There is a project at work now that is so very Office Space. I guess a sales person promised a client a certain piece of software. We vaguely knew that this was coming down the line–a piece of Windows software needed to be ported to Unix and some functionality needed to be changed. Standard stuff, really. Now, the sales person made this deal a few months ago, and I guess thought it would be appropriate to tell nobody about it. The client was promised a demo to be given Wednesday (a few days ago) and a working beta a week from today. The developers learned about this Monday, leaving 2 days to develop the demo, and a week and a half after that to build the full-blown beta–unless QA is to get into the action and verify it works.
Basically, the whole situation is a clusterfuck. Nobody is really in charge, there is no project manager, as far as my boss or I can tell. There are about five people running around dictating how the thing needs to work and look. Everyone wants to control it, but nobody wants to take responsibility when (notice I said “when” and not “if”) it fails. I’m trying to do the best I can. My boss is a little upset because this project was not on any calendars or roadmaps, so pulling me to work on it is impacting the stuff I really should be working on. My friend in Research and Development, who is sort of my boss but not really, is starting to get all the blame and finger-pointing aimed at him for no readily apparent reason. There is no real plan for what needs to happen and what need to change, so I build something and am told “no, that’s not quite right, change it,” so I do and somebody else comes along and says the same.
The whole situation is frustrating. My dotted-line-boss friend in R&D said I should just go to lunch and take the rest of the day off. Instead, I am doing what any respectable citizen of the workplace would do. I ran home, made some pasta, and am about to watch Office Space. I’ll be back to work in about 2 hours to see what has exploded while I was out.