Monday, August 5, 2013

Working in the Real World

The last several weeks seem to feel like liberation with the coming end of my major project; problems are fixed, the users are delighted, schedules are redrawn and now close to going live. But now the real world is coming with my new job, more responsibilities and tasks to do, with stiff deadlines. I just emerged from a rough meeting; no hard feelings just the proper brutalizing of the project manager, one just rolls with the punches. Now that would seem to be the normal way but it is really a new game where one needs to be light, emotion less and resilient. Previously, I liked my job, preferring to come to work early despite the harsh challenges; one should not have a thin skin. Happily I have friends to ride the shifting waves, rolling from one high point to another, discussing the quirkiness of each boss man; the matrix organization further causing difficulties. This is ‘no country for old men’ – the adage is turning out to be true. But I am the new ‘me’ – sleeping better and able to exercise more but the going will be rough as it is a new terrain.

I went swimming for the past 2 days in the morning – lolling in the water, enjoying something close to freedom, like that care free feeling of youth. I used to think that I could just fudge it, to breeze through work like it was something that one can just wing it, but now it’s the real thing with the boss men coming in to get you. There used to be just one or two hard men but now there are multitudes. Now I can see the edge and the cynicism that reeks in that I did not see before. It was a mistake that I had neglected, preferring to jump ahead and accept the challenges. Perhaps it is just feeling old, the way Obama comes in with the freshness of a morning breeze, and suddenly faced with the ideologues of the tea party, intransigent in their views, blocking any move forward.  Suddenly he finds himself working in the real world, his grace and lightness challenged by these hard men; unable to move with elegance as in his days of youth.

Now I find myself needing to work during weekends or after office; hopefully with better focus now that my main project is done. It was like carrying a heavy load since the project leader changed 3 times during my watch, heaving to drag the efforts forward, while the new guy gets adjusted; and now we are thankfully near the end of the mission. But the center will hold as Jonathan Alter’s book on Obama proclaims, shifting efficiently through the shoals of disinformation and disaster, successfully shepherding himself to re-election. Perhaps that is the way, to focus on the data and move forward with the way it should be, careful to avoid any emotional entanglements. The Bhagavad Gita says that one must not desire the fruits of one’s labor, just to proceed forward and do the job without emotion. This is ‘no country for old men’ and the trick is to continually refresh oneself with new ideas, exercise and sleep more and work more.

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