in reply to Development at the speed of thought.

Hrm, shades of my past life...

I've had a few similar moments in my career (though they're mercifully few these days). I've never had the luxury of doing anything but pursuing the requests with vigor (and sleep-deprivation), though. As one of the two main developers of our company's product, I once had to fly down to the office (I telecommuted from another state at the time) and spend several days only taking 1-2 hours off each day to sleep, eat, or shower. We were handed a sudden deadline to demo the product to the new CEO, and almost none of the features he'd been promised were ready when we started. We got most of it done, albeit poorly in many cases, and coped by bringing beer to the demo. When they woke me up after the demo, they said the CEO had been pleased. ;)

My problem with such requests has always been that the requestor never seems to get it through his/her pointy head that there is often a very big difference between doing something impossibly fast, and doing it right. This is doubly infuriating when the time crunch is caused by a marketron telling a potential client that a feature the developers have never heard of is a standard part of the software.

Fortunately for all involved, my relatively strong work ethic has always made me chunk out the solutions in the nick of time. And despite my low frustration tolerance, I've managed to avoid doing or saying anything drastic thus far.

In the end, I usually took a little time at the beginning to get a handle on the best approach to the problem, then cried havoc! and let slip the dogs of war. And by giving up some of my free or sleep time, I usually managed to get a decent solution written, or one that had the hooks in it to be converted to something more broadly useful.

- rattus, random hairballs from the nest