I have a project which has not proceeded as well as hoped, but as it is not particularly high priority and sits just below the radar of anyone important (save myself, of course!), I have lost no sleep over its lateness.
What threatens my slumber, however, is a certain party to the project whose well-meant but ill-judged participation in redesign of a module has trampled upon every bit of my patience. To be fair, I am not certain that I could accurately characterize myself as particularly patient. But neither am I generally psychotic. And yet, there we go.
The other day I cheerfully sat down with this person and hacked through the design for a mock up. We discussed then documented the underlying principles, produced a good draft, and upon parting nearly shook hands warmly. There was a general feeling of good will in the reconditioned office air, a colleague passed down the hall happily humming a tune, and the birds were singing. I sensed a large raise in my future.
The next day, he beckoned me to his desk and showed me what he had done. It seems that, to my great dismay, the mock up specifications I had so painstakingly developed to resolve a problem was clearly viewed only as a loose guideline – and in that sense, I am using the word loose loosely. Not only were the beautifully defined screen layouts marred by crazy function keys, the database updates were complete opposite of our draft design. Worst of all, as I protested he explained his reasoning to me slowly and patiently, as if I were positively foolish. All of a sudden I felt my stock crash.
With a great deal more respect and composure than I actually felt, I clearly explained – once again – the objective of the project, and reviewed the reasons why it made good sense to conform to the agreed-upon design. Warm fuzzies partially restored, I returned to my desk.
Sadly, this was repeatedly once more the same day.
And so I have developed an algorithm for future use on such occasions, which I now present here:
If bossSaysSomething <> whatYouWantToDo;
OK, I admit that is pretty harsh, especially in light of how kind this person is in so many other ways. How about this one instead:
If approvedDesign <> yourPreconceptions;