An Absence at Work and Online Tryouts

It was a bet­ter week at work, large­ly because one of the peo­ple I work with had a back injury last week but was able to make it in this week for part of each day. In a large com­pa­ny like Fideli­ty Invest­ments, where I used to work, if some­one was out with a sick­ness or injury, you filled in with some­one else, and projects did­n’t usu­al­ly suf­fer unless the indi­vid­ual was absolute­ly key and their absence was unchar­ac­ter­is­ti­cal­ly ill-timed. Con­trast that with a com­pa­ny of about a dozen peo­ple, where any sin­gle employ­ee has key skills and knowl­edge, so take them out and things grind to a halt. Last week had real­ly been a lit­tle crazy, as I had to try and fill in with all sorts of tasks that I’m clear­ly not trained to do. I mud­dled through some­how, often learn­ing as I went.

Speak­ing of knowl­edge, I’m once again going to see if all this accu­mu­lat­ed triv­ia I’ve col­lect­ed in my gray mat­ter over the years can pay off or not. The Jeop­ardy Game show has announced that for the first time, they’ll hold online try­outs. While this means that thou­sands of geeks will be hunched over their com­put­ers fir­ing off answers (and they explic­it­ly say ‘Not in the form of a ques­tion this time’) to var­i­ous Potent Pota­bles, Rhyme Times and State Capi­tols, I’ll see if I can make it this time. I had tried out in per­son in Boston some 15 years ago and came very close…but not quite.

In the off chance that I do make it to being a con­tes­tant, at that point after the first sta­tion break where Alex Tre­beck tries to make some con­ver­sa­tion with me based on some bio­graph­i­cal tid­bit on the card, I’m hop­ing it would be about music, or per­haps mov­ing to Cana­da (I’m sure he’d like that, being a Cana­di­an him­self), and not the fact that as a stu­dent I had green hair and once protest­ed Mar­garet Thatch­er. Bet­ter not to share any of that, to be sure.