Kirk Evans Blog

.NET From a Markup Perspective


About a month ago, my cell phone was thrown into a bag at the pool along with the kids’ pool toys.  Next thing ya know, I am pulling my phone out of several inches of water at the bottom of a bag and feeling a sense of dread come over me… “Oh no… I won’t have a phone while I am out of town next week.” I am not being sarcastic in the least, “dread” might actually be an understatement.  I was disconnected for several days, and I felt completely isolated and out of touch.  Not only could I not easily call my wife during the day to tell her how much I adore and miss her, I could not easily tell my children to be good for their momma, but I could not contact clients.  I could not check emails.  Egads, man, I could not check emails!!!

MSN Careers says that I am a workaholic.  I think they might be right.

  • I blog at all hours of the day (it’s 10:15 PM right now and I am writing to you, dear reader).  Mostly I write about work stuff, so it can be argued that blogging is work.  The sick thing is that I consider that more of a hobby than work, although I occasionally use my blog to let people know about work-related stuff.
  • I take my Windows Mobile phone with me everywhere, and I constantly read emails.  I read emails on the weekends.  I read emails during my son’s hockey practice, during my daughter’s gymnastics lessons, at the pool, on the golf course, even at church a couple times.  I read emails during vacation.  In fact, my last vacation was no vacation at all since I had several meetings scheduled that caused a flurry of emails.
  • I can’t remember the last vacation that I took where I didn’t work the whole time.
  • I genuinely enjoy attending and presenting at user groups, which occur after normal work hours.  I enjoy participating in Code Camps, which occur on weekends. 
  • I can’t remember the last time I put in 40 hours or less.  That’s not by culture, and certainly not by prodding of management… my boss is constantly telling me to take a breather, to enjoy vacation.  I genuinely feel that things are going to fall apart if I step away.
  • I constantly feel swamped, so I put in crazy hours trying to keep up with what I think is important.  I can find a lot of important stuff to do on any given day, the challenge is focusing on the most important stuff and letting the other really important stuff slide.

Sadly, but I think that the Evangelism role actually requires you to be a bit of a workaholic.  Most of the Evangelists that I have talked to feel the same as I do, although I differ in not being able to disconnect on nights, weekends, and vacations. 

I am going on vacation this week.  I am going to the beach.  I am not taking my phone.  I am not taking my computer.  I am taking my Zune, but I am deleting all work-related videos and only carting music along.  On my last vacation, my “light-reading” was “Effective Windows Workflow Foundation”.  This time, I am not going to take a “geek book” (my wife affectionately calls them), I am going to buy a non-technical book for the first time in over a year.  My out of office assistant message announces to my fellow workers that I am not reachable, whatever it is will have to wait.

I am going to try, once and for all, to disconnect for just a few days. 

I honestly don’t know if I can disconnect.