It’s over. And beneath the self-contempt for having quit, there’s the rueful reckoning that it is the right thing, for me at least.
For the last 16 months I’ve tried, alongside two people whom I have a lot of respect for, to get a new – and imho essential – project off the ground.
We were never supposed to be three. We were supposed to be six. We started out as such. One turned out to be a fuckwit muppet. Another wasn’t available as much as they thought. Another still had to leave in December (but we brought that forward and didn’t really mind). And there were attempts to replace these people. The worst – what was actually the straw that broke the camel’s back – was the protestations from someone who claimed to love the project and hate lunchouts and proclaimed themselves super-reliable. And as the months went on, it became clear that this person was just a time-waster, a lunchout. Who, if they had never promised in the first place, would have done much less harm. And who I will avoid if I possibly can. (Already defriended etc).
By a month ago, I think I knew the game was up, but couldn’t bring myself to say it. But the truth of it is the minimum-useful-level of the project was always too big for three. And or various reasons a lot of the work was going to fall to me. And that was neither sustainable nor desirable or sensible. The whole point of the enterprise was supposed to be about participation and shared work and not being branded as just more of me.
So I’ve pulled the plug before we took a plunge and “went public”. There are already quite enough failed projects out there, without another one demoralising and discrediting the “left” (whatever that is). Painful, but right.
So, what have I learnt
My muppet-detection equipment is hopelessly unfit for purpose. (Yes, all of us are muppets some of the time. But some of us are muppets all of the time…)
That people who are competent, available and reliable are incredibly rare. You may find people who are one or two of the three… If you don’t have a core group of six BATTLE-TESTED people, then don’t bother to start.
I know some named individuals who I will never ever work with ever again on anything. And who I would – if asked about – warn off potential collaborators.
What would I do differently next time?
A jobs list, divided into simple and quick, simple and long, complex and quick, complex and long. Updated frequently.
No muppets. Definitely no muppets.