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Two Frustrating Dreams

Two failed projects

Chris Tham Chris Tham 2023-01-02 2 min read

No 1: I am part of an investment scheme to buy used bikes from a Pro Cycling team. At the end of the season, they basically write them all off, even though some are barely used. However, my investment went pear shaped and I was forced to replace the front chainrings of the bike and got my hands all dirty. Those chainrings are full of mud from cycling in the rain on cobblestones. Then I noticed the bottom bracket is cracked, and got my hands full of grease replacing it. I was trying my best to get the dirt away from the bearings.

No 2: I am an executive in a company, and one of my projects is experiencing problems. The team is a bunch of nice and well meaning people, but frankly they are out of their depth. For example, we were paying expenses in the local currency, and then billing the client without any margin at the home currency, which means we were losing 40% on every transaction.

At great expense, I hired a well known project troubleshooter. When I met him, he looks a bit like Michael Caine from The Italian Job. I immediately thought “He’s bad news and will be trouble” but I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. I called a meeting to introduce him to the team. I was going to give a little speech giving him an overview, and then letting him have discussions with the team. Before I could even finish my speech, half the team rushed out of the room. I asked why, and was told there has been a power failure at one of the sites, and of course everyone wanted to micro manage the situation. I sighed and sat down and muttered “This is why I never want to get involved in operations and project management. Its always a big f*cking mess.”

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