Attached to Nothing; Connected to Everything

These words I stole from an art piece at a lovely Cleveland Coffee Shop. KafeLA. Cool vibe. And they sell ice cream and have great food as well. Brittany seeks out independent coffee shops and especially black owned coffee shops and this is a good one. Right on St. Clair. I’ve driven by a hundred times but never stopped. Now I will.

It’s all going on in Cleveland Ohio. And Columbus. And West Virgina. And more specifically on floors 31 and 32 of Key Tower in downtown Cleveland. Testing is progressing. Marginally. Painfully. Excruciatingly slowly and constant battle to resolve technical defects resulting from poor stewardship of our project from the very expensive consulting partners we’ve hired to guide us on this journey.

As we narrow in on our go-live date, the amount of activity is expanding significantly. We are in the middle of it and everyone is fighting hard to hold the line on our date. No one wants to delay–but we still have problems to solve in several areas. Complicated problems that require many people working in coordination to fix and many of those people do not work for us. So we are dependent on others to make our priorities their priorities. Never a great position to be in.

But we have some enthusiasm that we will get there. We are meeting with senior execs 3 times per week now to keep them updated in real time. It’s the way these things go. Friday is our GO/NO-GO for the July 19 deployment. I told the executive committee yesterday that I was 87% confident we would get there. It got a good laugh.

So getting time to write these days is difficult.

My schedule is hectic these next few weeks. We go live July 19 and my last day at Brookfield is the 23rd. I start a new job on the 25th. I have to go to West Virginia next weekend to meet the realtor and the old owners of the property I am buying (closing Wednesday). The following weekend Brittany and I will go to start to get the cottage in shape for glamping. I have to pack this whole house and move most of my things to a storage unit and some to Terri’s house and close on this place.

So the weekend and weeknight activities after work are pretty well regimented for the next 5 weeks. But it’s a moment in time and soon I will be more available. My new job is completely remote so I can work from anywhere and that is pretty freeing. West Virginia, Holland, Cyprus, California, Seattle — anywhere with an internet connection and a reasonable quiet place to work.

After leading 2 massive ERP implementations and 1 big one these past 5 years, I am looking for more work/life balance in my next gig. My last 3 programs totaled over $200M in investment. I am tired. I am tired of constantly begging people to do their jobs. Especially consulting organizations who mostly have always been a bad value but now seem even worse than they used to be. I spend a good portion of my time trying to hold them to their contracts; to do what what they said they would do for price they said they would do it. It’s fucking exhausting and the negativity leaves me feeling a little angry that I have to be policing people who are purported to be professionals. So I want a break from that shit. I will still have some of it in my new role, but it will be more of a shared responsibility.

In spite of the whining, this latest gig, at Brookfield, has been a breathe of fresh air in some ways. Joe and Katie are fantastic executives–complete opposite of the total dipshits over at Cleveland Clinic. And there are a lot of others who are great at what they do. Suzanne, Karina, Amy, Faye, Ryan, Laura, Carrie, Denise, Brad, Emily. The list goes on. Again, that is why this project has been successful and CCF was a disaster. They simply hire better professionals and enable them to be successful.

Anyway. Enough work bullshit.

In spite of the schedule, I’ve managed a bit of fun. I was in Columbus and Somerset last weekend with the family and Brittany. Then Brittany came up Saturday night and we hung out here Sunday–did a little day drinking. Napped a bit, took it easy. Then we had ceviche and drinks at The Standard and then home to a nice easy dinner of ravioli lasagna.

I’ve gotten out a few nights after work. The occasional cigar and whiskey. Life is still being lived, albeit a little more structured than I prefer. But this will pass.

Until I get my schedule under control, I need to be satisfied here with smaller posts. General updates. The small pleasure here and there that should be remembered for reflection years from now. I tend to favor waiting until I get enough words to feel like a proper posting, but I will have to have a review of that approach. Smaller bites of the apple for a while.

I am hoping the mountains of West Virginia are as inspiring to my writing as they are beautiful.

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