Why sure, I’d love to be your secretary

I’m working on something that’s fairly important and complicated, but it’s supporting current customers, not something on the critical path for the highest priority task, which is preparing for a trade show to get new customers. (I hate the fact that servicing current customers always takes a back seat to getting new customers, but that’s a rant for another time.)

There is another programmer who is working on tasks that are on the critical path. He’s task saturated, at least partly because he’s disorganized, only grudingly uses our source code management system, does stuff in a way that’s impossible for other people to understand, doesn’t document what he’s done, and when asked to explain only gives a vague generalities or launches into wild digressions. But because he’s on the critical path and I’m not, my boss thinks nothing of having me interrupt my work and do stuff for the other guy. And because the other guy is useless when it comes to explaining what he’s doing, often those interruptions are like today’s.

“Paul, I need to you remove these three lines from these four files, and submit a PCR for it.” Ok, fine. It only takes 10 minutes to do the edit, and another 10 minutes to process the PCR through the problem reporting system (which SUCKS, by the way). But it’s an interruption that I don’t want when I’m trying to concentrate on something. And lets not forget the 30 minutes of playing Net to get over my anger at being made into the most highly paid secretary outside of the executive floors.