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Projects Scare Me

Typical Project

A few days ago Madame Titirangi Storyteller suggested that I get a project. My first reaction was, great idea!  After contemplating this for a while I realized…Projects scare me.

It’s a left over reaction from the Corporate dimension of existence. At my last job before the glorious retirement/layoff, the slightest whiff of a project curdled my blood. A project meant that the project team (read pool of available slaves) were supposed to say good-bye to family, give up evenings and weekends to slave away at something. In half the time and with half the funding needed. If it was successful, the project manager got the credit. If it failed it was MY fault.

This particular project manager was a princess with English as second language problem. And extremely sensitive about it. I pride myself that we didn’t come to blows. If we had been co-workers in a different setting, such as a bar we, probably would have. And a glorious cat fight it would have been. Sell tickets and popcorn. Yea that’s it.

Our boss inadvertently pitted us against each other on a daily basis. Ms. Project manager would write reports with incredible, excruciating detail. Documenting (numbers provided by me) each and every measurement,  phone call, hiccup, and phase of the moon.

photo @ officepolitics.com

However, she had a major problem with verb tenses and assigning masculine or feminine traits to objects. A frequent problem for a person who’s first language is Spanish or French. My job was to take this 15 page epistle and translate/condense it into a brief, comprehensible 2 page report so that it would not be immediately tossed in the nearest rubbish can.

This was my forte. I can take in a huge dump of information, rethink it, organize it, and spit it back out in a few sentences or paragraphs so that someone can say “Oh, was that what this is all about?” Madame project manager hated me for it, even though she received accolades for these “excellent” reports.

So I’m afraid of projects. I must realize that this does not need to be the case now. I get to choose or reject a project. I decide how it is done, how it’s funded, who works with me, how long it’s going to take, and even decide that the whole thing is not working and toss it, if need be. Now that actually sounds like fun.

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