The Coffee That Goes Back 8 Years

Hey.  If we were having a coffee this week, I’m not sure I’d really want one.  But if you really pushed me I’ll have anything in a red cup, and if you push me a bit more I’ll have a danish with it.  I have a lot to say.

It’s been a shit week.  I try not to swear on this blog unless it’s in humour, but there’s not really much of another way to describe it.  It’s been a while I since I felt quite so down.  Last week I mentioned about things from the past creeping up, and this week has largely carried that on.

I’ve lost track of how many years ago it was, but I was working on a project putting the same computer system in to all our sites and offices around the world.  I was quite junior when I started, but we did a few implementations before my line manager decided to take more of a backseat.  I ended up being team lead of our implementations in Spain and the largest one we did in the UK.

The more we did, the faster and better we got.  We had a great team with clear roles; we had an atmosphere where we had our meeting at the start of the day to go through everything and we got it done and trusted each other to do it.  We were friends and we were open with each other, both good and bad, and the bad was only really when we had to load someone with work a bit more heavily than we would have liked.  We were jeffing awesome.

Then the company I work for was bought, the project was stopped and we were all either sacked or moved elsewhere.  I was briefly put on the US leg of the project with a line manager who was awful.  He didn’t know the subject matter and his line management was so bad that he suggested I work US hours by starting two hours later in the UK than I normally would despite a 5 hour time difference.  I got moved off the project and it was a relief.  I walked through the airport on my way home with a big cheesy grin on my face knowing that I was going home to something better.

A few other similar projects have rumbled on in the background in the Americas and now our project has finally restarted in Italy and France.  It started without me, but someone who I’ve worked with for years had been campaigning to get me back on it, and this week has been my first full one working on it.

We had our second team meeting and afterwards I turned to the guy who got me on the project and asked him why there was only him and I talking in them.  I still don’t really know who does what in our team.  The team lead seems to do not a lot and, again, has no experience.  People talk to me like I’m the junior, yet I’m the one querying and changing the plan as well as doing more dirty work than I should.  Everyone wants to PM, without actually doing any PM.

I’ve spent the week wondering where it all went wrong.  I don’t like blowing my own trumpet, but I work for a big company and when we did the UK implementation I was given an award for performance that is only given to 3 or 4 people globally every year.  I was pretty good.  Since then I’ve successfully implemented a different European business change project that was sold to me as being good for my career.

My reward for that? Two more redundancy consultations, a role teaching people how to use a computer and two or three years trying to get the team that replaced my old (non-project) one to be a patch of what we once were, all the while knowing that I’m in a capital budget that will likely need me cut from it at any moment. The final kick in the balls is that I’m effectively doing the job I was doing 8 years ago (I worked it out since the start of this post).

I’m tired of the fight to constantly prove my worth.  I feel like my baseline is always reset and that everything I’ve done in the way of past achievements and accomplishments is forgotten.  Every project or role I’m given is given to the 21 year old that walked through the door.  I’m happy to work, of course, but if they want to believe that there’s a true meritocracy then what I’ve done should start counting higher than the job grade of other people.

When my project work finished first time round, life began to happen a bit more in the time I had spare.  That all began to unravel about three years ago.  When I was speaking to people about it (in a professional capacity) I was asked to write down what I wanted to get out of my sessions.  I was looking for a receipt the other day and I found the piece of paper with everything written down and, however much water has gone under the bridge and everything that has happened since, I still feel like there’s loose ends there that I’d like to tie up.

Yesterday I knew I wasn’t going out in the evening so I decided that I’d join some friends to play football.  I’d done a little yoga before I went by way of a warm up.  I’d had a tight hamstring for a few weeks, but nothing too much and it had survived an hour on Wednesday night in the pouring rain.  Still, I tried to play a quick one-two with a teammate who could simply have rolled the return ball to me but decided to chip it in the air that caused me to stretch a little too far and the hamstring went.  It hurt a lot last night but right now it’s just a bit stiff.  It’s annoyed me because I was enjoying my football and now I know that I should be sitting out at least a few weeks.

Again, it just feels that even that is however many steps forward and then a shed load back.  I hate having injuries – not being able to do what you want.

I went to bed last night and, you know when you’re dozing off and a lot of things are going through your mind? I was having that happening but just as I was dropping off I heard someone say my name and it sounded particularly real, but it wasn’t really a voice that I recognised.  It wasn’t part of any sort of dream but it was so realistic that it woke me up and made me check that no-one really had said it!

I went to the match today with one of my friends who I haven’t seen for a long time, which was good even if the game wasn’t particularly.  It was nice to be out in the sun too.

And I’ve caught a few new Pokémon.

I hope that your week was better than mine.

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