Friday, February 15, 2008

Feast and Famine

As I've said before, my day job sure gets in the way of writing!

I'm a corporate trainer for a civil engineering company. Since I'm also the senior engineer for the company, I wind up getting involved in a number of special needs, and am given those things all the youngin's don't know how to do. Since the company is in the midst of a slowdown, travel is restricted, and I'm not traveling to the branch offices to hold training classes. It's been a time where I had to force myself to keep concentration. I've always had plenty to do, but a lot of it was self-starter type stuff.

That all changed this week. I found a training seminar we can have in-house via a conference call, and invite in a bunch of clients and potential clients. This week I started the ball rolling on that. A "white paper" I wrote on a marketing issue a few months ago came up this week, and I'm to present it at a managers meeting next week. Our Phoenix office has a problem project, and I'm trying to help them out. Our Dallas office has a municipal recreational project for which that they weren't sure how to write the specifications, so I'm helping them, trying to teach them how to do it rather than do it for them--by long distance, of course. I've been working on revising a detail (our name for detailed information about a specific piece of construction work that goes on our construction drawings) that involves a change in the way we do our engineering. I'm finally ready to do the work needed, which is getting some final reviews, and that came to a head this week. On a large, local project, there is a sudden fear that an item I designed a year ago using approximate methods will not withstand the applied loads, so I now have to do a rigorous design. That is coming up this week. And the usual mix of people coming by my desk, asking for help with this or that relatively minor issue intensified a little. Maybe that is a leading indicator that our work load is increasing.

All of these things are unfinished as the work week ended. Next week will see all of these continuing, with more things added. Thus my time for writing will likely be minimal. I won't be able to sneak a few minutes here and there to read writing blogs and web sites. I'll likely have to work a few extra hours during the week, and I'll likely be mentally exhausted at the end of the work day. None of that bodes well for finding time to write, so I may be reading in my evening hours. This will be a real test of my mental stamina.

At least I'm not playing any computer games!

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