There's times in everyone's life when they need to take a big step back and make some attempt to put things into real perspective. I think I've reached that point. In the (hopefully very) near future I'm going to be starting a new job, in a new town. Everything that I have built as a foundation for my current life is going to change, drastically.
For one thing, I'll actually have a job where I have real work to do. This will seriously cut-down on my personal time, as I will no longer be able to do the bulk of my homework for grad school during the work day. Admittedly, I shouldn't be doing that as it is, but when you work for a company that treats you like absolute shit... well, let's just say, that I find myself living up to their expectations. They firmly believe that everyone that works for them is out to take the company for a ride, and I do hate to disappoint them.
The realization of just how badly I take advantage of my current job actually bothers me. I hate being that guy and I remember when I started this job. Back when I was eager and dedicated, believing that if I came in here and did a good job, that I'd be recognized, appreciated and rewarded for my efforts. Then reality came crashing down on me. The realization that I was being paid barely 2/3 of what the starting software engineer was getting paid, added to the fact that the company brass was keeping me under a microscope, looking for the slightest faults in anything and everything that I did turned me bitter. When I was hired I was promised a 10-12% raise after 6 months, I got 3% after 9 months instead. Even now, after 3 years and 10 months, I'm still making only 80% of what the average, no experience, fresh-from-college-with-a-Bachelor's-degree software engineer makes. And to make matters more insulting, I'm a scant 5 months or so from completing my MASTER'S degree. This company sickens me.
But that's about to be in the past. Soon, I'll get to start a new job, complete with a 47% pay increase over what I'm making now and much, much better benefits. But it's scary to think about it. I hope that I can go back to being the idealistic, motivated, software engineer that I used to be. That I can recover my good work ethic from the hell that it's been condemned to here. I really do enjoy the work itself, even here a good problem to solve makes my whole better. The difference is, that here I won't actively look for something productive to do. If there's nothing specific that I'm supposed to be working on, I do personal stuff, like this blog, or homework, or reading web-comics, or whatever else strikes my fancy. Hopefully, once I get out of this crappy, dead-end job and into my new position, I can shake that tendency. It'll be refreshing to work somewhere that will actually recognize and reward enthusiasm.
But there's more to this re-alignment then just my job scenario. My entire life should be about to change...but unfortunately, I've come to realize that in order to shake up and disturb my entire life, I would first need to actually have a life. Which I don't, or at least not socially any way. It was fairly disturbing to me, when I realized that the only people I talk to on a regular basis are my 4 year old son, my ex-wife, my best friend who lives 10 hours and a timezone away, and an online buddy of mine who lives in Prague. Outside of them, the only other regular contact I have with people consists of two female friends of mine (Lisa and Kat) that I email back and forth with a lot.
I don't think that I could actually be more alone without actively trying. Which I don't really think I ever was. I guess that this does at least mean that starting over in a new city isn't going to be a big deal, aside from the inevitable difficulties of learning where everything is and figuring out how to get around without getting lost.
Everything has to change sometime though, I know that, I really do. I can't go on like this for ever...can I?