Saturday, 31 July 2010

Guest posts and the darker side of Team Lead life...

Last night before going to bed I got a mail from Calie saying that the guest post she asked me to write had been published.  For those interested you can find it here.  I'd like to thank Calie for inviting me to write it, it was a good look back at things, and was a post that I really made me think about things whilst I was busy with it.

I'd also like to thank her for the wonderful introduction :)

Outside of the post it's been an interesting end to my week.  I've been busy fighting an XML import at work, and after spending twice as long as I had originally planned on doing it, I was starting to lose concentration.  I almost made the mistake of blaming my lack of motivation on my GD which has flared recently, but honestly I think I was just sick of it.  Thankfully it's done now (or should that be 'for now' the results still have to be verfied by the business) and I'm onto something more interesting again.

The week ended on a downer.  Although I am Team Lead / Project Manager I am lucky in that I work with a very professional team and I generally only need to keep thinking ticking along, and making sure that the projets in the pipeline are in the right state at the right time, and that people think about things outside of development (like deploying code which most people forget about) to make sure that timelines are correct.

This week ended differently.  Someone who works for me has recenty got another job, and is currently working his notice.  I actually think this is a good thing, he needs a change - you can see it in him - and it should revitalise him if he goes at it with the right attitude.  The problem that I have is that he has zero motivation at present (something I don't really understand, he quit, he wasn't fired - and when I have left a job on my own accord I've always remained professional till my last day and made sure that everything was in a good state when I left for my leaving party).

He's been ill this week, which isn't his fault, but he has not helped himself either by spending hours just staring at his screens.  On Friday I was forced to do something that felt awful.  After he had been staring for an hour he dissapeared.  I followed and said to him that he had to do one of two things.  Either work through feling ill, or go home where you can at least be more comfortable.  Him sitting in front of his screen motionless was not doing him any good, and in an open office it was affecting the rest of the people too.

I ended up driving him home in his car, someone followed to bring me back to the office.  I made sure that he has someone he could call should he get worse and tried to persuade him to call a doctor.

I know it was the right thing to do, but it felt awful...  I'll SMS him later today to make sure that he's OK.


  1. Wow Stace what a firm but kind thing to do. It shows a degree of emotional maturity that I can only gaze at wonder at. I would be completely lost in a situation like that. It's why they only allow me to do the hard maths and manage inanimate objects like the pencil sharpener.

    Rachel XXX

  2. Stace,

    I also managed to finish a really tedious task on Friday which has taken up two weeks of my time. I was so happy to have completed it that I punished the air in my excitement.
    Its been such a struggle getting through it as I've found myself not able to concentrate and also feeling down as a result.
    I think part of it is the fact that the task was so repetitive but I think its also the fact that I'm getting close to the time I had decided to tell my wife that I plan to transition and have seen a psychiatrist who told me that I have to tell my family before she will see me again in order for things to proceed and for me to be referred to a GIC.


  3. That was a very nice thing for you to do, Stace.

    Melissa XX

  4. Rachel: It took some working up to. Now that my boss has gone on vacation for three weeks I have the whole development team under my belt until he comes back. Gulp.

    However, if you would like to come over and help me with the maths, though would be appriciated ;p (For someone who develops financial software for a living my maths it not what it could be...)

    Jenny: There was a fair amount of repativeness in there as well. I would have just written an import application for it, but it was a one time thing. Looking back at the time cost I think it would possibaly have been a better idea amd taken less time. Live and learn.

    Good luck with the family, hope it goes well for you.

    Melissa: Thanks :) The takng him home, and telling him he should be at home was OK. But I felt like a bit of a heel for giving him the ultimatum of get on with it, or go home. I'm sure it was the right thing to do, but that didn't make saying it any easier.


  5. Sounds like your soon to be former colleague gave notice about, oh, two weeks past where he should have. I'm with you -- no matter if you're leaving, no matter if you're no longer into your job, you should be professional. So I think you did a kindness, and good on you for doing it.

  6. Am I allowed to say about 6 months after he should have?

    Thanks for the words :)


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  8. You did the right thing, Stace. As a manager, I would have done the same thing.

    Calie xxx