Yeah. I know. Big burly mountainous yellow things. Or worse yet, the ones that aren’t brightly colored that blend into the pavement. You probably hate them as much as I do.
While I understand that some serve a noble purpose – slowing people down in areas where kids might be playin’ or ahead of crosswalks – others seem just random. Like some city planner found extra money in the budget and his cousin owned a pavin’ company and his kids needed new shoes.
I envision them sittin’ in a dingy, dimly lit office, drinkin’ beer at 3:00 on a Friday afternoon, throwin’ darts at a map, maybe rejectin’ a few hits because they weren’t random enough. But finally, they settle on 8 or 10 and Cousin Egger takes the leftover asphalt from the Barney’s Beanery parkin’ lot and plops out some randomicity. Hopefully somebody else’s cousin will happen along with some yellow paint they made off with when that Harbor Freight truck rolled over out on I-95 last winter.
And the weird thing about a lot of speed bumps I’ve encountered in parkin’ lots and on streets and such is that they’re actually less jarrin’ if you go over them faster. Unless you’re in your Lambo of course. But my pickup truck likes ‘em better at 10 MPH than at a crawl. Makes Timmy laugh too.
And then there are personal speed bumps we encounter every day that aren’t mounded up on roads nor in parkin’ lots. Perhaps those borne of nature – like that thunderstorm that hits in middle of the family reunion just as you sit down at the picnic table, ready to dive into all that great food everyone brought. Or flight delays when you just gotta be back. Or the Amazon order that didn’t come when promised. Or the cellphone that died unexpectedly with no charger in sight. The list is endless.
But today, I’m gonna talk briefly about the speed bumps we encounter in our work lives. The ones that frequently bring us pause and make us question our career choices. The ones that could probably be avoided if somebody just didn’t have their head up…um, er, had planned ahead.
You picked this date, so why I am the only one who remembers it?
First, let’s think about deadlines. Deadlines really aren’t speed bumps per se. But they can easily morph into them. Especially if they’re unrealistic or just plain arbitrary – dumb deadlines if you will. And I’ll go on record as sayin’ the only thing worse than a dumb deadline is no deadline a’tall. But how do they become speed bumps you might ask…
Only when people don’t observe them do deadlines become speed bumps. Especially true when there are multiple dependencies and Person C can’t do diddle until Persons A and B do their parts. And Timmy, in the wonderful world of web design and development, web developers might well be Person D or E. Yet we’re the ones at the bottom of the hill, watchin’ the snowball roll toward us, growing momentously larger with each passing second, all others expectin’ us to catch that metaphorical monster and get that site launched on time.
Sure, we do our best, but we ain’t magicians, or automatons, perhaps recently retired from the Chuck-E-Cheese Hillbilly Band, never in need of sleep nor sustenance. But we try. Mainly because we’ve become accustomed to bein’ at the bottom of that damn hill. And I’m not pointin’ any fingers, but it feels like A, B, C and D have gotten accustomed to it too…
It’s time to let go
And there are the speed bumps we encounter when a client decides they’ve had enough with their current Provider of Things (POT). Sometimes, the POT is chill, and glad to be rid of the client. No speed bumps. More like an HOV lane. Other times, maybe not.
As we prod as mightily as we can, we discover that the existin’ POT might be in some sort of folderol with the client. Perhaps a payment they feel is due. Or the rights to this, that or the other. No matter. Maybe they just got their knickers in a twist because they hate gettin’ fired and they’ve decided to act like lug nuts.
No matter. As the new POT, we’ve hit a speed bump. And painfully, it’s one we can’t do much about. Except maybe send Timmy callin’. No. Bad idea. So it becomes a waitin’ game, and that makes us sad because life is too short.
Then there are the speed bumps we create for ourselves. And I may well be the world’s best (or actually worst) at this in this scenario. Some days, we just don’t think things through, or perhaps overthink the fire out of ‘em. I personally lean well toward the latter and life gets unnecessarily complicated. Or there are days I’m just so dumbfounded when I do somethin’ and I’ll wonder how I even got out of bed and didn’t drown while takin’ my shower. And I don’t think I’m alone.
Sadly, the harsh reality is that there will always be speed bumps in life. We can try and avoid them, but in the long run, we’re probably just gonna end up wastin’ time and energy tryin’ to go around them. Best just to deal with them headlong and do the best we can to manage the jolts.
Hit the gas Timmy.