Though I saw it all around
Never thought I could be affected
Thought that we'd be the last to go
It is so strange the way things turn

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Midsummer's Nightmare

So, let me try this as a story.

There's this Very Important Project™ that absolutely needs to be done by, lets say, in time for a December meeting of Very Important People™. The intrepid designer works their ever loving tail off, ignoring other obligations, to take the sow's ear they were given and turn it into, if not a silk purse, at least a purse of some quality. Oh the slings and arrows start coming in to knock the designer off course, but they persevere.

Now, lets say this project is one of discrete parts that have multiple subject leaders who must review and approved said parts. And lets also say that the subject experts really couldn't give a crap about this project being done, because they have other priorities and making sure someone else (more than likely lower on the food chain) has the proper information to do their job properly isn't one of them.

So the Very Important Project sputters to a stop before the December meeting of the Very Important People, but everybody is okay, because most of those subject leaders are among the Very Important People.

In the absence of that priority, our intrepid designer then must work on other top priorities, and slowly try to steal time to work on the Very Important Project. But, because everybody is very busy and there is no lack of Top Priority Jobs, they don't get very far.

Then the big meeting comes and our designer approaches the subject leaders and asks them face to face how they are coming with their sections. Now, some are abashed and actually work after the meeting to get the designer their edits. However, with the meeting and the fire for getting the Very Important Project done banked, other people steal the time of the designer and give them Other Priorities. But before we move on, let us focus on one subject leader and their conversation with the designer. The subject leader basically tells the designer that they haven't even looked at it in the 2 months it's been sitting in their inbox. And that they don't think they'll get to it any time soon.

Fast forward four months. Our designer has only worked a few more hours on the VIProject because nobody seems to give a good god damn about it. But then there's a last minute call for the information that would be in the VIProject to use in another VIProject, this one due in a week. Subject leaders contact the designer to "see where we are, and can the designer share those files."

The designer responds, "We're exactly where we were four months ago, unapproved, and in process, and sure, I can share those files. But only on the stipulation that I get all the updates back to fold into the original VIProject."

"Oh, sure thing," the subject matter experts say, in particular that one subject matter expert who, 4 months later, still hasn't reviewed their section. Over the course of the next two months, because the second VIProject gets extended, our designer provides Very Quick Responses to calls for help from a person pressed into being a designer for the second VIProject. Even, at one time, connecting remotely to their machine to show them how a certain function is done, only to end up doing that certain function for them for all the sections (because they were busy). But our designer is a team player, and they really want all the updated data back.

Only to not hear a thing about the second VIProject after that (note, request for files back would, lets say, be made seven times to all parties concerned).

Fast forward two more months and our intrepid designer, working themselves to the bone on another VIProject (which takes precedence over another VIProject they were working on), receives an email from our subject expert who told the designer they didn't have time to work on their section, and then begged for the files, and then completely ignored the designer. Also, this email is sent after regular business hours. The text of that email reads, basically, just asking when the designer thinks that first Very Important Project will be done. Note the designer still has never received feedback on that subject expert's section.

Now imagine the designer trying to keep professional while their head attempts to screw off and go bouncing down the hall. Imagine the designer not immediately replying with an explicative laden email because they know they would be fired for insubordination. Imagine the designer plotting their revenge. Imagine the designer making a personal vow to never respond in a timely fashion to this subject expert ever again.

Okay, well, now we're at the end you can believe that all of this was make believe. Or, as Puck would say, "If we shadows have offended, think but this and all is mended. That you have slumbered here while these visions did appear, and this weak and idle theme no more yielding than a dream. Gentles, do not reprehend. If you pardon, we will mend. And, as I am an honest Puck, if we have unearned luck, now to scape the serpent's tongue. We will make amends. 'Ere long else the Puck a liar call. So goodnight unto you all. Give me your hands if we be friends. And Robin shall restore amends."

2 comments:

Dr. Phil (Physics) said...

O Honest Puck -- we know you only talk of dreams and metaphors.

Dr. Phil

Steve Buchheit said...

Just call me Bobby Ewing.