Just when you think you've got it down...a line from some song in my distant past. I finally felt I was making headway on the most difficult problem I've ever faced at work. I thought I nearly had it licked. All the inter-relations, twists and turns. I collared and muzzled the many-headed dog and was about to chain it to the wall.
But no, I missed a head, which has just reached around and taken a huge chunk out of my ass, tonight. The progress from last three weeks of 20+ hour work days is falling down upon my head like a deck of cards. Every solution, every link in the chain I have built to restrain the beast relied on every other link and they have all failed.
I realized something tonight. Never in all my years have I been defeated while on the job. I get paid to take a pile of shit and turn it into gold. I get paid to find and fix problems. I've been so very lucky in that a solution has always presented itself and in time to pull my ass out of the fire. Every single time, in the end I've won. Tonight, I also realized that this time I have been defeated. The beast has won. I will leave this ship in four days, defeated, and I don't like the taste it leaves in my mouth.