Don’t go to work

dontgotoworkDo you wake up every morning and go to work? Well, I don’t. And I can tell you that I haven’t for the last 18 years. Except for a few times, and I’m not talking about vacation and sick days.

People have serious problems enjoying their jobs, most people complain about their jobs, their managers, partners, customers, schedules, workloads, benefits, salary, traveling, issues, hate mails, hate calls… See the pattern? I can tell those guys: “Don’t go to Work”

I won’t tell you I haven’t complained ever, in fact, I complain A LOT, all day, everyday. When I was preparing myself to write this blog I made a retrospective about all the Jobs I had. And I can tell you I have enjoyed every single one of them and met great people along the way. Every single project I managed was great (not all of them successful, I reckon). I enjoyed them all. Sometime ago, I moved to a new position, I was talking to a former co-worker

“Hey, I’m sure you don’t miss us at all, it was crazy back then huh?” She said

“Well, I DO miss you guys, I DO miss that job, and I definitely miss the crazy times, long hours and challenges and even the stress” I replied

She did not believe and looked at me as if I was high. But then again, of course you will find challenges, otherwise, what is your day going to be about? Wouldn’t you rather be in a customer call, getting yelled at, taking notes of dozens of issues and then forced to give a deadline, than sitting in your desk watching your self-indulgent friends brag about their travelling and adopting puppies in Facebook?

A common misunderstanding is that people at work will guarantee that nothing will go wrong. When in fact, Project Manager’s job is to be able to foresee that something might go wrong and if he’s really good, there will be a plan on how to handle it, this doesn’t happen very often, I reckon. But in most cases, anyone at their jobs will manage to solve the situation. We come everyday to eventually enjoy solving a problem. We don’t come to sit and expect no problems will raise.

I had a project sometime ago, the customer (a huge company in Buenos Aires) located us in an abandoned floor of an 19th century building with one of those manually operated elevators, and it was stuck very often. Our “office” was equipped with cool monochromatic Unix terminals, couple of ashtrays, and a trash can. It sucked. We were auditing a system built by one of those visionary guys breaking every normalization rule, which in the 90s, was unacceptable. Eventually, we spent 5 months writing our audit report with tons of recommendations after going after tons of code lines and being yelled by the system “inventor”, by the customer, and to each other. For those months, I never woke up and went to work. Instead, I woke up every morning, walked a couple of blocks through beautiful Buenos Aires downtown in the middle of cold July winter, had a cool conversation with the shoe shiner guy, had a hyper-caloric breakfast, read the paper while in the train, enjoyed the 19th century architecture, had fun with the elevator, had a hyper-caloric meal and spent 12 hours with 2 pretty Argentinian girls, who were debugging the code.

Don’t go to work everyday, go and enjoy what you do everyday.

One thought on “Don’t go to work

  1. Perfect if there is no challenge then there will no interest in working. Main thing that we need to do stop complaining about what was already built but start looking how to improve. Yes disaster recovery plan is most complicated and highly sensitive design that needs to be done in very beginning of any project. Yeah everyday i wake up with some expectation of getting new challenge. Every system and infrastructure is unique and was built for some purpose and past situation. As you said we learn from what we see and we learn again from what we do. I am not yet a project manager but hope to see myself soon in that place. First thing i learnt to be a project manager is to have a disaster recovery plan before even you can kick off project. I was intensively involved in Office 365 Proplus WW deployment project. Most of the times it did not go as we expected. Everyday new issue and new challenges. We had lot of variance around to be considered. However disaster recovery plan saved me when i crashed DFS server by mistake for the first time. I remember it was quick restore and getting up all DFS members up and running in few hours. Life doesnt start and end everyday rather it starts with expectation of new challenges and ends with a new lesson. if we dont enjoy it we wont get those days back… Trick to make life easy is to make sure you enjoy every minute of it like watching an adventurous movie … Living our life is part of our Project Management … Project to live and enjoy every minute of it ….

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