Living the dream… or not

Wow I’m absolutely exhausted!

Work has been a little insane for the past two weeks. My manager is away on vacation so I’ve been managing his projects for him. At the same time, I’m also managing my own sets of projects. Looking after multiple projects usually isn’t a problem. I just need to track the different project milestones closely and making sure all the works are assigned to the right people and works are being completed. However when something critical hits the fan, things go haywire and my workload increases significantly.

This is exactly what happened the last two weeks.

My manager’s projects are going quite well, we’re hitting most of the project milestones and the customers are content. This is great, except things are not going too well with one of my projects. One of my customers is trying to launch multiple devices over the next couple months but they’re facing a number of critical issues with integrating our products inside their devices. These issues are deemed end user impact and would cause a lot of end user complains. To put this in perspective, it would be like Apple trying to launch the new iPhone 7 Triple Plus Awesomeness (I should trademark that name, I like it :D) then finding out a month before the scheduled launch date that there are voice call problems due to the Qualcomm chipset and phone stability issues due to the onboard phone processor.

Not good right?

So the last two weeks I have been on many conference calls every day, talking to different people in different countries and different time zones trying to resolve these critical issues. I would typically start the day around 6 AM Pacific to talk to people in both Europe and Asia (6 AM Pacific the only time that’d work for everyone). Then move on to talk to more people in Europe for the rest of the morning. Later in the morning and in the afternoon I would talk to some people in the US and Australia. I would finally finish the work day by talking to more people in Asia. Last Wednesday and Thursday I think I had 7 or 8 conference calls on both days and I must have worked over 12 hours each day.

Due to the slow progress, yesterday my customer demanded that someone from our company to go to their office on the East Coast to resolve these critical issues by Thursday. Because all of our field engineers located on the East Coast are traveling this week, I became the only suitable person to visit the customer. So yesterday I booked a last minute trip just so I can be at the customer office.


I woke up at 3:30 AM Pacific this morning to have sufficient time to catch my 6 AM flight. Luckily the lines for the airport security and the US customs were relatively short. When I arrived in O’hara Airport at 12:30 PM, I had to returned a few voice mails. I also found out from my team that there was another critical issue happening with another customer. A conference call was scheduled 30 minutes after my arrival in the final destination.

Fires burning on both fronts. Double whammy, who doesn’t like that?

When I finally arrived in my destination today I took the Avis shuttle to get a rental car and joined the conference call in the Avis parking lot. I didn’t end up getting to the hotel until 7:30 PM Easter and didn’t get any dinner until 8:30 PM. Talk about having a long day!

Although it may sound like I’m complaining, I’m far from it. I’m really glad that I get these learning experience to advance my engineering career. On the other hand, I’m very pleased that I have been slowly building up our dividend portfolio. By harvesting the power of compounding, our current forward looking dividend is close to $8,500! I’m extremely happy with our progress and can’t wait to find out what’s ahead in the next 5 to 10 years. Who knows, maybe in 10 years or less, I would be able to achieve early retirement and travel around the world not for work, but for pleasure. That would be pretty awesome.

I hope everyone’s work is a little less crazy than mine the last two weeks.

For now, it’s bed time for me. Zzzzz.

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8 thoughts on “Living the dream… or not”

  1. Wow, sounds pretty crazy indeed! I hope that you can catch a breather after this week. The best lessons are learned through challenges and struggles, and once you get past the craziness, the skills you develop will last a lifetime.

    Awesome job on that forward 12-month dividends. Man, 2015 is going to be a huge year for you!

  2. Sounds like a crazy week for you! I find that traveling for work is never as enjoyable as I think it’ll be. So much more fun to travel with Mr. Frugalwoods! Hope things slow down to a more manageable pace for you soon.


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