death-march

Diary of a Death March: Terry's Story

June 2nd

It went through! After all the effort the three of us put into this deal, the company we have been trying to purchase for more than a year is finally ours. They have got a great name, a wonderful team, myriad projects, and satisfied customers. And now they are ours.

Song did an incredible job at the negotiations, especially near the end. He, Hannah, and I will now head up this company, and I am sure we are going to get the ball rolling just like it has been. We had been looking for a good opportunity to pave our own way, to create our own thing, and now we finally, finally got it. Top of the ladder, here we come!

A headshot of a middle-aged businessman with close-cropped blond/grey hair

June 3rd

Met the employees today. Of course, I already knew one of them, since he and I have been drinking buddies for years. Rodrigo is a good guy, a team player, so when he relayed to us that the previous ownership group was looking to sell, I knew we had to jump on it. An opportunity like this just does not come along very often, so when it does you have to seize it and never let go.

Here's to a new beginning! Now let's go kick ass and make money!

June 14th

Two weeks in, and it has been nothing but smooth sailing. The engineering teams are doing an incredible job pumping out products; in fact, they are almost too good at it. This is a great team we have got here, no doubt about it.

July 7th

Jamie filed for divorce today. It is... not exactly unexpected, but it is still... I dunno. Sad?

We have drifted further and further apart; there is no point in denying it. In the last few months we have barely spoken to each other. We have no children, so when it is all said and done there is nothing really binding us together.

Except... I love her. She's funny, she's radiant, she's smart. She's perfect. I can't help but to love her. I know I spend too much time at my job, but why can't she see that I am needed here, just like I was needed at our previous company? They will fail without me. Isn't it obvious?

This has been a long time coming. I don't want her to leave, I would much prefer to have her stay with me, but I doubt I can change her mind now. It is far too late for that.

August 15th

The contracts are drying up. I am not entirely sure when that happened, but today Rodrigo came to me and told me, no BS, that he needs more work. I am going to have to get new jobs lined up, so I have told Bianca to help find us new customers. She is a solid sales rep, so I am sure she will come through.

August 28th

My instincts never lie. Bianca's got a meeting set up with a new customer. We are quickly running out of billable projects, so we need a big win to keep the company in the black. It is what the company needs. I am sure we will get it, we just need to be patient.

September 4th

And, once again, my patience pays off. The customer Bianca got in touch with has hired us to produce this project scheduling app that Bianca says (and Rodrigo agrees) we will have no problem with. Now we have got work and everybody can get started right away. Bianca is still out looking for more customers just in case, but I got a good feeling about this one.

October 19th

Met with the lawyers today. I never knew a room could be so cold. I tried pleading with her, with my beloved Jamie, tried to make her see that I will change, that I want to change. I can spend less time at the company, more time with her, I promise, just after we get it up and running on its own. This time, for once, I really meant it.

Not that it mattered. She doesn't believe me. Hell, I'm not sure I believe me.

November 9th

The new project is proceeding right on schedule. We are going to blow the customers' minds! At least, that is what Rodrigo is telling me, and he has never let me down before.

December 10th

The divorce went final today. I went out drinking with Rodrigo and George to try to get out of this funk, and all that did was make me feel worse.

Why am I such an idiot?

December 17th

We had our first Christmas party today, and Song and Hannah wanted me to make a speech to galvanize our troops. Rodrigo still insists that we can make the deadline, but I felt that I needed to make it clear that we have all got to pull together and buckle down to get this project finished.

I just hope they heard me. We really need this win. I really need this win.

January 4th

So far, so good. Rodrigo's team has been pulling lots of overtime to get this project done, and it seems to be working. They are doing a great job, and their company thanks them for it.

January 27th

Almost there. Delivery is on the 4th, and Rodrigo keeps telling me that we will be good to go. And yet, I keep seeing his lead developer sleeping on the floor of his cube. I wonder what that is all about.

February 4th

Well, the delivery was today. Or, at least, it was supposed to be. Turns out that Rodrigo's team, despite all the overtime, has not finished the project, and the system isn't ready to ship. Bianca and I scrambled to get the customer to agree to a new date, and they did, so we will get a second chance at this.

