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[So my question is: When a manager gives such a crucial/important/essential project with a short time frame and still gives additional work (doesn't relieve you from other efforts to concentrate on this one), do they really expect it done? Done well? Done in the time they want??? Or is he/she just saying what they think a good manager should say to the troops?]

Sounds to me like you don't have a "good" manager. Have you discussed this with them? Here is an article on software development that may help. It's called, "How to Defend an Unpopular Schedule", and is at:

- Jim
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