Nearing the end of a long week

I’m nearing the “end” of a long week here. I put “end” in quotes, because despite my best intentions, my “weekends” (one day breaks) seem to be separated by increasingly long “weeks” (my last break was last Monday, so I’m only a day late this time, assuming I manage to get away tomorrow, which seems unlikely).

Talking about breaks like this sometimes feels indulgent, but when I got here I could see that the project needed some continuity. Since I was in a position to offer some, I decided to take care of myself so as to be able to provide a lot of energy over a long time.

Today we deployed phones on our network for the first time, which was a cool accomplishment. We also got a new customer site up, which is two in two days.

Mac is back on site, and that makes me happy. He’s been doing double duty back at his farm, both doing deferred maintenance on his own network, and doing Radio Response office work. But double duty left little time for communications, so it’s been difficult to stay in touch. And as things have been politically sensitive on the project recently, we’ve needed to be in touch more. Alas, that’s the facts of life.

One of the things I am good at is making decisions independently and then taking responsibility for either making them stick, or fixing them if I was wrong. Through attrition, I am now the manager here. But also through attrition, the team has shrunk to only include really sharp people that don’t need any management. I still get to boss around the interns though, and that never gets old. But I told Matt the other day that I’m going to have to stop picking on him soon because he’s doing everything right. I’ll miss not having an intern to pick on, but it’s good to have a well trained coworker to replace a greenhorn!

Today, I talked to the chief of staff for Rep Anna Eshoo, my representative in the US Congress. She’s interested in community wireless because she represents Silicon Valley, where some of the technology came from. She’s also on an oversight committee for the FCC. I told him my story, and told him about what’s happening here, and how we are figuring this thing out as we go, but it’s pretty clear we are making something new of value here. He asked what Rep Eshoo can do for me, and I didn’t really have a good answer. I told him my dream is that there is some part of the US government that acts like an angel investor, and would give us a grant to pay an IT professional to work here 6 months to manage the interns and bring the thing to a close. But I think too small… other people are suggesting that the future for this project should be much bigger, or more permanent.

It will be interesting to see how it turns out.


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