Thursday, April 28, 2011

Shortened Cycle

By now, most of you know I'm detail-oriented (the polite term for 'anal').  Tuesday afternoon, I discovered I will be heading to Dallas next week.

Normally, I spend a lot of time organising flights and hotel and car.  I try to get the best prices for everything, and the best schedule for myself.  I try to have the client's data and requirements before I leave for the airport.  I try to have a step-by-step process for setting up the client.

I also have a detailed packlist, especially when I'm packing for two.  I like to go out and look for and perhaps buy a new dress before I travel.  I go through everything to ensure I'm not carrying lots of accessories I'm not going to wear.  I make sure I have all of the cosmetics and shaving materials and so on.

This trip, I have to compress everything.

I expect to bring Meg, I expect to go out although I have no idea where I'll be going.  As of yet, I have no idea where I'll stay (I just found out the client office is in Richardson TX) or what's nearby.  And I don't have a lot of time to figure it all out.

At work, I decided to do a dry run of the customer process.  This is because I have never done this before.  I have a 100 page manual that describes the process.  It is sometimes wrong.  I have a classroom manual which gives most of the steps.  I wrote notes in the borders and can often read my handwriting.  Sometimes I can't, and I guess.

I just re-read the next part, and it's kind of over-detailed and geeky and crabby.  Feel free to skip to the bold line below.

A process that was supposed to run overnight on Tuesday was not only still running on Wednesday, it decided to fail in a very odd and, if you asked me in advance I would have said 'impossible', way.  I had to not use the database I wanted to use and then convince the smaller database (70 million vs 100 million records) to be recognised ~ it wanted to argue.  That took hours instead of minutes, and now it is running the overnight process.  If it fails, the next smaller database is about 200 records and not a very good test but it will have to do.  All of the work I did already is geared towards the first database; it all must be redone.

The basic process takes two days.  If all goes well.

I will spend Thursday trying to finish the process on whichever database I use.  I will hope I don't rush and miss a step or make a mistake.  I will hope it all works when I'm done.

This afternoon, I have a conference call with the customer.  I'm going to try to get them to do a couple of steps (like that overnight one) in advance.  They told me yesterday what was on their computers right now.  It is about as wrong as one can get.

So here's how my week will go:
Wednesday: dry run that didn't go so well.
Thursday: conference call with customer and dry run that hopefully will go better, but it will be a long day.
Friday: work until 4.  That's not late, until you consider I get to work around 6.  Drive with rush hour traffic to the state TSA conference where I will be judging a competition.  It unarguably takes the longest to judge, and as co-ordinator, I will be there well after everyone else leaves.  Last year, I finished after midnight and I have to be back there the next morning (with my son) by 8 to do the second part of the judging.  I hope to eat somewhere in there.
Saturday: did I mention the TSA event?  Because my son is in the competition, we'll stick around until the awards are given out.  We'll probably be done by 6.
Sunday: take my son to a field trip (I shan't be staying) at 9am.  Pack, get on a plane which I haven't booked yet.

In addition to my regular work week, I have decided to completely clean the computer I'm leaving behind and shift everything to the computer I'm bringing to TX.

Somewhere in there, I have to book that flight, hotel, car.

No time to prep.  No pre-shaving or continuing my epilation experiment, no time to get my eyebrows waxed.

I hope I don't forget something vital to Meg's first trip to Dallas.  Or to my client.

As I said in the part y'all skipped, it should be a two-day ordeal, but they bought a week of my time.  I'm going to try to get a no-penalty ticket so I can change my return if necessary.

If I can finish by Tuesday evening, I'll try to head home Wednesday evening so Meg has some quality time out Wednesday morning.  Even if the work drags on for most of the week there is probably nothing I can do after-hours so Meg should have at least one and maybe two nights out.

I'll keep away from McDonalds.


  1. The main stream media seems to be intentionally ignoring this incident. No level of expressed outrage from the usual quarters. No talk of this being a hate crime. No mention of the race or the names of the people doing the beating.
    There seems to be some sentiment for blaming conservative Christians and then also blaming the person who was quick enough to capture this crime on video.
    The political correctness crowd that run the media are quite depressing.

  2. This sounds like one of my business trips. I have long quipped that for me business travel was a huge pain involving 16-18 hour days beginning with breakfast meetings and lasting well into the evening with post dinner events.
    I think that there are some 'Pat' wigs and shoes that would qualify for frequent flyer benefits without ever coming out of the travel bag.
    Good luck and I hope you do get at least a taste of 'Meg' time.


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