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Being the messenger of doom

It was day three of meetings: the last day, and we were in review mode. Everyone’s brains were fried. Everyone wanted to go home, put their head under a pillow, and let their mind descend into blissful oblivion. I use the term “home” loosely. A hotel room is substituting for my home tonight. Though now that I type it, being away from home is probably a blessing. I can enjoy my oblivion without interruption.

But back the meeting.

We were hopping through the review, beginning to feel that rush you feel when you think you’re almost done, until I ruined the mood with a buzz-kill.

“Um… I don’t think that looks right.”

I’m not one of those people who takes pleasure in finding mistakes. In fact, I often feel partially responsible for other people’s mistakes at work (I’m often the one that did the training – at my office anyway). In this case the problem was a big one, and it was as much mine as anyone else’s. Part of me thought about not saying anything. Maybe someone else will notice. Maybe it’ll be caught in the build phase. Maybe I’m pretty much useless unless I speak up. When you get right down to it I hate making mistakes, so I had to say something to make it right. We ended up scrapping a design that took the better part of a day to put together. And if you think it sounds bad, prepare to be taken a little lower. You may know words don’t come easily to me in a large group. I hate the attention. Now add to this the fact that I was the lowest pay grade in the bunch (my buzz-kill was addressed to the equivalent of my boss’s-boss’s-boss’s-boss’s-boss). After stumbling through an explanation and seeing the flash of understanding on everyone’s faces… followed by the five stages of grief, the accumulated anxiety left me unable to form complete sentences for ten minutes.

In the end, we slapped together a replacement that ended up three times as complex, in a little under three hours.

I think I’ve found another trigger for migraines.

1 Comment

  1. Maybe they will remember you as the person who prevented them from making a huge expensive f-up??this could be good!

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