So, last weekend, I had a huge software release pending and was waiting on gopher-man to get it ready to deploy. Besides the fact that gopher-man works slowly, he is very pessimistic, and always acts as though there is no way he has enough time to do what he needs to do. It’s a stressful job, but we all have stressful jobs in this industry, and he makes me want to just throw my hands up in the air and walk away. The Thursday before the deployment, I stopped by to see how he was doing.
“Oh, it’s awful. There are so many errors. I’ve tried to run the build over and over and over and it’s taking forever,” he moaned.
I paused, took a deep breath. “I’m sorry it’s such a pain. That sounds frustrating. Do you think you’ll be done by tomorrow?”
“Define done,” he says.
[Level of effort required to contain my frustration increasing steadily.]
“Um, done. As in, finished. Ready to hand off to China to deploy on Saturday.”
“Do we have a choice?” His question is equal parts sarcasm and a misplaced glimmer of hope that I’ll tell him we might have a choice.
“No. We don’t.”
“What can I do then? I have no choice.”
“Well, if you need some help, I’d rather know that now and see if I can’t find someone to assist instead of find out tomorrow that we can’t get this done.”
Defeated, he sulks, saying “There’s no one that can help.”
“Maybe [a senior guy who doesn’t normally do this, but can figure out just about anything] can help. Let me see what I can do.” I try to reassure him, as I walk away biting my tongue.
I get gopher-man some help and let them work it out over the rest of that afternoon. Friday, though, still no final product. I do get a reassuring email from the person that normally
do this work (excuse me – broken English almost slid past me) – does this work – and is away on family business to tell me that it is “all sorted, and we’ll be fine.” He’s from New Zealand and a very reassuring type. Sure enough, Saturday morning I wake up to the news that we’re ready to go. Score one for gopher-man.
Not only does he finish, but that night, when I expect to work from 4pm til 8am the next morning monitoring the deployment happening in China, gopher-man’s work was so well done that we save hours, and I am actually done by 2:30 am instead. Senior executives at the company and at our client say it is the least eventful and most on-time deployment they have ever had, even though it is also one of the largest, which is exactly as it should be. Score one for the whole team.