Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Boredom at Work Sucks

My happy pill wore off. I took it about 6 or 7 months ago, now, and it finally deserted me yesterday. I'm doing a project for one of my customers that just doesn't make sense to me ($30k+ worth of work for something that affects fewer than 100 of their users). It's also boring. The combination is deadly.

The happy pill basically consisted of the realization that a lot of the stuff is just stuff; I work less than 3 miles from home; I come and go when I want, as long as the work is getting done; I'm paid reasonably well (limited raises and not getting a raise when I got promoted aside). When I'm ready and I can find something better, I will, but right now that's going to be tough and I'm in no hurry. I have it pretty good, so I should just shut the hell up about it.

As a result, I was rather grumpy last night, in spite of feeling great about riding (I figured out today that with going to Rachel's school on the way in but not on the way home, it's around 9.5 miles, round-trip). Dawn was trying so hard to chear me up, and it just wasn't working. I felt bad about that, even then. I ultimately went over to John's to hang with him, Jim, and Dan for a while, just to hang out and chat. Jim & Dan were playing some real-time strategy game when I got there, and we played a little Far Cry too. I'm not very good at video games, so I get bored or frustrated after a bit. All in all, hanging out with them helped enhance my mood somewhat.

Today's been better, although I'm still on the same project. I rode in to work again, dropping Rachel at school very quickly (5 minutes, tops) to make a 9am meeting at work. I "need" to get a new speedometer (aka computer) for my road bike, but I don't really feel like spending much time on it. I know there are a bajillion sites out there about biking and there are probably almost as many computers too. I am tempted just to ride by a bike store on the way home and get one. I don't need much... just current speed and total & trip distances would be enough, I think. I also want to get a bell for the bike and see if I can jury-rig one onto Rachel's bar as well, although that might not be a good idea - she'll probably spend the whole time ringing it! But it would be nice if she could use it to get my attention if she needs to.

I think the end is in site on this project, because I finally got to test the code on the server side. I'm now waiting for the document I'm testing to make it's interminable way through the workflow. Unfortunately, my testing environment is using someone else's DB2 database that's on a machine with SQL Server and running two database migrations. It's pretty much maxing out the CPU right now, so it's taking something like 4 minutes a document for one point in the workflow. It's the last of 28 documents in the queue, which means if it continues to take that long per doc it's going to be almost 2 hours before it gets to the next step. Sigh. Maybe I should just move it myself.

I spent almost 4 hours on another customer. They're going live with one of our products on Monday and needed some out-of-scope changes to something. It should have taken about 30 minutes, but I had to go do some cleanup. There's a REASON I recommended that they reimplement that particular part of the system completely if they decide to continue to use it long term (they're planning on replacing it within a few months, so it just needs to be good enough to work that long... doesn't need to be rebuilt). So, of course, my clean-up broke something. Luckily, Tiffany likes me. Don't know if we really had budget for it, but if this means they can actually go live on Monday then the (pretty low) risk of impacting my bonus is worth it.

Also had to spend 40 minutes on the phone with another customer even though Matt & I basically haven't done a thing on their project since last week's call. Or the week's before that, really. Matt's stuck in non-billable hell and may have another one coming even as he finishes this one off in a week or two, and I'm on this ugly, stupid, pointless project that I can't seem to finish.

At least we have TONS of more interesting work coming once I get out from under this one... Talked one customer up from 2 days of support (if they needed any) to something like 22 days of work that will make their system significantly better for them. Need to start talking to them about 6.5 soon before they commit to dropping us for Oracle. And another of our large financial services customers (the ones who always want the most customization) has something like 120 days of customization work that I'll be doing myself or coordinating with Duane & Dileep if they actually have free time. Given how much else we seem to have in our pipeline, they may not.

Kara just IMed me. She was going to go on our annual waterskiing trip with us, but that's been canceled, so she was asking about our plans for Hawaii, which we were thinking of as a replacement. But now we've decided not to do that either. I think we're going to schedule a couple of trips further out so that we can use our frequent flyer miles more efficiently. May spend a couple of days in a beach house on the coast somewhere, but I think I'll still take the same week we planned off and just do stuff around the house. Have LOTS of things to do, and Dawn and I just added a big one - we're going to convert the shed that's attached to the back of the garage into a playhouse for Rachel. It'll require a lot of new wood to begin with... but that means I've got to start sorting out some of the other stuff on the list first...

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