Monday, January 07, 2008

Plan your vacation around your work schedule! Not!

I remember a rather hysterical period in my work career: The whole group tizzied, trying to meet a long string of nearly impossible deadlines. Our manager wanted very badly to take a week off to ski. But there was a particularly critical moment in our project, and she just HAD to be at work then, so she scheduled her ski trip after that critical moment. The project slipped, so she rescheduled. And so on, for three slipping, rescheduling months.

I made up my mind then that I would never plan my vacation around my work schedule. Just plan the trip, buy the tickets, and hope for the best. I've scheduled vacations to conflict with critical work moments many times, yet I think there has never been a vacation/work schedule conflict for me.

By the way, when I said that this project had nearly impossible deadlines, I meant it. Here's how we referred to three of those deadlines in our formal schedule:
  • Fool our manager into thinking the completed software compiles.
  • Fool our director into thinking that the main functionality works.
  • Fool the customer into thinking that the software's ready to ship.

And imagine how proud we were, when the software actually was ready to ship.

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