Friday, May 07, 2010

Since I mentioned work, though, I might as well vent a bit.

Two days ago, I finished a project similar to this - not the same thing, but the same type of thing and I was having the same problem with it. And yeah, I wound up doing a half-assed job on it. Oh well. The person who gave me the assignment came back to me with a few problems with it but accepted the glaring vagueness of the data without a second glance, as far as I could tell. It seems funny how it's easy for me to not worry about problems, as long as they aren't the problems I was expecting - that's happened before, and it happened here too. On the deadline day for these things I was frantically shuffling papers trying to find something, anything, that would make it clearer what I was supposed to do, and I handed it in after the last minute and was walking on eggshells, dreading that my half-assed job actually did matter and was as obvious to everyone else as it was to me. Then the following day they come back with problems - I updated a number in one place but not another, I didn't show part of my work - but even though they're arguably just as big as the ones I feared they're completely different problems, so I'm all, meh, who cares?

The other thing, from just this morning, is that I'm glad the big project I mentioned is a group thing, because if I had to work directly with some of the people we've got feedback from, I'd have a hard time not showing my contempt for those assholes. (By which I mean the reviewers, not the team members, with whom I get along great for the most part.)

For example, here's one comment: "We are following the international guidelines here but reject the... number earlier. This picking and choosing of international standards seems arbitrary." (The ellipsis elides a part that might identify where I work. Or at least it could if it wasn't misspelled. Still, can't be too careful.) This is in the context of earlier suggestions to disregard the method of choosing the number earlier, which would be a very big change, almost sending us back to square one, for no apparent reason. To the comment complaining about picking and choosing, I started to write something like, "Here, we are following a simple, generally-applicable principle, but the earlier rule doesn't apply to that situation very well. Do you think we should disregard the rule that is appropriate, or follow one that is not?" I knew before I finished the sentence that the reviewer could never be allowed to see that, of course. In blog comments, that is the picture of civility. As a question for a boss, not so much.

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