Went into work and even more stuff went on top of the task stack, accompanied by hazy speculation from middle-management based on meetings and website-skimming. It sleets down quicker than I am able to shovel it away and because I'm on the receiving end of people for whom "saying" is, in fact, "doing," it becomes very difficult to explain that this stuff takes finite time to accomplish -- and more of it when I am thrown jobs without the meeting-based context the bosses already have: I end up with the "we have decided to..." and have to scramble to understand the very nature of the task. It's not "bolt this to that and paint it haze gray." Often a very simple decision requires a complex implementation -- or cannot be done at all with the equipment we have, news which is not received graciously.
Long story short, at the end of the day I told my department head I thought I was done, as in how much notice did he want.
Incredulity was expressed, and shallow appreciation for my "dedication." (You know, it's not really dedication if you work over because the job has to reach a sustainable stopping point, nor is it dedication if you go study up on things your boss doesn't bother to provide any background info for because if you don't, you're just stumbling in the dark.) Offers we made of "help with prioritization," but there's still no understanding that there's too much in the stack, and too many things that have hard deadlines have been shoved down in priority.
So, I don't know. I have a meeting tomorrow and if it turns into the usual limp advice to "work smarter, not harder," I may not be able to keep my fool mouth shut. This would be bad. The house is nowhere near paid for.
My co-worker Dave quit a year ago, went and did freelance work as he needed or wanted to, and was found dead in front of his TV after nine months of it. He didn't get out in time.
And those two hard realities are the horns of my dilemma.
5 months ago