Critical Section

workaholic in stealth mode

Sunday,  07/06/08  11:32 AM

Many of you know me outside of my blog, some of you for a very long time (!), and others of you know me pretty well from reading my blog these past 5+ years, so you know: I am a workaholic.  I basically work all the time, morning 'till evening, seven days a week, except when working is interrupted by something else like my family, cycling, sailing, etc.  Leisure time means I work on stuff I want to work on, rather than on stuff I have to work on.  (Blogging has alternated between one or the other category :)  If I take a vacation, it is either to go riding or sailing or (gasp!) hang out with my family, but it is also a chance for some concentrated time working on stuff I want to work on; yes, it is a bit sad, but it is what it is.  Shed no tears for me.

stealth mode tee-shirt: "If you can read this, I'm not in stealth mode"And all this has been public, I'm a workaholic, I'm not embarrassed or ashamed, and everyone can know.  I've even been a bit proud of it, I guess.  My colleagues expect to get immediate email responses any hour of the day or night, and I've been known to check in code deep after midnight, in the middle of the nightly build.  My friends and family expect me to be in my office on the computer 24x7.  In the end it is what you accomplish that matters, not how, but at least I've been trying.

Except that... lately, like in the past six months, and especially lately, like in the past couple of weeks, I've been feeling a bit different about all this; I am still a workaholic, but no longer want to appear to be one.  This has manifested itself in a weird way, I spend some amount of time working in stealth mode.  In this mode I read email but don't reply to it; or if I do, I cache the replies in my drafts folder, and release them the next morning.  I code in the middle of the night, but don't check it in until the next day.  I write long strategy missives and review other people's code, and conduct project reviews, but I do them while the sun is shining (or if the moon is out, I wait until the sun is shinning to share). 

As this is being typed it is mid-day Sunday, and I have just written two project reviews and replied to a bunch of email, and completed a coding project.  It is all sitting on my computer, cached, and will all be released tomorrow.  I honestly do feel a bit embarrassed and ashamed, I no longer want people to know I work on Sunday!  Weird, huh?  (I guess if I really didn't want people to know, I wouldn't blog about it, but I'm more interested in exploring how I feel than I am in going with the feeling...)

The introspection that comes with this is a bit fascinating.  Obviously being a workaholic is part of my self-image, so maybe this feeling is my inner self is judging my outer self?  Although my inner self knows the inner truth; it can see my drafts folder even if nobody else can.  Strange...  stay tuned for more.  Oh yeah, and I'm going sailing this afternoon with my kids, and planning a ride after that.  As far as you know :)


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About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji
The Nest
Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?
still the first bird
electoral fail
progress ratches
2020 explained