In case you're curious, that's the sourdough bread that I make from yeast that I cultured right here in lovely Crofton. The bread is frickin' amazing. I also find I can make pretty fair pancakes with the sourdough yeast, and there's a possibility of trying a lambic brew in the near future. It isn't hard, in fact it's the easiest bread that I've ever made, and maybe the tastiest toast. You take a cup of the starter mix, stir it into a bowl with some warm water and a couple cups of flower. Let it sit overnight or all day, then come back and stir in / knead in 2 cups of flower, put it in a loaf pan, and let it rise, then bake for about 30 minutes. Simple. Ping me if you want me to send you an envelope with some dried sourdough starter culture in it and try it yourself.
One of the reasons I'm getting worked at Work is because a key link in my local Great Chain of Being is sort of a weak link. I've learned a lesson about working as part of a team in the last 6-8 weeks or so; the lesson is pretty simple. Forthwith:
When you are on a project involving multiple deadlines and phases of work, you must communicate promptly with others, or you will become *that guy* who screws everybody else up.I had an issue arise that meant I was going to blow a deadline. It was unavoidable. So about two weeks ago I began reaching out to a colleague - not a person I regularly work with but a distant specialist involved in the project, an expert whose wise counsel guides my decisions - to find out what to do. The answer was pretty simple, but it entailed about 8 - 10 hours of my work time and a few hours of an immediate colleague's work time, which I could have fit in at leisure by shifting some other work around. No crisis that way, right?
I didn't get my answer, however, until about a week ago, within 24 hours of the deadline, after I'd finished putting in a 10 hour day. This triggered a fire drill on my part, a very late night, and the better part of a day's work the next day, which was in theory to have been my day off. The immense stress and hassle was unnecessary; the schedule could have been re-worked and the problem resolved with two 5 minute phone calls. I would still have had to put in the work, but it would have been no big deal. That's not how it shook out though, and I got all wrung out for no good reason.
It doesn't matter what line of work you are in. You need to return calls and answer emails promptly. *Never* let something sit in your inbox for more than 24 hours. Never. You have no idea the amount of ill-will that you engender by not responding, until you've gotten all jacked up needlessly because somebody was too lazy or busy to return a simple phone call and answer a simple question.
I'm usually pretty good about answering inquiries directly and getting things done on deadline. Sometimes I blow it, but that's pretty rare. After this most recent experience, I'm much more resolved to have zero defects in my communications with clients, and to put others on the team first when they need assistance. Operating any other way is simply no way to do business.