I’ve got two posts coming. I just returned from a trip to San Diego (Coronado actually) where I watched a friend and his classmates in 261 get pinned with their tridents and become Navy Seals. There were 30 some guys getting pinned, and my friend Michael was one of 9 from his BUDs class of over 200 (the other guys making up the 30 went through the same to make up the 261 class, so less than 5% pass). These guys really are the best of the best, and they’re fucking crazy for doing what they do and doing it so damn well.
I had the chance to run their O-course (obstacle course) and while I’m an athlete and in shape for a civilian, Michael flew over everything with more easy than I ever thought possible giving me a slight glimpse into how insane these guys can be (he “climbed” up two platforms – no ropes or ladders – each level was about 6 feet high right at our heads, by doing some kind of reverse pull up from the level below by facing out and flipping his legs up in front of him and over onto the next level – this is some movie shit here). I definitely felt inadequate and even taking it easy, I came away with a bruise and raw skin from the sand rubbing while I attempted each obstacle – how they do this day in and day out after getting their asses beat and worn out in the surf is beyond me. More on all of this in the next post.
Before I left for that, though, I got my own ass beating at my job. It wasn’t so much because of something I did, but something that I walked into and had the task of saving. I took over supervision of a group two weeks ago that had a major deliverable a week after (last Monday), and found the whole thing a total mess. I had expected some clean up work and figured I’d need to be stricter on some required processes as I was taking over this task to help free up the original manager who was overloaded with his own work. What I didn’t expect was the doomed project I found, which is like walking into a punch in the gut.
With only a week before deliverables, and it taking a few days to take the hand off from the other guy, there wasn’t much I could do at this point except let others in the company know our situation, and try to reset our clients expectations of what’ll be delivered and hopefully stem off some of the “disappointment”. Additionally, we discovered that one of the people on our client’s side had a different interpretation of our agreed upon schedule, which was a bit hardline and inflexible, so managing client expectations and their reactions was that much harder.
There are plenty of more details, and tons of lessons to learn from this whole situation, but I spent this last week working insane hours (from 18-24 straight hours working) to get this smaller, but crucial part of our larger project delivered in a decent time after missing the first mark. I decided that the only way to get this done soon enough was to let the original team go, and basically start over with a task force of sorts of two other guys and myself. We all worked our asses off, and now things are in a good situation, but it was quite the experience. More on this too in a follow up post.
As the Seals says, the only easy day was yesterday. Too true for this last week of mine.