labor day

I feel like a new father–exhausted and proud, and as though I had done the hard work of actually giving birth, when all I provided was a seed while someone else (in this case, several someones; the metaphor isn’t perfect) actually carried this baby to term.

It’s been a long but not too overwhelming labor. I did put in a long week of mostly eleven-hour days, with today running almost to twelve, and lunch this week has been mostly just five minutes of gulping a salad or falafel pita at the keyboard. My team’s been working just as hard if not harder.

After arriving here in June, I’d begun recommending some changes to our website, and over the course of the last couple of months we–me, my boss, the developers, the graphic designers, the writers and editors–had reached agreement on some initial steps. We’ve only had a final-ish design for a couple of weeks, and had given ourselves until next Wednesday the 20th, when there’s a new student fair on campus, to complete the organizational, navigational and design changes and go live. Then about a week ago something came up that required that we push up the schedule in order to have the site ready to launch by tomorrow, three working days and one weekend ahead of schedule.

And we made it, albeit pushing it out until close to 8:00 this evening. A bit premature, the kid’s a little underweight like any preemie, though only a couple of his new features are not yet fully coordinated, and he sometimes gets tangled up in his stylesheets. But he’s actually pretty healthy overall, and quite a good-looking tyke. And awfully smart, too.

I’m so, so proud of the work that the web team and the designers put in on this project. Yes, they were nervous, and maybe even a little skeptical at times, but I never heard a complaint, even when the delivery got bumped up so much from what already was a tight schedule; even through the late-stage complications no one cursed at me in the delivery room for what I’d put them through, but seemed as proud and as happily exhausted as me. Truly, I saw some amazing teamwork, especially today when we were down to the wire. None of us are paid nearly what we deserve for what we do for the University, which makes it even more amazing to see the level of effort and passion these folks bring to what they do.

The work’s not done; I’ve already got big plans for this baby’s future. And I know there will be growing pains and times I’ll regret having brought a new website into the world, but… I’m really through working that metaphor.

For now, I’m taking some time–yes, Monday it’s back to moving some of our other ‘zillion projects forward, but I’ve got this weekend, at least, to step back, reflect, and appreciate what we accomplished and how we accomplished it together. I think I’m truly in the right place right now, a wonderful if rare feeling.

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