Monday, March 26, 2007

In Five Minutes or Less

I've been dreading today since Friday evening. I've even played out mock scenes in my head on how today would play out. It kept me up for a good part of last night. And now, it's only a half hour away.

I've been a programmer for fifteen or so years now. Working in the software industry has its rewards, especially when your coworkers consider you a hotshot. But that, as they say, is a double edged sword. It's the classic problem of the old gunslinger, that eventually, someone will be quicker to the draw. In the mean time, he is constantly challenged by every itchy finger looking for a reputation.

I'm not old, but I'm not young. I'm ambitious, but I'm not hungry. I come to work because that's how food makes its way to my table. I work my time, and then I go home. I'm immune to the lie and lure of the eventual buyout and the fairy tale value of stock. Cuba Gooding Jr. said it best: show me the money.

So today, I'm going into a design meeting with the people who would see their reputations grow at the expense of my own. By my accounting, that should be a good thing, a meeting of the minds, the product of which should be the best possible system that we can produce; not a referendum; not a series of personal attacks.

Of course I'm not sure if that's how it will go, but my churning stomach seems to think so.

Wish me luck.

Oh, I've got pictures of our Pinewood Derby car (I just need to upload them). Turns out that I should have sanded the axles. It was slow, but if I do say so myself, it was one of the coolest. With eerie cosmic symmetry, my son's car won the award for being the most awesome, just like mine did when I was a boy. Like my father before me, I paid more attention to how it looked, and not enough time on how it actually ran.


I survived. All that fuss for nothing. Everyone was respectful, no flaring of egos, just a bunch of guys discussing how it all should work, disagreeing without getting personal.

I'll pay you all a visit in the morning. Wahoo!


Kathleen said...

I'm looking forward to seeing the pics of the Pinewood Derby car.

Good luck today. I'm sure it'll go swimmingly!

trinamick said...

Glad things worked out for you. No flaring of egos? That IS an achievement!

Can't wait to see the car. We once made rubberband cars out of soda bottles. Mine was far from the fastest, but it definitely looked the best.

Kathleen said...

Yay! My company is all about flaring egos, so good job in avoiding that mess!

Toni Anderson said...

Cool :) Glad it worked out :)

Bailey Stewart said...

I'm glad it worked out.

Cool about the car. Looking forward to seeing the pictures.

Jada's Gigi said...

I kind of love/hate being at the age where I'm not old /not young...ambitious but not hungry...working for the money...I know its how money gets food to the many ways its very freeing....but in many ways its very unsatisfying...I'm glad it went well for you...and it should with adults involved..right? though I know that's is not always the way of things...looking forward to the derby photos...and next time you'll know about sanding the axles...:)I'm sure Jackson was thrilled by it all....

mr. schprock said...

Glad things went well for you. Fortunately, where I work, everyone is reasonably satisfied with their roles — everyone, that is, except for Branson, who likes to polish his Glock 22 at his desk and refers to himself as the "angel of death."

Alan said...

Sounds like you and my alter ego "Worst Case Scenario Man" should star in a team-up.