in Prose

S02E02: Betrayed by my own face

This week is sponsored by the feeling of pain.

Content note: I talk about throwing up in this blog⁰.

Having returned from a weekend that involved many bottles of incredibly good vodka, I returned home with a twinge in my jaw. Being socialised as a man required me to say that to everyone who asked, because agonising pain is not something chaps are really allowed to admit to unless your arm’s been separated from your body.¹

As a result, on Monday I shotgunned a couple of ibuprofen on an empty stomach and then promptly vomited noisily. I’m not sure if that was the ibuprofen or the fact that airports are hideous cesspits, but it happened and it was not enjoyable. Side note: there is a TARDIS-like quality to the amount of stuff you think is inside you and the amount that somehow comes out of you when you’re ill. It’s totally weird. I tried to take the day off, but work kept coming in. I answered the questions I could and stayed close to the bathroom in case of further eruptions.


On Tuesday my boss went to speak to one of our first ever clients and had a really good, really frank discussion about how they’ve been using the product so far. In general the feedback was good but there are a few items we really need to get moving on. There were also a couple of really exciting suggestions that we’ve added to our roadmap.² Emails remained continuous. They’re a good sign that our content isn’t up to scratch, but frustratingly the responses take up the time we’d use to write the content. It’s an absolutely frustrating vicious circle.

My jaw hurt even more. My partner reminded me that we live within a ten minute walk of two dentist surgeries, that things don’t just get better by themselves, and that if I continued to sit around whining but refusing to do anything about it she’d smother me in my sleep.

Wednesday: I called the surgery and got an appointment the same day for 12 o’clock. It cost me £20.³ It was an extremely short appointment that went something like this:

Me: I think it’s infected

Doctor: Let’s have a look. Oh yeah, that’s definitely infected. I’m going to drip some anesthetic on it.

Me, seeing the doctor reach for a syringe whose needle was at least as long as my leg⁴: I’m fine with tablets, honestly.⁵

Her, laughing: Oh no, this is just so I can drip it more accurately! Haha!

Me, externally: Haha!

Me, internally: This is how I die.⁶

The rest of the day was dedicated to preparing Jira tickets for some custom work for a new client. I made some progress on automating this process and I’ve got some ideas about how to make it better. I’m currently tossing up between storing multiple API keys and writing something that will act as a pass-through in Python, or learning Google’s Java-esque equivalent of Microsoft VBA.⁷

You’re goddamn right it is Ben

On Thursday I met a friend for lunch and realised that I was a bit early⁸, so headed to class and did some more work on my assignments. I’m not allowed to open source them because plagiarism?, but once they’ve been graded I’ll be able to show them to you. I know you’re keen.

Friday was the first day of a new sprint, and we spent the afternoon on our retro. I felt it had been very sketchy on my part due to extended not-being-there. We had a good discussion that focused on what I need to do to enable the team to work with even less input from me. One of my major bugbears was that we’ve been blindsided by a couple of high priority items, so we trimmed 20% of the lowest priority work from this sprint in an attempt to give ourselves a buffer. If we get extra work we can take it on, and if not we’ll have that extra work to get on with. I’m looking forward to the next retro to see how it works out.

We’re also looking at changing our pricing structure, so we spent a couple of hours going over some models in Google sheets. I love Google sheets. It’s not as robust as some Excel workbooks I saw in Government, but that’s because those workbooks were being used instead of databases. Yes, they don’t work that well. But they’re not supposed to. The fact that you’ve made your car run on thousands of hamsters in wheels doesn’t mean you should recommend it to anyone else. Nor should you complain about the lack of hamsters in your new car.

What went well

  • Sorted out my tooth!
  • Tweet about how being a grown up is about toothache got good engagement!
  • That’s about it
  • Yikes

What didn’t go well

  • General illness

I am literally incapable of not doing this, and now neither can you
  • General feeling of not having enough time, more than likely caused by illness

SEE?
  • Toothache which persists even now. Boo.

⁰ So help me Michael

¹ This is Deeply Unhealthy, and with any luck I’ll get over it soon.

² We have a public roadmap that I suspect almost nobody looks at, but to be honest it’s more for me to store ideas away from the trash-fire that is Jira.

³ Good lord, what a beautiful thing universal healthcare is

⁴ Literally.

⁵ I’m just not okay with needles

⁶ I did not die, apparently

⁷ This is my favorite kind of conundrum

⁸ A week early to be specific

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