December 12th

Has it really been three years? Doesn't seem like it's been that long since we moved. But it has to be, since Hayley was four when we came here and she's seven now.

My little girl is seven! Man does time fly.

Anyway, got a Christmas party tonight that we need to go prepare for. Hayley will be doing her little dance for her grandparents; she's so looking forward to showing them. I just hope Marlene doesn't bring that horrible fruitcake she so enjoys making us eat. Mothers-in-law, aren't they the best?


December 17th

Had an odd company meeting today. Supposedly it was a Christmas party, but one of the new executives got up in front of us and said that there were going to be some big changes coming down. He told us that we all needed to try to avoid putting our own needs before the team's. What does that even mean?

Anyway, Ken, Hayley, and I are all excited about going back to Fredericksburg for Christmas! We haven't seen my parents in two years, so I'm pretty happy about getting to do so again. Even better, there won't be any fruitcake.

January 13th

Hayley is getting so big! We had to go clothes-shopping again, but with Ken's Christmas bonus it turned out to not be a big issue. Plus, now Hayley has a dance recital coming up in late March, and she couldn't be more excited. I can practically see her burst from happiness any time she tells someone.

I can't seem to put my finger on exactly what happened, but the mood at work has shifted. Somehow, everyone seems down, morose, like they're waiting for something terrible to happen but don't know what it is. Like they're dreading some unknown horror.

I wonder what's going on?

January 24th

Marlene called, apparently she drove past Ken's worksite today to find it all but abandoned. I thought that building wasn't going to be done for another two months.

When Ken got home, he told me they'd had an all-hands meeting at their company headquarters today, and the executives told them that the business was going through a rough time. There might have to be some "cutbacks." Ken's really worried that he's about to lose his job; so am I, but I try not to show it.

Really, though, we can't afford for that to happen. We won't be broke if Ken gets let go, but it'll be close.

February 6th

I don't think I mentioned this before, but about a week ago I was walking back to my desk and heard a loud CRASH. Apparently some guy threw his desk phone at a wall. He's lucky he didn't hit anybody.

My development team at work got reassigned to another project, out of the blue. It's some big customer-ordered acquisition system that another team has been working on for months, and apparently it's really behind schedule. I'm just a web programmer, but I've been on enough of these projects to know that throwing people at a late project just makes it later. Still, we'll give it our best shot.

It's not like we have a whole lot of choice, anyway.

You don't think the guy that threw his phone did so because of this project? God, I hope not.

February 11th

My boss, or my new boss anyway since Francis was let go last week, told my team and I that we needed to start working later to prevent this acquisitions system from falling any further behind. So, starting this week, we've got mandatory 10-hour days, six days a week. I hate to do it, but I'll have to call Marlene to help watch Hayley, since Ken often has to work Saturdays as well.

Marlene's a wonderful babysitter, to be fair. I just wish I or Ken were home to do it.

February 20th

Well, I got my wish, in the worst possible way. Ken was laid off today. He and his whole crew were let go early this morning. They'll get their last paychecks, but after that, no more.


One bright side, I guess. Ken will be home with Hayley, and he loves to play with her. I caught him wearing one of my dresses once, while they were playing tea party; he nearly burst through it, and I have no idea how he got it on in the first place. They're adorable, those two.

Now I just need to focus on getting the acquisitions system done at work, then I can be home as well.

March 2nd

There were a whole bunch of new hires today. The managers are being awfully nice to them, even as we're busting our butts 12-hours-a-day. Would it kill them to let us have some time off?

Anyway, the deadline for this system is April 1st. I'm not sure about the others, but I'm not optimistic. Our portion of the system works (mostly), but there's precious little documentation and even fewer tests. It's held together by duct tape and prayers, it seems. I just hope it's what they wanted.

March 18th

I'm the worst mom ever.

I had to miss Hayley's dance recital, because I was working late. Ken recorded the whole thing, bless him, so I got to watch it after the fact, but Hayley was so disappointed. I could tell because she didn't move with the same grace, the same energy, that she normally has.

She was missing me. I know the feeling.

If this overtime keeps up, I'm going to start looking for another company. I have to. My family is more important than this job; I'm a web programmer, there's tons of jobs out there, right? But with Ken still looking, and having no luck, I don't think we can really afford for me to switch jobs right now. Ugh.

March 31st

Deadline is tomorrow. Marisol, my team lead, says we're as good as we're going to get. Now we just have to hope and pray that we deliver what the customer actually wants.

April 2nd

The office is in a panic. The demo was yesterday, and it did not go well. Now we have two weeks of mandatory seven-day weeks to get the changes that the customer wants done.

How did this happen? What did the customer really want? And why is nobody telling us devs anything?

May 9th

I'm fed up with this overtime. Ken and Hayley are getting along fabulously (with some help from Marlene, to be fair), and Ken says he's close to getting another job, but I want to be there and I can't. I have to stay late, with Marisol and the rest of my team, to get some feature done on some stupid project that I wasn't even hired to work on so that some dumb customer can get exactly what they want, when they want it, how they want it, for whatever price they want it. How is this fair?!

May 26th

The second demo is tomorrow. Here's hoping that it goes well so we can all be done with this nightmare.

Marisol brought in a griddle and made pancakes for all of us this morning. It's sweet that she did that, but why did she have to in the first place? Because management overpromised and underdelivered, and development is left to pick up the pieces. Why does it seem like programmers are always the ones getting the blame?

I need a new job. This company that hired me isn't the same as it was. I'd heard rumors that it was sold to investors, but I dunno if that's true. At any rate, I gotta get out of here. Hayley tells me she misses me every night when I sneak into her room to kiss her goodnight, and Ken seems more and more frustrated by the lack of construction jobs around here. It's breaking my heart.

We moved so that I could get a job as a web developer, and now I'm forcing my whole family to pay the price my company has demanded of me. I'd gladly eat Marlene's stupid fruitcake every day if it meant I got to come home at a reasonable hour.

It isn't fair, and it's tearing me and my family apart. But, what choice do I have?

If we can hold on until Ken lands a job, then we will be okay. I just hope we can last that long.