A Flight Risk

I don’t feel much like working today.  My day yesterday kind of put me off the idea of spending much of my time here today doing something.  Yeah, they are paying me and all, but it’s the realization that they don’t pay me enough to deal with the kind of shit I deal with.

Let me paint the picture of what happened.

Last July / August (2014), I was put on this project to manage.  The big huge project I had been managing was put on hold indefinitely, so my boss loaned me to a different department to help them manage a series of projects that were project manager-less.  There were 5 projects in various stages of completeness, no plan on where they had come and where they were going, and pretty much it was a huge mess.  At first there were two project managers on this mess – myself and one from Finance.  She left the company after an incident was mishandled by HR and her department leaving me the sole PM for these screwed up projects.

Since then, all but the largest of the projects has been completed.  The large project was going to take some time to complete given the amount of work that needed to be done.  We have had many MANY issues along the way, but I have gotten it to a point where we are 6 weeks away from being able to start testing – and another four after that before it will be ready to go in to production.  A HUGE turnaround.

I’ve been having issues with the management of the department I’ve been doing the project for.  I tend to take the “I don’t care about your political issues with other departments; all bullshit aside, this is the unbiased status.”  This approach started being met with a lot of questions and misgivings given others didn’t “feel the project was doing well”.  If asked to explain what issue or event was causing these feelings, they would refer back to an issue they had with the development team 3 years ago – on a different project.  None of their “feelings” could be tied back to actual facts or events related to this specific project.  Because I would always ask and investigate these claims as I did, they were always put to rest
– no drama to find here.

It has become increasingly clear that they don’t like this approach.  Don’t look at the fact this project is getting done – the issues are being addressed so they don’t fester.  Let’s not look at the actual performance of the project. No, we have to look at the fact that Emmy will not play the political game between two departments.

A few days ago, in a meeting, the discussion about my project was going off the rails.  It was becoming a “sky is falling” discussion when the plan itself didn’t support that the issue was that large.  Each time I tried to say something, one of the department directors kept basically shushing me or telling me to be quiet.  When someone finally directed a question at me, I explained the timeline, tried to show it (but was told it wasn’t the time), and redirected the conversation as I had tried to do a number of times before.

My boss and I spoke after the meeting about how I can’t help but feel like they are doing this to discredit me or something.  He agreed and was going to talk to them about it because this is getting worse and worse.

Yesterday, I had a 1-minute conversation with the executive sponsor of the project.  “Hey, did Chip talk to you?”  No.  “Oh, well, we’re bringing in our own PM”  My face must have reflected the WTF that was bubbling inside me. “It’s not personal.” It is. “You’re just so busy it’s not fair you have this on your plate too.” I’m busy with HER project. “So, it’s a person you’ve worked with  – you will need to transition to him next week.”  I’m out most of next week.  Then she got up and left.

I walked back to my desk, set down my computer and walked straight into my boss’s office.  As I told him about the conversation, his jaw hit the floor.  No one had mentioned this to him – he had met with both the executive and her director Chip – and neither had said anything about this to him.  He was pissed. I was pissed.

About an hour later, Chip sent his newly hired henchmen to talk to me about a few things.  It was unusually hostile, and my urge to throw my coffee mug at him was high. I finally told him I had to go – I had a chiropractor’s appointment – and I left.

When I reached the chiropractor’s office, he took my blood pressure and asked if I usually had high blood pressure? Nope – it’s usually perfect.  He asked if anything was going on.  I told him I was being caught in executive politics and having a crappy day.  Are you taking it personally, he asked.  “It’s hard not to”, was my response.

Inside I’m thinking – fuck yes, I’m taking it personally. I’ve been working on this fucking project for 16 months – the finish line is within reach and now those fuckers are making me the bad person and going to give it to someone on their team just so they can take credit for all of my hard work while making it look like they had to bail me out of or something.  Of course, it’s personal!  How could it not be taken that way?!

The high blood pressure thing freaked me out.  In a 30-second moment I saw exactly what this project – this job – is doing for my health.  And I did not like it.  Not one bit.  I made the decision when I got back to my car that I was going to let them have it.  I was done.  I was finished. I do not need the stress and the drama and the bullshit.  I had been wanting to fight to keep it to project the project team who has been through enough drama and bullshit the past several years – they need a win – they need consistency.  But seeing those numbers on his blood pressure machine – yeah, not worth it.  They are adults – I wish them well.

My boss told me this morning that he talked to the executive sponsor’s peer (our ultimate boss) about what was happening – and how I was being made into the person not doing the job well.  She is fed up with the bullshit too.  Give them back their project to manage themselves – and when they fuck it up, as they will – it will be on them.  She knows I am the one who got it where it is today – she knows I’m a casualty of the cross fire – she knows I’m a high performing employee.  But, at this point, they can own their own shit – we are done trying to help them.

Funny how many people have hit the same place with this…..

…..so today, I am not going to do much working.  I’m going to get some things tidied up – and focus on getting ready for my days at the coast with SB.  I’m going to focus on having 5 days away from this place.  I’m going to focus on getting my blood pressure down – and my energy back up.

Yeah – I think this is a good place to be right now.

What do you think?

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