I just finished crunching a load of data so more work can be done this weekend. Such is life in an evil global biotech company.
I know what you’re thinking. And you’re right. I’m a f*ckin’ slave to my job.
So why am I sitting here at work surrounded by pages of data, rubbing raw, bleary eyes and hating life when I should be at home, snug in a warm, soft bed next to my lovely wife and falling into a coma-like sleep? Two words: irrational management.
I’ve been working like a frickin’ maniac for months now on a product which is basically a line extension of an existing product family. By the time the product came to me from our chemists, the Big Talking Heads who run the programs around here figured they could just hand it off to me and my team and we’d simply prove that the rosy image of their product was correct – that their product was the king of products, able to outshine all our others, cure cancer, stop aging, and fight off packs of ravenous dogs while emitting the lovely aroma of baked bread. They figured we could do all of our analyses in a single month and be done with it.
But no one asked me – the one actually doing the work.
In the 8 years I’ve been here I’ve been responsible, at one level or another, for development of 34 products. NONE of them took only a single month, including a number of much simpler products.
I and my team are now at the very end of the product’s R&D stage – three and a half months later. But, being irrational and wanting everything to be done now-now-now, the Big Talking Heads have put pressure on my boss. My boss responded, as he always does, by saying yes to all their demands and moved up the finish date.
Again, he didn’t ask my opinion.
Now I and a colleague have to pull double-duty (including tonight and this weekend) to try to squeeze in most of the rest of the testing. Some testing simply won’t be done in time, which puts us in the awkward position of having to choose which crucial data to leave out. My boss will look good for having gotten the job done earlier, but guess who’s going to have to answer for any holes in the data. And the product quality will suffer. If we’d only had a couple more weeks, as I had planned well ahead of time, all of the R&D work would be completed.