It was incredibly hot and muggy out. To make things worse, Jim was making regular contributions to the survival of the mosquito species, but he was at that secret hole and the heat and mosquitoes barely registered as he fought what appeared to be an incredibly large brook trout. The odd thing was across his honey hole on the island was a dapper and well appointed piano quintet providing a sound track for his fight with the brook trout. Incredibly and fittingly enough, they were playing Schubert’s piano quintet in A Major.
Just as Jim took his mind off of the trout and wondered what the… a piano quintet was doing in the thick of the Pine River his line got loose and the trout spit the fly and Jim’s eyes flew open; the dream was over but Schubert’s quintet kept playing on his phone telling him it was time to get up and fight another day.
As usual, it would be a struggle, but the struggle for the next two weeks would have less serious consequences than usual. Still, each day is a struggle in its own way. Today Jim would have to fight traffic to complete the last minute errands, to make sure the children had all of the clothes and equipment ready, and that Sally would be satisfied with the preparations and completion of the tasks at hand. She was hard to please at times, but he knew she made him a better man. Sally was still asleep the heavy wool quilt still muffling her figure, she could sleep for a while more since the children were still asleep and she did not have things to really get done until the children were up, and she was to take the first shift of driving.
Jim turned the music down as he would want to listen to the entire work and took his phone with him and place it on the vanity in the bathroom and prepared for and took his shower. He turned on the water and let it get real hot before entering and went in and took a longer than normal shower. Jim always thought long winter showers were the best.
With his morning routine complete, Jim was belted into his Malibu, his phone nearby, and the travel mug full of hot coffee was in the cup holder in the center console. Jim was ready, the list was long but not too bad and since Christmas was now well in the past (and even farther ahead in the future) the traffic should be minimal, in addition, no snow had fallen in the area for sometime now so the roads were clear. Still, these are the errands that seem so insignificant but can eat up hours of time. Jim turned the car on, tuned his radio to his preferred morning music and put the car in reverse.
Jim rolled out of the driveway, the sky was dark enough yet to see the last of the stars before the sun washed them out, in fact Saturn was still visible in the southwest sky. The first of Jim’s errands was not so much an errand but a stop at the office to make a quick and last check of his contributions to a project that was scheduled to roll out to production shortly after the vacation was up.
He knew everything was set and ready, but software installs are always fraught with problems. They are usually not big, the team had worked long and hard with the business community and all the necessary project procedures were followed (as dull and seemingly pointless they are, they do serve to make sure abundant and clear communication is happening between two groups of people who don’t understand what the other is doing), all the proper signoffs obtained, and so on. Usually the problem is not the big stuff, but the small stuff. One program is still tied to the test environment, one job refers to a test file instead of the production file, another job has a module completely forgotten and off the list. Even though the faults are small and frequent it still is a pain to fix and restart processes, better to get it right the first time and have a smooth rollout than sluff it off. One more check of the list and review would not hurt, especially since Jim probably would not have time after he returned from the trip.
Jim arrived and had no problem getting a good parking spot on the first level of the parking structure, the outside air was normally cold and Jim took his time walking to the office building’s entry door. He waved his company badge at the card reader and it beeped at him and the door clicked open. Jim walked in, rode the elevator, walked down the hallway, and reached his office and settled in. He logged on and there were a couple of e-mails he could safely ignore (and did so) and started to review the list he had of modules his team had to migrate. He went over the list again as if he were compiling it from scratch and all seemed to be okay and a review of each member on the list also went seemingly okay with no findings, all seemed ready. Still doubt nagged at him.
Jim like everyone else wanted to be confident and have no doubt, but there were times having doubt was a good thing and this was one of those times. The doubt fueled extra reviews, extra scrutiny and those led to smoother implementations and installations. Jim’s completed this review a couple hours later and despite the nagging calls in his head to conduct yet another review, Jim logged off of his workstation and turned his back on it.
Back down the elevator, back out in to the cold, back into his car to do the pre-trip errands. People had started to hit the roads as the roads were busier now but it was now 10:00 am but the shops he had to visit would now all be open and he could get that all done, and until the errands were done, he did not feel like he was on vacation.