Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hold On; I'm Coming

I got a call earlier this month that could have been a lot worse.

I have this contract to write two books for the federal government. It's nothing exciting; "technical manuals" would perhaps be a better term. Anyway, I'm a bit overdue on the contract: I was supposed to turn in the products in April.

One Monday morning in early August, my phone rang and I found myself talking to my contract manager. She didn't sound happy.

"Can you give me a firm deadline on the books?"

"I'm really sorry," I explained. "When I gave my original time estimate, I was only thinking about the writing. The research and data preparation took me a lot longer than I thought. I think I can finish them by the end of the month. I've been working on them as much as I can."

She was still cold: "I'd like to think that, but then I see that..."

In the space between words, I went into a mild panic. In my mind, I could hear her finishing the rest of the sentence: "...you maintain a blog in which you play dozens of hours of video games a month. We've decided to revoke your contract and give it to someone who cares more about the United States of America."

But she didn't say that. She said, "I see that you just took a job teaching adjunct classes for [a university]. Why are you taking on more work when you're four months behind on your contracts?" She had been sniffing around my LinkedIn profile.

I was so relieved that she hadn't found out about my blog that I couldn't think of anything to say but the truth: "I have trouble saying 'no' to things."

"Good," she said. "Here's something you can't say 'no' to: Turn in the first book by next Monday and the second by the following Monday, or you'll be in default of your contract."

I tried to protest the injustice of not saying anything to me for months, and then suddenly giving me 14 days to finish, but it was to no avail. (Well, it was to some avail; I bargained her up to 21 days.) So, this month, Bloodwych took a back seat to saving one-third of my annual income.

I wouldn't be writing this if I didn't turn in the second book yesterday with literally moments to spare. I've been playing since then, I have half a posting ready, and I expect to get the full thing out tonight.

I didn't want to start my first Bloodwych entry with excuses and an apology, so I offer them here. I'm sorry I've been gone so long. I'll catch up on my playing and on your e-mails as soon as I can. Thanks for sticking around!

48 comments:

  1. No need to apologize. Your job's more important than this blog, fun as it is.

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    Replies
    1. Agreed. Make sure you and the important information you deliver is secure and of highest quality (respectively) above all else.

      Plus we (the fans) are forgetful of long absences like faithful do- OH BOY! GUYS! HE'S HOME! GUYS! HE'S HOME! WHAT'S THAT?!!? THAT A TREAT?!!? THAT A TREAT?!!?

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  2. Who won the pool?

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    1. Giauz guessed the 21st. Up to him as to whether he wants an old PS/2 mouse though

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    2. He can also choose a mention on my next Let's Play (which will probably be Legend of Grimrock), naming a character after him (in Legend of Grimrock), or attempting to play through the game of his choice (provided I can get access to it). What sayeth thee, Giauz?

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    3. Giauz, let me know how you'd like to shorten your name down to four letters; otherwise, I'll fit you into the next game that allows five. Good guessing!

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    4. Raifield: Don't trouble yourself. I don't believe I will ever need it, so if no one else on the blog wants it my wish is for you to donate it to a local game store of your choosing if they will have it (ask the store if you can get yourself anything out of it first, though).

      Amy: A named swordsman in Grimrock would be awesome!

      Zenic: a red mage 'Gioz' works for me in Final Fantasy 1. By the way, my pseudonym can be pronounced either 'g- ee- oz (as in Wizard of Oz)' or 'guy- oz;' use whichever you prefer.

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    5. Grimrock. Swordsman named Giauz. So let it be done. :)

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    6. Red Mage Gioz will lead the party to victory!

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    7. Hey Giauz, do you want that postcard? I saved some from packing in case I wanted to write one during my move.

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  3. Thanks for keeping us posted and caring enough to give us an update. I think everyone is very understanding that RL must take priority.

    Good luck on your projects by the way. And I have a sneaking suspicion of how you're going to celebrate... :)

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    Replies
    1. You nailed it. Unfortunately, I don't have another week free until late September.

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  4. You need to slip in some road construction to your resume, keep you from getting bored with all your free time, mysterious CRPG guy.

    Glad you managed to get things right with your contract work!

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  5. I still think its fishy your downtime always are around political high times. You are really Jack Thompson aren't you!

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    Replies
    1. ......I.....I'm pretty sure Mr Addict is far, far more coherent then Mr. Thompson.

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  6. Thanks for the update. You've been missed, but we understand this isn't your actual job. Looking forward to new postings!

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  7. You don't owe anyone an apology! Take care of yourself and your family first; computer games and people on the Internet can always wait.

