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Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Today it was announced that a guy I've worked with for years will be leaving in two weeks. He's a good guy and I hope things go well for him. Things change... not a very profound thought! I know I'm not living the life I want, but I'm working on it (as well as I can? Who can say?) He seems good about it. Says he's burned out and looking to move on.

We had some snow today. During lunch I tried to find out about a bank charge to see if I could do anything about it. Also went to see why I got a bill from my car insurance for $72 after I'd already paid the full amount for my car as well as my wifes for the next six months (ending in April.) It just doesn't seem right for them to bill me when I've already paid them.

So that's about $140 loss for the day, then I find out I haven't accrued the 3 days vacation I've already used so that will be coming out of my pay. Wonderful...

Meanwhile my buddy is making over a million this year with better than 30% annual growth for his company. Ya gotta love the software business (is my green eyed envy showing?...)

Am I envious or jealous, I'm not quite sure what the difference is?

Envious: Feeling, expressing, or characterized by a feeling of discontent and resentment aroused by and in conjunction with desire for the possessions or qualities of another.

Jealous: Fearful or wary of being supplanted; apprehensive of losing affection or position.

Ok, so it's envy. Now I know... so does it really pay to improve you word power? Why do they say power? Explain this power I say! Will it float your boat? Run a ton in the sun while shootin yer gun? What power???

Haven't a clue... but yes, Virgiinia I is envious... Plus, I'm doing something about it.

Programming is one of those professionals where a little bit of creativity and a some long hours can return rewards. Financial rewards... leading to other rewards, oh, like a little freedom... or do I mean liberty? Ok, back to the dictionary...

Freedom: The capacity to exercise choice or being without restraints.
Liberty: A right or immunity to engage in certain actions without control or interference.

Well, this is tougher... what I want is Friberty: to exercise choice without interference. I hate being a slave... I imagine my mind being free, but know that even that is a hallucination. I would have said illusion, but I seem to be having a little bit of fun with the words right now. I can feel the chains but haven't quite broken them yet. So it seems even my mind is a slave. I guess I'll just have to keep working on it.

Monday, December 29, 2003

There and back again
I left work early and by 5pm I was getting close to northern California. I spent a few days visiting with my wife and 13 year old son, then back to work in Washington. It was too short a time and I hated leaving. How did I get myself into this situation?

The small company I work for now used to be in California. I've been with them for about 7 years (and still don't share in the profit sharing!) When they moved to Washington a few years ago I went with them. I'm a software programmer. When the company moved they lost most of the other programmers. While I'm not the center of the universe, I did have a huge impact on the ability of this company to survive that time of change. I helped them to have a future, but don't see my future being taken care of.

I've been single all my life (I'm 44 now) but a few years ago I got married. So now I think not just about myself, but about taking care of my wife and her sons. Her oldest takes care of himself (sort of) and we raise the teenager. About 18 months ago a friend made me a job offer. I took it and my family back to the little town in California where I started with this company. We had plans, my friend and I, to write a piece of software in about 6 months. It was very doable, in fact I almost had it finished in four, until he changed everything. I ended up rewriting the project four times. I don't know what I could have done to prevent it from happening. I'd given up control of my life to a man 15 years younger than I and it had become chaos. The stress was immense. About six months ago he had his secretary fire me. Three days later I was back working for my former company, but without my family with me (I'm really not looking forward to moving the piano when the time comes!)

I really don't feel guilty about wanting to take care of my future and of my family, so why does it seem my current employer try to make me feel such a thing? Do they? Today I asked for a schedule change to 4 days of ten hours so I could get more personal items done on the weekend (and perhaps even have 32 hours of driving time some weekends.) My boss suggested they fired people that weren't in the office (how would I not be in the office?) and that I somehow promised not to present any trouble for them. 'Promised' is one of those loaded words that means I should feel guilty.

Just to add to the stress, that young friend of mine offered me another job... actually the same job with some slight variations. He admitted to me that he didn't do everything right (I know I didn't!) But how can I trust my future to him? I don't know. I'd like to be able to walk away from it all and just start over.

So this is a good time to learn about blogging right? Now all I have to do is figure out how to edit this page to look like something. I haven't a clue, but I guess I'll figure it out.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Today I start a blog... will I have anything worthwhile to say? Probably not. So why do it? Iron sharpens iron they say, and I'm a pretty dull guy. I think blogging may be it's own reward and may in turn justify the risk of looking a fool. I also happen to admire a few bloggers even while not agreeing with everything they write. Mainly I think I'm trying to overcome my own cowardess. I believe in facing up to fears. I'm a private person, actually shy in a big mouth sort of way (a paradox eh?)

Today I hope to be on the road (perhaps leaving work early) to visit my wife. She lives in California, I work in Washington. Several months ago I lost a job and had to take an out of state job. Not wonderful... more later.

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