Managing Success

Map of Proposed BDCP Changes 8-15-13

After hours and months of work with the engineering and environmental team at Department of Water Resources, we had the big unveiling of the new and improved tunnel route.  There are so many improvements, large and small, based in part on the local resident comments we received in the small groups I organized, that I am very proud of this achievement.

So why do I feel so let down?

Someone leaked the story to Matt Wieser at the Sacramento Bee so we had to give him an exclusive scoop to delay his publishing the story while we finalized the details of the revised plan. He never writes a positive Bay Delta Conservation Plan story, and true to form he gave a quick “they listened to comments and made some changes” and then focused his story on perceived negative impacts to Sandhill Cranes.  The real story about the crane habitat is much more complicated.

I got up at 6:00 a.m. to meet my friend Petrea for a walk and I checked the website and read the article. Then leashed Radar and left.  I knew what to expect and I was still disappointed.  He was able to find some people who were willing to say it’s a terrible development (even without information) so he created conflict. Huzzah for “journalism”.

Today was the actual press conference.  Again I was disappointed.  No one is pausing for even a second to appreciate what a big deal these changes are.  And of course, the people who live in the Delta who hate the project no matter what we do, wasted no time in blasting it and continuing to exaggerate other impacts.  (Comparing an infrastructure project to a war zone is really too much. I wish someone who has been in Afghanistan or Iraq, or Syria would explain to these people what a war zone really is…)

I realized tonight after coming back from a celebratory, blow-off-steam happy hour with the outreach crew, that I am waiting for applause from somebody.  I will wait a very long, lonely wait in this project for anyone to applaud, which is why we all need to find ways to celebrate success even if it is self-generated. Thus, I am writing to you all on my blog.

I feel so good about what we accomplished and how many impacts we eliminated or reduced. It is a good project and now it is significantly better. And I am a critical part of the team that did it.  And if this project ever gets built then it will be so much less costly and improved because of me and our team.  And we are not done making it better.  Plus tunneling is cool. All you closet nerds google “tunnel boring machine” and see what I mean.

Hip hip hoorah. Hip hip hooray. Hip hip hooray.

You can read all about the changes for yourself here.

5 thoughts on “Managing Success

    Julie….am so proud of you for so many reasons. You have been patiently and respectfully assessing the needs of the community human and non and making thoughtful decisions, concessions, impressions and more. I am thrilled to see you celebrating here. You noticed the hard part and recovered to a place of acknowledging the truth. People are being unreasonable (comparing anything other than war to war); you cannot please everyone; you are doing amazing and very hard work; and the project team is being responsive.

    So often what you describe does not happen, and people grouse just the same. I for one acknowledge and appreciate your conscientious nature in this world. If we had more people like you, really bad things like in the movie Poltergeist would never happen! HA HA HA. And, while that’s a movie, that happens.

    Thanks to you, despite the nasty journalism.

    Can I write the journalist and ask for the other side???????

    Love You

    • Thinking of the “Scorpion and the Turtle” and choosing my battles. The journalist isn’t one of them. Thanks for the applause. I am bowing to you through my iMac.

      On Thu, Aug 15, 2013 at 7:47 PM, redesigning49

  2. what a great great post! job well done, julie, and there is more discourse to follow. i am involved in a situation here not similar but yet, people want to be negative rather than listen and learn and see another side and get somewhere forward. rambling here, but sometimes people want to just make a call and stay there. actually listening to comments and making changes is amazing, and so much more than that really happened. good on you. “good, significantly better, less costly, not done improving?” what is not to celebrate about that? huzzah! (and the whole, is it war or murder or not arguement is ridiculous. those things are not comparable to other things.). thanks for all your work to help lots of sides get together for the good of us all.

  3. Hi Julie!

    Like you, I always was waiting for the applause for my work. Then it dawned on me–an Oh, I see! moment: It is enough to know that I did good work that served its purpose. It is enough–a concept we North Americans have difficulty wrapping our heads around.

    I remind myself of the Enough concept daily–much less stress in remembering it.

    Onward! K2

    Sent from my iPad; please excuse typos. Thank you.

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