Not the rain cloud-based precipitation, although I would love it if it poured because our protected forest area living quarters has finally come under fire, and water is going to be rationed. When our area faces the heat, the situation may be officially declared as being dire, because we are the privileged lot who are buffered as much as possible from reality of the outside. I am deliberately sweeping the worry under the carpet because it pushes all my panic buttons, and I can’t afford to panic at the moment.
But that is only a digression (albeit a serious one). The rain-pour analogy is for work. I suddenly have a deluge of work that I must address immediately. Part of the rush is that I will have house guests from the land of milk and honey in ten days, to stay for a fortnight, and it would be insane when they are around – two young, spirited boys below 8 years and their parents who are no less spirited than them. So I had better take care of work before they arrive.
I might write on and off, mostly on, I think because I would need to let off some of the tension. Hang in there.
And while at it, I have told the tech-soc client that I need a month off for now. I may or may not return from the month break. Let’s see how things pan out.
..after 10 proposals in 15 days.
I can’t believe I have two and a half more to go. I am half way through my tenth proposal and my brain just won’t work. The saving grace (or is it?) is that I am done with the technical part that needs a lot of analysing, all that’s left is mundane process development kind of writing, which by itself is a killer bore, and when your brain is fried…oh, I am too tired to even say anything funny.
I always dream of meeting my deadline like this
Yet, every time, it is like this.
With ten hours to spare.
And more delivered than committed.
Will the client ask me to help with “just one more, please?” because there are ten hours left?
Will I do it?
I would if my brain were not fried to crisp. Physical limitations keep me sane and not walked over.
Time to deadline: ~50 hours
Initial commitment: 5 proposals of @~15000 words each
Delivered: 4 proposals @ ~15000 words each: Lithium-oxygen battery, lithium-sulfur battery, EMI shielding composite, super capacitor electrode.
Due: 1 proposal @ ~15000 words: TaC nozzle structures
Bonus request from client: one more proposal @~15000 words before Friday 1400 hours, US-EST.
Could say no. Will I?
Adrenalin head rush.
I want to write a long post, but can’t because big-brother client is getting his boxing gloves on, what with a NASA deadline looming ahead on 20th and tempers and blood pressures going out of bounds all over. I know things are on war-footing ahead when I get an email at 2 AM from the client saying “Your proposal is FULL OF GRAMMATICAL ERRORS” when he found one single typo in a 5000-word document. This typo was not my doing either, but the computer misinterpreting my rapid keyboard strokes and filling out what it thought was the word (“principle” instead of “principal”). Sometimes it would be nice if the computer would leave the thinking to me. It would also be nice if the client did not exaggerate things, but then, all is fair apparently during deadline times.
My hysteric client notwithstanding, I love deadline times. It puts my brain on hyperdrive, and I get an almost drugged high when that happens. Just like exams did when I was young. My daughter thinks I am weird. I may be.
Wish me luck for the NASA deadline.
There was a time when the blood was younger, meals got made by elves (or perhaps grandma), house took care of itself (or by my dad) and all I did was work during deadline times of Dec-Jan-Feb. During such times, I would brush my teeth as soon as I woke up at 6.30 AM, fresh as a daisy, drink coffee handed to me by dad, and went up to my office room, to work continuously until grandma called me for various meals, until late night (and by that I mean 10 PM), when dad gave me a glass of warm sweet milk to end my busy day. The net wasn’t as fast as it is now, neither was there so much information available online and while I waited forever for the dial-up modem to connect and search for stuff, I’d scour books and journals, rack my brains with the scientific principles behind a bunch of ideas I was supposed to write up, and at the end of the day, hit the sack and be out like a light.
Now the net is infinitely faster. Any information I need (beyond Rule 34 that is) is available before I even finish the question. I have had 17 years of doing this, which hopefully makes my brain faster with ideas. Yet, my limit of continuous work is only 6 hours it seems. With all breaks thrown in. At the end of six hours, my brain feels fried to a crisp, I get a migraine, and every bit of my body hurts like I ran a marathon, while all I did was sit with my laptop. The skin over my thighs are raw. My eyes are sore. My fingers ache. Every joint creaks when I get up. And when I go to bed at night, I get Kafka dreams of biopolymer and nano cellulose and graphene and algal ethanol and composites and what not.
Age is a dog, I tell you.
How long can you work continuously before your body and mind break down?
After one whole week of power and internet outages, my work backlog extends from here to the moon. Scratched the surface after working 6 hours straight with one bathroom break in between.
One of my greatest attitude flaws is that I underestimate my skills – modesty is alright and all that, but I underestimate my ability to such gross extents that I freak out every single time that I would fail miserably. This is not new to me. Every exam I have attended, I have stepped into the examination hall in abject panic that I would not be able to write a word in my answer sheet, only to ace the exam. I couldn’t sleep last night because I was freaking out because I had to come up with four technical ideas and write them up into a letter of intent before Monday. I was sure that my client was going to fire me, and that his company would crash because I could not meet the Monday deadline. And then, since the company went belly up, so many people would have to go home without a severance package, and it would all be my fault.
I finished two already and a third is getting some shape, and only needs hour or two before it takes full shape. And I have the weekend to go.
Will I learn my lesson? No. Next time I will freak out all over again.