"You work less than you used to, right?"
A colleague, who understands our organization well, asked me this question. He wasn't slamming my position, or slamming me, but it does show how design engineers view the position I'm currently in.
I'm actually working more. There are more nights spent trying to skim through e-mails and stay on top of what I'm supposed to be doing, vs. the fires that pop up each and every day. I left the office to go on vacation for 4 days over the 4th of July weekend and came back to 115 emails. Now, that's not a lot to some people, but for me it's overwhelming. What I think people forget is that the Program Manager is on-demand for every dam in their region. I have 60 with one high profile politically charged project, 2 going to construction in the next 2 years, and multiple projects in the middle of evaluation. Plus, there are all the other on-going inspections and evaluations of the dams that I'm at least supposed to know about.
I have yet to figure out a great system, although I've been trying One-Note and that seems promising despite not being able to use the cloud. I've become adept at keeping up with e-mails when I travel, constantly checking my phone and spending some time in the evenings to address issues.
Traveling has become a whole lot more of my schedule. There's training, and conferences and meetings that pop up. For example, I knew for months that I was going to essentially be gone the entire month of September. That came and went, it was really hard on all of us (two the trips were 5 days) and I came home thinking that I was going to be back for a while. No dice. Now I'm going to be gone on trips half of October and I'm going to miss Halloween. Not that Halloween on a Monday is a major holiday to miss, and there are plenty of Halloween activities for us to find before the actual day, but it still kind of sucks.
Generally I feel like I'm treading water and constantly fighting waves that engulf my head leaving me sputtering and panicked.
And it wasn't even a promotion.
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