December 1st

It's a wrap! We got that custom video server out the door on time and on budget, which makes Francis happy, which makes me happy. Just another success for Engineering Team 3! Sanita, Emily, Salvador, Jack: you guys rock!

On to the next project!

December 9th

And another project flies out the door! We've been killing it lately, not that I expected anything different. After all, we're software developers, and our company needs something done, so we get it done. That's what they expect so that's what we do. That's what we've always done: take care of each other.

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This company has been so good to me. They let me take off extra time when Mamá passed. They gave me extra vacation last year so Enrique and I could have a honeymoon (even if it was just to a hotel for a few days). They've been good to me for ten years now, and I couldn't imagine working anywhere else.

Of course, it helps that I've got a team of geniuses, and that I've got Francis backing me. He's easily the best manager I've ever had; knows his shit, and blocks all the dumb political crap so we devs don't have to deal with it. He's the best.

Not that it's all been easy. Nick still doesn't really open up to me. Sure, we can talk about the weather and how he's doing with the football squad, but nothing really important. I mean, I know I'm not his "real" mom, but I love him all the same, and anyway that lady is psycho and won't be around for a long time. I'm sure he'll come around.

December 20th

Emily told me about the Christmas party, which I had to miss to make Nick's football game. She seemed pretty upset about it, what with the whole "not putting our needs before the team's" thing that Terry said. She took it as a threat, but, come on, that's just common sense. This company has taken care of me and my family for ten years, and hers for three, she could be at least a little grateful. If they need us to pull extra weight for a while, then we buckle down and do it, no complaints.

Anyway, it's temporary. When it's over, we'll all be better off and everything will go back to normal.

January 24th

Francis told me about Team 1's overtime, and Steve isn't taking it well. I mean, I know it sucks, but you've been here, what, six years? You know it's just temporary, so why freak out about it? What's gotten into everyone around here?

January 28th

So now Jim smashed his phone against the wall. What the hell, people? Where did your professionalism fly off to, Tahiti? Jim's one of the few who's been here longer than I have, he should know better than to bite the hand that feeds him like that. They've been good to you, I know they have.

Ugh. Men.

Just do your job, people. That's all management wants, all they've ever wanted. Do your job, and you'll be taken care of.

February 1st

Something amazing happened today. Nick actually asked me for advice! He's been invited to a Sadie Hawkins dance by one of the cheerleaders, and he wants to go but doesn't know what to say or how to act. I believe his exact words were "how do I even talk to her?"

I told him to just talk. Don't worry about impressing her; you've clearly done that already given that she asked you to the dance. Don't leave her alone, take her with you everywhere you go; all girls want to feel appreciated. Just be yourself, see if you can find common things you enjoy, and you'll have a good time.

But he asked me for advice! Maybe we're finally getting somewhere.

February 6th

Man plans, God laughs. Thanks, big guy.

Francis was fired today. I'm not sure why. Now we've got a new manager coming in, some guy named George, who's apparently friends with one of the new executives that arrived last summer. Hopefully he knows what he's doing.

Oh, and remember that project that Steve was freaking out about? Yeah, we're on that project too now. Díos mío, we've got a lot of work coming.

But, it's what the company needs from us. We take care of this, they'll take care of us, as it has always been.

February 11th

The code for this scheduler project is a mess. No tests (at least, no working ones), no real standards being followed, no true architecture. Just an awful set of code.

Time to make it right.

March 23rd

I haven't been writing much; I've been staying late trying to get the scheduler project's code in order, but it's not coming along well. We have a delivery deadline in a week, and Team 3 and I are not going to be able to get it all done before them. I've let George know, and he says he's informed Terry and Bianca.

Emily mentioned to me that she's thinking about finding another job. I understand the impulse, to be sure, but this is not the right time. We need her, the company needs her, and yes I know her husband is currently jobless, but once this project is delivered we'll be rewarded. The last time we had a project from hell like this one, the company gave us half days for a week and bonus pay. I'm sure they'll do something similar this time.

I just can't imagine leaving. I've got a good thing going here, despite all the overtime we've been pulling. Why risk that for some "better" job out there that might not even exist?

April 1st

Well, the delivery didn't go well, not that I was expected anything different. George informed me that we have a new delivery date at the end of May, and we're gonna pull out all the stops to meet that date.

I don't like George very much. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I don't think he's ever managed a software project before. He keeps insisting that we don't have time for tests, that we must get the code in a deliverable state. I understand what he's driving at, but a project with no tests is a project doomed to fail.

But, this is what the company needs. I'll get it done. We will get it done.

April 2nd

Steve continues to be a dumbass. He walked out today, dragging his little mattress, crying that he's "had enough" and "Jim snapped because of this shit." No, pendejo, Jim snapped because he forgot who pays his bills. Just do your job.

What's worse, now he's left what remains of his team, and mine, with this scheduler project that he should've been helping finish. Selfish chion. Now we have to make up for his mistakes.

April 23rd

More overtime. Now management has had to pull in Team 2, which means we have a bunch of interns working on the project. Apparently they believe more hands means more work getting done. But really, when has that ever worked?

We're getting close to the end, though. I can see the finish line, and we're almost there.

May 2nd

Ever since the Sadie Hawkins dance back in February, Nick's been raving about the girl he went with, Yasmine. Apparently she's into all the things he's into: football, Mario Kart, all those rap musicians he listens to. They're going on a date (to the movies and the local arcade) tomorrow, and for the first time Enrique feels like they can go alone, provided they're back no later than 9:00. I had to push Enrique a little, but Nick has started opening up to me, and I don't want to lose that. I want to be there for Nick.

May 20th

We're almost at the end. Salvador, Jack, Emily, Sanita, and what remains of Steve's team have really pulled together to try to make this project work.

But it isn't enough. George insists we'll be done, but I keep telling him that no, we won't. We aren't going to make the deadline. Bianca keeps adding new requirements, even after I told her we were already overstretched. Bianca didn't take it well, either, saying "it's what the customer wants, and anyway it can't be that hard." Listen here, tonta, since when did you become an expert on software development?

I even tried to tell the CTO, Terry, but he never responded to my email. This isn't going to go well, but nobody's listening to me. They'll see, after the delivery date, they'll see that I was right, and then they'll have to listen to me more often.

May 26th

Deadline is tomorrow, and Enrique suggested that I do something for the teams to "perk them up" a little. So I brought my little griddle and plates and syrup and made pancakes. The interns over on Team 2 were especially thankful; after all, interns don't get paid much, if at all, and who will turn down free food?

It felt good, being useful. I know management will see what I am doing for this company.

May 27th

Well, as I predicted, the demo was today and it didn't go well. Apparently the customer dropped us entirely; at least, that's the rumor I've been hearing.

Oh well. At least the overtime is over with. On to the next project!

May 30th

I was fired yesterday.

Fired.

I can't even say the word out loud. George called me into his office and said that Terry had made the decision to let me go. The bastard couldn't even tell me he did it himself. I know it was him, Terry doesn't even know my face!

Didn't they see what I did? I took care of them! I took over that stupid project after Steve abandoned us and I made it better! I told them we wouldn't be done in for the last demo, I told them we needed more time to build the new requirements. I did my job, above and beyond what I needed to, because that what you do for the company that takes care of you! You take care of each other!

Well, they sure "took care" of me.

Is this my reward for working hard? I was loyal to this company for ten years. I had other offers, I could have moved anywhere, but noooooo, like a pendeja I stuck around, knowing that my manager would take care of me and my family as they always had. I was LOYAL to them! When were they loyal to me?!

What does loyalty even mean anymore?