My Day Job is Not Trying to Kill Me

Almost 10 years ago, I wrote about how Walkadoo was trying to kill me. I don’t know if Walkadoo is still a thing or not. The post I just linked received more clicks from searches than any of my other posts, probably because people were searching for “Walkadoo” and only a handful of us weirdos were writing about it.

In that post, I talk about how the goal kept increasing, and I kept rising to meet the challenge. As I predicted back then, the step goal reached a point I could no longer match. When the service routinely asked me to walk 25,000 steps a day, I was defeated. I wound up uninstalling the app and unsubscribing from the service altogether.

The app asked too much from me, and I quit.

If the app had backed off at a certain point, or asked me for a cap on the number of steps it should demand, I might still be using the service. I like walking. I like completing goals. It was a good thing until it became terrible.

The app wasn’t made that way, though. My freakish brain chemistry could not see a middle space between total success or total failure. When I met the goal, I felt accomplished and proud of myself. When I fell short, it devastated me. I took it as a personal failure on my part. If I just worked a little harder, sacrificed a little bit more, I should have been able to walk nearly 12 miles every day.

You can probably see where this is going.

At work, we’re doing 2 week sprints. I routinely take on and commit to more than anyone else is doing every single sprint. Not only am I doing what I committed to, I’m also helping other people get their work done. Sometimes I spend so much time helping other people, I run out of time to do my own tasks, so I wind up working late and on the weekends to meet my commitments.

The difference between success and failure for me is the difference between joy and despair. I’m not sure that my boss fully realizes this, or how much I’m doing. His measuring stick is Azure DevOps, which I find to be a clumsy and cumbersome tool. It’s not easy for me to justify taking 2 minutes to record impromptu, 15 minute phone call, even when those 15 minute phone calls turn into 30 or 45 minute troubleshooting sessions, multiple times a day.

Ten years ago, Walkadoo started asking me to do more than I could do, and it reached a breaking point and I quit. Now, my Day Job is asking me to do more than I can do, and two things are happening simultaneously. One, my boss doesn’t think what I’m being asked to do is unreasonable and two, my boss doesn’t have a clue how much extra I’m doing.

There are things I can do to fix this.

  1. Quit and find a different job. There are a couple of problems with this. I’m fiercely loyal to my company, and I’m not sure I’ll be as satisfied going anywhere else. I should look into it, but that kind of change is extremely difficult.
  2. Make my boss aware of what is going on. There are a few problems with this, too. I’ve already had multiple conversations with him about how clumsy ADO time recording is. I think this route is going to be unproductive, but it’s something I should ultimately try.
  3. Do less. Accept what my heart tells me is “failure.” This is, I think, what normal, rational people do in situations where too much is being asked of them. This is my kryptonite.

I have to do something. In the mean time, I’m at a Starbucks with my work laptop in front of me. I’m going to try and make up the 12 or 16 hours I’ve lost during this week, helping other people. I’ve identified the problems. I’m apparently not ready to do anything about them.


Weekend Check-In — The Day Job Sucks

I just entered my timecard for last week. 60 hours, on the nose, mostly because of a 16 hour day on Tuesday last week.

I worked a few hours yesterday, and a few hours today. Not a big deal. In fact, aside from the stress headaches and body pain, I don’t mind working long hours as long as I feel it’s worth it.

Was it worth it?

We’re doing 2 week sprints. Norwescon took me out of it for a couple of days, and I stated at the beginning that the sprint was a bit overstuffed, but I thought it could be done. We had some crisis during the sprint, while I was at Norwescon, and I logged in and gave a hand during my vacation. Then I got home and crammed around 30 hours of work into 2 days. I did everything that was assigned to me, helped my team members with their work, and went above and beyond. There was one task I did not complete, because if I completed it, our production environment would have suffered gravely.

Because I didn’t do that one task, my sprint is considered a failure.


I’m loyal to my company and my team, but this is toxic. I’ve been getting through the last few days with Tylenol and Motrin, because I’m not sleeping well and the stress is manifest in my next and upper back. Again.

It’s extremely difficult to write when I’m feeling like this. It’s difficult to do anything. There’s no joy. Just going through the motions, hoping the fun comes back.

I shouldn’t be posting stuff like this. I should be optimistic, and thankful, and positive. On the other hand, I said I’d post on the weekends, and the weekend is almost over and the only thing I’ve managed to accomplish is attend Michael’s matinee yesterday and do the laundry today.

Maybe this next week will be better, and I’ll have enough spell slots at the end of the day to do some actual writing.