What Day Is It?

Thursday, September 15th, 2011 | Blogging, Family, Work

…in which I talk about having lost track of time and how it’s time to get back on track.

So, yeah, I kind of slipped a little bit there. Lets just say things have been crazy lately and I’m hoping that the end is near. I’ve really missed my writing sessions and have regretted not keeping it up, but the last few weeks at work have been so maddening that I’ve had no insight or energy upon getting home to even bother typing a word. Things are calming down no, so I hope that by next week I will be resuming my regular update schedule.

Life in the art building...
This guy pretty much says it all…

I’m not going to go into detail of all the madness that’s transpired over the last week, no one would care. All I can say is that it’s been stressful – so much so, I’ve often wondered if I’m suffering from PTSD just from my regular day job. I mean, now that things are calming down, I find myself pacing restlessly because I feel like the pressure is still on, despite the fact that I’m really just returning to my day to day normality. Now, everything isn’t quite resolved yet, but I feel like my involvement in the mission critical tasks is waning. I can finally focus on those menial projects that have been left by the wayside for the past month like highway litter.

One thing I’ve noticed, recently, is that in all honesty, this semester start hasn’t been the worst that I’ve had (nor has it been remotely the best). In truth, barring a few glitches, it’s been pretty smooth. I think the difference is my outlook on it all. I feel more personally invested in everything, like my reputation is riding on it all. Before, I felt bad if things didn’t go right, but I didn’t take it so personally. This time around, maybe it’s the promotion I received late last spring or maybe it’s the accolades that I’ve actually been honored with, but now when things go wrong, I feel like I’m genuinely letting people down. I also feel like I’m even just marginally more well known on campus and that my actions are not performed in a vacuum. I worry that things that I do or say in my corner of campus may be heard and criticized elsewhere, so I’m doing my best to exude a professionalism that I would only hope to expect from others.

The biggest thing, though, and this hit me just this week, is related to a network stability issue we’ve been having in the lab recently. No one seems to be able to track down what’s causing it or why it’s happening. But more importantly, for me anyway, is that I feel completely out of my element trying to troubleshoot the problem and every day that it reoccurs, I have a panic attack that maybe all of the problems have come from something I did wrong when setting up the lab, or the DeployStudio server, or the print server, or any of the other major projects I completed this summer. All evidence points to the contrary, but still, knowing this little about the situation has been more stressful than pretty much anything I’ve had to deal with in this job. I feel like I’m the one responsible for making sure it gets resolved, and yet I’m completely helpless in the process of doing so. I have never felt so under-qualified for my job in my life.

In general, I’m an adaptable, fast learning individual. There’s not much that I can’t at least comprehend with just a little experience. I’ve taught myself web building with almost no outside instruction. I’ve developed a deep and rich understanding of the Mac OS from practically no knowledge whatsoever over the past decade, and even server management is starting to kind of click for me, but none of that is helping with our latest plague. I can only stand there, dumbfounded, scratching my head, saying “yup, must be the alternator!” But enough about work, after several weeks of 9-11 hours days, I’m trying to leave it behind when I come home.

A more manageable and welcome interruption from normality is my parents coming into town this weekend for Ansel’s birthday. Yep, my boy is turning four. I’m so proud of him every day. He’s a smart, funny, quirky little boy and I love him dearly. Yesterday he brought home some “homework” from day-care which was a list of letters he had to recognize and write, words he had to know and understand, and other academic skills he had to master before Monday. After I went over the sheet with him, Heather admitted to me that Starr, his daycare provider, had no concerns about Ansel and that he knew everything already. That’s my boy genius.

I’m looking forward to this party because it’s the first party that we’ve thrown that wasn’t just for our friends. We asked Ansel if there was anyone he wanted to be at his party and he picked several of his friends from day-care that he wanted to be there, as well. So this is officially Ansel’s first real party. Heather printed out these super cute dino/construction themed cards and took them to day-care on Friday to hand out to the kids. The party is at a nearby park so that people feel less wary of coming to celebrate Ansel’s birthday. I really hope everything goes well and that Ansel has a great time surrounded by the friends he himself invited. I also hope that it doesn’t rain, even though we really need it.

Anyway, the reason I typically write on Wednesdays is that I have the most free time, so I’m going to wrap this up short. I expect that I will get back on schedule for next week and should maintain it for at least another year, before I have to completely rebuild the lab again. I do apologize for the interruption in updates and look forward to writing regularly, again.

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