Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"It's Christmas?" "Yeah, didn't you get the memo?"

This is one of my favorite lines from The American President with Michael Douglas and Annette Benning.  (I love the movie chiefly because Lewis, the speech writer, is such a great writer character.)  At the White House Christmas party, people are talking shop, and someone stops them saying something like, "It's Christmas.  Can't we take one day out of our busy schedules to enjoy each other as people?"  And Lewis says, "It's Christmas?"  And the demographic analyst, Leon, says, "Yeah.  Didn't you get the memo?"
My project has reached a smooth point.  It's very, very small, and we'll be lucky if it lasts through the week.  This is the moment between the point where we stop touching the code with our grubby little fingers and the point where we import the code to production where the end users can start touching it with their grubby little fingers.  They'll torture the code and probably break it, and then we'll have to go through whatever hell it takes to fix it.  If you want anything from me, ask fast. 
(Although I have to let you know that a charming young man has already been wooing me with Venn diagrams, so, you know, ask fast.  Because seducing me with a Venn diagram puts you at the head of the line.  Because Venn diagrams, as Eddie Izzard conclusively proved, are very sexy.)
We've been released from the project war room, and are free to mingle with other humans again.  I got to attend my staff meeting today, for the first time in weeks.  I got to clean out my inbox and start taking care of things that had eluded me.  I can once again solve simple problems without having to close my eyes and think real hard.
The project war room has been my home for six weeks of testing (and yes, it should have been twelve).  I have been sitting less than six feet from the chief programmer, the business lead, and the test lead for six weeks.  Today the chief programmer, Will, walked by my desk, and I was like, "Miss you!"  He was like, "I know!"
So this afternoon, I thought, I'm going to go to Will's desk and relate to him, you know, as a human.  I'll ask how his fiancee is doing and stuff.  So I did.  (She's fine, despite a home improvement adventure they had this past weekend wherein she may have fractured her nose.)  But then, you know what we did?  We ended up talking about work. And then we got into SAP and looked at some code.  Still, it was fun being human with him for a minute.
I'd just like to urge all of you imaginary readers to have an actual human interaction with one of your coworkers today.  Unless they're coworkers who are currently engaged in driving you batshit crazy.  If you see them, run!  Save yourselves!

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