January 17, 2006

when time was relative and sheep were nervous

Before I had Jenna, back in my late twenties and early thirties, while I was working at the Big Yellow Box in Rochester, I used to say -- and actually believe -- that there was NO job we couldn't finish in 24 hours if we all just stayed there and worked for one day (and night) straight. There were several occasions when I proved myself correct.
Back then I was convinced that project milestones and deadlines were way to liberal, that if you had a job then by God you should be there doing it whenever you weren't doing something else critically important, and that if the whole company hustled, we could get every thing done faster than the next guy.
That was before I knew anything about kids or layoffs or cashing in pensions or maternity leave or dot-coms or even business process re-engineering. In fact, those were the days when BPM actually meant business process management not Business Performance Management.
I came out of entrepreneurial roots, and all nighters were a common way to bond like family and get work done in a hyper-joyous, creative state, with pasta dinners in the conference room and two packs of smokes by my side.
I used to say that lack-of-sleep was our competitive advantage. And it was.
We literally worked while the competition took the moonlit hours off. Forget competing on product or price. Competing on insomnia is a lot cheaper.
That was then, and this is now. And I think back to that pre-parent, pre-40s, pre-disillusioned worker-bee and I wish for two things. I wish that I could 1.) Re-harness her energy, faith, and enthusiasm, and 2.) Tell her to cut that shit out.
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1 comment:

Barbara Doduk said...

haha ya cut that shit out indeed. i look back (i don't have kids) and even i wonder where my ummmmmmffffff went from my youth... and i'm only in my 30s... oh lord help me make it to 40.