Here's hoping that is all the chances we need. Come on, Engineering! What's taking you so long?

February 6th

We need some more bodies on the scheduler project, so I have reassigned Engineering Team 3 to help. It is what the company needs. Their manager, Francis, was part of the old guard here and just wasn't quite fitting in with the new order of things, so I have decided to let him go as well. My buddy George has stepped up to the plate and agreed to lead that team, a fact for which I am eternally grateful. Now we just need the developers to pull their weight.

February 11th

George has had a few days to really dig into this scheduler app, and he tells me that it is not looking good. He recommended pushing the delivery date another few months, but Bianca objected (quite rightly) that we have already failed to deliver once, so any further delay might just cause the customer to drop us altogether. We cannot afford that.

So, I need George's team to pull overtime to get this project done. They will not like it, but it needs to happen.

March 10th

Song is now on my back because the lead server admin, some chick named Kelly, quit yesterday. So now I gotta go find a new server admin, and they don't exactly grow on trees.

For now, Rodrigo's lead Steve has the most server experience, so the company needs him to fill the gap until I can find a new server admin. Hopefully that won't take too long.

March 31st

Delivery day tomorrow. Here's hoping it goes better than the first one. Rodrigo assured me it would while we were at the bar after work, and he has been nothing but consistent in his affirmations. I asked George what he thought, and he said they were closer than they had ever been.

We will be fine.

April 1st

Or maybe we won't.

Demo did not go well. The customer wasn't happy with some of the changes, and wanted a few more, so Bianca and I agreed. Gotta keep the customer happy.

Rodrigo and George are just as stunned as I am. How could they not like this project when we're closer than we have ever been to finishing it? They seem to think that the root problem is Rodrigo's lead developer, Steve. Rodrigo said he would handle it tomorrow.

I hope Steve has said his goodbyes.

April 16th

It was all going so well. Now, the scheduler project is way behind (thanks to Steve's incompetence), and I am not at all sure we can save it in time.

No! I can't think like that. We have to complete it. It is the biggest job we have had since the acquisition, it cannot fail!

On the bright side, all this commotion at work means today was the first day I have not had time to think about how much I miss Jamie. I don't know how to feel about that.

May 13th

Apparently there is something going on with Engineering Team 2; several of the interns are refusing to work late. That cannot be allowed to stand have that, the company needs every man on deck for this project. Our very survival is at stake!

I'm going to have to find whoever started this and give them their just rewards. After the project, anyway.

May 26th

Tomorrow is our last chance. The new lead, Marisol, says we're not going to make it, but Rodrigo and George have seen the product and they say it's good enough. I'm sure my buddies have a handle on this.

If not, well, I am going to need a lot more drinks.

May 27th

Shit.

The customer was fed up with us. Engineering didn't come through, despite all the promises made. They dropped us, and now we're stuck with no work and a scheduler app that nobody wants.

Somebody's going to pay for this. It is what the company needs.

May 28th

Had a heated argument with Team 2 lead Neil today. He got all pissy, saying we had not given him enough time to get his interns up to speed on the new project. Which is crap, and I told him as much. Had he put as much effort into this as we have, it would not have been a problem.

I also informed him that, while his own job is safe, we will be disbanding Team 2 and reintegrating him with Team 1. He lost his cool, something I had not seen before and, quite frankly, was rather unbecoming of him. He yelled about "broken promises" and other crap, and at that point I stopped listening.

As far as I am concerned, he, Marisol, and Steve caused this project to spiral out of control. Since Steve's gone and Marisol will be shortly, he should be pretty damn glad to still have a job.

May 29th

I fired the interns today; Neil refused to do it. I am not sure how much longer I will let his insubordination stand, but for now we are understaffed and the company needs him around. When the company no longer needs him, well...

May 30th

And now we begin the long process of finding a new team, a real team, one that will pull their weight when asked and can do the job they signed up for. I've already got several candidates coming in; replacements for Steve and Kelly, and a possible new manager. All we need is a team we can gel with; keeping the existing team employed might have been a bad idea after all.

