They're inevitable, let's face it, but no one gets any benefit from an emotionally draining day. It didn't start out that way. Far from it.
I had plenty of time this morning to make breakfast, a coffee, sit down with Jo and Button, email someone, chat away, brush my teeth and get lunch together. I got to work at 8.40. I caught up with Marty. 9am came and we were off.
An email from the company in the US I've been allocated to, in passive aggressive tones, answered all my queries on a job I was working on yesterday and then informed me that it didn't matter because they had given the job to another developer.
The job I'd been booked on had too little information to continue on, so I needed to have a meeting to work out what the next steps were. That would take place in 45 minutes. In the meanwhile I worked on the company web site.
10 minutes later I'm interrupted by someone needing to know how long to book me in to estimate a new project. Back to the web site.
Meeting time, and we sit for 15 minutes trying to guess what our supplier wants. Our supplier doesn't seem to know either.
Back to the web site. Then lunch to celebrate a colleague's birthday and catch up with an ex-colleague and friend. Fantastic laughs and smiles all round.
Back from lunch and I have more to do following on from the meeting. I do it, which includes taking a guess at what the supplier's expecting. I make a guess that most closely follows the documentation. Back to the web site.
I'm interrupted by the guy whom I had a meeting with to.say he thought my guess was wrong, and should we make a different guess. I told him they were both guesses, the docs support mine and the supplier isn't able to provide guidance until Monday, so why change from one guess to another? After some silence the status-quo is maintained.
Now I manager to get my teeth in to the web site, a Drupal module, actual fun, and it's almost 5pm. I work until 5.30.
Strangely, while I wanted to leave at 5, want to be home already, want to see Jo and Button, and today has been all over the place, I enjoyed today. Low productivity, but I interacted with so many people. Not all positive interaction, but not staring at a screen either.
Oh, and I also got some really good news!