“It’s like Day of the Dead around here.” “Yeah, it is.” Every cubicle farm you’ve ever walked through is a weekend away from being completely dismantled. We holed up in the command center bunker room because everything else not tied down was gone. My makeshift operation was as cluttered as could be, cables everywhere; chaotic. Through all that, and “if HR heard me coughing this bad, they’d send me home sick,” we completed the project…
It’s funny that even with all of my planning, there were still two hidden items on the first due date. I found the first task while wrapping up one of the remaining tasks on the list, and the customer reached out to me directly with second one. I was able to get both resolved just in time. Those oversights cut into my prep time for this next week and also proved to be nice lessons.
This week reminded me of a quote I’ll occasionally recite: Most people get into the technology field, especially in my sub-discipline of technical support, because they like being around computers. What they don’t teach you during school is that it’s not about fixing the problem within the computer. It’s more about fixing the customer’s perspective of the problem first before you can even begin to solve the problem. That psychology can lead to stressful encounters. So why do we do it?
I started a new contract last week and did well. (Despite being sick for much of it with a cold and maybe general fatigue. I slept for over twelve hours after Friday afternoon, but then again, I also returned to exploring the city on the last day of the work week as I did the last time I worked in this grimy and glittery city of Seattle.) I have a couple factors to thank for that success:
Consider this weekly journal a special “contract wrap-up journal” since I handed in my badge for my last contract on Thursday and get my new badge tomorrow morning. This past week, I was able to wrap up everything I could. My inbox was at zero, scanned my processed project emails again in case I missed anything (didn’t – and my archive unintentionally had 1,337 emails), reached out to everyone I’d acquainted with, thanked everyone I could, and just like if I were staying in a hotel for two months, I did the once over to make sure I hadn’t left anything undone and also in my own way said goodbye to this first of hopefully many temporary contract homes. Was I able to leave without regret?
I’ll normally write these portfolio posts on Sunday mornings, as a way to neatly summarize the week’s accomplishments, and plan for the week ahead. (Saturdays are usually my day off from professionalism to focus on my hobbies and other self-actualization unless other duties appear.) The primary disadvantage of writing during that time, like I did last week, was that if a major event were to happen on Monday morning, then even if it’s solid I’ll still have to write with some doubt. The interview for the next contract was Monday morning. It was more of a formality to make sure that I liked what was going on and they liked my personality, since we hit it off well, and now it’s time to wrap up everything.