Archive for the work Category

Battle Scars: Running the Winn-Dixie Obstacle Course

Posted in humor, life, personal, work with tags , on November 18, 2008 by Paxton

obstacle_course_finishSo, every year, Winn-Dixie throws its employees a picnic and calls it Associate Appreciation Day. They have vendors come in and give out tons of free stuff. Pepsi and Coke show up and give out cans and bottles of free soda. Sometimes they even give out test flavors. Last year we got to try Squirt Citrus Power before it hit the shelves earlier this year.

At these picnics, Winn-Dixie will organize events that we, as employees, will participate in. One year they had a tri-sport challenge where you threw a football, shot a basketball and kicked a soccer ball to win prizes. Another year they organized a “Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Idol” karaoke contest. Usually management organizes their groups into teams and watches us compete.   Days before this event, these managers will start smack talking each other saying their department will win this, other departments are scared of their team, etc, etc.  It’s like the Associate Appreciation Day events are the equivalent of the “Coliseum Games” in Rome. We employees are the gladiators, the CEO and management team are the Emperor and Senate. The employees team up and compete in the “games”, trying to outdo each other and entertain management while they gorge themselves on food and drink. It’s fun for all. 🙂

This year there were several events and collectively it was called the Winn-Dixie Olympics.  I competed in two events; the tug-of-war and the obstacle course.  The tug-of-war almost became a blog article in and of itself.  Our team won 2 matches then was told we were eliminated because we didn’t beat our opponents quick enough.  I didn’t realize there was a time restriction.  We dispatched our first opponent in just over 7 seconds.  The second one took a little longer but not much more than 12 seconds.  We were all a little ticked that a team that went 2-0 was being eliminated. Come to find out later, we actually did win the Gold in that event.  I don’t know who fell asleep at the wheel, but I’m glad they finally recognized.  IT PeopleSoft came to REPRESENT, yo. Here’s the winning tug-of-war team:

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New Computer for me; well relatively new, not new-new

Posted in computers, humor, work on October 11, 2007 by Paxton

Winn-DixieWinn-Dixie finally refreshed the IT department’s computers. When I started here in 2005 I got a Dell Optiplex desktop with Windows 2000 (!), 512Mb of RAM and this gi-normous CRT monitor that took up my entire desk. To say my computer was old and slow would be like saying Gigli was a bad movie. REDUNDANT. As if old components wasn’t enough, all I had left on the hard drive was 100Mb. I don’t know what’s taking up all my space as I’ve uninstalled all unnecessary applications and deleted all my temp files. Since now there’s no room on the hard drive to create temp files my computer comes crashing down around me like an imploding Vegas casino whenever I try to open a Word document. I’m a computer professional, I should have a computer that is more commiserate with my mad programming skillz. This is like having Jeff Gordon drive in the Pepsi 500 with a Honda Prius. It’s absurd.

Anyway, corporate decided that we had suffered enough with resource errors and crashing hard drives and decided to upgrade our workstations. I thought I was going to get a brand new Lenovo desktop (yay!) but unfortunately they didn’t go that far. First they replaced my clownishly large monitor with a brand new, 17″ flat-screen work of art. The screen on this baby is like butta, my friends. So much easier on my strained eyes. It really does help with headaches and such after developing and writing code for 8-9 hours a day. Next they refreshed my computer with an extra 1.5Gb of RAM and Windows XP professional. Yes, Winn-Dixie adopts Windows XP only 6 years after it was released, Woo-Hoo! At this rate we’ll have Windows Vista by the time I retire.

new Computer

Here’s a pic of my new workstation. Gorgeous, isn’t it, daaaaahling? I’m literally tearing up as I type on it right now. Everything runs so much faster and cleaner. The colors are bright and not hazy. Letters and fonts are cleaner and easier to read. It’s a little poor boy’s dream come true!

When I came in the morning after they refreshed our computers all of our old CRT monitors littered the floor like some sort of computer graveyard. I bruised my shins trying to make my way into my cubicle.




Anyway, I was just so happy I thought I’d share. I should have a more appropriately Halloween-y article for you by Friday. I’ve been working on it the past few days but haven’t been able to gussy it up and make it look all purty for you guys. So check back in a few days for a more seasonally appropriate article.





I’m in Training. Glorious, Glorious Training.

Posted in humor, personal, work with tags on February 1, 2007 by Paxton

Take a look at the picture to the left. Was this picture taken in like 1978? What’s with the tri-fold Science Fair display in the back? Or the easel with the paper and permanent marker? Wow, that’s old school. That’s how the people who worked during the Crusades had on-the-job training. Hard to imagine right? I’m used to sitting in stadium seating like you are at the big game. I’m used to Powerpoint presentations that look like they were directed by Michael Bay. I’m used to a table of bagels and muffins in the back with the 30 different kinds of cream cheese (do we really need a pistachio cream cheese? Really?). Things have come a long way since the Golden Days of training. You wouldn’t know this, however, if you sat in on training with me this week. Actually, staring at that picture is more exciting than the class I’m in right now. Watching the grass grow would be more exciting.

But, Pax, you say, you are learning new skills, broadening your horizons. Nay, I say, NAY. I am dying a slow death, twitching and spasming like a fish on land. The training class is attempting to teach me about the functional implementation of PeopleSoft General Ledger…….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……Wha?! Huh?! I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I think I dozed off telling you about it. You see what I mean?

Since the instructor is going to continue to talk, let’s take a tour around the classroom.


Here’s a picture of my instructor teaching. He manages to drone on about General Ledger concepts as if they were old friends. “Hey, I remember when Balance Sheet and I got hammered and peed in the water supply of a small town in West Virginia! Those were the days!” That just was a fictionalized example. I had to make it more exciting so you wouldn’t lose consciousness reading it. You get the idea, though. He is so dry and boring and he keeps stammering through his sentences. He peppers his lectures with uhhs, ahhs and umms. When he talks, he literally sounds like this:


You think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not. How productive can I be listening to that? Answer: Not very.



So, here’s a picture of my shoe. I got bored watching and listening to our instructor so I just stared staring at my shoe. Pretty boring, right? This was better than the class.




Here’s a grouping of cables sitting on my desk. These cables became good friends of mine while the instructor started talking about transaction codes and how they map to journal entry lines. During that lesson, he actually used the phrase “…service my intraunit…” Look, buddy, I don’t know what you like to do with your intraunit, but keep it out of the classroom. Yikes.

Also, whenever an unexpected result happened during one of the instructors “demonstrations”, he says “that’s interesting”. Trust me, dude, it’s not. In fact, it’s anti-interesting. If what you just did and interesting were to ever come in contact, the entire universe would explode. Seriously. It’s one of Newton’s Laws. Look it up.

So, that’s what I’ve been doing this week. Thought I’d let you feel my pain. If you have any pity left in your heart, point it my way. I’m losing consciousness quick.

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