I had hoped to write this centennial blog post in tribute to you good and true readers out there. This topic, however, has been preempted by an overwhelming need to rant. I will save my half-written homage to you people for my bicentennial post or other appropriate celebratory occasion. With that said, on to the rant already in progress…

So far my plans for this work week have included the following: 1) working in Winchester; 2) working in an undetermined location that would not be Winchester; 3) working in Baltimore; 4) Working in DC instead of Baltimore; 5) working my “regular job” instead of the “special” project I have been working on; 6) Working on the special project; 7) actually getting home on time and having some semblance of my normal life back for at least a week regardless of what “type” of work I was doing.

To give you a little idea what a normal day looks like, I wake up between 0400 and 0430 and leave the house no later than 0515. I arrive at the office at 0630, take lunch around 1130, and leave at 1500. If the stars are aligned and I have managed to not anger the Beltway Traffic Gods, I should be home by 1630. All of those times have some flexibility built into them to account for things such as traffic, stupid Metro, and the occasional last minute issue that needs to be resolved at the office. I like my schedule, but we only live together; I’m not married to it.

Today, for all outward appearances, should have been reasonably “normal.” Met with Big Boss Man at 0745 to get marching orders for the day and between three of us managed to churn out much of what he had requested well ahead of the Thursday deadline he requested. Feeling good about our head start on meeting this deadline, we adjourned a few minutes after 1500 and headed for the stupid Metro and our respective places of residence.

I knew there was trouble when I looked at my Blackberry sometime around 1545 and noticed that at 1523 we all received an email with the subject line, “Where are you guys” and no additional message. A follow-up email had come through in the meantime exclaiming, RETURN TO OFFICE. The difficulty was that by this point, I was squarely in the middle of bumper-to-bumper traffic trying to merge onto the exit for I-95 north. Quite simply, I was stuck and not RETURNING TO anywhere in the foreseeable future. By that point an additional follow-up email had hit my inbox, which by that point had the same effect as a horrendous accident in which modesty demands you avert your eyes, but curiosity gets the best of you. This last email was instructions to change our work schedules to 0800-???? for the rest of the week.

Now, simple civility demands that one may want to inquire if we were able to make those changes. After all, the last anyone had heard, this was to be a “normal” week. We’ve all been jerked from pillar to post for this damn project and for the most part we’ve done it with remarkable good nature. It’s not even that a schedule change lays us into an hour of the morning when traffic is a nightmare and parking all but nonexistent. It’s simply another straw on an already overburdened back.

For me, the bottom line is this: I’m tired. Exhausted is a more accurate description. Things have a way of looking better by first light, but right now, this minute, I just don’t care if we succeed or fail. I just want it to be over.

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