Please start by picturing a support group similar to Alcoholics Anonymous; Let's call it IT Anonymous:
- A dingy room in a church somewhere
- A coffee pot
- Cookies or donuts
- Chairs in a semi circle
- A place for people to stand and address the group
We all know the drill - we've seen this scene a thousand times in movies or TV. And then you see me stand and address the group:
Hi. I'm Scott.
and the group responds with a chorus of:
and then begins the confession:
"I … have a problem. I need help!"
"Tell us more"
I respond with:
"I work in technology and I'm a workaholic. Last week I, the throes of getting an MVP out the door, with a boss that has been asking me daily Is It Done Yet? / Got Anything for me to See?, I got it done by all the Gods and Goddesses but I slept less than 8 hours out of the final 72 – I delivered.
And yes I was late but by 2 days. But, at the end of our Weekly Agile Retrospective, I got to demo working code to our team. This occurred at 2:55 pm on Friday at which point I was close to falling over tired.
And the reward for all this was to be scheduled into a 7 person Zoom meeting at 4:00 pm on a Friday to discuss AWS Services we use and AWS Key Handoff. This was NOT an important thing that had to be done after successfully completing my goals. And then, in a show of personal stupidity on my part, I noticed my boss was online Saturday night at midnight my time.
And, in an effort to be a dutiful corporate solider, I, yes I'm a moron, asked him What epic should I start on on Monday morning?. My boss is three hours time offset from myself so this actually made some sense. And I had, per his direction created epics for all the outstanding tasks that I was aware of. I put them into Jira as I struggled mightily to get this MVP done. And, rather than being told to complete one of my existing Epics, a new Epic was named on the spot and a series of requirements were delivered to me via slack messages. And then there was the fateful question: Can we get that done this week?
shudders amusement And what did you do Scott?
I left my house in the wee hours when it was still dark, strapped a flashlight to my chest and walked through local nature preserve and I engaged in several hours of rage cleaning the forest. I actually broke the day / night barrier, I was so enraged! Here are some pics that I'm going to toss up on the projector:
I need help from the group. Suggestions:
In the back, a tall bearded man speaks up:
Those sound like requirements from the Ambien Walrus. If they're not in Jira, they don't exist. Sleep well.
That's a wonderful perspective but I live in the world of Small Tech (another essay to come soon) where that isn't an option.
A beautiful redhead speaks up:
"I think you should get yourself a Peavey to make lumberjacking easier". And then, with a twinkle in her eye, she says "Oh and you should call yourself LumberSnack; you're kind of cute."
A group discussion occurs and then, the magic of community solves this as another lovely red head speaks up:
"You have a phone, do you not? You must it is 2020. Legally you are obligated to provide exactly 40 hours per week. I get that life is crazy pants right now due to pandemic madness and lots of distractions on the home front but why not use the phone's count down timer to track your hours and then JUST FSCKING STOP when you hit 8 hours in the day?"
And with that I speak up:
I resolve to "I shall work no amount of time, per week, greater than 40 hours for this project. My wife, family, health and my sanity demand it."
Posted In: #startup