30 days ago or so, I was musing on the craziness that loomed before me in the form of the month of March.

March has zoomed past, and some things didn't get done, but on the whole, it was as crazy as predicted.

2 new minions started this month. We ran 2 sets of training classes in our office, with which I was (thankfully) only peripherally involved. I made progress on The Giant Scary Feature, and managed to delegate some of that work to others (yay!). We didn't get the development servers moved to the co-location facility, but we kind of thought that was expecting too much .

So, having faced down March, I was thinking that April didn't look too terrible - finalizing a bunch of features, doing testing on new functionality and documenting stuff before the release of our 6.0 version.

And then my boss came into the office Thursday. Came in, wandered around sort of looming while I dealt with the phone guy who came to pick up his cheque and wanted to talk about the system (that was one of the unexpected joys of March - the PBX phone system died and had to be replaced).

So, finally phone guy left, and my boss closed my door and sat down looking very solemn. He started out saying "Sometimes I have to be very serious, and ask you to do things that I know you won't like".

At which point, I started to freak out a bit. Usually when he asks me to do something that I won't like, he's smiling because he knows I'm going to resist.

Turns out, that we're a bit behind on our massive implementation at our biggest current customer prospect down in San Diego, and he wants me to go down there...for the month of April.

At this point, I'm slightly in shock, because - we're doing a *release* this month - and I have a week of work to do after Engineering is finished, to get the release stable and available for customers. Not to mention, I have 3 minions - one of whom is still depending on me for a lot of stuff, and 2 who are brand new. Plus all the standard stuff that I do because nobody else has a clue how to do it.

He goes on to say that he realizes that this is a huge thing, and will impact every other part of the company, but that this is necessary and I'm the best person to send down there. He's been mulling this over for a week apparently.

Oy.

So now he goes to get D., who happens to be in the office this week. Apparently he walked up to him, all solemn and serious, tapped him on the shoulder, and said "come with me" and then walked back to my office.

D. told me later that he was *sure* he was about to be fired - couldn't figure out why, but he was *freaking* at the boss' attitude. I had gone to get a drink, and when I came back, D's look of shock told me that he had just been told.

So D will be in the office for April, instead of home in Texas. I'll be in San Diego this week, and next week. I had planned to be going home the week afterward, to visit my mom - that is still on track, but I'll be back in San Diego for the rest of April afterwards.

And, so far, when I ask "what am I doing down there" I get told "we need someone who can talk to them, figure out what needs doing, and get it done"

Oy.

My new minions are a bit scared, because they're not sure why I'm going - they haven't been with us long enough to know that I pinch hit in professional services when need be (although not generally onsite or on big projects).

The one who's been here for 6 months is *panicking* because she's been here long enough to know what she's in for, with me gone. But she's trying to be positive "we'll set up some lawn chairs and margaritas in the office when it becomes hell..."

As long as I don't let myself get dragged into working at the customer site 8 hours a day and then going back to hotel to put another 8 hours in, I'm probably the one who will be least affected by this.

It will be good to find out exactly what does get affected by my absence for a month Hopefully they'll make a list of "that which must be sucked out of spiffikin's head and documented and cross-trained" although I suspect a good chunk of it is troubleshooting and problem solving...
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