Sunday, April 17, 2011


I don't think I'd mentioned it before, but when writing a blog entry, I actually do the writing in a little freeware program called WriteMonkey. A neat little word processing program, it eliminates all other distractions on your screen and provides you with a clean, uncluttered environment on which to type out the thoughts rattling around in your head. You can choose from several different background colors and font styles and colors. (Mine is currently a deep purple background with a pale lilac font that is strangely similar to the appearance of my handwriting when I'm printing instead of using cursive.) Each time I open WriteMonkey it greets me with a bit of cute WM wisdom in a little message box. When I opened it this morning I was greeted with this message: "The light at the end of the tunnel is usually the oncoming train." That's strangely appropriate for the way I feel this morning.

I'm not prone to depression, and am honestly not depressed. But I'm so very tired. The project we've been working on in the office since February seems endless. Our training for this conversion was woefully inadequate and was started (by my estimate) at least six months later than it should have begun. They began training us in February for what was at that time a March go-live date for the system. They quickly realized that March wasn't going to be possible, so they delayed it until April.

Much of the training they provided was in the form of webinars. Don't get me wrong; I think this was a great move. Because the individuals being trained are spread all across the state, this is an economic (in both time and money) means of training a large group of employees.

Here's the problem: these webinars (along with web-based strategy meetings) have been tying up anywhere from 4 to 6 hours of each workday. Honestly. FOUR TO SIX HOURS. Now if we didn't have voluminous amounts of data to validate for this conversion, that might be more doable. And Tuesday is the deadline for the data validation. Keep in mind that our department was already understaffed and we were struggling to perform the full-time jobs we ALREADY had before this conversion began.

I can't remember the last time I worked an 8-hour day. In fact, from Sunday morning through Saturday afternoon last week I worked 73.8 hours. I'm exhausted.

Our department head, bless her, announced that we were going to take Sunday off, deadline or no deadline. So, I looked forward to getting a good night's sleep last night and spending today resting and recharging my batteries.

Unfortunately, I was so tired last night I had trouble falling asleep. When I did fall into a fitful sleep, I had nightmares of keying data into an unfriendly user interface with poor procedural instruction. In my dream, I returned from a brief trip to the ladies' room to find the project manager standing behind my desk glowering at my computer monitors (I have two). He looked up to see me entering the room and snapped "Where have you been?" I explained that a brief trip to the restroom had been necessary. "We provide catheters for that," he snarled, snapping his fingers, causing a nurse in a starched white uniform to appear, pushing a cart containing necessary equipment for the surely unpleasant procedure to follow.

I guess that's an indicator of how I feel about this whole thing: an unpleasant procedure. To put it mildly.

I think WriteMonkey got it right. At this point, if I ever DO begin seeing light at the end of the tunnel, I'm convinced it will be an oncoming train.

I'm hoping for a better week....and I hope yours is good!

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