Thursday, September 14, 2006

WTF am I doing?

Well I'm in a bit of a stupor. As of late, my days have been filled with activities which I normally do not participate. The infamous employer has still not delivered any of the increasingly massive amount of back pay owed. Because of this situation, I was led to do my first foreign activity: writing my resume.

When I was courted by Fly-by-night, Inc., no resume was ever requested. "Courting" gives the process too much credit. What really happened was that J. invited me to come along with him to meet some people at this company because the needle of his bullshit-o-meter was buried and he wanted some validation from a trusted third-party (me). So I arrived, I met some people, and before I knew it I found myself in the middle of a token interview followed shortly by a job offer from one of the execs where the exec told me that he didn't negotiate salary and that I should just tell him my price. Did I mention they are out of money?

The point here is that I was not even looking for a job; the last time I composed a resume was in the college era. So last week I found myself piecing together the two page description of my professional value that is my resume. I dreaded beginning this process. However, once I got started, I found it fairly easy to put the resume together. A big part of this is that I have to be much less creative with the resume than when I was in college. Back then I was still including the driveway sealing job and probably the dishwasher job. These days, I have more material than I can fit on a couple sheets of eight and a half by eleven. But the real grease for the process was my sheer apathy. At this point in my life, I am so not excited about working for the man again that, frankly, I just did not give a shit about what was on my resume. Ironically, this resume born of apathy is a succinct, valid, and generally good representation of my professional self. Go figure.

Activity number two that I have been participating in is driving around on the highway in the middle of the day. I have been coming and going from the office when I damn well please for my entire career, but what is different now is that I do not care to stay in the office very long. This has put me on I-15 before four o'clock a number of times. So, yeah, it's still just the highway, but I have this lovely feeling like I'm playing hooky and that's kinda neat.

I have also been working from home. Previously, as a general rule, I did not work from home. I did not like working from home and I did not like mixing at-work time with not-at-work time. Because of my new venture, I cannot avoid working from home. I am finding that I was right all along and that I do not prefer working from home. I am also reminded at how annoyingly loving my cat can be. At nearly all times while in my home office, the O-man is pestering me in one way or another. The cat is cuter than sin, but I find myself tossing him on a regular basis when he walks in front of my monitor. What would PETA say?

I am actively reinforcing the professional network. I have been in touch with just about everyone that I used to work with around the valley. I find myself asking everyone I know if they know about any jobs or preferably contract work. The last two nights I've had dinner with two different buddies and former coworkers. I have had the good word put in for me at a couple of places and I've already netted an interview because of this. One might think this networking activity to be soul-sucking or otherwise distasteful. On the contrary, everyone I talk to is either in the same boat or has been in the same boat. We are all seasoned veterans of the computer industry. Because of this shared experience, there seems to be a strong sense of camaraderie that I did not exactly expect. Maybe if the job market was not so plentiful the attitude would be more cutthroat, but at this moment it's one big happy circle-jerk.

Conclusions from all of this? I have yet to get into a groove with managing all this unaccounted time. I have a dozen different possible activities at all times and I find myself switching between each of them quite rapidly. I am a poor multitasker, so I am feeling horribly unproductive. Today as I was trying to remember who I was supposed to meet for dinner and where, I felt for the first time that I understood why someone would want to carry around a goofy-ass PDA.

Oh, and the stupor comes into play because I find myself constantly having to think about what I should be doing at any given moment. This constant questioning of my direction, both in the immediate-term and the long-term, leaves me in a confused, pensive state. I'm sure if I looked in a mirror I would have a WTF look on my face. WTF am I doing?

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