Monday, June 20, 2011

Hate your job... there's a support group for that

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The whole point of this blog was that I should document my fight with my inner slug and how I vanquished it to achieve my ultimate goal of Fitness and World Domination.* What it's turned into, this past month, is a battle between Me and the Evil Bosses At Work. And by "evil", I mean people who have different priorities than I have. (Doesn't sound as dramatic that way, but it's true. They're not evil. They are -- some of them -- not seeing the whole picture.)

I took the weekend off.

Yes, that's what I wrote. I did not work this weekend.

That makes two weekends in a row that I did not work -- after about 4 months of working every weekend. The last three weeks, I worked every night until about 10 p.m., trying to make an unreasonable deadline. Now that it's passed, and I've been publicly outed for having Held The Project Back, for some reason people have started thinking that this is a good moment to start throwing in every kitchen-sink improvement to the documentation that they can come up with -- but if that holds back making the deadline, why, that's the fault of the tech writer.

Good thing I'm not feeling cranky. Or at least not unreasonably cranky. Or at least not extremely unreasonably cranky. Something like that.

I think there comes a time, after working 12-15 hour days for several weeks, where you get cranky as all hell and start writing blog posts about how unfair life is. That doesn't really accomplish much in the way of a productive result. What I've decided to start doing is setting limits. I do not want to work more than 10 hours a day, and I do not want to work more than 2 weekends in a row. I want to do a good job, but if that means sacrificing every part of the rest of my life including sleep, then I think that the powers that be need to reconsider their project.

There. I said it.

Exercise du jour: Hell. If I get a 1-mile walk at lunch, I will call it a victory. And I will give myself a gold star. I like the idea of setting for myself a goal that I might actually reach.

Well, I managed half a mile. Still a semi-victory.

*Um... that is, domination of the world I inhabit. I tend to the belief that we all inhabit our own separate worlds, spheres that orbit the same general sun yet which hold some radically divergent life experiences. Oh crap, I'm getting metaphysical again, aren't I? Sorry. I try to refrain from that sort of thing in public.


LaShaune said...

Hey Merry:

I tried to send you an e-mail when I realized, duh - no e-mail address.

Have you considered writing for WedMD or eMedicine? I can put you in contact with a few editors there if you're interested.

Spilling Ink said...

I've not figured out what you do for a living (but you're talking projects so you're in a similar environment as I am) but I really don't think people are all that effective in doing their job once they work more than 10 hours, especially not even they keep doing it. We need rest and we need reasonable deadlines.

Shelley said...

Boundaries. You set them...your bosses don't have to like them, but they have to respect them. Glad you got another weekend off. I hear that's fairly normal. ;)

Anonymous said...

See? I worried for good reason! Now, take ANOTHER weekend off, just because it would be very healthy for you.

McB said...

If you take a stand, people will still knock you, but at least they aren't wiping their feet on you.

messymimi said...

So i have been concerned about your quiet for a good reason.

At what point do you go find a tech writer job elsewhere?

Skye said...

I agree with messymimi: it may be time to start job-shopping. Any company that needs you to put in that many hours for that long doesn't have its act together. And it's so easy to blame the tech writer (I am one, too); no one ever gets that feature-creep is kind of the main problem here. I'd say start looking around. Use LinkedIn, use STC and their job board, etc. This isn't healthy for you. I did this for about 6 months before getting quite ill. You want to stay healthy so you can do that whole bike riding and walking thing!