Managing Project Overload & Unrealistic Expectations
As I’ve written before, I work from home, which works very well for me. I’m more productive, more organized, and, generally, better at what I do.
Right now, though, that can all kiss my ass.
Today, I am a bridge troll. Not by style (though I wish I could get my hair to do that), but definitely by substance.
I woke up okay this morning.
I was in a fairly sunny mood.
Fairly sunny to partly cloudy.
Then I started realizing every single thing I needed to do for work. The number (and size) of the projects I needed to accomplish — this week, tomorrow, today, NOW.
As work started, I was given one more project.
My supervisor and I cringed. We texted madly. This was not good.
How would we get this done? What magical rainbow-unicorn-fairy-kitten combo does everyone think our team is made of?? Have they all started doing hallucinogens and not invited us to join them???
All of the ‘every single things’ and this ‘new project’: same amount of urgency and same timeline.
Reality: completely impossible.
The morning department meeting that followed put the bridge over this bridge troll.
Look at them: all so casually calm, reading off their lists of things I’m working on — sure they think THEY are working on them — but it’s all mine. MINE!
I schemed about how to respond to every idea, every suggestion, every discussion. EVERY IDEA, SUGGESTION, DISCUSSION IS STUPID, was my brilliant answer.
Every project, every little typo, every new design I am asked to take on/correct/make is driving me to: I CAN’T EVEN COMPLETE THIS SENTENCE!, I cry as I type this.
I’m choking on projects. They are stuck in my throat. I cannot breathe. Project heimlich, please!
My brain is flat. It’s fried. It’s succumbed. It’s juiceless. It’s de-juiced.
My eyes are actually puffy. Blurry. Watery. Prone to staring.
I’m giving up.
This is me giving up.
I should quit. Pack a bag. Hitchhike to some remote town south of here where the sun is sunny and the warm air is warm. Or north where there is a forest and stream and I could live off the land in a cabin with a fireplace. Cozy. Remote. Quiet. No projects.
I’ll change my name to Max.
I’ll get a job at a diner.
I’ll make pies. Because that makes sense right now.
No, I’ll wait tables. Because that’s better.
“I need a fork!” “I need a napkin!” “Where’s my Coke?” “Which way is the bathroom??”
Scratch that — waiting tables is a STUPID idea. Why get involved with people and their endless demands again?
I’ll just live off the land.
I’m living off the land. My name is Max.
I’m not needed and no one asks me for anything.
Living off the land totally sucks. I’m sick of fish and I don’t know how to kill a deer with my bare hands and I don’t like rabbit meat. Dear god of trolls: when did I become so picky?
Now I’m regretting this whole idea.
It’s only been three days and I’m cold, sick of fish, and don’t like rabbit meat. And there is no cabin for someone with no money and an unrelenting fear of breaking in and getting caught (dumb brain!).
I wonder what my partner’s eating for dinner. Maybe tacos? I could go for a taco.
I could give all this up and go back. But the projects — they are still there and NOW THEY ARE LOOMING EVEN LARGER.
They’ll never get done.
I’ll never be able to complete them.
Do I even have a job anymore? I just up and left. Everyone’s probably emailing and texting and calling and getting nothing.
I should’ve trained my dogs to answer the phone and type.
I could beg for my job back. I could give them all fresh fish? It won’t be fresh once I get it to them. But it’s the thought that counts, right?
This is me stuck in the woods, living off the land, wishing for my project overloaded, overwhelming, unrealistic-expectations laden job back. And a taco.
Screw it. I’m signing off early.
We’re definitely having tacos for dinner tonight.