Checks and balances

Life really isn’t about checks and balances, at least not to me. I view it more like an actual board game and sometimes the only move is to check and check and check till it’s a stalemate and you get some time to breath.

People often think being overly aggressive or always on the move is a bad thing. For many of us that incline to this nature it is more about not finding ourselves stagnant and comfortable. It’s when you get comfortable and think that nothing can touch you that the storm normally appears.

I’m finding that applies a lot to my current work life. It’s a forever game of catering to the idealism that I need to constantly prove what I’m worth. It’s a tiresome weave of doing and proving you are doing that really wears most people out. Some might say that’s corporate life, but I believe it’s really about how that corporation wishes you to live. You cannot thrive and grow in an environment where you are always wondering if you aren’t good enough. Eventually you lose the checks and balances mantra and start to only go one way or the other. Then it is either retreat or check, check, check till you are checked out.

One begins to wonder if it is worth it.

-Opinionated Man

44.1

Daily

Sometimes when you feel defeated at the end of the day it can be a reminder that we carry an internal burden heavier than an actual physical load.

That pressure in your head as you contemplate the ways you “could have done it differently” begins to build up steam until you might explode. You replay the day over and over instead of trying to focus on the next day. You lie awake at night berating yourself over what you should have done. And the next morning, tired and hungover from your self abuse, you lamely limp through your morning process and produce even less than the day before.

Because you’ve given up.

Refreshing your mind means more than realizing the scoreboard is in your head. It’s not real and normally the only one that knows you are losing is yourself.

Presenting the face of success is a lot harder than it sounds because it’s more than just an act. You have to believe it, you have to feel it, or it never shows. Letting go of defeat or the feeling of hopelessness, especially in corporate America, is hard to do. Just know that if there’s no tomorrow and the dice have rolled, at least there’s a new day for a new journey elsewhere.

-OM

44.1

I didn’t come here to make friends

Disclaimer: Multiple usages of the word Fuck, a few Damns, and I may have said Shit once.

I work in the IT world as a director. I run team members from Arizona, to Colorado, to Pune India. The reason I’m good at my job is because I don’t go to work each day with the mindset that I’m going to make a new friend that day. I’m a deadline oriented guy who is driven to meet goals and obligations I’ve set for myself and my team. I actually used that same mindset here on this blog when I built it seven years ago.

I didn’t make any friends yesterday.

We are on this project to remediate servers and currently we are stuck on two boxes for a product team that controls terminal downloads. We were given the task late in the game to in place these boxes to 2012 because they failed to find a way to push them over to new 2016 boxes. It’s a long story, but suffice to say that apparently my name is on the side of the building and it became my job to look after the entire fucking infrastructure of the whole damn world. That’s fine, even though I’m director of Release Management twice and file load Broomfield, if you want me to hold the very fibers of the world together I can do that too. I have two hands.

I asked for a weekday window to do this work. I was denied by product and was told we need to do this over the weekend, particularly Sunday since God isn’t busy that day. Sure boss, it’s your world, and I know my guys can do it so I told product yes. This was all dependent on us getting the development box upgraded and getting sign off yesterday though. I swear I’m going somewhere with this, just stick with me.

So we spend all day working through an issue we hadn’t seen to beat the status call at noon. Over the past year and a half my guys have done over 150 boxes in place and we hadn’t seen an application or software yet treat 2012 any different from the 2008 OS, but the stupid fucking application wouldn’t run its service and we were stuck. So we were knocking at it, one team on the call with the vendor, the other team was working with me trying reinstalls and such.

We hadn’t found a solution by the time I got on the noon call, so I asked for another hour. We still hadn’t found an answer by 1 pm, so I braced myself and got on the call anyways.

The product manager immediately starts digging in that we need to “no go” this weekend release and even named the call “Showstopper.” Keep in mind that I have till the 16th to close this damn project, and if you’re bad at math that doesn’t give me another Sunday window. I pointed this out to him and asked if we could continue to troubleshoot and get Saturday support tomorrow on testing from his product testers.

“Well Jason… there’s only five business days and you guys don’t even have a solution in sight.”

I About Lost It.

Are you fucking kidding me man? Only five business days, well aren’t we lucky that Korean Jesus gave us seven damn days in the week. The seventh day being the one you already wrangled me into forcing my guys to work, so don’t give me this bullshit about business days when we’ve already moved past that window.

I politely told him, in my normal forceful way, that it behooves is all to allow the trained technicians we have to find this solution. It is also only 1 o’clock, let’s give them time. We aren’t calling this yet.

Fucking kidding me, tapping out in the 3rd round when we have 9 to go? I’ll never be a follower of that weak mindset.

10 minutes after the call we found the solution on one site and performed the solution on the following after.

Never say die.

So yea… no new friends this week. Get the fuck outa here with that shit. And I have to work another Sunday.

Fuck me.

-Opinionated Man

Leadership

One of the hardest jobs is being a leader. Being a follower is easy, stepping up and taking responsibility for others and their work is hard.

I was taught to act like the position you want to be next.

I spent years as a team lead in different fields, made my way to manager less than two years ago in IT Release Management , and finally made “low level” director at my new associate director job for RM. It’s been a roller coaster and I’ve found a great mentor in all of it. A person that has really stuck to their word and followed through on their promises. After you’ve had so many disappointments, it’s great to finally see a “win” for a change.

In my interview for the management position, I had three directors asking me questions. One said “what makes you think you would make a good manager?”

I told him “I’ve had many bad managers in my past. I’ve learned what not to do from them and because of them – I think I’d make a great manager.”

That’s not what you’re suppose to say in case you follow my blog for interviewing tips. But in all fairness, I wasn’t lying.

It would be great if we were all the type of leaders that charge the hill first. I tend to like to be in the back and see how the charging is going before making any drastic decisions.

You can’t be a leader if you are always tired and I’m starting to feel worn out. Traveling to Arizona soon to meet the new team. I like it there and have been a few times to see my boss.

ASU is a fun area and one of our sites is in Tempe.

I love the palm trees. That was a bit of a shock and I learned they were brought in!

-OM