A cat by any other name

What? Who, me?


Back to all Archives

Back to 2000: April - June Archives

Back to Current Entry list



Meow at me

First, some happy news that has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of this entry. I finally heard back from my company and the cell phones are not required for us consultants! Yes! Happy dance! I will not be forced to carry a horrible icky cell phone! I can keep my cute little pager!

Okay, I'll quite gushing. Back to your regularly scheduled entry.

Last Tuesday the manager of this project I'm on took me aside to tell me that there was going to be some reorganizing within the IT system.

This is not necessarily news. Reorganization has been the name of the game since we started this project - the company for whom I am consulting has recently split from their parent company and they are still going through growing pains, so we've all learned that in order to survive in this project, one must be flexible. Very flexible. So I nodded and figured that he was going to tell me that I was going to be reassigned - either to another piece of the project, or to the position I've been filling temporarily.

What I did not expect, however, was for him to tell me that his boss is moving to a new position, he is moving to a new position, and both he and his boss figured that I would be the best choice to replace him. Very big gulp.

With this project I've been wearing hats that I've really never worn before...or thought I would be able to handle. I'm a coder. When people ask what I do for a living, I tell them I play with databases. Really big databases. Sometimes I'm assigned to a project by myself, sometimes as part of a team. Sometimes I'm fixing an existing system, cleaning up the performance, tuning and tweaking. Other times I'm developing an entirely new piece of the puzzle...but regardless, I am a code nerd.

Not so on this project. I sort of volunteered to be the lead for analyzing all the requirements that we're gathering...only out of default since no one else wanted the position. Then I was pulled into working directly with the customer themselves, collecting the requirements, acting as the IT techno-geek representative to the business team. And yes, in a way I've been sort of doing some administrative things, by deflecting and directing questions and tasks for the development team. So I suppose that this new position is merely an extension of what I have already been doing all along. That doesn't make it any less mind-boggling though, because I just don't think of myself as manager-type material.

Ever since Tuesday, I've been holding my breath, wondering if, like lots of things on this project, the decision would change to something entirely different. Wondering whether I could really do this. Wondering when it was that the project manager and his boss would wake up and suddenly realize "Have we lost our minds? We actually think *Jennifer* can do this? What *were* we thinking?" But they announced it to the rest of the team on Friday, and...well...here I am. I'm not sure exactly what my title is (if anything), and I'm not sure exactly what all this position will entail (except lots more of the same thing I've been doing), and I am finding it kind of amusing that despite always being a code nerd, I'm getting further and further away from the database as this project continues. All I know right now is that - despite the long hours and frustration over last minute changes and unreasonable requirement requests and scope creep and gentle reminders from my friends and family that gee, they'd really like to see me sometime and am I still alive out there - that I like this project. I am having *fun* on this project. I'm more than a bit flattered that these people think I'm capable of doing what it is that they have asked me to do. Now if I could only convince myself...