I can nap on the floor

There is a euphoric high you get when you are so busy that you quite literally can’t slow down, your brain keeps gong because you have so much to process that it just can’t get done in a full day. So even when you start to rest all that happens is that you begin thinking of the separate items from the day that didn’t have bandwidth earlier.

I like it.

I hand a nightmare project several years ago. Bell-Canada and MSN were going through a big deal. Total value was 250 million. and most of the critical elements for the release ran through my office. It is pretty hard to describe the level of stress you are under when you start talking about deals of this size. especially when you have an open ended responsibility.

It’s not like I had some element that I could take care of, hand off, and go home. I was a Release Manager, (still am) My job was to herd the cats. I had to be there to make sure that every element happened, on time, each time. So for two weeks, I didn’t go home. And didn’t sleep.

Seriously.

I would leave the office at 4pm, pick my daughter up from day care, and drop her at home for Grandma (who was staying from Russia) to watch. Then I would head back to the office. I caught a few catnaps, but we never slept.

We did drink. I had beer, hard alcohol, etc. the biggest issue in a project like this is just keeping everyone sane for long enough. Code and content were being written and tested in a 24 hour cycle, non-stop. As soon as one element was done, we would get handed another. It was hell.

I had Brigada, a Russian TV series running in my office the whole time. People would wander in and catch bits going, to take their mind off the last 9 hours of testing. A few minuets and some discussion would give them enough to return and complete the work.

In the end, there were beer bottles scattered everywhere. We smelled bad. we were surly, and nasty. But we hit our date. We made the deal. And naturally, someone else got the credit. But that’s just life. You have to take pride in you work whether you are getting directly rewarded or not. In this case, it was not.

I guess that everything seemed easier from that time on. So I got to take that away. But it is never worth that much time away from your family. Never. But, you don’t know that until you make the mistake.

Yeah. That’s life.