Today I’m working a bit for my day job. Our customer is coming up to an important deadline so I’m working to make sure any roadblocks that come up (bugs, etc) get fixed and don’t prevent them from reaching their goal. Our team is extra short handed lately. One of the guys has been in and out with some serious medical problems. Another guy is on vacation until mid-week next week. So, that leaves me to watch the fort over the weekend.
I recently traveled to Boston for a training class on how to do formal code inspections. It was really a cover so that my team could get together and finally meet each other. I had never met the guys in Omaha and Memphis. It was a good trip in terms of getting to hang out with the guys. We had to put up with the class on code inspections but we got to eat a bunch of meals together and stay up late at the hotel bar. I learned that the guy in Memphis is an entrepreneur – he has an outsourcing company that is doing very well. I stayed at the Double Tree Hotel which was very nice. All in all, it was a good trip.
This week was pretty bad too. I worked my normal day from 8:00-6:30 with a 1 hr lunch. Then after the kids are in bed I did another few hours. Next week Jon will be on vacation at work so that will make next week worse probably. There is no end in sight for this kind of crazy work schedule so that kind of stinks.
I got a new monitor last week. My old one died so I got a new one that matches my work monitor. Now I’m using them together so my work desktop spans across two 20.5 inch monitors at 1600×1200 resolution. It is a nice big workspace! Now I wish I had 6!
I think tomorrow I learn about what my raise will be (if any) at work this year. I got top marks from my boss at review time and I also got a good bonus this year but you never know when it comes to pay increases. Sometimes they don’t give anything out and sometimes it is so small it seems like nothing. Fingers crossed! We’ve come a long way since the 90s and 10-15% pay increases.
I was sent to Paris to a customer site on short notice so I had little time to prepare. I went and spent 7 days there at a customer site and helped them get their system running as much as I could in 7 days. It went pretty well and the people were very nice. The food was great. The hotel was pretty good. I worked almost the entire time I was there except for 1 evening in Paris and nightly naps (too short to call it sleeping). Paris is 6 hours ahead of Cleveland time so I would work my long work day there and get to the hotel around 7:30pm. Then I would work until midnight or 1:00AM every night with my team in the USA (7PM EST). It was a gruelling week but I survived.
I did get one evening to go to Paris with a colleague who lives in Paris. He gave me a 6 hour guided tour of all the main attractions:
- Sacre Coeur Basilica (which had a great view overlooking the city at night)
- The Louvre
- The Champs-Elysées
- Arc de Triomphe
- The first Statue Of Liberty
- The bridge where Princess Diana died (which has a torch from the statue of liberty as a monument on the bridge top)
- Eiffel Tower
- Obélisque de Luxor
- Notre Dame Cathedral
My guide (Marc) and I had dinner near Notre Dame Cathedral at an authentic restaurant where I ate crapes with sunny side up eggs, mushrooms, cheese, onions, salad and tomatoes. And sweet crapes with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, and a pear. Very different food. We drank cider (like beer made with apples).
I had a good time and worked like crazy. Everything is small compared to America. Cars, showers, toilet stalls, doors, ceilings, homes, roads, food portions, everything.
I’m glad I got to go and very happy that most of the people at the customer site and hotel spoke English. I was on my own everywhere else so it was nice to have English speakers where I slept and worked.
Lately it feels like my team is running in all directions. We have a release looming while QA tests our work. We have a 2nd release only a couple weeks away for our biggest customer. We have performance issues to solve, bugs to resolve, testing to do, integration testing environment to setup and trips overseas (did I mention that I got my passport recently). I hope things calm down and we can get everything under control soon. I’m not in on the management discussions about priorities and resources so it is totally possible that our boss has a plan for it all. He’s a pretty good manager so there is a good chance that it is all under control and I’ve just been too buried to see anything except the next crisis.
I’ve been working on some pretty hard problems at work lately. Some of the customer related issues are over and now I’m working on test issues and problems with our new code that has yet to be delivered for testing. I’ve been working late and trying to solve real hard problems on too little sleep (up late watching west coast basketball). I think I’ve been spending too much time on the computer for work which makes me not feel like blogging lately. I’m just taking a short mental break .. time to get back to work 🙂
I feel like I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel at work. The last couple weeks have been crazy. My team is working like crazy to deal with all of the escalated support work coming our way.. late hours, etc, etc. Today it seems like we might be getting the upper hand. I hope we are.
Tomorrow is President’s Day – a holiday for me. I’m pretty happy to have the day off work 🙂