tl;dr; I've worked 117.5h/week for a month because of a project lead that doesn't understand what I do despite countless attempts at explaining

So, once a year I do this large project for a voluntary organization, it takes me about 80h (and this is of course on top of my normal work and voluntary engagement (60-80h/week))

This year, I realized I don't have as much spare time as I used to, so I emailed the project lead several months in advance like "hey, you know that I do all my work on this before the rest of you start working on it, and you know I need you to sit down for about an hour and put together the list of things I need to know to get this done properly. Could you please do that a bit earlier than usual, a week or two extra would make a big difference", they replied "absolutely, no problem!"

Time went by, and about two weeks before I wanted that info I emailed a small reminder. Shit me not, a month later, after a countless amount of reminders I finally get a half finnished version of the list I need, note that this is two weeks before I'm supposed to be done. Which is fine, it's the usual timespan, not what I hoped for as I hoped for an extra two weeks, but not too late either.

Then shit starts to happen

I reply to the list I've gotten with some requests for the project lead to complete some of the information, to which I receive multiple replies with different answers to the same questions, okay, that's fine, I'll just use the last answer.(?)

So, I finnish the thing on time, clocking out on a total of 117.5h of work per week, two weeks in a row. Still fine, it's just two weeks.

Release day!

I arrive at the release meeting, and is greeted by the project lead handing me two papers with the words "we haven't been able to look through your work yet to make sure it's like we want it, but we sat down yesterday and here's a list of how we want things to be". So I remind them that the thing is supposed to be done that day, and that it takes me 80h to redo, and those papers will require me to redo everything from scratch. To which the project lead responds "but it doesn't have to be finnished until December, right?"

That is not true, not at all, in any way.

See, there are 600 people that depend on this project, and they need, yes, need to be able to access it from the day it's launched every year. That is an absolute requirement.

So after trying to tell this project lead, for multiple years, how much time I devote to this project (for free) every year, during a short period of time, and after trying countless times to explain why it has to be done when the project is released, I became quite irritated.

So, during the two weeks that have passed since, I've been receiving about 200 emails from people wondering why the thing isn't finished yet and why they can't use it. (forwarded every single one of them to the project lead) and have been redoing it all during the past two weeks, from scratch.

I'm finally done, I released it yesterday, finally! I accompanied it with a bitter email to the project lead.

Because seriously, this is the worst respect for both my time and the people that should use the project's time in all of those years I've been doing this. This year, I've been ignored multiple times; they've shat on my work because it didn't live up to their expectations, even tough they never told me their expectations; I've been misinformed etc.

And now it's starting to get to me, this is the first weekend in a month when I've been able to shut down my laptop, sit down, drink a cup of tea, read a fricking book, chat with some friends etc, and most importantly, sleep. Signs of the stress I've had for a month now is starting to remind themselves.

And there's this little though nagging me in the back of my head: if the project lead would've worked for an hour in September I would've had to do half the job I ended up doing, on double the time. I hate realizing that they don't give a shit about my part of this, even tough I do half the work.

Then why do I continue, year after year? Because I feel that those 600 people that benefit from this really deserve it! But why does there have to be a dick project lead in the middle that makes me feel sick working on the thing I love the most!

So, as I'm not really used to ranting like this, i have to add that I really have no point with this rant. Just had to get it off my chest!

  • 17
    If people don’t pay for your time&work, they don’t appreciate it...
  • 8
    Hmmm and if those 600 ppl deserve it, imagine how much you deserve to not work more than 8h a day and to have free weekends. Oh man, you could even have a personal life! Imagine that!

    Oh no... Wait... That is how it is supposed to be, not just for everybody else but for you too!

    Just ask yourself if everyone else in your team, including your project lead, does the same sacrifice?

    I fully support team work and pulling the weight together. I do not mind to stay late and work weekends if my superior is doing the same, and so is my team, for a greater good of everyone.

    But what they are doing to you is idiotic and selfish. And damages your health and quality of your life.

    If you are into working hard, then quit, start your own company and do it! Why doing all this for someone else that BTW does not understand or appreciate what you do?
  • 4
    Without looking at previous commenters yet: is there no way for you to directly reach those 600 people and bypass this cunt completely? make him jobless for all he's worth. Also why is this specific software rewritten each single year, what is exactly changing?
  • 6
    Let me tell you that I really like your commitment. It's really inspiring. Hope you'll enjoy your tea! And also that the next such encounter may be far ahead or avoided entirely.
  • 6
    Well you should take this rant to the people in charge, I know it's not easy but no human deserves his job, work, effort and intellect to become underrated because an idiot with a degree is a lazy cunt.
  • 6
    If it is not so much time consuming, why do you not try to be the project lead? Or at least you could try to have access to the project lead contacts to get this list. I do not why egocentric people use to have high positions on corporations and other kind of organizations.
  • 5
    @raulqf of you ask me, it's because these positions or more the way to them encourages egocentric behavior.
  • 1
    @koukou well, it's voluntary work which Noone gets paid for, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • 2
    @JoshBent well it's not entirely rewritten any more, I have a base to work with nowdays, but all the things that do differ from year to year has to be remade. So not entirely, but like, half of it
  • 2
    @raulqf well because I do about half the work, I'm not really ready to take on double the work. And in this case I can't get in contact with the project leads contacts to get info as it's the project lead that makes the information
  • 4
    Heres the thing. No job is worth your health. It doesnt matter how much you are paid, if you are getting burned out at the end of the day, leave. And if you express that you want to leave, they will change in a second, trust me. You are putting the most invaluable resource in your work - your time, and they are NOT appreciating that.
  • 3
    Even if you do really important work, you need to value your time and health, because no one else has an incentive to do so. Charge overtime or get a new job.
  • 2
    Been there... Experienced it...
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