Monday, August 13, 2012

Go with the (work)flow

Late last week yet another one of my co-workers dropped in on me in my cubicle, but this time the reason for their approach was something I could potentially regard with positivity: apparently she and another colleague of ours have been trying to stay on top of their own shared workflow with an ad hoc spreadsheet tracking mechanism, and they went to our contracting boss to convey to him that the spreadsheet just wasn’t cutting it, and he in turn pointed them toward me and said I could probably build them something better. He wasn’t wrong, in fact arguably that’s what I’m best at: building databases (and web interfaces for them) which are just beyond the most-complex end of the tracking-spreadsheet continuum, which places them at the least-complex end of the proper database continuum. And, also, that’s what I’m here for in theory, not just as the guy who can fix what was built long ago if anything ever goes wrong with it, but the guy who can actually develop new functions for the old stuff or even completely new stuff.

Of course this would have to come up right before I go on vacation, right? My co-worker originally asked me if we could get together and talk specifics on Friday, and I agreed, but then apparently she and her colleague got too busy so it was pushed off to this week. And now Monday’s more than half gone and I haven’t heard from her yet, so who knows. Maybe she’ll want to sit down and hash things out first thing tomorrow morning; maybe it won’t happen this week at all, then I’ll be gone next week (which means I’m mentally half-checked out already anyway, which is why I won’t be chasing my co-worker down in the hallways reminding her about it), and by the time I get back it’ll be entirely forgotten. The major consolation, of course, is that it's not as though the project is going to be assigned to someone else in my absence if this week slips by; this worksite remains a one-programmer cibicle-town, and I am he. If it is still a going concern when I get back, then I reckon I'll get down to it then.

I do still get psyched when I get genuinely meaty development projects to work on around here, but I’ve also learned not to get my hopes up until there’s a concrete record of deliverables and deadlines that I can reference in my annual review time self-evaluation. So, once again I am hurrying up and waiting, with the nice bonus that if I hurry up and wait for nothing by week’s end, I get rewarded with a trip to the beach.

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