Links and work insanity

To add to the debate on whether to get flu shots and which ones to get comes this: Does the seasonal flu vaccine increase the risk of catching swine flu?

On the one hand, it’s preliminary data that hasn’t been rigorously tested yet. Even one of the researchers admits this. OTOH, is it worth the risk given that I don’t plan to get the H1N1 vaccine? Of course, it could all be moot if the Canadian government really does cancel the winter vaccination program in favour of an all-H1N1 program.

In more cheerful news comes this: Anglo-Saxon treasure horde bigger than Sutton Hoo found

I really hope that after it is analysed, this find goes into either the British Museum or a big tour. It will be fascinating to find out what they learn from it.

In other news, the event tomorrow that is supposed to improve understanding, cohesion and communication within the company has so far only succeeded in highlighting the uncooperative, competative nature of the IT department. We are supposed to be creating a poster that describes what our department does (which will be judged for prizes) and providing some kind of treasure hunt or quizz. Then the departments will tour the building, visiting other departments to see their posters and take their quizzes with tokens given out for each department you visit. Then there will be a staff BBQ and prize draw.

Sounds like it should be fun and a good way to meet the people we’re working with, right? It’s pirate themed so we should be dressing up and having fun, blowing off work completely.

Instead the three teams within IT had a meeting last week to decide the ‘joint’ poster and so on. By yesterday lunchtime two of the teams had decided to do their own thing because they wanted to win the prizes and be the best. Even within IT. So now my little app dev team is scrambling to do some stuff that’s bigger than we originally thought it would be (because we’re on our own rather than contributing to a big group) and there is masses of resentment, irritation and growling focused at the other teams.

Yes, we know how to foster the team spirit here! Most of my team is off trying to draw a boat on brown paper (don’t ask) and I’m just trying to stay out of it due to all the aggro and stress flying around. At some stage tonight I need to iron a transfer into a T-shirt. In the mean time, I’m trying to get some work done so that when I have my big status meeting on the Zombie Project on Monday we can at least say some things were acheived beyond getting overly stressed about Pirate Day.

To add to the confusion, people are being encouraged to bring their kids (it’s an in-service day for the schools tomorrow) yet we’re supposed to get back to our desks and work after the BBQ tomorrow. Oh, yes, there is no confusion and potential for further melodrama there!

The motives behind this were good and I’m sure some departments are having great fun with it. The move to the new building has provided more space but because we’re no longer living in each other’s pockets we don’t know people outside our little areas. The aim was to reverse that trend. Sadly, my team is swamped with work and the IT department appears to be unable to work out how to work as an actual department. Part of the problem is probably the personality types that are attracted to IT work in the first place, but it appears that a bigger issue is that the team managers are the ones instigating all of this. And my team manager (and team) didn’t know about any of the splits and plans until yesterday afternoon. Gah. This is why I hate work social things.

I am so glad that I have my knitting group tonight. I’d planned to be good and eat at home, but I’ve decided that indulging in lasagna at the pub sounds like much more fun (I need comfort food!). The weekend cannot come soon enough.

Perhaps this is the weekend when I need to experiment with baked shrimp toast. Or just make a batch of cheesy herb bread and eat the lot.

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