Motivation @ work

Have you ever had to do something at work that you just hated? And not for any particular reason (or at least none that has bubbled up into conscious thought), but you just can’t stand anything to do with working on it? I have one of those projects right now.

And so I drag my feet, and do the work in 5-10 minute stretches and generally, I’m probably doing a bad job. Not that the client would notice, because I’m professional, but to my standards, I’m doing a shitty job. Which means, of course, that every time I go back to do something, I’m embarrased by what’s there and want to work on it even less. Worse yet — I’m not convinced the client needs what we’re doing. While hiring us to do regular updates is expensive, I’m not convinced that they’ll actually use the CMS we’re giving them. My suspicion is that in a couple of months, they’ll be hiring us to put the content into the CMS for them, because they’ll forget how to use it, get frustrated and angry at it, and possibly, resent us for having foisted it on them, and then no one’s happy.

I keep trying to find some positive aspect of this project to motivate me — i’m using mysql as a db for this one, which means I get to learn some more about that platform, but currently, I’m just annoyed at having to find alternatives to a whole slew of stored procedures that were written for MSSQL. And there’s no design, the site is intentionally low-tech, no-design, so the pretty factor isn’t there, and they’re using Pencilcase 2.0, which, I have to admit, is horrible to return to after working with our version 3, so there’s nothing there. Jeff keeps dangling the paycheque at the end of this project as motivation, but that’s the one thing he never seems to understand about me — money is never motivational for me — I don’t think it would even crack the top 10 reasons I do what I do. I like getting paid, I like the reward, but it’s not motivation — the size of cheque, the necessity of the cheque, the frequency of the cheque, it just does nothing for me. It’s almost a beneficial side effect of working for me, not a reason. I won’t work for no money, but that’s really only an artefact of wanting respect — people don’t respect things that they get for free.

8 Replies to “Motivation @ work”

  1. Thats a tough one. It seem that a major part of the problem is you feel guilty maybe that they are investing in a project that is just plain wrong. While I guess you have a professional and ethical responsibility to advise them – ok you dont think this is a great idea – ultimately its their mistake to make. Does that make sense?

    I guess if its really bothering you, you could call them up and say hey, I have some concerns about this project and I just want to make sure you still want to go ahead with it.

    I empathize (sp), because I have felt the same way about a project I did for my dad´s Naval Officer´s Association. In the end, I finished it, and of course, now they are discovering that (aside from minor bugs) its just too much for them. I´ve got to basically redo it, and I dont have the heart to ask for money.

  2. Thats a tough one. It seem that a major part of the problem is you feel guilty maybe that they are investing in a project that is just plain wrong. While I guess you have a professional and ethical responsibility to advise them – ok you dont think this is a great idea – ultimately its their mistake to make. Does that make sense?

    I guess if its really bothering you, you could call them up and say hey, I have some concerns about this project and I just want to make sure you still want to go ahead with it.

    I empathize (sp), because I have felt the same way about a project I did for my dad´s Naval Officer´s Association. In the end, I finished it, and of course, now they are discovering that (aside from minor bugs) its just too much for them. I´ve got to basically redo it, and I dont have the heart to ask for money.

  3. For future cases you could put together a little package that explains differences in time and costs. So a group could look at it and see that thsi will take them more time to get the hang of and update for themselves, but cost them much less money. Of course for others they might rather just pay X dollars on a periodic basis and have you handle everything for them.
    Not that this helps you at all right now of course.

  4. For future cases you could put together a little package that explains differences in time and costs. So a group could look at it and see that thsi will take them more time to get the hang of and update for themselves, but cost them much less money. Of course for others they might rather just pay X dollars on a periodic basis and have you handle everything for them.
    Not that this helps you at all right now of course.

  5. I’m having a respect deficit problem in a project today myself.

    I’m reminded of a quote of Lorne Michaels when he quit SNL back in the day, “You can ask for anything in the world – except appreciation.”

  6. I’m having a respect deficit problem in a project today myself.

    I’m reminded of a quote of Lorne Michaels when he quit SNL back in the day, “You can ask for anything in the world – except appreciation.”

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