For the whole time I’ve been a computer guy, during my 60 hour weeks, in the days when most of the people I worked with were on the other side of the world and expected to Skype with me at 4:00 a.m., when I still thought I’d probably starve in a gutter, when things were great and during the Year of Failure, I have nearly always been able to stop working at 5:00 on Friday. I might be back at work at 5:00 a.m. on Saturday, but Friday night is my time off. My husband goes out, the kids might come over, and it’s delivery pizza and a movie or a book and a quite house or Netflix and knitting. Free time.
Today I was home from the Next County by 2:00 or 3:00, dealing with compliance officers needing my tax forms scanned and emailed, websites down, breaking news, etc. and then powering out to get the Monday and Wednesday blogs written in time. With any luck, I’d get the slides for my presentation done, too.
At 4:00 I got word that a client from last June wanted to launch tomorrow. There were 12 scanned handwritten pages of changes to make at the website, payment has not been received, and they were apparently saying that they would pay when they saw most of the changes made but were hoping to launch tomorrow.
On reflection, I think I must have heard that wrong. It probably was more like, “I’ve sent over a dozen pages of changes. If it looks like they can be made and we can launch tomorrow, I’ll be happy to bring over the payment so we’ll be ready.”
At the time, I responded badly. As in, “What? They want us to make changes and then call them and they’ll bring the payment? It’s Friday afternoon. What are they talking about?”
My eyes were twitching. I had a headache.
I had a movie on DVD: Knight and Day with Tom Cruise. I planned on a pizza: bacon, spinach, and tomato. I figured I’d pack. Maybe rest for the trip. Instead, I had hours of extra work.
#1 son pointed out that being mad would not make the work more enjoyable, and took my car. He was right. #1 daughter said I was about to leave town so it was just a tradeoff. She was also right. I scrambled an egg, watched the movie, and then got back to work.
In the movie, Cameron Diaz gets on a plane to attend her sister’s wedding and was soon immersed in shooting, fighting, and trains hurtling through frozen wastes. This did not happen to me. I just lost a Friday night. Not such a big deal.