china · life

015 The Prodigal Hath Returned

Abject apologies for the radio silence. I’d meant to pick up blogging again earlier, but I’d just fallen out of the habit.

I feel I have to explain. Around May 2016 was when I became the project lead of what I now call The Project From Hell. It started out busy, but manageable. There were three of us handling the majority of the work for our bit of the project, and we worked well together. Despite that, the project soon turned into an unmanageable mess where we were each easily working 60-70 hours a week. That became even worse, and I started regularly working 80 hours a week, and just lying in bed, completely fried, on the weekends, with barely any brainpower to lift a finger to order takeout.

And then one of my team members left, and I took on a portion of his workload. I started working 100 hours a week. At the same time, the father of my remaining team member was diagnosed with Stage 4 esophageal cancer. Understandably, she started only working 2 days a week and cashing in on every single kind of leave day she had, just so she could be with her father and her family while he went through the insane rigors of cancer treatment. Guess who was left holding down the fort?

By that point, I literally had no time for anything else but work. It was utterly unsustainable. My other team member returned (her father had passed on), but it was too late by then. I was totally burned out. I fell sick, and while lying in bed, feeling like death, I was still working on The Project. I recovered, and continued working on The Project. I begged to be taken off the project, but they literally had nobody else. Work turned crazy. I continued to request a project transfer. At the end of August 2017, I finally was able to hand off The Project From Hell. I was completely and utterly fried. By January of this year, I was officially not even associated with The Project From Hell any more.

It was great. I traveled. Gave myself some breathing room. And now, I’m back, hopefully with more regular updates. What have all y’all been up to?

5 thoughts on “015 The Prodigal Hath Returned

    1. I wish. My company doesn’t pay for OT, they do it in exchange for time off instead. I got about 100 hours of OT hours, which is still way less than the amount of OT I actually worked. The team I was on for the Project From Hell saw working OT as a badge of honor, and were actually bragging about how much OT they worked, and how they never even sought compensation for it. Chinese work culture I guess. I recorded my OT for any days that I worked an excess of 2 hours extra, or if I came in on the weekends, but other than that…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Holy shit! That sounds hORRIBLE! I’m surprised you hung in there so long… that’s true dedication. I’m glad you traveled and were able to recover somewhat. New project is better? Maybe we can hear about your travels?


    1. I’m definitely not working 80+ hours a week any more, thank god! So yeah, it’s way, way better. I have a few blog post ideas I’m working on, and stories from my travels will definitely be included!


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