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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tesla Week One

The first week of work has come and gone, and I have several take-aways.

There is so much to do and so much for me to learn. Both of these things are good. I love that I'm out of my comfort zone and learning about something totally foreign to me.(Amperage and voltage and connectors and CAN networks!)

I got to ride in Elon's roadster at orientation. It was zippy. The team has a Model S with test software in it that one of the team takes home over the weekend. Once I get training, I'll get to do that too.

I still know way more than the average bear when it comes to how IT systems interlink. They're using a lot of familiar systems and some I wish we'd been running instead of what we had chosen. In general, I approve of their IT choices. They're doing a great job of linking everything through their AD so that you have one login to get you everywhere.

I don't so much have a desk, office, cube or anything like that. I have a table. I don't have a drawer (yet). They're working on getting me that. It's an open-plan office, so there's zero privacy. I have to check the guy behind me so that I don't roll back directly into his chair when I get up.

The guy behind me is a treat. Marv is an older gent. He rolled back my first day and said, "There's no place to eat around here, so I just get in my car and drive. Makes me feel like I'm doing something real to get out of the office for a bit. It's good." Another day he started talking about how folks don't say goodbye when they leave for the day. This was disappointing to him, a lack of good manners. I said that sometimes folks sneak off because they don't want to interrupt your flow at the end of the day when you're trying to finish up. He said that was a good point. I make sure to say goodbye when I'm leaving. He got caught dozing off at his desk on Thursday. It was a classic five-minute cat nap. When called on it by his boss, he wasn't cowed. He said, "Sometimes the brain gets full and you've just got to shut down and restart like a computer." I have to say that just made me respect him more. He's confident, and customer focused, and does what he needs to do to get things done, even if it doesn't necessarily look good. I know I've had those days of droop where five minutes closing my eyes makes the difference of two more hours of torture and drowsiness versus two hours of productivity.

Another adventure is the food problem. There are no restaurants nearby and Tesla provides coffee, soda, and carbs. If you want cereal or pretzels, you're covered. Otherwise, you need to bring food or buy from a food truck (one per day, with little visibility to the menu before you walk up to the truck), or buy from Eat Club by 10:30 a.m. That's a far cry from the half dozen eateries within a 5-10 minute walk at Stanford. I miss my chicken taco and side of pinto beans.

The biggest challenge for me is the a/c. I miss my window that opens to let in the day's weather. Here, the a/c duct looms above us and seems to blow more and more forcefully as the day wears on. It blows on the left side of my head and dries out my left eye, leaving me wondering why I'm getting a headache until I put my hand up to block the breeze. Then I remember. I brought in a long, heavy cardigan to wear over my outfit daily. When the guys around me are complaining about how cold it is, I know it's not just that I'm being wimpy.

Right now, I'm trying to link some orphaned symptoms to causes in the troubleshooting database and to fill out some additional information about those symptoms. It's a fun puzzle to tease apart. There are 8000 articles in the system right now and I'm sort of wishing I could print them all out and take them to a white board wall and build a big map. Instead, it's going to me and a spreadsheet and the system graphs trying to get it all to knit together. Wish me luck!