so... fried...

Last night, it totally hit me just how fried I am. I've been fighting off burnout for awhile now, but I think I may have finally succumbed to it. I realized this when, at almost midnight, my family was upstairs fast asleep, and and I continued to work on my PowerBook to try to catch up on the backlog of bugs to fix - not feeling like I was making any progress anyway. I'm having to keep working this late so I don't have to essentially abandon my family, which I refuse to do.

My work is backlogging because of some insanely tight deadlines, on 2 projects that are chronically understaffed. The One Project has been in actual development for over a year now, and while we're close to being done, the Final Stretch is looming, with all that is entailed with that. The Other Project relies so completely on The One Project that I have had to walk a carefully balanced line between the two. Can't finish The Other, without The One working well. Can't work on The One without billing time to The Other, since we've used up our budget for The One long long ago... On top of that, I inherited The Other Project after budget cuts led to layoffs here in the spring, and there is no way I would have set the project up the way it is - but it's waaaaay too late to change anything. The only thing left to do is grit teeth and push through it.

So now, The Other Project is coming due. Like, tomorrow due. And I'm still putting in revisions to content, and tweaking code in The One Project to support what is needed. And working with external contractors on some key supporting files that are basically out of my hands, but I can't deliver without them working perfectly. And still receiving revisions to content and structure for The Other Project. And bugs/todos piling up for The One Project. Repeat ad nauseam.

Basically, to finish The One Project properly, the three of us programmers need to be able to direct 100% our our energy toward it for about a month. And, to finish The Other Project properly, I need to have the time and energy of about 5 people in order to finish massaging what can only be described as a freaking huge mass of content and resources.

My caffeine intake is waaaay up. My sleep is waaaay down. My cranky rating is off the chart. I feel (rightly or wrongly - doesn't matter at this point) like I'm placed as a single point of failure for The Other Project, and have had to neglect The One Project more than I'd hoped and promised. It had gotten to the point where I seriously considered leaving, for the first time since I started here in 2001.

Anyway, there endeth the rant. Hopefully there is light at the end of the tunnel (there is an end of the tunnel, isn't there?). In case anyone from either Projects stumbles across this - this is why I've been so pissy/grumpy/silent lately. Trying to keep my head down and pulling out all stops to get this stuff done, but there's not a sane way to do that.

On the plus side, it's Evan's third birthday this weekend. I'll be forced to take most of the weekend off for that, and we're heading to West Edmonton Mall on Sunday and Monday (staying at the hotel in the mall). Should be at least a welcome break from the unceasing pressures...

Update: No, I'm not planning on quitting the Learning Commons - it's just one of the things that go through a person's head when faced with seamingly endless pressures. I'm staying here - we've got lots of ideas that will be fun to be a part of implementing, so I have no reason to go elsewhere.

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