Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Perhaps it is just my own lack of linguistics skill however, I’ve found that there are times when the English language falls short in its descriptive ability and new words are required. Last week a coworker was trying to describe the extreme level of micromanagement that our new parent company was putting on us. Since the increase seemed to be exponentially greater than previous “micro”management they coined a new word for it.
Nanomanagement: The process of upper management micromanaging the micromanaged details that middle managers pass on to lower management. (micro)2=nano

Along these lines, lately I’ve felt the need for another neologism. Overwhelmed just does seem to cut the mustard when it comes to my life lately. Let’s start with work. In the past month three of the best engineers in my group have left, two of them promoted within the company and one outside. We’ve hired two new folks to replace them. Since they have little to no experience the extra work load from the three who left is falling primarily on the experienced folks who are still around. Also, the two new guys need to be trained. This is falling to; you guessed it, the experienced guys who are still around. This week the only other experienced guy whose been sharing the load is out on vacation. So today I am quite literally handling the work that two months ago five engineers were doing. Oh yeah that reminds me, my supervisor is taking the next two days off. So today and tomorrow I have to do a few tasks of his while he’s away. And oh yeah I almost forgot, I am also on a special project team to help build our facilities so that they will handle HD video service. So I just kind of giggle when people pop into my cube and ask, “Are you busy?”
Outside of work I am a Boy Scout scoutmaster. I have a great team of assistants and committee members that help ease the load but it still takes a chunk out of my week. I’m also on our church young men’s presidency. Alone this isn’t too stressful but it just becomes one of the many straws.
We’re getting ready for a family Christmas party this weekend. We decided to finish a couple of the rooms that we never got around to from last year’s remodeling project. So my evening and weekends have been loaded with hardwood flooring, painting and crown molding. Victoria and I spent our anniversary weekend together alone at the house, painting, laying flooring and putting up crown molding.
In today’s “No child left behind” world even my 7 year old comes home with two or three hours of homework. Victoria and I end up having to help one or all of them with homework up until 9:00pm or sometimes even later than that.
Overwhelmed? Overwhelmed implies a position above whelmed. Not sure what whelmed actually means but if is a state of normal expectations then I’m definitely well above it. I could cut my work load in half and still classify as overwhelmed. Here comes my new word for the English language. Hyperwhelmed. If active, overactive and hyperactive are the accepted convention for these words then let’s apply the same logic to whelmed.
I apologize to my few regular readers for not posting a blog more frequently than I have lately. I’ve just been hyperwhelmed with the details of life. I’m typing this up on my Blackberry as I wait for a contractor to show up at a job site where a large cable has been cut.
“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.”
-John Lennon-

1 comment:

  1. Mike,
    For what its worth, I'm living the 'hyperwhelmed' life too.

    Here is my survival kit.
    - Try to find a few moments in the morning to get outside, take in the crisp morning air and look up at the constants in life; Orion, Venus, the moon, etc.
    - Organize in your mind what must be done versus what can wait, then stay focused on the priorities.
    - Every evening take a few minutes with your sweetie. Hold her hand and know that together you can do anything.

    It's the only way I have survived grad school while being a dad, working full-time plus, etc.

    Be strong. We're pulling for you.