I'm a software developer. For the better part of a year, my team has been working on a Big Project. Until recently, I had no involvement in the project, and so I only had a vague understanding of what was going on with it.
A newer employee was given a Small Slice of the Big Project to work on. After several instances of missed deadlines and extensions, he decided to leave the company. His intention was to complete the Small Slice before his notice period was over, but that didn't happen and it was given to me to complete within the week after he left.
His code is a mess, and didn't come very close to finishing the Small Slice. Management was made aware of this. I was told to prioritize making it work over fixing style and design issues, which I've been doing. I don't have a concrete design document or technical requirements to work with, so I've been cobbling together the intended functionality from what work the other employee did and asking the Big Project's lead engineer questions.
The week wasn't enough time to complete it. Management was frustrated that I wasn't finished, but gave me another week (this past week) to finish it. Unfortunately, the lead left for vacation in the middle of the week; while the vacation was approved by management, no one told me about it, so I don't have access to him as a resource and I wasn't able to prepare for that in advance.
As I got towards the end of the week I was concerned that I wouldn't finish on time, so I got approval from my supervisor to work overtime this weekend. I did, and I'm still not finished. We have a meeting with management on Monday about the Big Project, and I'll be expected to report that the Small Slice is finished and ready for testing. My current plan is to come in early on Monday and try to finish before the meeting, but I'm not sure if that will help. I should mention that the final, hard deadline for the Big Project is in two weeks. The lead will be out of the office until the middle of next week and my supervisor will be out on Monday.
I feel like management has had unrealistic expectations for me in this project. I also feel that the state the previous employee left the Small Slice in has slowed me down, and if I had been the one working on it from the beginning I would have met the original deadline, which was over a month ago.
My question is this: how do I handle the likely-to-be-uncomfortable meeting with management and avoid negative repercussions?