April 7, 2003
The Project From Hell

ytd: 162.69

It's done. It's over. I'm free.

The Project From Hell -- all 43,897,621 pages and one-hundred-forty-seven project-expensible hours of it -- is finally behind me, once and for all. This morning, I typed the very last line of information into the hated Excel spreadsheet -- Contoured geologic preliminary cross-section -- and exultantly hit 'Save.'  I let out a little *whoop* of triumph as I closed the last worksheet. ("Ghesundheit," said The Main Marketing Guy as he was passing by the front desk.) Just to be on the safe side, I saved the spreadsheet to three different locations: one copy on my computer's hard drive, one copy to a Zip disk and one copy of the whole thing to the company swap file. Then I scooped up the last two encyclopedic binders from the middle of my desk and lugged them down the hall to The Main Nerdy Geotech Guy's office, where I dumped them onto the pile in the middle of his floor. Finally, I sent the index to the printer -- when printed out, the spreadsheet becomes a document the size of an East Bay phone book -- and I left a copy of the print-out on top of the mountain of binders, along with a Post-It note attached to the front cover.

Here you go! says the Post-It note. Glad to be of help!  

(I don't mean a word of it, of course. If The Main Nerdy Geotech Guy EVER comes at me with a project this ridiculous again, I'm going to hurt him.  I'm going to hurt him bad. But I think he knows that already.)

When I was all done, I came back to my desk and just sat here for a couple of minutes, revelling in the inactivity ... luxuriating in my clean bare desktop ... reacquainting myself with old friends I haven't paid attention to in over a month. (Hello, Daily Dilbert! What's new, Symboline? Howya doing, Office Supply Catalog! Did you all miss me??) I spent the remainder of the morning puttering around the front desk, catching up on all the little jobs that have fallen by the wayside in the month since The Project From Hell took over my work life: organizing the supply closet, making file folder labels, updating phone lists, refilling the candy dish. Once or twice, I actually caught myself humming. It reminded me of the day after Christmas: that same sweet sense of delicious relief washing over me, now that all the noise and fuss and sweat are over with. I know that this is a temporary calm -- it's only a matter of time before The MNGG shows up in front of my desk with some new ridiculous Project From Hell -- a thousand microbial contamination workshop booklets that need binding, an accelerated blast valve report that needs translating from Japanese to English, a couple of steelhead that need gutting -- but that's OK. For just this one blissful morning, I'm remembering what it's like to enjoy my job, and to be in charge of my own time and activity level ...

... and to bask in the feeling of a hideously difficult job well-done.

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i forgot.
[i suck.]
can your brother bring it home with him next week?