Sunday, April 17, 2016

Pariah


A few people have asked, what the heck's going on? Or not going on, here at Route 66 a journey? No posts. Did I get a big promotion at work? Was there an overdose of exercise?

All I can say is, my bad.

When Danny and I got back from France, it was great. Post-vacation glow. All the experiences, different places and people I talk to, they invigorate me. Always, always I learn a lot, more than expected. We came back home to our lovey chat noir, convinced that 99.9% of humanity is fundamentally good.






Over the next six months I had to reconsider that idea.

A merger is underway between my organization and a neighboring one at work. Thankfully, someone leaked the news to the outside world, so I can talk about it here. Otherwise looking at me, you would see one stressed-out individual. You would think it was a personal problem.

The trip back to Silicon Valley was a harbinger of things to come. Air France flies the largest planes in the world right now, so new that things can and do go wrong. In this case with one of the engines. You can't help but be relieved, after hours of delays, to not get on that plane. They find another Airbus A380 but the flight crew expires and we are purged back into the terminal at Charles de Gaulle. So many people are displaced it's a circus, essentially, trying to find seats for all the humans on other aircraft.

The trickery of the airline employees, the cannibal gate agents. The fact that it's predictable makes it no less degrading. The 16-euro meal vouchers, good for a candy bar and a bottle of water. 18 hours in a fucking airport, etc. It's all been said before. No doubt you've been there, too.

Eventually I get back and no one in my workgroup asks how it was, working in the Paris office. No one is curious. (The food's better, and at least in August, it's quieter. Got a lot done.) The reward, the reward is a small mountain of email to get through. Lots people who expect me to help them. I'm a group of one. This seemed like a good idea when I was hired, but it also means no back-up for vacations. People who could care less about how to be gluten- and dairy-free in France, people who were not riding PBP, people who were not on vacation at the beginning of September, they wanted their due. They did not feel taken care of.

Most of all my manager. Who promptly loaned me to another project full-time. A new project, on fire. No email to the old project saying I was on hiatus. Lots of multi-tasking. Lots of unhappy stakeholders.

The new project, the one on fire? Failed. The existing project? Way behind, in trouble, people furious. Me? exhausted.

That will teach me, not to care.

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