It has been a rough few months. Lots of turmoil; Song is unhappy about the whole thing and I do not blame him. But Rodrigo, George, and I will get us back on our feet.

As long as we have a solid engineering team supporting us. We need them to be ready for anything, ready for a challenge, ready to get down and dirty. We need them to pull their weight.

It is what the company needs.

Diary of a Death March: Marisol's Story

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.

A headshot of

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?

Diary of a Death March: Bianca's Story

September 1st

Team meeting today. Management is pushing us hard to seal the deal with this customer we're meeting on the 4th. So, obviously, we're going to make that deal. The company needs it, so it's my job to make it happen. We need a win.

A headshot of

September 4th

Meeting with the customer went down today, and I gotta say, this project will be no problem. What the customer wants is a simple project scheduling system, like MS Project but with a few different bells and whistles. Can't be that hard if someone's already done something just like it.

I mean, I'm the most, ahem, experienced sales rep this company has, so I think I've got a pretty good idea of what the company wants and what Engineering needs to make that happen. This ain't my first rodeo.

September 16th

Ran into Neil at the office today. He's a nice guy and one of the engineering managers; we got to chit-chatting, and he mentioned that he thought the new project was going to take "a lot of effort". I asked him what he meant, and he was kind of evasive about it. Probably had a lot to do with our CEO showing up down the hallway. We're not a big company, so the CEO knows pretty much anyone that's been here for more than a couple months.

Meh, can't be that big a deal. Engineering's never had any trouble meeting our deadlines before, no reason to think they'll start now.

November 9th

Been talking with the customer lately. "Everything's going fine, no worries," I tell them. It must be, since all the updates I've been getting from Li are positive. "Right on schedule" and "no problem meeting the February 4th date." Everything's good. Li's my boss, so he knows what's going on. Engineering's got it handled.

When it's done, this project will be the biggest win this company has ever had. And we've been around a while, so that's saying something.

December 17th

We had a very strange company party today. The CTO got up in front of the whole company and made a speech, but it was so riddled with intimations and veiled threats that I can't see how anyone would have taken it seriously. I mean, he has to be joking. I nearly laughed out loud at the sheer absurdity of it all.

But the engineers didn't think it was funny. One, in particular, was very concerned. I mean, girl, lighten up, it's a joke, not a life-or-death thing here.

Come to think of it, nobody from the engineering group has looked happy at all in the last few weeks. What's going on over there? Christmas is right around the corner, so why does everybody look so glum? We're going to get our win, shouldn't you be happy?

January 29th

The deadline is coming up fast, and the reports that I've been getting are... mixed. On the one hand, management says that we're right on track, ready to meet the deadline on February 4th. On the other hand, they also said that some features won't be done, so we may need to "push" a little. That's quite a contradiction they've worked up for themselves.

I'll just have to present it in the best possible light. Won't be an issue.

February 3rd

Meeting with the customer today, just letting them know that while we're 90% done, we've got a few more bugs to work out. The demo tomorrow will be enlightening for them, and we'll see what they say. It'll work out.

February 4th

The customer is, to put it politely, pissed, and I don't blame them. The app is in a terrible state. Half-empty screens, non-existent help pages, buggy controls. It's awful.

Needless to say, we're not going to make the deadline.

Anyway, we rescheduled the delivery date for April 1st. It's up to the developers to make that happen. Here's hoping they live up to their promise.

March 9th

I've noticed a lot of new interns around the office lately. Good. We need every person we can get to get this project done.

March 23rd

There's been several weird happenings lately. The "server admin" quit (whoever that is), which means that a lot of our internal stuff like the email system are taking forever to repair. At this point, it's faster to just walk to Li's desk rather than email him.

Plus, some lifer threw his phone at a wall. I heard the sound from all the way across the office. Honestly, where does that guy get off thinking he can just destroy company property like that? Whatever's going on with Engineering, they'd better nut up and get their part of this arrangement done, or we're all going to be in trouble.

