A cat by any other name




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Meow to me

I went out to lunch yesterday. I sat in a Burger King and ate my chicken sandwich by myself and stared blankly through the window while I chewed. I didn't have to talk to anyone, or answer any questions. There was no ringing phone, no ding of urgent email arriving in an inbox, no line of people forming beside my table with questions that needed answering.

The fact that I went out to lunch may not seem all that exciting, but it was unusual, simply because lately I don't leave the building from the time I arrive in the morning til the timeI leave that evening. Often I drive to work in the dark and drive home the same way. My lunches consist of whatever's been catered for that particular meeting I'm in, or something obtained from the teeny tiny cafeteria here on site, and I don't go anywhere to eat it because I know that I've got too much to do.

Yesterday wasn't any different. I still had lots to do - planning for the meetings that begin tomorrow and promise to be intense and insane. But even the project manager deserves some time away. And I really did have the best of intentions - I checked out the cafeteria's offerings, but they didn't appeal, so I really didn't have a choice.

Sad that I feel I need to make excuses for leaving the building, though. It's hard, lately, to separate myself from work. I watch some of the newcomers to the project and it's a bit odd to see their detachment. I'm not able to do that anymore, not with this project. I'm too deeply entrenched. I've been here a year, so I suppose it shouldn't surprise me. I'm still intending to do my best to get out of consulting, but there's a part of me that also wants to see this thing through. I told Richard that I might do that. I wonder if I'd be shooting myself in the foot though by pondering postponing moving out of consulting; although what chances I have at actually escaping into management I really don't know. I do know that I'm good at what I'm doing - but that would continue to require travel. If I could have it go exactly my way, I'd become a conditional Project Manager - go thru the training so I could get the title, but insist that it has to be local.

I hate that I can't seem to make up my mind anymore. I go back and forth, mainly because of my attachment to this project than any actual desire to stay in consulting. I wish in a way that I could have the decision made for me. For now, all I can do is keep my options open, and take any opportunity to improve my chances. Then I'll just deal with it as it comes.