Friday, June 13, 2008

On Busted Toe

One of the souveniers of my trip to Radford is a busted middle toe. The result of playing soccer in the New River with a large rock. Common consensus is that it is broken.

- Ugly bruisey purple color - check.
- Swelling - check.
- Discomfort wearing shoes - check.
- Unhappy walking more than 500 yards at a time - check.

It's not painful, more uncomfortable. Just enough sensation to let you know that you don't want to mess with it or else it will become painful and you will be soooooo sorry.

Not much you can do about the busted middle toe. Just strap it to the surrounding toes with gauze and first aid tape (or duct tape, depending on which is handier), wear flip flops and stay off it. This too will pass.

From a distance, I got to see the project analog of the busted middle toe.

One of my co-workers is sadly involved in what is quickly devolving to a highly dysfunctional project. I received the following phone call on Wednesday:

Wendy, there is an issue with the color of the interface.

The color....

Yeah. The entire system doesn't work. The vendor isn't listening to what we need to have functional before we sign off on anything and this guy is worried about the color of the new interface.


Oh yeah, and he wants to make sure the right logos are on it too.

I think his concerns are more about control than the color or the logos. He has no control over how (or whether) the system works, but he has at least some control over what it all looks like. Therefore, that's what he will focus on. Don't blame him at all for that.

The gentleman who is concerned about the color of the interface (versus having the system actually WORK) is like my middle toe. The middle toe is a generally ignored part of the body. Without it, you can still balance and walk and do lots of things. But my middle toe wants to remind me that it is an important part of the system. And I'm not about to chop it off because of a temporary disagreement.

The toe is uncomfortable now - but if I don't make it comfortable and treat it gently, it could become very painful later on. The gentleman is very senior and has been with the organization a long time, so it's not like my co-worker can chop him off from the project. Especially since he is the final arbiter of all decisions on the project. All my co-worker can do is try to make him comfortable. Maybe flip flops and some tape will help.....


Unknown said...

Excellent analogy. I suspect you're having trouble with the colour of your toe's interface, too. My husband also broke his middle toe recently. It was fascinating to watch it work it's way through the rainbow (and - before you ask - yup, there were traces of green at one point).

You are right about there being precious little they can do about it. Even strapping isn't a good idea unless your toes are very straight.

The only option is to rest it as much as you can and elevate it as often as you can.

I once broke my baby finger on my left hand. A couple of points to consider: (a) I am right handed. Very right handed. (b) Both my little fingers are extremely small with top joints that bend sharply in towards the ring finger. So, they are pretty much useless - especially the one on my left hand. Kind of like a vestigial finger. So why oh why, did the other 99.9% of my body pale into insignificance as my less-than-two-inch-long baby finger sucked in every ounce of my attention for several days? Why is the pain it causes not proportionate to its size and significance? How can such a small "minority" be so effectively vociferous? Well, I guess it's the perfect reflection of the political
landscape and perhaps (if your experience is anything to go by) the business world, too!

Wendy said...

Yup -today is the green phase. The color is mostly located at the base of the injured toe.

Thankfully, my toes are pretty straight and strapping them together seems to help me not do something stupid with them - like try to stand on my tippie toes or stomp.

There has been significant progress. I figure take it easy through next week and I should be good to go again.

And yes - it always seems to be the squeeky, noisy, painful wheel.

Why oh why do we reward that behavior....