3:18 PM, Mar 26, 2009
A Potential Step, but in What Direction?
As of tomorrow, I will have been unemployed for five months. As you might imagine, when a life doesn't have a lot of success in it, there isn't a lot to tell the world. I've had plenty of time to think. I suppose in being unemployed for the entire winter, I avoided having to deal with winter driving for a year. I guess that's a plus.
I had lunch with Geoff yesterday. He told me I should apply for an open position, doing what I used to do: system administration for battle simulations for the Army. I've decided that while it might be considered a step back, I still have bills to pay, and I can't live without income forever. Five months is about four more than I ever thought possible. I have no credit card debt, no bill collectors have me on speed dial. I successfully kept my head above water, and I'm not certain how I did it.
The position, should it really happen, would be at first a return to the grunty drudgery that I was happy to leave in 2006, but would at the same time be a place where I can put my imagination and programming enthusiasm to practical use again. And this time, its successes would yield greater rewards than a $50 gift card, a slightly less shitty parking spot, and a plaque. In defense, they at least know how to compensate people for valuable service- I will give them that.
But there is also the potential for significant advancement within the program, and doing much more exciting and rewarding things than what I would do if I was offered and accepted the job in the first place.
A lot of people have advised me to "just take the job, and keep looking." Perhaps I have an overinflated sense of ethics, but i think that would be exceedingly dishonest. Imagine being the one that makes calls to professional references and talking to my two-times boss. "Yeah, he's a great employee, but don't count on him sticking around."
Anyway, I have actually been relatively busy as of late. My sister-in-law's mother died last week, so I went to the funeral in Pennsylvania over the weekend. It was an extremely emotional funeral for me. It's been ten years since my own mother died, so one would assume that I would have been stoically reverent during the proceedings. But I wasn't. I have met the deceased a total of two times, but I was red-eyed for most of the time I was there, and all I can really trace it to is how much I love my sister-in-law, and how much it hurts me to see her hurt.
Despite all this, it was a really upbeat and joyous gathering of family and friends. That's what a funeral of a really loved person is, I find: a celebration of a great person's life, and great people tend to have great friends and families. The hard part for my sister-in-law and her father will be the coming months back in normal life, when the missing piece of their life becomes brutally apparent, and thinking about that hurts me too. Such is life.
I took some pictures on the fairest-weathered St. Patrick's Day I have ever enjoyed. I'll try to get those uploaded for you.