Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Winding Down

Three weeks from today, I'll be in Kuwait, on my way home for the final time. I've started the transition here in the office by transferring responsibilities for my projects over to my replacement, Joyce. She is taking the lead on all of them and I'm providing her with the history, backstory, files, and guidance. Sometimes it's a bit difficult for me. Something will come in, a question or action item, and I want to just jump in and do it. And I have, a few times, but that's not fair to Joyce. So I keep telling myself "take a deep breath ... step away from the projects ... let them go ...."

There has been a discussion raging at the next desk for the past half hour, arguing over where some responsibilities should reside. This discussion has really been going on since last summer. Our high honchos back in the states have been trying to slash my organization's expenses, but they haven't really understood what we were required to do. So over the past nine months, they've managed, bit by bit, to whack away almost all of our support contractors. And they tried to whack away most of our responsibilities. The problem is that some of the responsibilities they whacked were actually written-in-stone requirements, and the support contractors they whacked were the only ones who knew how to execute those requirements. So now they're beginning to find out that these functions still need to be done, but nobody can do them. Ooops! Their intention is to dump them right back on us, only without the support we need. Wrong answer, but it very well could be the one that's imposed.

I went crazy working on this last September, and again around the first of the year. Now here it is again. Same arguments, same lack of understanding at the HQ level, same same same. But this time, I'm just shaking my head, thinking "take a deep breath ... step away from the arguments ... let them go ... "

Meanwhile, back at the ranch ... er, my room ... I've started the sorting process. It's amazing how much junk you pick up over the course of a year. I've got the throw-it-away pile, the give-it-away pile, the ship-it-home pile, and the take-it-with-me pile. The ship-it-home pile is the most important right now. I've gotta figure out what I really want to keep and then get it in the mail sometime in the next week or so. Since I'm a bit of a packrat, that's not as easy as it sounds. Do I really need to keep a year's worth of Art in America magazines? Especially since I haven't read them since they were new? No. So why were they in the send-it-home pile? Good question. So I took a deep breath last night and carted them all off to the library. (Really. As if anybody else besides me is the least bit interested. They're not, but it goes against my religion to throw away a perfectly good magazine or book.)

The weather is shifting into early-summer mode. The days are very warm now, in the upper 80's. I thought this morning that we might get some rain (ugh) but that seems to have blown over. Since it's just about lunchtime now, I'm going to go for a plod around the compound. (Some people run, some people jog ... I plod.) So if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take a deep breath ... step away from my desk ... let it go ...

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