Unlucky in Raffle Draws

A Painful Business Meeting

Somehow my brain refuses to forget this memory and it always reminds me of how stupid I can be sometimes.

A Painful Business Meeting
Photo by Jeremy Bezanger / Unsplash

I was browsing through Facebook when I saw this meme, and I immediately remembered that fateful meeting more than a year ago:

I was at this meeting discussing the project schedule for the next few months. It provided details on how long testing will take, provisioning environments, and even when we will go live.

I didn't know I have a say on that meeting. I was asked to join by the project manager, and I thought I am only a proxy, as the lead technical architect was busy doing something else.

Little did I know that the lead technical architect for the project is leaving, and I was supposed to be his replacement.

If only I was told that it was the case.

So the meeting took place at least 2 hours every day, which I attended. At the last day of the meeting the project management lead asked us how do we rate the project plan based on its accuracy from one to five (five being the most accurate).

I was asked first.

I didn't know what to say. It was all a blur to me, because most of the activities is done by other parts of the team. I don't even know why I was there.

But my tendency to blindly agree got the best of me.

"It's 5 out of 5".

The PM lead showed surprise - especially since the approval came from a vendor's consultant. The rest of the group somehow decided to tell the exact opposite.

"It's 3 out of 5 - I'll go with the middle because there are so many unknowns".

Feels like everyone turned back on me. I was the only one who showed stupid optimism towards the schedule. It was embarrassing.

Moral lesson of the story: don't be afraid to show doubts, and pay attention to the meeting. You won't be invited if you weren't needed (well, most of the time). I can blame our management for not telling me that I will be replacing the lead technical architect - but regardless of the situation, I should have paid attention.

At least I have got a story to tell.

Subscribe to Derek's Cut

Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.
Jamie Larson