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  8. +1 to the above, Priorities are exactly that. :)

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  9. As others have said, put food on your table first. CRPG geeks on the internet can wait. We'll still be here when you get back. :^)

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  10. I think I'd put a 3rd of my annual income before playing Bloodwych :) Thanks for the update.

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    Replies
    1. Naturally, but someone with better time management skills would achieve "balance." That's a concept I keep hearing about.

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  11. quote:.you maintain a blog in which you play dozens of hours of video games a month

    LOL that gave me a good laugh, lucky you didnt link to the blog on the linkedin page, (assuming that you didnt)

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  12. That's one of the reasons I've never made a Linkedin account and my Facebook page is devoid of information like what I'm doing and where :))

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  13. Congrats on the successful cram job! Now relax and treat yourself to some video games :)

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  14. In order to prevent the work/gaming confrontation you imagined from becoming reality, you may want to remove your real last name from the January 20th post. If you google your full name, that post shows up on the first page of results. With both your and our best interests in mind, it might be wiser not to use your last name on the blog. That would at least give you some plausible deniability.

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    1. I'm 156% positive that Chester Bolingbroke is not his real name Dave.

      I look forward to reading about your journeys once again Chet. It doesn't matter how long it takes for them to happen.

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    2. Yeah, you just scared the heck out of me. But Trickster is right. "Chester Bolingbroke" is just a pseudonym.

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    3. Same goes with faking your own death ;-)
      http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/deseretnews/obituary.aspx?n=chester-bolingbroke&pid=145766656&fhid=4557

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    4. It never occurred to me that such a silly name could possibly belong to a real person.

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    5. From your pseudonym i have guessed that your work involves something with Shakespere. Technical manuals don't sound much like Shakespere. ;-)

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    6. But soft!
      What light through yonder Windows breaks?
      It is the ODBC administrative control panel,
      And the SQL client is the sun!

      Delete
  15. Damn, that lady sounds like a real b^&%$. Is that really what she said? "Here's something you can't say 'no' to?" Sheesh. I'm glad you turned in the projects before it was too late, and I hope she's out of your hair now. I'm sure you'll grab a few gimlets once the checks show up. ;)

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    1. It was something like that. I didn't transcribe the conversation. I've actually known her for a long time, and we're reasonably good friends, so she feels free to be blunt when she needs to.

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    2. If she had been a little bit more kinky she could have made naughtier suggestions, just saying ;) I don't think that was very blunt though, but maybe that's because I've been watching so many movies. Axel Foley's boss in Beverly Hills Cops said he was gonna turn Axel's ass into dog meat. Peter Blunt in Caddyshack got his name from being blunt. To me it sounded more like witty, trying to turn words around in your own favor.

      I once worked for this guy on freelancer.com, he wouldn't speak to me in several days when I had questions about the work he wanted me to do, then he would answer my email and give me like 12 hours to finish the job after he wouldn't answer questions about the job for several days. (*phew*) But he was very generous and never blamed me for being late on deadlines. He gave me $30 and was willing to give me another $100 if I did some more work for him. But I figured it wasn't worth it. I never saw any money since freelancer has big fees on transferring money.

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  16. Oh, man. I've had that arse-clenching phone call from the editor. Nothing like it to get the writing juices flowing!

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  17. ad·dic·tion
    the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics (or CRPGs), to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma (or potential job loss).

    Sounds about right. Glad you hit the deadline it but be careful. I like your blog too much to see it end that way.

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  18. Being jobless myself (for the moment), I realise
    how important it is to get paid. I enjoy reading
    your blog. It's sad that I can't enjoy playing games
    like I used to... :/

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    Replies
    1. However, I am employed. I meant playing games not doing it for me much anymore when I said this (apparently a lot of people like me also complain about this online elsewhere as well).

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    2. There's a fine line between being self-employed and being unemployed. Every time one contract ends and another hasn't begun yet, I think, "Wait...am I unemployed now?" Fortunately, these stretches haven't lasted too long.

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  19. The title of this post made me think.

    "Hold On; I'm Coming" - That's what she said! Yeah I had to go there. Is anyone else interpreting it like that, or is it just me with my mind in the gutter again? This reminds me of Star Control 2, but I can't say more without spoiling it. I'm really looking forward to it.

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  20. QUICK! EVERYONE HUNT DOWN TWO TECHNICAL MANUALS PUBLISHED IN RAPID SUCCESSION! *FLAIL*

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    Replies
    1. Yeah...the government doesn't quite work that way. Look for them in about 2015.

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  21. Quick! It's 2015! Everyone hunt down two technical manuals published in rapid succession!

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  22. I'm so glad I have a job that allows me to indulge in my hobbies with little consequence. I'm off every other week, and even when I work I do it at home with lots of downtime on most days. Hell, I'm technically working right now!

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