I had one of those days yesterday where I felt like an utter failure. The day started off badly when I couldn't get up and out the door to get the boys to the bus in time, so I ended up driving them all the way to school, which then made me 45 minutes late for work. The should have been my first clue that things were not going to go my way.
A year ago I was hired at the company I'm currently at because, and I quote, "They were desperately in need of some SharePoint knowledge". They were right, however in the last 11 months, I have barely touched SharePoint. All my suggestions for improvements of existing, non-SharePoint business tools have been kicked aside with "we don't need to focus on that at the moment." My attempts to get management to assign me some SharePoint related work have been answered with "We'll find you something to do soon, don't worry. In the meantime we'll have you help out on the ASP Helpdesk." Two things wrong with this. Well three, but the first is obvious, so I won't list it. The second thing wrong with this is that I must be the highest paid and over-qualified database restore 'expert' in the world.... The third thing, I haven't worked helpdesk in 13 years, so this is a backwards step which is not good for any career. So yesterday, I decided I was going to overhaul one of their systems and just not tell them about it until I was ready to show them how SharePoint is bigger and better than their 15 year old ASP based hodge-podge of tools. Don't get me wrong, ASP is a fantastic language, however, SharePoint is a business platform and leverages many out of the box and custom features to build robust easily sustainable business systems.... So I started poking around, looking at the code and trying to decide where to start small. This made me happy. For a while.
I get a phone call from Bad Boy's Vice Principle. Sigh.
He had lost his temper again only this time he had told another child that he was going to bring an AK47 to school and shoot him. I almost crumbled. Tears came to my eyes as I held my breath and waited for the Principle to tell me he was going to have to expel him from school. With only 5 weeks left. Well, the words never came. He was new to the school and the Principle was out for the day, so he didn't know the background. I filled him in on how we have been trying to help Bad Boy and he patiently talked through our options so we can finish the school year. Crisis averted. For now.
I took a break and drove out to see my firefighter (I love calling him that), for lunch. I didn't bring up what was on my mind, just enjoyed chatting about silly stuff.
I returned to the office, plugged my earphones back in with some Deep House playing on di.fm and went back to perusing the archaic and clunky Stellar system. Then came the next piece of bad Karma. An email from Baby Girl's Language Arts teacher. She was not completing assignments again. Well, then I go and look at her grades and those grades she'd managed to get up B's and D's have turned into F's. Again. The only B remaining was in Math, which for some reason she has no problems in.
That was my undoing. I tried to get through the rest of the day, but couldn't. At 3pm I needed to talk to someone before I burst, so I called my sister. My angel. Always there. It was late in the UK and she was putting my nieces to bed, but she said she would call me back in 5 minutes. So I waited. 10 minutes. But she called. I totally broke down, she listened patiently between all the sobs and then helped talk me through it. My face was a mess, but I felt a little like someone cared. It's hard to realise that when I need help, it's 3000 miles away and it makes me want to go home. That's how I felt yesterday. I wanted to pack everything up and get on the next plane home.
I was able to calm down enough to pack up my desk and drive to pick up the boys. When I get to daycare, the after-school supervisor came over, I thought to say good bye, but no, my run of foul luck wasn't over yet. Bad Boy had called another boy the 'N' word. And when asked where he learned it, one word came out. "Dad". Holding back my temper at that point was all I could do, took every ounce of strength.
When will it end?