I quit early Friday afternoon. I was in a foul mood, partly from lack of sleep the previous two nights, but also because it had just been a crappy, good for nothing week and by 1:00 PM on Friday, I'd had enough of it. I shut down my computer, turned off the lights and left my office.
Actually, financially it had been a good week. In fact, the past month has been decent - if the year keeps up with this, we'll do much better than 2009. Paradoxically, that was also contributing to my end of week funk, because most of the income was from distasteful work: transferring old Unix systems to Windows, and resurrecting crashed machines. It's all money, but none of it is satisfying and often it's one time billing - I may never see the customer again when they've moved to Windows and if I do see them, most of that will be stuff I hate like chasing Windows viruses.
My wife doesn't really understand that. "It's just money", she says, "What difference does it make whether it's a Unix problem or Windows?"
It matters because I don't like the Windows philosophy of monolithic programs not designed to work with other programs. It matters because chasing viruses isn't doing anything productive. It matters.
I was also less cheerful because I may have fired a customer Friday morning. I say "may have" because it's up to them: they have unpaid invoices 60 days old and as much as I may commiserate that times are tough, I'm not going to keep supplying services to someone who isn't paying me. So I told them that I expected immediate payment of past due invoices and from this point on they'd need to maintain a credit balance with me that I'll apply against any future work. They probably won't like that, but I'm adamant - I'm not their partner, their banker or their best friend.
So, for all those reasons, I'd had enough. I did go back and answer a few emails later, but my heart wasn't in it. I needed a break, I took it.
We spent a few hours at the gym this morning. I was still a bit tired and still somewhat grumpy, but felt better after the workout. I intend to ignore work this weekend and hope to greet Monday with a more positive attitude.
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© 2011-05-08 Anthony Lawrence