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September 22, 1999
a year ago
two years ago

Hard Knocks

Spent nearly all of today cleaning up on the person making their changes yesterday. Part of the problem is that once the Tuesday deadline was past, making changes is actually a doubled process, which means that everything gets done twice, once on the branch being stabilized for publication to everyone, and once on the branch of things that is going full-steam ahead. This is very hard to do and takes a lot of time, especially when both of us aren't particularly familiar with the tools.

After our 9 a.m. meeting, 10 a.m. was the start time, 2 p.m. was the deadline for getting things done. He was really fighting with the build system, so I had to help him get through all of that, first. Then we ran into problems with the combination of my old code and his new stuff, I'd accidentally checked in an old file on top of some new stuff he'd done. It wasn't until 1 p.m. that he got the changes to me to put into the branch, so I scurried to get it all built myself, so that I could do a quick test before the 2 p.m. drop deadline to get it to our builder.

Right on 2, I got it to our builder, after doing a quick dead-on-arrival check, and the app ran. So I published it to the builder and the email got to him just a minute before 2. Then the guy making all the changes said that he had *one*More*Change*! I wanted to just strangle him. But we slipped it in, and I did the build again, which, luckily was with make files so it was fast. And then when I ran it, I started pushing buttons, and the first thing I did crashed...

I couldn't deal with it. I just couldn't. It was already almost four p.m. and I hadn't done a thing today that I'd wanted to get done. So, instead of killing anyone, I got all my exercise clothing together, and went down to the company gym and rode the exercise bicycle until I didn't want to kill anyone anymore, I was too exhausted. I then did linebacker knee bends to really work my legs and a few crunches just to see how my abs are shaping back up after the surgery. Right after the surgery, I couldn't sit up without wincing. I did three sets of ten crunches pretty shakily, but I managed them, which felt good, actually.

So by the time I got upstairs, I was showered, gently shaking from fatigue, so when the first three things I tried on the app crashed, I wasn't going to kill anyone. The person who'd made the changes usually gets in at 6 a.m. so was gone by 4, and so I spent the rest of the day just staring at it, at the code, and getting steadily more and more upset. My name was on all that changed code because I'd helped him out. Luckily, my boss knew who was responsible, but it still felt really bad.

So I went and zombied at home, really unhappily. Fed Fezzik first, and just stared at the fridge when I got home. I wasn't hungry, eventhough, because of the work rush and the stupid results, I hadn't eaten lunch at all, all day. Finally realizing that my unhappiness and indecision was a much because I was depressed and very low on blood sugar as anything, I just tossed a single slice of leftover pizza into the toaster oven, ate that and then looked at the fridge with a bit more sanity. Eventually, I put together a little chicken Parmesan, with a long-frozen chicken patty, the last of the spaghetti sauce from yesterday and a bit of cheese.

So I watched TV from that point until John came home. Fezzik was restless, wandering in and out, I should probably have taken the both of us for a walk, but my exertions of the day had made my legs so sore, I couldn't really think about it. John got home around 10, and he and Dan immediately got a little beer from the beer tap, and the two of them went and measured the porch so that Dan could have some measurements for his porch. I watched my tape of Good Eats because I hadn't quite gotten home in time for it. It's the pasta one and pretty good! I liked the variations and the way he treated dry pasta as simply another variation of pasta rather than inherently inferior to the fresh stuff.

So when Dan went away, I spilled all my woes into John's ear and he said that there was nothing he could do. That I'd have to talk with my boss Steve and that the main thing was that I couldn't get any work done. Stick with the facts, not the people... and see where it can go. But I was so miserable about the whole situation, I didn't get to sleep at all well. tossed ad turned all night, until, at 4 a.m. I got sick and tired of it and went into the bathroom and turned on the light and wrote down everything in my brain.

For some reason, the physical activity of dumping my brain that way really helped and after that I slept the sleep of the completely exhausted.

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