DC Last Week

Last week I went on a whirlwind trip to the East Coast to update some software. To call it DC is a bit of a euphemism; really I was in Herndon, VA. I had explored Herndon before and was overwhelmingly unimpressed. Still, I was there to do a job, though from the beginning even that was in doubt. As soon as I got off the plane, I was checking my email with my phone and discovering that one group of people was wanting me to be there, and another group of people absolutely didn’t want me touching anything while I was there. This was not a good start immediately after traveling for 8 hours. So I called my project manager and in a nutshell said “sic ’em boys” and after a few minutes got a phone call back saying I could go ahead. I can honestly say there are times when I really appreciate upper management.

It was already evening (the downside to going towards the East Coast), but I managed to meet a friend for dinner. The next day I worked half of the day from the hotel on petty changes, then I went to the office and installed my software updates. I hung around for a few hours to make sure that my updates weren’t hurting anything, then left for the evening. The next day I went back for a couple more changes and got to witness some demos of the system. It’s odd watching other people talk about my work without giving any kind of attribution even when I’m standing right there. They didn’t even mention the lab at all. Oh well.

The trip was very successful, though. I was there to update some parts of the system, and it went without a hitch. I was also there to hand off our work to the people who would be taking it over. I drew diagrams and tons of notes to help them along, and offered them anything they needed to take over. I’m ready to be done with the project. We were presented with a problem, we solved it and did a really good job on it, and now it’s time for somebody else to have the long tail of support and minor changes so I can move on to other problems. Plus, those three-day trips can be taxing, and I didn’t appreciate catching a weekend cold from the office.

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