Thursday, January 11, 2007

When is "soon" ?

This is from an exchange of emails between me (Graphics) and a co-worker (Developer). Note: I've cleaned up poor grammar and misspellings.

01/05/07 8:32 am
Developer: Where do you stand on major projects? I need a [TC2] console done like the one included [as an attachment]. ... Please let me know when we can discuss this project.

01/05/07 8:35 am
Graphics: Let me get back to you on Monday. I've got some stuff I'm working on for another developer, ... but I need to be able to talk with some people and get an idea of when they need stuff done, what they're working on, etc. When do you need your console done?

01/05/07 8:38 am
Developer: Unfortunately, as soon as possible as it is for the classes we are updating for mod MOD BLK 1.

01/05/07 8:59 am
Developer: Also need the attached panel [Secondary Alarm] done, black with white letters. See the second attachment, upper left [of the photo], 2nd panel in.

01/08/07 8:59 am
Graphics: You want to come over tomorrow morning to discuss this?

01/08/07 9:01 am
Developer: Yes, this [Secondary Alarm Panel] and a new TC2 console.

01/08/07 9:30 am
Graphics: OK, so, what time?

01/08/07 9:37 am
Developer: How about 9?

Now, in the meantime, I've been hit up by two other developers for three other projects, but no one will give me a deadline. It's always, "when you can get to it." I also had to go to some meetings, get together with some people on other projects, etc. Keep in mind that I have no idea when class sections are scheduled to start, how long it takes to get things through the approval phase, or anything. I don't know if they need their work for something that will be presented next week or for next year. They just don't keep me in the loop. Each of them has a different schedule in their heads and they expect me to read their minds.

I met with the developer on this particular project at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday as planned. This is what ensued:

01/10/07 10:40 am
Developer: Can you finish the Secondary Alarm Panel before TC2 console as we need it to turn in a lesson.

01/10/07 10:52 am
Graphics: Yes. By what date do you need this?

01/10/07 1:46 pm
Developer: As soon as you can get it.

I want to tell him that the soonest I can get to this is in late March, just to see his reaction. If he'd said something like, "Our goal is to turn in this lesson by Friday noon, and this is the last piece of art needed," then I'd have a deadline and I'd be able to place it properly in the queue of work. As it is, everyone who has given me work to do has said "when you get to it," but what they imply (especially when they come back to check on how I'm doing with it) is that they wanted theirs to be done first.

If I have any hair left at the end of today it will be a miracle.

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