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"Good night, Westley. Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely kill you in the morning."

One of my favorite movies is The Princess Bride, although when I was first 'dragged' to it I thought I would hate it.  There are many wonderful scenes in the movie, but the scene that comes to mind right now is when Wesley is explaining Buttercup his life aboard the Dread Pirate Roberts ship.  Wesley tells Buttercup that at the end of each day the Pirate Roberts would tell him "Good night, Westley. Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely kill you in the morning."

When I first started consulting I was told by a good friend of mine that I should always keep that line in the back of my head.  Working as a consultant has made keeping that thought in my head much easier because I always knew that if the client decided they didn't want my services, for whatever reason, and as along as I did my job well I would just be sent to another client.

And in fact I have had a couple of good experiences where things with the client ended well.  They got what they needed and it was time to go.  I have had one that went very poorly and I got 100% support from my management.

But that is not my current situation.  The client has done what clients often do - project is going badly so it must be the project manager's fault.  I will own any mistakes I have made during my engagement because that is how I learn.  I will publish an article on that later.  But it is a rare client that actually looks at themselves to see what they are fundamentally doing wrong, either as individuals or as an organization.

So I am currently, as in this week, billing 50% of my time to the client.  I am here 100% of my time.  Honestly that doesn't bother me at all. 

In the past I have gotten 100% support from my own management but this time I am not feeling that same level of support. 

In the past I would have done a number of very unhealthy things.  Instead I am doing the following:

  • Reviewing my affirmations, appreciations and blessings on at least a daily basis
  • Spending plenty of time with Trudy, Benjamin and Catalina
  • Going to the Sat. Morning Jam
  • Talking with my friends
  • Meeting with my friends
  • Gaming
  • Working on my personal projects
  • Realize that my management might just be reacting to a bad situation without thinking how their reactions are affecting other people (specifically me).  In other words it isn't all about me devil
  • Cleaning up my resume smiley something a former boss told me a professional should do every year.

 

Comments   

+1 #3 Wendell 2014-02-25 09:27
It's hard to come by knowledgeable people on this topic,
however, you sound like you know what you're talking about!
Thanks
+1 #2 snorerx 2014-02-25 08:20
Howdy! This blog post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me
of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching
about this. I am going to forward this article to him.
Fairly certain he's going to have a very good read.

Many thanks for sharing!
+1 #1 Leesa G 2014-02-05 01:44
Thanks David for the heartfelt post. I can relate. The life of a career PM always has a tale or two along those lines. When we count our blessings, and focus on the highest values of life, these times pale in comparison. In my stack ranked priority, work is up there but not at the top. People make choices each and every day, some better than others and we have to do our best with the "lemons" that are thrown our way.

Thanks again,
Leesa

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