As you know if you are more than a year old, there are some things you can do or say which your colleagues, friends and loved ones will never let you forget. You experience these things as a kind of singularity. You spend your entire life up to that moment in blissful ignorance of the event, but understand in a flash of instantaneous horror what you’ve done in the exact moment you do it. It’s an instant in which everything changes.
Today in a client meeting I was asked whether I would be able to meet a looming deadline and I replied that it depended on the availability of one of the Sysadmins from whom I was waiting on responses to some key questions. I won’t really know what needs to be done until he responds with the specifications I need. The project manager was on the call and immediately offered to escalate my request to a higher priority.
“I don’t think that will help,” I responded. “He’s working on some stuff for me, some Production problems, parts of our Disaster Recovery, parts of our monitoring upgrade, some netgroup restructuring, the MQ VCS agent, swapping some bad NIC cards, the clustered file system, and that’s just the stuff I know about.”
“Please don’t escalate,” I continued. “He can’t get to it any faster and it will just piss him off. The problem is he’s juggling way too many things. If you really want to help, remove some of his balls.”
And so it begins.
Note to self: In future, metaphors about juggling are always to be constructed with clubs.