This week, I had a combination of lack of sleep and enormous amounts of stress (oncall plus what I think of as an ultimatum march rather than a death march). To tell the truth, the last time I felt such stress was trying to fend off a week of my father having attacks of “maim your daughter” while finals were in progress in high school.
Fortunately, this time around it wasn’t really “fear for your life” stress as much as “fear for your job” stress, but the former for child me, and the latter for an adult me, amount to pretty much the same levels of stress. I’ve become soft, I have.
So anyways, I allowed all this to screw up my judgement. I made a decision that goes counter to principles of my own, counter to principles of good software development, and worst, counter to principles of my company as well (which is a big deal to me; my company is in many ways my surrogate family). It ended inevitably in disaster—albeit disaster that my principles were actually able to mitigate and resolve. I didn’t discard of all of them… but just enough of them to make things quite bad for five hours over two midnights. The last midnight was the worst; by then, I was on so little sleep that I needed three teammates to actually help me carry off… what was an unsuccessful launch.
Now I’m kind of wondering what happens now and I feel like all I do at work is for naught. That’ll probably wear off, because life is bigger than one mistake that didn’t even result in customer impact. And while I’m long in the tooth with my tenure at work, my work in industry is not. I haven’t ever made a mistake this godsawful—but I have seen much worse mistakes.
Anyways, if I drank alcohol, that’s all I would be doing this weekend. As it is, mostly I just cry.