Friday, February 10, 2006

Ah, the pleasures of being a roadwarrior

which isn't a claim to be anything like Mad Max let alone as good? looking as Mel Gibson apparently is. I can't see it myself but then again I'm a bloke looking at a bloke.

No, the road warrior I refer to is someone who is constantly in a state of travel. Or at least, constantly living out of a suitcase and in a hotel rather than at home.

I'm fairly ambivalent about the whole thing as you might have guessed from various hints dropped over the last three months or so. That gap from the start of October until the week before Christmas was long enough that I really missed travel. Perhaps the fact that I had to contend with Ed contributed to the missing of travel though; for those three months it was as if I'd never spent countless weekends sitting on planes so I could arrive at the customer site Monday morning; for Ed it made no difference; I had to be at the office by no later than 8:30 AM with the threat of dismissal if I was 5 minutes late. I've already wasted bandwidth explaining the bad reasons I put up with this...

I've been in Dallas for a little over a week and it's been a constant 14 hours a day of work; if not at the customer site then in the hotel room slaving over a hot keyboard. It's amazing how much code you can crank out over a weekend. It's even more amazing that I still buy into the bullshit. As I think I said once before; when everything's a crisis, nothing's a crisis.

Now those afflicted with the work ethic at any cost might raise an eyebrow at that; only 14 hours a day and only for a week? Wimp!!! Uh huh.

It amazes me how some workplaces work. If I go to a petrol station to fill up my tank at 2 bucks a gallon and my tank needs 8 gallons I pay 16 bucks right (ignoring tax[^])? That's the business model of a petrol station. What do you think my chances are if I go to the cashier and say; 'I put 10 gallons in my tank but I'm only going to pay you for 8 of them'?

How, in economic terms, is petrol different to me? Why should I be expected to donate 10 hours of my time per week to my boss for free? I don't. When Ed instituted his 'in at 8:30 no exceptions' policy I simply set my mobile phone alarm to 5:15 PM. When it went off, no matter what I was doing, even if I was in the midst of writing a line of code, I'd stop what I was doing and walk out, without saving. Screw me at the start of the day and I'll screw you at the end of the day.

So, given that I think this way, it should come as no surprise to learn that I've already negotiated time off in lieu. Just as I get what I pay for, so do they.

To misquote my friend Vern from his blog[^] "I'm a damn Commie! Where's Tailgunner Joe when we need him".

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