January 28th, 2010


More Ozu movies; test management

Uhh ... Madeira is already a year and a lifetime ago. I spent today training my employees. During a talk about what I was trying to do with the department as a whole, I went into some of the things I wasn't expecting to need to do but am, and briefly wondered if I was being "too vulnerable" with them about how this was a learning process (as it were) for me. Then I mentioned that one of the things I wasn't expecting was going to be part of my job was "cheerleading" for the department, as the previous test managers I'd known who'd spent a lot of time going around promoting their departments were basically .... long pause while I came up with the perfect word ... "useless parasites." Which means now I think maybe that's now the perfect word they're going to use to describe me in their heads, or maybe "big faker" or "useless prat" or "I could be doing that job better." Anyway, we had four and a half hours of training, with 11 total speakers, and I thought the huge thing was a big success, unless of course now my employees all think I'm a moron.

Anyway, that killed my energy for going out and for once I had the option of choosing to go home instead of doing something else, so here I am hitting the LJ while my spaghetti digests. I've been to see another Ozu movie, "The Only Son," which was Ozu's first talkie and a nice break from the four or so silents I've seen. The plot is that a woman who sacrificed everything to send her son to school goes to visit her son in Tokyo, now that he's all graduated, and finds out that, basically, he's a total loser (he's gotten married and had a kid and not bothered to tell her, much less visit her or invite her to see him all this time), and she's squandered her life trying to help him make something out of himself. Oddly, the scene I liked the most was this tiny moment in her house in their small town when there were a couple of little chicks hopping on the stairs of what was for all intents and purposes a perfectly composed still life of a Japanese house, with a bit of feather fluff floating in the air. I wish I could have a poster of that scene; it was just beautiful. The movie was also interesting in terms of my realizing my total lack of understanding of Japanese culture; when the mom leaves the married couple money at the end, were they grateful, ashamed, or even mad at her for embarassing them? I just couldn't tell at all. Fun to puzzle over it, though. Oh yeah: and thanks to seeing all of these movies and not going to see plays, I've ended this month Not Broke (Much). I like that.

Oh. And at the end of the day of training? Every one of my little "we just do user acceptance testing" team said they wanted training in test automation. I was so proud my heart about burst. Bless their socks, we're taking this damned company into the 21st century together, just about 10 years later than it should have happened.