Thursday, July 20, 2006

Stress must have a GPS tracker.

I have a summer intern with me and I’m not sure if this is good or bad but I think it has jump started my enthusiasm for work. I’m not happy that I have more work, preparing stuff for the intern to do, but it does motivate me to get things ready. She’s already asked for an increase in days and Lord knows I have plenty of work but most of it requires professors to hand in documents I’ve asked in a timely manner. Because I’m not a priority in their list of to do’s, I spend many hours nagging via email, telephone, text message and hallways chases.

I am lucky that the intern is a wonderfully hard worker though. It reminds me of my days working in an all-boys high school. Lots of stuff to do but you need to prepare the stuff for them to do it. I think I like it.

Still, even though I have a lot to do and it only gets worse as we move towards October , I’m tired and really need the weekend to come. Sure I’ll be cleaning out a closet but it’s not brain draining work. My brain is tired. I love the energy of being productive but I’m also tired and would like to wake up late and have a leisurely dinner in the park.

Against my working girl judgment, I’m hoping to take the first week of August off. I have too much to do at work with too many deadlines; one being a go live in early August. However, if I don’t take a break now, I’m not going to be able to take one until the holidays and I’ll be burnt out by then.

I rarely talk about what I do. It sounds pretty vague and boring really. Many don’t understand what I do. Sometimes I don’t’ know what I do. In a nutshell, I implement data systems. I’m not one of those people that come in, install something and leave you to figure things out. I’m the person that sits down with you and your staff and spends 3 months learning how things work presently. Then for the next 6-9 months, I help you work on flows that currently don’t work, develop flows that incorporate good flows into the new system and build new flows for new processes. All while juggling vendors, programmers, interface gurus and IT staff to ensure everyone is doing what they need to. I'm sort of a consultant/manager of sorts.

My biggest goal is not to implement a new toy but to make sure that the toy enhances and improves the department. For me, there is nothing more important than understanding the existing culture and incorporating existing flows that work and ensuring continued growth of the toy after the first year of implementation.

Don’t ask me how I got into this. I think it was my OCD. Many have told me that I’m a sucker for punishment. I just like the feeling of taking something new and ‘scary’ and helping people adjust to it and making it work for their situations.

The job is challenging but it gets a bit crazy and even more stressful when I’m doing two of these projects simultaneously, which is exactly where I am right now.

I didn’t know there were jobs like this. I actually thought I’d be in the communications/public relations field. Then again I thought I’d be a lawyer/doctor/ballerina/mother to 3 kids.

Anyway, the anxiety of taking time off at the cusp of a project going live is a bit much but I need to trust myself, my abilities, my colleagues’ abilities and most importantly realize that no matter what, things go on.

Related tags: , ,