I have been stuck on a hellish project for the past few months, initially given to it on temporary loan before my previous boss retired, but over the course of weeks other people essentially bailed on it leaving just me and a developer out in Calgary to pick up the pieces. It is a fairly ambitious project to replace about 30 reports from one system in a new one that is not the least bit compatible. Many of the reports are the product of a labyrinthine network of interconnected Excel spreadsheets and Access databases containing tables that are updated manually as needed.
This project has not quite pushed me to the brink of outright quitting like the one a year ago, but it has had its own share of setbacks and annoyances. The biggest annoyance is the looming deadline, and the moving targets that are going to make it almost impossible to hit. We are doing what they interpret as "agile" development. First we started building what the business requested, but then IT came along and said, "Oh, but that doesn't adhere to our new reporting standards. Instead of building twenty-six separate reports, you need to cram it all into a single dashboard."
So we started cramming it all into a single dashboard, and as we were nearing completion on that, the business came along and said, "If you are going to do it as a single dashboard, then separate out these, divide it into pre-2014 and post-2014 records, and add lens flare."
Then IT came along and said, "If you are going to do a dashboard, then you need to combine all of your data sources into a single data model."
Then the business added a truckload of new requirements that were not in their original request. We made good progress on that until...
IT returned and informed us that the dashboards that we had designed to standard were no longer adherent because they had just changed the dashboard standard earlier that week.
So we had to start rebuilding large portions of it from scratch to meet the new standards.
I wish I was joking, but I am not.
Oh, and they want me to dig out my safety equipment and fly out to Thunder Bay again to work as a car mechanic. I passed that along to my managing director to handle, and she let me know that she told them "no", but she admits that she has probably only just bought some time, and that I will likely have to head out there at some point.
Fortunately tomorrow is my last day of work before a few days of vacation. We were supposed to be heading off to MFF, but when we could not get a room at the main hotel, we decided to give it a pass this year. We really like having easy access to our room during the con, and the thought of having to trudge to an overflow hotel a block or two away every time we wanted to hit up our room just didn't sound appealing.
Between my vacation, this project, the other project the director says she has for me, and a potential trip to Thunder Bay to play mechanic, that should keep me busy until I get shipped off to Calgary for conductor/engineer training. They are a little vague about which one they are sending me for, so I guess I will find out when it happens. I understand why they are training up all of their managers to operate trains. What I don't get is who thought it was a good idea to ship a fat, balding, lazy, middle-aged guy from IT who is potentially 2 1/2 years away from retirement out to run their trains.