Daily Log #44

My daily log is definitely overdue as I didn’t write any over the weekend. So now I will recap what happened over the weekends before going on to what happened today. It’s all for the sake of my sanity because right now, I’m having trouble focusing because of what happened at work today.

Saturday

There are two highlights for my Saturday. The first was me spending time doing freelance work. My client contacted me about record locking issue raised by the users.

Previously, I implemented some sort of record locking mechanism to ensure that no two users can work on the same record. It was because the application is predominantly a thick-client application with SQL server as the backend. All transactions that happen are seen as atomic per application instance. That means the database records can easily be corrupted by concurrent users. And I didn’t go with the route of using stored procedures or database-level transaction because they are not visible to me most of the time and difficult to debug.

So after some troubleshooting and back and forth with the client, I decided to implement some kind of session management that will enable the releasing of locks when the user logs out of a specific application instance. The client agree with the suggestion and so I will be implementing that. Well, one reason for that was because each user will open up two or more instances of the same application on their computer to do their work. That will translate into a higher chance of encountering a record lock issue. And right now, the users will keep calling their IT department to release the lock via SQL. It’s just not acceptable for them. It’s also not acceptable for me.

Later in the afternoon, I went for what is known as the Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT). For those who didn’t know, Singapore has conscription. In addition to serving in the military for two years and going back for additional trainings after that, all able-bodied males in Singapore has to go for an annual physical fitness test and pass it until one is release from service. So it was my turn this year and I went to take it.

Well, I manage to pass it but didn’t get the scores I wanted. Just three more points, I would have gotten $200. My only excuse was that I didn’t train for my sit-ups. My arms also decided to give way after 25 pushups and I couldn’t complete 2.4 kilometers under 13:30 minutes.

So I will have to try it next year.

Sunday

The morning of my Sunday, I spent most of it playing games, specifically Ghost Recon Wildlands. I managed to complete a few missions and then came upon a side story. Now, because I have never check out the game in the form of reviews or news update, I didn’t know what to expect until I actually encounter the enemy. I was genuinely surprise to see that Ubisoft decided to put in Predator into the game. The sound effects, the dense forest in which the side story is set just me remind me so much of the original Predator movie. However, the only problem was the Predator is a bullet sponge. I keep dying no matter what I do and even after firing countless grenades from my grenade launcher, that thing refuses to die. So I gave up and decided to go for a nap.

And my back and neck pain decided to act up again.

After the nap, I had lunch at around 4pm. Yeah, I know it’s late. Then I got down to do code refactoring and lay down the foundation for the session management for my client’s application.

Later at night, I spent some time writing this article.

Monday

Last week, I managed to re-inspire myself to work again but the inspiration gradually disappear by Friday. Over the course of the week, my inspiration keep falling because I was constantly feeling flustered by the constant last minute activities at work.

And the biggest frustration I face is that nobody even understand what’s like to be a HSP. All they can tell me is: “please work harder,” or “manage yourself,” etc.

It does get me down. There are times when I actually wonder am I even cut out for software development or any other jobs for that matter. I just have this feeling that one day, I may just have a breakdown, quit on the spot and leave the tech industry for good. So far, I haven’t because it’s the one thing I know how to do that give me a paycheck. My writing doesn’t pay me shit. Not one dime. But here I am still writing (even if it’s a bloody journal) because it’s what I enjoy.

Anyway, there was a major development at work recently.

The customer is demanding for faster turn around time for some of the features because to them, it’s been one year already and the application is still not ready for live use. However, our team is so understaffed that all of us have to do double the work just to fulfill this faster turn around time.

As of the meeting today that my colleague and I had with the senior manager was that they want some of the features on some power point slides out in two weeks time, properly tested and functional.

After she said that, I can feel it in my bones. The anxiety rose and I tried to suppressed it as much as I can.

Well, she did try to give us the big picture and want us onboard. I appreciate her effort and understand where she’s coming from. The project is important to her and to the company.

Look, I’m all for delivering what the customer wants. Even in my freelance work, I also can’t accept that users of the application I build is suffering from bugs and other major issues. I want their lives to be stress free too. This is where I deploy my attention to detail but I can only do it for one thing at a time.

And she want us to put in extra effort to deliver what the customer wants and said that it’s good for us because of more exposure and experience. Then she added that with more experience and exposure, we can go up the ladder.

However, I for one have no intention of climbing up the corporate ladder to be some kind of manager. I don’t mind being some kind of expert for some stuff and I don’t mind more exposure but I don’t want to be the one to lead a team and absorb all kind of toxins the job title entails. Also, even if it’s more exposure, it has to be on my own term. My mind and body must be ready to accept it. Another thing is I really prefer to focus on one task at one time and not get called around to do 101 things.

At the end of the day, my health and sanity is more important. Let someone who has that desire and drive to lead to be at the top. I can’t reiterate that enough.

There is another way that I can put it.

It is to the company’s benefit that me, as an employee, is healthy and happy working. I can be more productive and help the company in many way. You also reduce your chance of needing to find a replacement. Unless, well, you don’t want this highly-sensitive engineer who is pretty conscientious, can play nice with teammates, and is able to pay attention to details in your company at all.

And then, she just had to add this comment during the meeting: “My team all very hard working and do overtime. They say you didn’t do overtime… not that I say you don’t work hard.”

And I can pick up on tones. I’m just pretty sensitive to that… so I know she meant that.

It definitely ruffled my feathers.

So…I am supposed to work overtime constantly? Until 12 am too? And if I’m more effective, don’t need so longer hours to do my job, it means I didn’t work hard enough?

My other question is: Are you also using working overtime to compare me with another person on the team? Just because I don’t, I’m not good enough of an employee?

Well, before I can regain my composure, my team lead decided to call me and ask me to prepare a development laptop, download the latest source code, so that I can bring it to the customer’s office tomorrow. At 5pm… Luckily I didn’t have  a meltdown. Managed to keep my emotions in check. And earlier in the day, just before he made his way to the customer’s office, he told us to rush and develop one of the features the customer one and it was the same feature that the senior manager later reiterate during the meeting. So I was rushing to do that too.

I went home at 6.30pm just to finish preparing that laptop, still feeling very pissed off. Right now, I just feel like bashing up some stuff…

Even after watching some comedy show at night on Netflix (yes, I had hope to clear the toxin from my mind), I still feel flustered.

Then I go another text message asking me to go to the customer’s office even earlier. Taking into account the travel time, it means I need to wake up thirty minutes earlier… making me feeling even worse.