I’ve been thinking a lot about work lately. Wondering what it is I expect from it other than the paycheck which is nice. What do we all expect from it? Some folks have told me that there is a thrill and enjoyment to it when all the factors come together. Their lives are all in jive and all their indicators are pointing in the same direction with the same declination. How many of us are like that though I wonder. Doing Project Management, I’ve come away with a few things after so many years of the doing of it.
Its enjoyable and I get a sense of accomplishment as I turn the pages of the plan and see the teams coalesce into a single unit that delivers the required solution but goes an extra step out of pure joy. I worked for stupid company doing professional services consulting in Palo Alto and was told time and again to simply “delight the customer”. At the same time, when one of our consulting groups did not do that the sales executive and I were expected to bail them out. This happened more than once. But the company said what a delightful and fulfilling place. Blah, blah, blah. We could not wait to leave. So we did leave. I got little sense of the first pole of existence there. No markers to a team fulfilling its destiny. Just a bunch of people voicing their common desire to find joy but delivering much less. Perhaps it was just me though and my expectation at doing professional services consulting.
Its fulfilling part of the time but the rest I suffer. There is some percent of time when I get a sense of accomplishment (this is not joy) but the rest of the time its marginal and I do it those times to get the money. I’ve done this a few times. The pay was good. The job sucked. The job was good. The pay sucked. Nothing has ever come close to being the joy I felt at doing archeology in the field with like-minded scientists. We crossed over this marker many times. Somehow in IT though the arrow points at the suffering part more than the fulfillment part. We somehow think we can just change jobs or contracting companies and it all will come back. Bad news. It does not. The current job will always suck and the last one is a faint memory and the next one rules.
Its merely survival and I could be a lifeguard at a county pool. When I reach this exciting zenith; I wonder why the hell I am doing what I am doing. It comes down to money. Money is the root of all evil but we need those roots. Lets face it. When we operate at this level, we really would prostitute ourselves. Become whores of the company. Take the $$ and run. Anyone care to speculate where this falls on your work spectrum in IT? Being a whore means perhaps an expectation of an orgasm at some point unless you just fake it all. The problem is that the job orgasm is soon over and you’re left with the other condition which takes most of the time.
Those are the things which I believe rules in IT. Perhaps our ride is across all three things and we never have time to adjust. When did I last enjoy the first thing? Probably at a startup I was with so many years ago. Life shadows this. Divorce comes along and it touches almost all the factors of life. It makes work, friendships, colleagues at work, home life, relationships at whatever level all suspect. Just like work. The divorce pole operates to take me down, sideways, then up again.
I need a vacation.