Thursday, March 06, 2008

You gotta love those last minute tasks

Sitting at my desk yesterday afternoon, at about 2:45. The Project Leader is at an all-day, off site meeting, and with his #1 off (he takes the day off for his birthday), I'm left watching the fort. All it means is while I have no real authority outside my assigned tasks, I'm the guy anyone who has any immediate issue comes to for discussion.

Yeah, I know.

So the phone rings; it's Bob, the Senior Manager (see previous reference).

He: Charlie... are you in the middle of anything right now?

Me: Nothing that can't wait. What do you need?

He: Quick, jot this down.

Now when someone says to me jot this down I immediately grab a pen and start to write on my desk calendar/blotter. Big page, mostly lined, lots of space, handy calendar, etc. right? So I am scribbling away as he's reading off to me what sounds like a status report.

He finishes his dictation and briefly tells me that he has a herniated disc in his neck, and he needs to see his doctor.

He: Now I need you to sub for me at the weekly status meeting for senior managers at Corporate.

Me: Why, thank you for the trust! So when is it?

He: If you leave now, you'll only be about 5 minutes late.

Terrific. So I hang up, grab my blotter and --- no, I didn't take it to the meeting... I'm not that daft -- ran to the copier. Punched up "11x17 reduced to 8x14" and had at least a manageable sized page.

Grabbing what I needed for the end of the day - I generally work until 3:30, don't forget, and I am off. At the obligatory traffic lights, I am trimming the page down to something less than 8x11 so it won't look terribly obvious what I was reading from in the meeting.

Obvious voids are specific data
that has been redacted for this post.

As I round the corner to the conference room, I hear the VP say I can't imagine what could be keeping Bob..." I entered, made Bob's apologies and my own, and sat down at about 3:07.

This morning was typing up the notes I took for Bob. Since I hadn't a clue what he needed to know, I naturally took down everything. When it came time for Bob's status, I read off my notes, and even handled some Q&A where I could.

The meeting lasted just over an hour. That chicken scratch above is typical of my handwriting style - much to the chargrin of the Catholic Nuns of my youth. Yet I turned that crap into about 4 minutes of (apparently) sailent status.

Man, there better be a salary bump in the future for me...

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