before him by almost a year. Both of us have Masters degrees. I have one in Physics and he has one in Computer Science. Of course, I graduated before him so he had to have a higher GPA. Yes, I missed all A's because of one horrible, horrible course named "Statistical Mechanics and the Kinectic Theory", which is hatespeak for conjuring all the cold, dark arts of thermodynamics by rubbing twigs of statistical principles together to make fire from collections of Bose-Einstien and Fermi-Dirac bastard particles.
A little over a year ago, this friend of mine walked into to my cubicle and said that he had signed up for "an educational opportunity." It would help with his next promotions he said. Of course, I had to sign up too.
How important is this "educational opportunity"? Without Graduation on your resume, you will not advance - period. It is necessary for promotion and social networking. The people you meet in this course of study will be the leaders of the Evil Corporation. U.S. Presidential Candidate John McCain lists a version of this "course of study" as his highest educational achievement. My friend and I were very happy to eventually be selected for admission to the "course of study."
My friend completed the course a couple of weeks ago. Naturally, I will finish later (Tuesday of next week) than him because *HE* didn't have to spend time in Turkey or any of the places the Corporation likes to have people visit. Now here we are ... still waiting for the posting of our final scores. I think the result will be a tie. So does he. Thus the tie breaker ... the best prank phone call to the School. Naturally he surprised me by making the call from my cubicle.
one ringy dingy, two ringy dingy, and ...
FACULTY ADVISOR: "The School". How may I help you?
HIM: Hi! I have a question about Graduation.
FACULTY ADVISOR: It's online. There's really nothing to it.
HIM: Do I need a webcam?
FACULTY ADVISOR: No.
HIM: How will you know I'm wearing my cap and gown?
FACULTY ADVISOR: Sir, you don't need to wear anything.
HIM: My parents won't like that. They're going to take pictures.
FACULTY ADVISOR: That's not what I meant.
HIM: So it's OK to wear a cap and gown?
FACULTY ADVISOR: If you want, yes.
HIM: Who's going to deliver the keynote lecture?
FACULTY ADVISOR: No one.
HIM: If you don't mind, I have prepared some remarks. Can I have five to seven minutes of time at the podium?
FACULTY ADVISOR: Sir, I don't think you understand.
HIM: I know I'm not the Valedictorian, but I tried really hard and if they're not going to speak, it's only fair that I -
FACULTY ADVISOR: That's not it. The graduation is online.
HIM: That's alright. I have an internet connection and a microphone. I'll wait to begin the speech until you've finished playing an MP3 of the National Anthem.
FACULTY ADVISOR: No! The whole graduation is done by a batch job that runs on the server and updates everyones' personnel records to show course completion. You don't have to do anything EXCEPT log back into the the system after 4:06 pm Wednesday and print off your diploma.
HIM: Can I salute the printer?
Click ... buzz ...
I know you read this blog you hypercompetitive little smart alleck. You are NOT going to get in the last word ... no matter how good it was.