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Monday, January 17, 2011


Do you know what that means? I didn’t either before this week. It means, “What’s up, my friend?” One of the supervisors walked around and said this to me. It appears to be a tradition at my new job. Every so often, someone comes up to you and says WUMF? So, I thought I would use it to reopen the blog posts. I can’t promise I’ll be sticking to my three a week schedule. I’d like to think I could but I’ll be spending more time in traffic, so it’s harder to budget writing time when I’m sitting in my car for two hours a day. With that said, here’s my WUMF post for you, my friend(s).

So, as I stated in my last post, I started a new job. I’m not going into specifics but I am working for IT in an education setting. I’m trying to build them a knowledgebase that will work. I’ve done it before, right? That one was easy. The application did all the heavy lifting. Now, I’ve got to use one that isn’t up to date and has very little credibility to it. There is a lot of heavy lifting involved. But that is a challenge that I wanted to take on, right?

Along with the new job, I have a new drive. Instead of driving through the backwoods of Westmoreland County, I am hitting the four lanes and heading in and out of Pittsburgh. Instead of a 20 minute drive, I have an hour drive. Instead of just getting in the car and just going. I have a lot of start and stopping. I hit two areas of traffic in my drive. They both involve tunnels in Pittsburgh. Apparently, the tunnel monster demands tribute and people are afraid they are going to get eaten. So, I leave around 6:15 AM to beat the traffic, only to get stuck around Churchill and then right after the Fort Pitt Tunnels heading up to Carnegie.

Coming home, it’s the same thing in the same areas. The one real cool thing about my drive is emerging from the Fort Pitt Tunnels and taking in the sight of downtown Pittsburgh. The panoramic view of the city stretching from the Science Center and Casino, past Heinz Field and PNC Park and the Golden Triangle, down through town to the old Westinghouse Tower (Now, 11 Stanwix St.), Steel Tower, Highmark Building, PPG Place, and the rest is pretty awesome. Then I get to drive along the river back towards Oakland, my alma mater at Pitt, where I get stuck by Bates St., waiting for the Tunnel Monster to let us through. Now, this past Tuesday, I got stuck in traffic for two hours thanks to the impending snowdoom we were supposed to get. Don’t get me wrong, it was bad, but the roads weren’t especially slick. People just freak. I don’t know why. This is Pittsburgh. Even if you just moved here from the South, last year, you would have been around for Snowmageddon. It’s not like you had no idea that it snowed here.

Traffic and uncertainty on how to do my job aside, I like the environment. Everyone has been great and friendly, WUMF and all. In fact, there seems to be a collective acceptance of being a bit strange and goofy there. They even have a hazing ritual that shouldn’t piss anyone off, except the people who stock the kitchen. It’s called tea bagging and before you go all… “What the hell kind of place is this?”, understand that they only take tea bags from the kitchen and put them in your workspace. I’m not exactly sure of the rules but I seem to be exempt because I was a direct hire and not a contractor. The two people I’ve seen “tagged” shared that distinction, if I recall, correctly. The one was a guy who sits across from me and had one hanging from his name plate holder. The second was the same supervisor who came by on Friday, saying WUMF. He has an office and was subject to a little more tagging than others. To give you an idea, think back to that scene in Se7en where Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman enter the apartment of the guy who has been strapped to the bad for months. The entire room was filled with air fresheners, hanging from the ceiling. Imagine that scene with tea bags hanging from the ceiling tiles with push pins.

Well, that covers the WUMF edition. I may make this a regular thing, along with my Lesser Man Project posts. By the way, I am holding steady at having lost 18 pounds. I don’t have access to a real scale, like I did before. Mine is a bit older and probably biased. In fact, it shows me less ten pounds. I don’t figure it into my totals. I really have lost 18 pounds, not eight.

Take care all and here’s to the unknown. That’s WUMF.

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