Some Work Never Ends


Heigh Ho! Heigh Ho! It’s off to work they go! These 7 dwarfs have their daily routine which includes working in a mine. They must have struck the mother lode, but even if they had not, it is hard to imagine this group of men sitting on their butts collecting unemployment and playing video games. Sometimes you work a vein until it gives out. Nothing left but rock.

In consulting there is always more work to do. However when the customer says that is all their budget will allow, that job is over! Being a dedicated programmer who wants his application to be perfect brings one to a dilemma. The client has turned off the money spigot, but there is still some polishing to do. In fact you have already worked several hours over the agreed limit, and even though the client generously agrees to compensate you, it is less than the agreed upon by the hour price. But the well is now dry, so what to do?

If there is any possibility of a future project coming from this done deal, then be sure to deliver the best product you can, even if that means putting additional hours of your own, uncompensated time into it. This is difficult to do when a project is grossly (greater than 2X) over the estimate. Neither you nor your client believed the amount of work it would take to get to this point. Worse it is incomplete with things still left undone. Bugs that will only appear under heavy usage of the software. Not to mention the problems inherent in the dB itself! Workarounds will need to be written.

Be a person of your word and perhaps someday you too will be rewarded with a mother lode of work that will keep you busy for many years to come. Your reputation is the key! Work hard at keeping your word, especially with anyone who has become a friend. The slightest taint will follow you, forever! Look at Steve Jobs and Steve “Woz” Wozniak, to this day everyone knows they built illegal blue box back in the beginning of personal computing. They are fortunate that the public has fallen in love with pirates and hackers and phreaks. But then a lot of the younger generation sees nothing wrong in illegal copies of copyrighted works.

We all work hard for the money. It is the most sought after illusion. Many get confused and forget it is not the money but what you can exchange it for that matters. That is why it is sad when a job is finished. But one day you too will strike the mother lode. Then you will truly appreciate how some work never ends.