Defeated or Tired?

Today I received an e-mail telling me about the opinions of a man so high up in the hierarchy he is not even in the same universe as me.

Bottom line: He would approve the core of my project. But he wanted 40% of the project cut out.

I told myself that this would not affect me. I always knew the decision was going to be made on political grounds. This was entirely predictable.

But I had worked so hard to put that 40% of the project together.

I needed to write out some kind of response. But I felt my ability to care draining away.

The word “No” is normally just a challenge for me to overcome. But I have worked on five different projects over the last month or so. None of them have been completed. None of them have been denied. I wanted progress. I wanted yea or nay.

And now this. Why did he have to go and mix yea and nay?

I got up and began going through the motions of cleaning the work area.


My boss had made me promise that I would get that 40% for him. It was his criteria for letting me try to win approval for the project. I had worked hard to make sure I would meet all his criteria.

I began to whine to anyone who would listen. I did not have the energy for real work.

The ironic thing is that I had not wanted to put that 40% in the project in the first place. I had felt that the criteria that my boss had laid down was just an attempt derail the project without saying no. I don’t think he thought I could make it work.

But I did. And in the process the imposition had become my baby.

I began to walk around. Supposedly I was inspecting things.

I remember how much I had complained when my boss laid down the criteria that caused the extra 40%. I had complained that it was just going to make it more likely that my project would be canceled. I had said that it should be a separate project.

I had been proven right. What I had originally wanted to do had been approved. The 40% extra that my boss had wanted had been rejected.

Yet more proof that I was a genius and everyone should listen to me.

As if I needed more proof.

I stopped walking. I understood what my response needed to be.

I wrote it out and sent it. After it was sent I felt energized and alive. I was more than ready to tackle whatever needed to be done and I felt quite cheerful.

The change in mood may have been because sending the e-mail lifted a load from my shoulders.

Or the change in my mood may have been caused by an e-mail from a senior engineer to his boss. The e-mail expressed his disappointment with the decision that had been made and he lamented that my excellent work putting together the extra 40% was being wasted. It made me feel loved.

But most likely, the change in my mood was caused by the Mountain Dew finally kicking in.

Drugs are wonderful things.

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