austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

I should be sleeping like a log

And now an update from work which I hesitate to mention because I am aware nobody will give me any sympathy at all for it, but, here goes. I don't need the sympathy anyway, I just want to talk about what left me all grumbly today. In the past month, the software package I was supposed to be developing with --- two years ago --- finally started working thanks to innovations like the company sending us this package finally sending us the correct package. As a result the past few weeks have been a burst of milestones in the development of this web site being met with the sort of speed that might suggest I was actually a team of dozens of gifted programmers working around the clock. Of course, most of that speed is because I spent all my useless time working on my ``lemmas'', side projects that I thought likely to be needed, and that left me well-timed to plug everything in once the other company's software finally worked. As of mid-week there was only one important piece not already working.

For some reason this set the company's owner off in a fit of What If We Aren't Done Soon Enough, and so he called on the reserve clause which was buried back when I went to four days a week: since schedule pressure demands it, then, he wants me working five days. I'm hoping that this won't last long, since I'm fairly sure unless he's got a radically different idea of the project I don't have that much to do, but it brought me in today.

I had hopes that I'd wrap it all up in the day, conceivably the morning, and if it weren't for stupid issues I might have managed it. But I got bogged down in what sure looks like an undocumented size limitation on the other company's software and that cost me valuable hours. And the owner kept dropping in Thursday and Friday urging me to make phone calls to people who could explain that what I thought I needed to do, I in fact needed to do, which he needed explained to him from me and two independent sources before he kind of started to believe me.

With luck I'll finish this Monday and can drop back to four days a week; I'd like to use completion of the project as grounds to drop to three days a week. Or if he's going to insist on five days, at least I can press for the pay raise I'd traded off for that. I'd rather have the time off, though.

Trivia: At the Switchboard Conference held in New York City in 1887, American Bell executive Wiley W Smith complaind that many operators reported a party ``won't answer'', rather than ``don't answer'', implying a deliberate refusal to respond to the phone call rather than perhaps simply being out. The other attendees agreed this could give telephone service a bad name and operators were henceforth told to say ``don't''. Source: Telephone: The First Hundred Years, John Brooks.

Currently Reading: Gold! The Story Of The 1848 Gold Rush And How It Shaped A Nation, Fred Rosen.


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