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Thread: Did You Ever Have One of Those Weeks?

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    Default Did You Ever Have One of Those Weeks?

    I came over here intending to reply to some threads and my brains are so scrambled I'm seriously doubting that I could make sense. I'm working on a big project and I'm exhausted and stressed and tired. I think I'm handling it o.k., but the deadline is looming and I keep getting the "how about we add this" comments, and I'm really fried.

    How do you guys handle these sorts of situations? Do you just take five minutes to go off somewhere and destress? Do you make a list and stick to it rigidly? Do you get surly and cross with those with whom you work, if you're working with others?

    I'm just wondering how other people handle these sorts of events. As I said, I think I'm handling it pretty well (other than this pressing urge to stand in a corner and drool quietly) but I'd love to hear how other people handle this sort of thing. Maybe I can pick up some tips.

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    I know the sort of weeks that you are talking about. The kind that is more common for me much of the time is when more and more work gets piled onto me because other people cannot pull their weight.

    I don't experience the feature creep problems so much, but the pressure of attempting to get one day finished within the time frame, and the next ready often has me being fairly blunt with some people, especially if they ask silly questions which they should already know the answer.
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    I lash out at anyone and everyone, get drunk, and wind up in jail or not

    I usually just try to deal the best I can. I try not to get into those situations if I can help it, which is probably easier for me since I can set my schedule, but those days and weeks still happen. I try to quickly prioritize what needs to be done. Often even if there are a lot of requests and demands coming your way it's usually a smaller subset that's the important stuff. Sometimes if you get those things done first the pressure to get everything else done lessens.

    I do get up and walk away from everything for a few minutes if I need to, but I know until I get everything done it's still going to be there to do. So I try to focus on getting everything done and making it through the day or the week or the month with the knowledge that the deadline will pass and things will calm down.

    This won't help in your situation, but when it happens to me the requests for adding more are coming from clients. Since those extra requests are generally beyond what was initially agreed to in the cost of the project all I have to do is respond that I'll price out the extra requests and get back to the client later in the day. 95% of the time I get an email back dropping the request. The other 5% of the time I make some extra money.
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    I'll add a point to VanGogh's about client's asking for more. If they want more items, move the deadline. You can't pack 60hrs of work into a 40hr week. They might try but the job will end up being shoddy.

    Sometimes a polite reminder of what the original specs were is in order.
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    Not to detour the thread, but I saw on the news that you were rocking and rolling a bit down there today Soelman. I assume everything is ok.

    Back on subject, I find that if I don't get what I need to get done before bed, I don't sleep well. More for customer related things; messed up orders, something I didn't get the time to do, or just plain to tired to do it. On the sales side, I can have really slow weeks which scares me financially and busy weeks where I can't get everything done.

    I also find it really hard to do programming or design during the day, even on slow days. I get just enough customer calls to interrupt web design activities. Customer calls and wants a data sheet or some product info that will never make me any money. I spend 30 minutes screwing around with it and then try to remember what I was doing before the call.

    Some weeks I really just wish I was a mail carrier. I know that would bore the heck out of me though. I can't say I don't just pour a stiff drink every now and then though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by billbenson View Post
    Not to detour the thread, but I saw on the news that you were rocking and rolling a bit down there today Soelman. I assume everything is ok.
    Yeah we had a 6.2 magnitude quake, epicenter almost in my living room at about 1:30 in the afternoon today. Shook a bunch of stuff off the shelves. Still feeling aftershocks tonight.

    This was a powerful one. Sadly three small children were buried in a landslide that covered their home. Hundreds of other homes are damaged, many people injured. Power outrages all over the Central Valley near San Jose. Roads damaged, huge landslides. Pretty bad.

    The only interesting part is: every time there's an aftershock my cat does an imitation of a pancake. Each leg points to one of the four cardinal compass points and his belly hits the floor.
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    You know that cat of yours may just be perfect for stupid pet tricks. I'm not sure how you fake an earthquake on command though to get him to do his pancake trick.

    Kristine another thing you can do when you're having a bad week is to remember that someone else is probably having a worse week. Sure the extra requests are adding pressure to your day, but you weren't in the middle of an earthquake.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vangogh View Post
    I lash out at anyone and everyone, get drunk, and wind up in jail
    HA!

    Let's set the record straight! He get's drunk and lashes part of his earlobe off with a knife.
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    Ya, like I said in a different thread, I was in a 7.6 one in El Salvador 9 years ago. Mudslide covered a town in that one. A real attention getter. Glad you are ok.

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    Glad you're OK soelman, and that you're even still able to tell us so.

    I would skip the cutting your ear off part, Kristine, but you may very well want to consider that stiff drink. As I recall, you're a wine drinker. That should work, but you may want to upgrade. It's not so much for the drink itself, just the relaxation of having it seems to be what you need.

    If possible, I'd say the suggestion to remind someone of the original specs and timeline is a good one. Otherwise, you do what you can do and not worry about it. I've often found that doing the impossible leads to an expectation for more (favors become obligations). You have limits. Do your best, not the unreasonable.
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