Dear kids,

I’ve been pretty busy lately. I’ve tried to act non-grouchy at home but perhaps I have been a bit more taciturn than usual. After all, I don’t typically just park in front of the TV like I have been for the past couple of weeks. Well, work has been trying. I shall attempt to explain.

Basically, I’m in charge of a project that is coming to fruition and is on the verge of being put on an airplane and used. It is typical of projects like that to get very busy near the end of the development cycle and so it is with mine. We’ve been working on it for the past three years or so (more, if you count the early exploratory part) and that’s about one year more than we originally thought it would take. As a result, our customer is getting a bit impatient and wants to see it done.

The big kahunas at my company made the decision to move my project up in priority to number one which means that everybody is supposed to drop what they’re doing and work on my stuff instead of sharing time between projects like we usually do. This is good news of course since it means that the big bosses like what we’re doing but it makes me nervous when so many are looking so closely at what I’m doing. It’s like being on stage with the spotlight on you; I know that many people love that (like Erin does) but I don’t really like it. Plus, I’m more of a “slow and steady wins the race” kind of guy than a sprinter.

The end result is that I have ended up answering a lot of questions, explaining a lot of decisions to a lot of people, going to a lot of meetings, and generally walking around a lot more. People look to me to decide between the lesser of two evils fairly often. I have generally built up the feeling that my device had better work right the first time it is used or I’m in big trouble. These sorts of projects almost never work right the first time so I’m feeling a good bit of pressure. Pressure to anticipate problems we might have (which involves drawing on my experience to predict the future – always a dicy proposition) and pressure to get everybody what they need when they need it so that things can fall into place. Then there are the things that are out of anybody’s control such as buying stuff and hoping they fill the orders and ship in a timely manner. We’re under such a tight schedule that any slipups will cause the whole thing to fail. We’re supposed to fly right after Thanksgiving and so I’m afraid I might have to be responsible for a bunch of people working during the Thanksgiving holiday which might make a lot of people mad at me. I don’t like people to be mad at me.

This is what’s making me crazy at work and I just want to relax when I get home and (if possible) forget about the office. I hope it hasn’t made things unpleasant.

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