Don’t talk to Jeannette

Yes, I do know that many of my stories are poorly structured. You know what, though? That is life! Not everything has a clean ending. And if you wait for an experience to end, you (I at least) will never care enough any more to write about it.

Anyway, today was a build day. Just as background, I work remotely in a different (a _very_ different) timezone than most of my co-workers. It works out pretty well, although I do as a rule work evenings, but build days are exceptional. Since my group works on a government contract, we have a lot of very specific rules and a lot of inertia that has to be overcome to make changes. So getting code into a build is structured. The development pipe has two builds every week, so being ready early would actually just be a tight deadline for the previous build. And right now I am working on a major change request, and so I have to coordinate my activities with quite a few other people. So I actually had “working” code finished three or four weeks ago sitting out there for the rest of the group to interact with, and, sure enough, three or four weeks go by with nary a complaint about the interface or the results. As if no one had actually interacted with it, really! So then I suddenly get told that I need to be ready for the next week’s build. No big deal, just some comments I had to clear up and some constants I have to get into this one .h file. Except that one of my co-workers beat me to the punch, checking that header file out three weeks ago and hanging on to it … ok, so I just have to talk to her to get my constants included. That actually works out ok, and I am still ahead of schedule. Except that the developer of the layer that calls my code just started working on it and twice a day tells me that there is one more parameter that needs to be returned or that a specific date can’t be passed in, only a month. And I’m still easy-going. And so Monday at noon I send out an email asking for review of my code and an hour later the other C developer on this project calls on me to return the favour. And next thing I know I have 2 checklists and 7 configuration windows open, plus I am verifying constant and comments and logic and still taking requests to make changes to my structures and I’m getting dizzy and then a reminder pops up that in 15 minutes the mandatory monthly developer meeting is taking place and I call in … but the sound is bad and the video is worse and I can’t even figure out if the new policies are relevant (and the shared screen says “Item 1: Discuss new policies”, but these policies aren’t specified so I am trying to follow along on the conversation) … at least this time they force muted everyone’s phones, because the barking dogs and the chain saws last time really grated on everyone’s nerves.

So I log out, committing to finish my colleague’s walk through before the next morning (only slightly pushing the “close of business” deadline I was given) and I do get up and finish it, and make the required changes to mine, and then of course the tech lead who needs to give the final approval is nowhere to be found before the noon cut-off for the preliminary build list, not approving my package until 1:30 and forcing me to try to get onto the final build list (and we discuss what was mentioned about this process in the meeting yesterday – I don’t need to send an email as long as I make it before three? or I do have to send an email, but I shouldn’t cc the whole company? Eight emails are sent, cc’ing everyone even though 98% of us don’t care. I don’t reply all, only to have one person message me later asking if mine finished in time for the build. It is now going on midnight, and the final build list hasn’t come out … I’ve never had to correct the list, but I still always check and make sure I am on it, especially since we were just warned yesterday that if we include the letters WP when specifying the work package, the build won’t pick us up … we have to make sure that we submit only the numeric portion. And in spite of our being a tech company and this being discussed in the last one or two developer meetings, the assignee has yet to discover anyone who will admit to being responsible or able to change the form so that it has a comment or forces the proper format …

Oh yes, this is also the day that The Redhead is working from home, because he is on call the second his parts come in, and while it is nice to have him there and talk when _I_ want, he has the worst timing, trying to talk about his day just as I am trying to tune a SQL or rebuild the catalog so that I can pass one more parameter on to the next layer, and so my answer to whatever it was he just asked me? “Don’t talk to Jeannette!”

About Jeannette

Jeannette's rejection of boredom means she is always learning something new and she has had the pleasure of working in software, test, systems, technical writing and production planning, developing GPS receivers and testing device drivers, semiconductor manufacturing, and even a social gaming start-up! Her eternal Wanderlust guarantees an interesting view out the window no matter what she is doing.
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