This was not what I wanted to do today

I thought it would be really interesting today to get back to looking at SAS Enterprise Miner, especially the text mining.  I thought it would be cool to take another look at Statistica. I also thought it would be cool to finish a blog post I started on power analysis for mixed models. And I thought it would be fun to write something on propensity scores and logistic regression. I really wanted to get back to the game I was writing in javascript, which is working but nowhere near as cool as I want.

I have been struggling NOT to take a new contract that I know would be really cool and interesting  because I know I am booked 110% already. I have had the offer in my in-box for days and I would LOVE to do it but …

This is all very odd because I went into business with the sole intent of doing cool and interesting stuff. A funny thing happened, though.

The business started to grow. So I hired a part-time person to do data entry, travel reports, typing, filing and other stuff. It grew some more. So I hired a developer. And two consultants to do research. Two graphic designers to do graphic design stuff. A consultant to do translation. A project manager.

So, instead of any of that, here is what I did this weekend:

  • Spent 11 hours working on a contract that is paying me money so that I can pay all of those people. It was interesting enough but not as much as the other stuff I wanted to do.
  • Had a meeting on research that needs to be done.
  • Wrote a memo to someone else about other research that needs to be done.
  • Had a meeting about purchasing decisions.
  • Read a book on javascript (okay, I wanted to do that).
  • Called someone about work that was behind schedule
  • Checked into a possibility for funding, forwarded it to someone for discussion tomorrow

Um, did I mention this is the weekend?

I got into this same position many years ago. I was teaching college full time and running a consulting company on the side, with ten people working for me. Eventually, it got to the point that my assistants were passing me up in technical skills because I was spending so much of my time in meetings while they did all of the fun stuff.

It sounds like I’m complaining but I’m not really. I also went to The Grove and had a lovely lunch at a French restaurant, bought The Spoiled One clothes for the new school year at Abercrombie & Fitch and Nordstrom’s, assisted by what appear to be Stepford Salespeople.

My second daughter, The Perfect Jennifer, who is a middle school history teacher, was with us and commented,

“I’m not comfortable at The Grove. It is full of people with money, shopping.”

I pointed out to her that we, in fact, were shopping at The Grove. So, there are pay-offs to not always doing exactly what you want.

Still, tomorrow, after I send off a few memos and make a few phone calls, and before my last meeting, I’m going to make sure I get some programming done. Because, if I don’t get to do SOME of the fun and interesting stuff, what’s the point, really?


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