Living the Dream

Picture this. Your have a job. It’s not quite what you had in mind when you were a kid, but it definitely pays the bills.

There are some inconveniences. One is the commute, over an hour each way to and from the office. That is an opportunity to keep up with your favorite podcasts, so it’s not too bad.

Another is having to start work early and keep working until evening. But it’s flexible. Need to go to the dentist or take a walk around the block. No problem. You choose which 12 hours you want to work, and your schedule can be different every day.  But you have to take that conference call at 6 AM, and they’re going to need to stay on email until 10 PM to key an eye on things and answer any questions that might come up.

A third inconvenience is having to sit patiently through meetings that accomplish little if anything. Maybe by saying nothing the meeting will end more quickly, and you can get back to the real work.

These days the “real” work is to have more meetings of your own. You have to be up to speed on what everyone is doing. You wouldn’t want anyone to be stuck for long.

And don’t forget to submit your weekly status reports. Other people need to know what everyone is doing, too. That way they can spot trends and apply course correction.

Except that they never do.

Wait a minute. This is nothing at all like what you had in mind as a kid.

This reminds me of the commercial from 2006. Check it out.

If you haven’t guessed by now, I am describing the work life of a manager. It’s what I did for many years, step by step removing myself from the important work of creating and fixing. Getting more and more into the mental games people play to avoid work while looking like they’re working extra hard.

When I gave that up by going back to programming, I started to unwind the tangles I had allowed myself to get into. I started to dispel the illusions that I could help realize far-fetched visions through will power and words alone.

Before long I started dreaming again about programming games, about running my own small company and making something for the world to enjoy.

Here I am a year later, living the dream.

Last week I released StoryTime v1.3. Don’t expect much—I’m working alone here. Still, it’s an important release because it makes the next release possible, the one where anyone can create story-games.

I am aiming to release v1.4 in about two weeks. Better get to work. If I don’t, no one will.


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