The Problem with Ordinary

I came across a very good article by Ian Thomsen on discussing Shawn Marion’s “frustration” towards his role in Phoenix.

Marion is averaging career-highs of 21.4 points and 11.9 rebounds,
well on his way to a fifth-straight year of producing at least 19 and
9. Those are enormous numbers for a small forward, yet Marion believes
he could do more if asked.

You can improve anything you want
during the summer, but if you don’t get to work on it during a game, it
just goes away and you go back to doing whatever it is they want you to
” says Marion, 27. “That’s one thing I don’t like. It’s frustrating
for me because I can do so many other things on the floor and I don’t
get the opportunity. I’m limited to doing certain things, and that

Context must be introduced before this train of thought
gets carried away. Is Marion demanding a greater role in the Suns’
offense? No. “We’re in winning situation,” says Marion. “You don’t get
bleep in this league unless you win; I learned that a long time ago.
I’ve been around people who say it’s all about them, but they’re wrong
— it’s a team thing.”

What he’s trying to say is that he isn’t
as impressed with his numbers as everybody else seems to be. He knows
they could be gaudier.

When I’m in the summer, playing pickup
and working on my game, I’m working on pick-and-roll, handling the
ball, doing all that kind of stuff — but I don’t do that here and it
just really goes away,
” he says. “I do everything in the summer. I
play ‘1’ [point guard] through ‘5’ [center]. I’m a pretty good passer,
but I don’t get the assists because I don’t have the ball.”

I think I’m in the same boat with Marion, on some level.  Recently, I’ve just been so frustrated by the type of work that I’m doing at my company.  But it’s not just a temporary issue; I just don’t see that the company is dynamic and innovative enough to really land the type of contracts that I want to work on.  I’ve been fortunate that the last 1/2 of the previous year, we were able to have quite a bit of freedom in terms of execution, but if the current project I’m on is any indication, then it’s not a good sign.

Understand, that like Marion, it’s not really an issue of selfishness; of course I want to help my managers, my sales guys, and my company succeed.  Rather it’s the fact that I work hard to become good at what I do.  I’m continually improving my software engineering IQ by consuming information through books, weblogs, magazines, and webcasts.  I make a real effort to refine my technique and learn new technologies.  Like Marion, I’m willing to take a hit for the team (I’m travelling to CT on a weekly basis at the moment, which isn’t too pleasant, and doing some grunt work).  But it’s frustrating because I know I could do so much more in the right environment. 

It’s frustrating because I could help the company even more if the leadership could create/find the right opportunities. It’s frustrating because I work on understanding design principles, software engineering practices, new tools, and other aspects of building applications/software, but all of that goes to naught due to the nature of the work I do (heavy in volume, yet light on the factors that interest me).  It’s frustrating because I always want to take a step forward in terms of professional development; I don’t want to stagnate.

Bah!  Just more bitching and moaning career-wise I guess.

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