Thursday, September 22, 2005


For the first time in a long, long time, I'm happy about something work related. And that is a really good feeling.

Around 3pm yesterday afternoon, I got a phone call and was offered a position as a Senior Software Engineer with a major company. In addition to a much, much better benefits package then what I have with my current company, the new job comes along with an almost $20,000 per year raise, and the company will reimburse me for my grad school classes after I start. Overall, that's just an amazing turn of events.

The only thing that remotely resembles a downside to the situation is the fact that I will have to relocate for the job. It's about 3 hours north of where I currently live, which will have the truly unfortunate effect of reducing the amount of time that I get to spend with my son. However, this is an opportunity that I can't afford to pass up. For the first time in my life I'll be leaving a job and starting a real career, the kind that has chances for advancement and rewards me for actually doing a good job. It's a difficult concept to wrap my brain around actually.

I've spent so long now (3 years, 8 months, and 2 weeks) working for a company where I was undervalued, poorly treated, and had literally no realistic possibility of advancement that I'm terrified of what it's going to be like to work for a company where I'm treated like the professional that I am. But it's a good kind of terrified, if that makes any sense at all...

At any rate, all I have to do now, is wait on all the paperwork and red-tape to be dealt with so that I can turn in my 2 weeks notice and move on to the real world. It'll take a few weeks for everything to get taken care of so that I can start the new job, but it'll be WELL worth the wait.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Turning points

I still find it somewhat frightening the way that the biggest turning points in your life are always the ones you never see coming.

I also find it more then a little disconcerting when both myself and one of my best friends find ourselves coming up on those turning points around the same time. My turning point came in May, when my divorce was finalized and everything was finished.

You see, one of my best friends and the only friend from my military days that I keep regular contact with, is quickly running up on the next big defining moment for his life. I'm not entirely sure if he even realizes it yet, but I guess he will after he reads this.

His marriage has been trying to die for years now. So far, he and his wife have managed hold on and keep it going... Until now. Judging by discussions that I've had with him, I get the feeling she's decided to throw in the towel. She hasn't asked for a divorce, or even brought up the D word yet, but she announced to him that she feels like they can't fix what is broken in their relationship and that she is done.

Now every other time that I've talked to T. about his marriage, I've been a supportive, helpful best friend. I listen, I offer advice and support, I try to help him the best I can. Up until now, that help has always revolved around trying to help him save his marriage, but now, I'm not so sure I can do that.

For one thing, my marriage failed, and it failed through as much fault on my part as on my ex's. Equal blame for both parties there. In fact, my ex and I didn't even make as good an effort to save our marriage as T. already has made in keeping his marriage together to this point. Add to that the fact that T.'s wife is adamant that T. alone is at fault for their situation. She'll accept none of the blame for what's wrong. Now, maybe I'm an optimist here but frankly no man is an island, and no man is a marriage either. Two people said I do, two people bear some responsibility for how things go and two people bear responsibility when things don't work.

Now, if T. had been cheating on her or something, I could certainly see blaming him. But, he hasn't (and he would have told me if did), which is fairly remarkable in its own right after everything that's happened so far (no offense meant if you're reading this T., which I'm sure you will at some point).

One thing I can say with absolute certainty, is that one person cannot save a marriage. I know, I tried. I tried damned hard: accepting blame, subjugating my own desires, making sacrifices, and trying my damnedest to make my ex-wife happy. It wasn't enough and frankly, looking back, I'm glad that it wasn't enough. I don't think I could ever have been happy again after some of the things that happened.

So, despite my personal concerns and worrys that I shouldn't be meddling in this, I'm going to offer the single, most heartfelt piece of advice I can muster. T., cut your loses and get out now, while you still can. If S. really believes that it can't be fixed, then the only thing that you are going to accomplish by trying is prolonging your misery. Get a lawyer if you have to, but do what it takes and get it over with. Life is far too short to be miserable.

I can only hope that he listens to me.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Rollercoaster anyone?

Sometimes, life is just too weird for words. This past week falls squarely into that category.

My week started off looking really, really dismal. First thing Monday morning I got called on the carpet by the big boss at my company and dressed down thoroughly for something that I didn't even do. Problem with the whole situation is that the person who made the mistake and screwed things up badly is (big surprise) my boss. So to cover his own incompetence, he foisted the blame off on me and another engineer. Ultimately, it came down to his word against ours, and guess who they believed? That's right, they believed my boss. I was told flat out that if anything else happened like this, that I was going to be fired.

Needless to say, I was pretty furious over it. I spent the entire rest of my workday on Monday fuming and submitting resumes for every position I could find that I was even remotely qualified for. I realized that I probably wouldn't get any responses at all from most of them, but I figured that with as many submissions as I sent out, something somewhere was bound to crop up.

I was wrong about that...and yet not really, but I'll get to that in a minute. Tuesday, was a neutral sort of a day. Nothing bad happened, but nothing really great either. The high point of Tuesday was reading a new chapter of a piece of fanfic that I really like. As of Tuesday, nothing had come of the 3 dozen resumes I posted.

Wednesday marked the big turnaround for my week, I posted my resume on another jobs site that morning, but didn't submit for any specific positions, because it was a site that cost money for that sort of thing. Interestingly, that afternoon I got an email from a recruiter for Lockheed Martin. She had seen my resume somewhere and wanted to talk to me about an opportunity with LM. That, as you can probably guess, shocked the hell out of me. In all my entire life, I had never once been approached by a company about a position I hadn't actually applied for.

It was early Thursday afternoon before I was able to get in touch with her via phone about the job. And the discussion went extremely well. Now I'm just waiting on a phone interview with the project manager I'd be working for at LM, which will probably happen on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week, thanks to the holiday. So I now have an very good chance of getting a new and considerably better paying job in the near future.

Friday held a surprise or two of its own though. The first of the surprises was an email from yet another company that I had never applied with, informing me of a position available as a programmer on another government contract position, this one in Seattle, Washington. The company is even paying for airfare and lodging to send people out to Seattle to interview for the position. The final surprise of my day was an email notifying me that I had been nominated for a Shades of Grey award for my latest fanfic, which completely floored me.

That has to be one of the strangest weeks I've ever lived through.