April 1st

The second customer demo was today; we got so close, and yet so far. The customer likes the app as a whole, but just wanted a little tweak to a particular signup process. I told them it would be no problem, we'd have it done it two weeks. Engineering can make that happen.

I assume, anyway. They've been in an uproar. Seriously, guys, can't you get it together? You're making us all look bad.

April 2nd

Engineering continues to make my life miserable. The lead developer (who I found out was the guy who had been sleeping at his desk) quit today. He took with him all the intimate knowledge of this project, and so we're having to reassign other groups to it to make up for his selfishness. All this is going to do is make this late project even later.

I don't understand. This can't be that hard.

April 4th

We had a bit of luck today. We got the customer to agree to extend the deadline to May 27th, what with the lead developer suddenly up and quitting. I mean, I get that sleeping at his desk was not fun, but maybe if he'd put a little more effort into this project eight months ago he wouldn't have been in that situation.

May 14th

Starting to get a little worried about the demo on the 27th. Engineering's pace hasn't slowed down at all, and they're working long shifts. That's not good; why would they be working so hard if they were going to be done on time? I can't afford to look bad with this customer again, this company can't afford it, so if the developers can't get their act together, well...

May 27th

Dammit. I knew it wasn't going well, but I didn't realize how screwed up Engineering was.

That new feature the customer wanted, the one that should only take two weeks? Not even close to done. It looks so bad, the customer nearly fired us on the spot. Instead, he patiently waited until the end of the demo, and then fired us. "Cutting their losses" and so on, the usual spiel. So, yeah, my job is just peachy today, and once again I have programmers to thank for my misery.

May 30th

The office is pretty empty today. Not many people filing in; they probably got let go due to that debacle with the most recent customer. Serves them right. If only they'd worked a little harder, this wouldn't have happened. Their laziness cost this company, cost me, a win that we so desperately needed.

Anyway, I gotta get going on locating a new customer. We still need that win, and I'm going to be the one that finds it.

Diary of a Death March: Emily's Story

December 12th

Has it really been three years? Doesn't seem like it's been that long since we moved. But it has to be, since Hayley was four when we came here and she's seven now.

My little girl is seven! Man does time fly.

Anyway, got a Christmas party tonight that we need to go prepare for. Hayley will be doing her little dance for her grandparents; she's so looking forward to showing them. I just hope Marlene doesn't bring that horrible fruitcake she so enjoys making us eat. Mothers-in-law, aren't they the best?

(No)

December 17th

Had an odd company meeting today. Supposedly it was a Christmas party, but one of the new executives got up in front of us and said that there were going to be some big changes coming down. He told us that we all needed to try to avoid putting our own needs before the team's. What does that even mean?

Anyway, Ken, Hayley, and I are all excited about going back to Fredericksburg for Christmas! We haven't seen my parents in two years, so I'm pretty happy about getting to do so again. Even better, there won't be any fruitcake.

January 13th

Hayley is getting so big! We had to go clothes-shopping again, but with Ken's Christmas bonus it turned out to not be a big issue. Plus, now Hayley has a dance recital coming up in late March, and she couldn't be more excited. I can practically see her burst from happiness any time she tells someone.

I can't seem to put my finger on exactly what happened, but the mood at work has shifted. Somehow, everyone seems down, morose, like they're waiting for something terrible to happen but don't know what it is. Like they're dreading some unknown horror.

I wonder what's going on?

January 24th

Marlene called, apparently she drove past Ken's worksite today to find it all but abandoned. I thought that building wasn't going to be done for another two months.

When Ken got home, he told me they'd had an all-hands meeting at their company headquarters today, and the executives told them that the business was going through a rough time. There might have to be some "cutbacks." Ken's really worried that he's about to lose his job; so am I, but I try not to show it.

Really, though, we can't afford for that to happen. We won't be broke if Ken gets let go, but it'll be close.

February 6th

I don't think I mentioned this before, but about a week ago I was walking back to my desk and heard a loud CRASH. Apparently some guy threw his desk phone at a wall. He's lucky he didn't hit anybody.

