So 15% of Amazon was laid off today, including all of Seattle's customer service (where I started a little over 2 years ago) and two distribution centers. The personalization team was one of only a few that didn't have any layoffs, since, our official name being "Personalization and Automation" we're expected to create the tools to justify all these people leaving. They (the people who got laid off) get 3 months full pay as a severance package (I almost called it a severance bonus) which sounds pretty nice. I'd like three months paid vacation please. On top of that there's a new trust fund with amazon stock that will be sold in 2.5 years and divided out to the people. I don't want to get laid off, but the excitement of life changing and things being a little more raw and interesting for a while has me sort of daydreaming.
E-commerce is an interesting and fun world just because these things happen, bad things, good things, at least they are things, and the book I'm reading, The Biographer's Tale is all about giving up ideas for things. So far, I love it.
Did you notice that now Ginger has similarities? Instead of purchase similarities, we have this new thing where we find what people who looked at this detail page also looked at. So far, it looks pretty random, and lame. Also, if you happen to be one of my "trusted friends" at amazon, you'll be able to see that I found a way to actually buy one, for $0. It took some loophole manuevering that involved wishlists, shared purchases, and emailing it to a friend. It's a bug, and it'll be fixed soon, but I wonder when my order will get cancelled.
Also, I've changed this page a bit. Did you notice? I'll talk more about it tomorrow.
There are mysterious meetings in every department, meetings where people are being asked to take all their belongings with them, where they will be allowed to go home immediately afterwards because buildings will be locked down after their exit, meetings where you'll be paid for the remainder of the day's work, however there's no hint of anything past that. I'll tell you if I have a job still in 5 hours and counting.
Kathryn found the link to this one act parody of amazon, called 21 Dog Years, which is pretty funny considering that this is the guy I sat right next to for my first two months at amazon. He was my "mentor" who showed me the ropes and had to read each email that went out with my name on it. He thought my emails were too happy, almost to the point of psychotic, which is what he told my supervisor. Luckily, (or, well, your guess), my supervisor thought my excuse of too much coffee too early in the morning was hilarious. Don't try to watch the movie, I think we're busy trying to take his servers down cause it's painfully slow, even on dsl. I do like this gallery of images he's prepared for the press. And all of this just in time for tomorrow's Q4 Quarterly report. I might see the show, but do you think I should endorse this anti-corporation, anti-pipe-dreams, anti-brainwash, most likely a supporter of Nader, most likely less than content with this plastic ugly world, hooligan?
I've reached a new pathetic low, haven't I. Pushing the envelope in all areas, I like to think. Have you seen someone as sorry as this guy! No way, this guy's really pioneering in a field completely filled with crybabies. Brilliant. Four stars. Etc.
And when I'm depressed I think of urls. Like, I had to think twice before registering lostinthewash.com on a whim. That's just what I need more space to fill.
Anyway, speaking of filling space, our elevators at work have dry-erase boards (some call them grease boards) on the walls, and people write on them. Today, this is what was written.
I'd rather be...
under the sea
all of the above
a baltimore raven
in an octopus garden
on assignment in antarctica
sexing it up
at the movies
This should inspire confidence in you who have invested in this company. I think this exact same list could've been made by our world leaders, by highschool kids, and by the knights of the round table. When it comes down to it, we'd rather be rich, lazy, exotic, sexy, and on drugs. Oh you human race, how you dost smell like the beautiful flowers of spring, eaten by cows, turned into manure, and bursting forth as a healthy oak tree, onwards and upwards, human race, flicker flicker fly!
I'm contemplating online suicide. I've been very unhappy here, and the thought crossed my mind of just leaving it all, maybe eventually starting over somewhere else, maybe here, maybe not. If you killed your online self, what would change? There's a good chance I'm just doing this for attention, so please feel free to come out on the ledge with me and talk me down, or encourage me.
I got in a conversation today about the article in this great publication called "You Squared". About human cloning. I don't think it's a big deal. He thinks it's going to spawn all kinds of evil all over the world. So, in an effort to contribute, here I offer my ideas on ways to abuse human cloning:
1. He with the most fat muscular guys wins. Nations now bored of the Cold War can build armies of cloned football players (I see plenty of them on the muted tv right now, ready to be cloned) who will then just march into whatever country they want and take over. Cheaper than airplanes, weaker than tanks, but dang determined. 2. Weird countries that only like male sons can now ... only have male sons. No more of those sissy girls. Soon, those men will realize they're in a country full of men and can go march into another country and loot and conquer. 3. More George Cloonies. 4. More beautiful people in general. But maybe there will be additional value in being "the first Amanda Peet." Or at least "a single digit clone." Extra trauma for the ugly people because nobody will want to clone them (what a downer!).
I'm already bored of this idea. Who cares, more people, more choice in who is who, more control by those who control, etc etc. To me it seems like the real issue here is how many of our world powers have read as much science fiction as us. Human cloning has this literary tradition preceding it that makes our imaginations tumble with evil ideas, and maybe a few good ones. I think psychologists will become useful again, as a whole new family of issues crops up (I don't like my clone, My clone stole my wife, I miss my clone, but the clone of my clone just isn't the same, They cloned me against my permission). How many issues can you predict?
The world is great like this, where there really are no lines between science, fiction, fantasy, conspiracy theories, and offline world politicians. Everything blends together, fake plots feeding real plots, which then feed back into new fiction. I really don't care if any of this power is abused, since I pretty much think things will take care of themselves, but there's also a chance that I could join some anti- or pro-cloning movement when the day comes. In the end, it's all just plot, build-up, climax, and then on to a new book. Black white and read all over.
The temptation with these stories (since when you recieve the last snippet you only get to read one step back) is to make your snippet as random as possible. But I think the reason that this story is good is because it actually stays pretty on track. Themes: physically abnormal boy likes physically abnormal girl, love unreturned or prevented by large physically abnormal guy, depression that comes as result, epiphany through supernatural means or self-mutilation. The ingredients of any good story.
My boss at work has volunteered to host bustercafe on his server, so my last excuse for not launching it (too slow on my current dreamhost account) is being brushed away like the ashes from last night's fireworks.
What's this on my old domain ianomalous.com? I thought I still owned it. Maybe someone should call the number and ask them for me.
I haven't been writing much here, but I've been sending stuff to a few other people to post on their sites. I've forgotten what kinds of things I'm supposed to write about here. Some people say if you forget something then you never knew in the first place.