Marymount B.L.O.G.S

6:25: Wake up, realize that I am up before my alarm, and debate getting up.

6:30: Wake up again and hit the snooze button.

6:34: Get up and turn off the alarm before the snooze is over.  Go take a shower.

6:50: Get dressed.  Try to pick out a tie that will be tidy but not noticeable.  The day has just started and I know I don’t want to initiate any conversation.

7:15: Kiss my girlfriend goodbye and remind her I have class this evening.  I fill up a jug with water on the way out the door.  The recently remodeled federal healthcare facility I work in has brown water come out of the tap regularly.  I am not in the mood to take chance.

7:35: Arrive at the building.  It is raining and a security guard is visually checking badges and parking passes instead of using the automated swipe activated gate.  He then signals another guard to raise the barrier.  After fumbling to find and show my parking pass, the second guard indicates that I now need to swipe my badge on the RFID pad.  Having pulled far enough away to avoid hitting the first guard with my car, I have to lean out my window up to my waist in the rain.  I contemplate turning around and going home.

7:40: Get to the building and think about breakfast.  I debate between the place with good coffee and mediocre food and the place with good food and mediocre coffee.  I decide good food is what I am in the mood for today.

7:45: Reach the fourth floor cafeteria and notice there is no one in line and see that the best cook, Lawrence, is working.  I place an order and notice a team of construction worker arrive.  When the facility was remodeled, they destroyed a waterway.  Now the area is eroding.  I feel bad for the construction workers.  There must be a dozen of them and the cafeteria is impossibly slow.  The last guy might be in line for half an hour.  Had I arrived a minute later I would have just kept walking.

7:58: Stroll into my office and say a round of hellos.

8:00: Log on to my workstation and begin my work.  Normally no one bothers me for the whole morning and that is nice.  My job is mostly boring and repetitive.  I work as a defense contractor and we are in our last option year on our contract.  That means that soon our company will need to rebid.  If we win I will stay and if we lose I may need to find a new job.  While it may be boring, it is not all bad.  I enjoy the regularity while I am taking classes.  My bosses seem to like my work and I am knowledgeable about the work we do.

11:07: Realize that it is after 11 and send out an email to a few coworkers asking if anyone wants to go somewhere to get lunch.  While the in-building options are palatable for breakfast, they are below average for lunch.  For the most part, the people I email are all amicable to going somewhere but no one else initiates the email.  Some days, like today, my email sparks off a long string of replies with jokes and commentary at nothing in particular; all of it laced between whatever we are each working on.  We all sit relatively close to each other but the office culture and some of the bosses don’t allow for friendly conversation.  These emails serve as a place to blow off some steam without raising the ire of anyone listening in.

11:57: Finally decide with my team to go to a shopping center nearby that has four places to choose from.  I think most of us just want to get out of the office and the thirty minutes we get are a reprieve from our dreary windowless basement office.

12:20: Meet back with the others at the car with sandwiches from different places.  The high note is the baklava my coworker picked up from the Lebanese place.  Their kabob is ok but their baklava is amazing.

12:32: Arrive back in the office and everyone settles back into place.

1:00: Watch my monthly report reminder pop up.  It is my job to gather the reports from my team every month, polish the wording and format, and then submit them to one of my many bosses.  I set the reminder to go off every month where it will give me plenty of time to complete the report on-time.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter what deadline I give my team to send me their reports; they always trickle in up until the very last minute.  My optimistic timetable prompts the same action every month; I tell my calendar reminder to snooze for 24 hours.

4:15: Watch my timecard reminder pops up and it is almost quitting time.  I fire off a couple of emails and then head over to meet my coworker and head-out of the building.

4:47: Reach home and change clothes.  My girlfriend tells me she misses me when I mention that I am heading off to school.  During the spring and fall parking at Ballston is pretty tight but the summer session has fewer classes and no competition to get a parking space.  I have a thesis meeting with my team at 6:00 but I have to do some work before everyone gets there.  I relent and spend some much needed time with my girlfriend.

5:55: Park my car to the sound of a text message asking “where are you slackers?”  I text back “I am here and on my way up to the lab.”  Someone is always late regardless of when or where we pick.  Today is no exception.  I pop open my laptop to work up a game plan for the evening.  I am the team project manager and I liken it to herding cats.  My team is quite capable but I think we underestimated what we would have to do going into this.  Our compressed summer schedule has only made our project more difficult.

8:30: See that our team is burning out from the constant work and meeting schedule.  We have to call it for the night.  It is a double edged sword; I am tired and want to go home, but I am well aware of how much more work we have to do.  Everything we don’t get done today will have to be finished later in the week.

8:50: Get back home and debate having dinner this late.  Normally it would be cause for evening indigestion, but with my stress level it is guaranteed irrespective of a late meal.  I decide to skip it and find my girlfriend.  She is in bed already.  I give her a kiss and tell her I’ll see her in the morning.

9:30: Pop my laptop open again and start working on the team’s next deliverable.  This one will be all on me.  I’ll send it out to the team for review but I doubt anyone will even look at it.

10:30: Open my cryptography class notes and my eyes start to glaze over.  I realize that it is late and I should go to bed.

11:02: Contemplate before I drift off to sleep about how it can’t last but a few more weeks, just a few until a break.  After that short break I will start the cycle back over again.


– Chris M

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