My development team at work got reassigned to another project, out of the blue. It's some big customer-ordered acquisition system that another team has been working on for months, and apparently it's really behind schedule. I'm just a web programmer, but I've been on enough of these projects to know that throwing people at a late project just makes it later. Still, we'll give it our best shot.

It's not like we have a whole lot of choice, anyway.

You don't think the guy that threw his phone did so because of this project? God, I hope not.

February 11th

My boss, or my new boss anyway since Francis was let go last week, told my team and I that we needed to start working later to prevent this acquisitions system from falling any further behind. So, starting this week, we've got mandatory 10-hour days, six days a week. I hate to do it, but I'll have to call Marlene to help watch Hayley, since Ken often has to work Saturdays as well.

Marlene's a wonderful babysitter, to be fair. I just wish I or Ken were home to do it.

February 20th

Well, I got my wish, in the worst possible way. Ken was laid off today. He and his whole crew were let go early this morning. They'll get their last paychecks, but after that, no more.

Crap.

One bright side, I guess. Ken will be home with Hayley, and he loves to play with her. I caught him wearing one of my dresses once, while they were playing tea party; he nearly burst through it, and I have no idea how he got it on in the first place. They're adorable, those two.

Now I just need to focus on getting the acquisitions system done at work, then I can be home as well.

March 2nd

There were a whole bunch of new hires today. The managers are being awfully nice to them, even as we're busting our butts 12-hours-a-day. Would it kill them to let us have some time off?

Anyway, the deadline for this system is April 1st. I'm not sure about the others, but I'm not optimistic. Our portion of the system works (mostly), but there's precious little documentation and even fewer tests. It's held together by duct tape and prayers, it seems. I just hope it's what they wanted.

March 18th

I'm the worst mom ever.

I had to miss Hayley's dance recital, because I was working late. Ken recorded the whole thing, bless him, so I got to watch it after the fact, but Hayley was so disappointed. I could tell because she didn't move with the same grace, the same energy, that she normally has.

She was missing me. I know the feeling.

If this overtime keeps up, I'm going to start looking for another company. I have to. My family is more important than this job; I'm a web programmer, there's tons of jobs out there, right? But with Ken still looking, and having no luck, I don't think we can really afford for me to switch jobs right now. Ugh.

March 31st

Deadline is tomorrow. Marisol, my team lead, says we're as good as we're going to get. Now we just have to hope and pray that we deliver what the customer actually wants.

April 2nd

The office is in a panic. The demo was yesterday, and it did not go well. Now we have two weeks of mandatory seven-day weeks to get the changes that the customer wants done.

How did this happen? What did the customer really want? And why is nobody telling us devs anything?

May 9th

I'm fed up with this overtime. Ken and Hayley are getting along fabulously (with some help from Marlene, to be fair), and Ken says he's close to getting another job, but I want to be there and I can't. I have to stay late, with Marisol and the rest of my team, to get some feature done on some stupid project that I wasn't even hired to work on so that some dumb customer can get exactly what they want, when they want it, how they want it, for whatever price they want it. How is this fair?!

May 26th

The second demo is tomorrow. Here's hoping that it goes well so we can all be done with this nightmare.

Marisol brought in a griddle and made pancakes for all of us this morning. It's sweet that she did that, but why did she have to in the first place? Because management overpromised and underdelivered, and development is left to pick up the pieces. Why does it seem like programmers are always the ones getting the blame?

I need a new job. This company that hired me isn't the same as it was. I'd heard rumors that it was sold to investors, but I dunno if that's true. At any rate, I gotta get out of here. Hayley tells me she misses me every night when I sneak into her room to kiss her goodnight, and Ken seems more and more frustrated by the lack of construction jobs around here. It's breaking my heart.

We moved so that I could get a job as a web developer, and now I'm forcing my whole family to pay the price my company has demanded of me. I'd gladly eat Marlene's stupid fruitcake every day if it meant I got to come home at a reasonable hour.

It isn't fair, and it's tearing me and my family apart. But, what choice do I have?

If we can hold on until Ken lands a job, then we will be okay. I just hope we can last that long.