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September 2021
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Ship it and go home!

I have been working on a set of proposals (see Murphy’s Law post on Feb 5), during most waking hours for the past 6 weeks. One of my colleagues led one proposal – it was a great trade whereby I assigned three people to help write it and allocated an evening for reviewing a draft, and he took care of all the rest. That left me focused on a single proposal since Feb 6, which turned out to need all the time I could spare (don’t they all?).

There is always a good story in shipping out a proposal. This one was no exception. The contracting department had 4 proposals going out on Friday and were completely swamped, so I didn’t get my cost volume until after 4pm (original ship plan was 2pm), but I can’t complain since we didn’t give them the final inputs until that morning. Once we got all the info and burned it to 11 CDs, I realized we also needed to make 12 paper copies, so all the color printers on the 3rd floor were recruited into action. My conference table became the collating and binding center. THEN, being paranoid, I re-read the proposal guidelines to make sure we really had everything this time, and discovered it said Word or Excel format – we had burned all the CDs in pdf. There’s nothing worse than the nagging feeling that that all our hard work would be disqualified for something stupid like the wrong file format. We had the tech volume in Word but the costing was not in Excel. The director of contracts stopped in, had caught the same issue, and we agreed on a compromise plan. Martha was a whirlwind, grabbing another set of CDs, referring me to Lisa who was still on line to send us a label template, finding the labels and CD assembling kit at Lisa’s desk, and off we went burning and labeling another 11 CDs, this time with Word and Excel.
At 6:33pm, the proposal (22 CDs and 12 hard copies), was shipped at FEDEX. I assume the other proposal went out (uploaded from the lab) as well. I’m a free woman! And it’s a long weekend! Brian and I had dinner and played Masterpiece with the Hones to unwind. I woke up this morning with the wonderful feeling of absolutely nothing hanging over my head. I’m going to resist the urge to call all my neglected friends at once (Ab, you’re first on my list!). I’m so excited to have my life back.

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