11:42 h The much-needed salvation
As I am finalizing my last bug report, my eye catches the number on my laptop’s clock: 11:42. The sacred number! The answer to everything! And also, the time for… “LUNCH!” I shout around the room with a passion akin to an opera singer. One of the developers visibly startles and replies with a few obscenities. I put on my shoes again as you never know what you find on the floor of the canteen and scurry after my teammates who are forming the start of the line already. The sacred number will not be tarnished.
Lunch proceeds as it always does with stories of misdemeanor, jokes not quite suited when attempting to enjoy food and light-hearted topics such as politics, religion and philosophy. No one talks about work during this time, on pain of a stern gaze from those around them.
After lunch I pass by the project manager and salute her. “Captain.” She returns the gesture and replies “Sergeant.”
The team decides against our usual after-lunch walk as it is still pouring outside, so I grab some more coffee and get to work scripting the load test. I put on my headphones to shut my dear co-workers off from my perception so I can focus on putting the fear of God into the cloud service dutifully hosting one of our websites.
15:00 h Call & football
Half-way through the afternoon I call into the test strategy meeting as it is being hosted by the ever-cheerful QA specialists of the Amsterdam office. I am not sure what the city of Amsterdam puts into its tap water, but not once in the past 6 years that I’ve worked for Valtech have the QA specialists of that office ever been moody.
The meeting is fruitful and finishes in time, in large part due to the host’s ability to curb everyone’s enthusiastic jives when it matters and keep everyone focused.
Afterwards I have a bit of the after-meeting-blues where I want to vent my energy of sitting still, listening and talking through a headphone, so I go and play with the office football for a bit and start to bugger my co-workers with jokes I cannot put to paper.
17:30 h Started with rain, finished with sun (sun salutation, at least)
When my restlessness disappears, I continue working on the load test until I suddenly notice the time in the bottom right corner. 17:30. Stress instantly soars. My yoga class!
I toss my laptop in my backpack, grab my cups and bring them to the dish washer. When I get there, I am greeted by a scene of usual disarray as all the cups are everywhere except in the dish washer. I do as any sane man in a hurry does in a chaotic situation: Add more chaos. I jam my cups where I see a bit of space, pray nothing drops off, swing my backpack on my shoulder and rush to the door, getting flashbacks to my early years of high school. I quickly express socially required wishes of pleasant evenings to whoever is near and run out.
I conclude it at least it stopped raining as I stress to be on time to relax.
I do as any sane man in a hurry does in a chaotic situation: Add more chaos.
Got excited about walking around in Street Fighter socks? Or was it the office football that convinced you? We’re still looking for QA Specialists in Eindhoven and Utrecht. Apply here and maybe the next goal will be scored by you.