At the end of my first year, there’s a big company shuffle, AKA reorganization.
In terms of impact, the biggest changes were a) the IT department was relocated 35 miles outside of Boston b) I got a few new teammates and c) a new manager was assigned to give orders to <livingafi>.
Rather than commute 35 miles each way to work, I decided to move to an apartment that was about 2 miles away from the office to avoid having a horrible commute. My decision pre-dated awesome advice from Mr. Money Mustache to avoid clown-car driving habits; at the time it just made sense to me. I didn’t want to spend an hour and a half every day in my automobile, and I knew the constant travel would cost plenty. It wasn’t too bad — I found a new apartment complex that was offering discounted rates to people willing to sign 2-year leases. For $1050 a month I got a 1BR place with a free gym, free heat, and a small work area the size of a walk-in closet that I used as an office.
I wouldn’t exactly call this frugal, but it wasn’t the stupidest decision ever, either. I certainly wasn’t ready to buy a house, but on the other hand, I probably should have considered roommates.
My team expanded to included two other guys and our responsibilities increased. For the geek readers, I’ll say that we’re now directly supporting messaging technologies (MQ Series, JMS) as well as some windows application services (IIS, etc.) By the way, for the sake of keeping this blog readable, I promise I’ll never mention those horrible acronyms again.
Keeping with the muppet theme of past posts, one of the new additions was the anxiety-riddled Beaker, and the second was Evil Bert.
In terms of my day to day happiness, the most significant change by far was the shift in managers.
My first year, when I reported to Mr. Manager, things were generally fine. He was tough but fair.
The new guy? Not so much. In short order, I began to think of him as The Cthulhu.
A bit of explanation: The Cthulhu is a creation by author H.P. Lovecraft. He’s an interplanetary deity, a tentacle-faced god of sorts that doesn’t care at all about mankind. Mr. Cthulhu has its own unidentifiable agenda, and powers toward it at all times, human collateral lying in its unholy wake.
New team assembled, we march into Year 6.
I like your comment about just wanting to do the work instead of managing the work. I feel the same way. It seems like people think you’re some kind of weirdo if you’re not constantly striving to advance to management level. Personally, I find the actual work itself much more rewarding and less stressful than having to deal with personnel issues and being responsible for other people’s work.
“some kind of weirdo” — exactly. When I did finally leave FinComp. I remember telling my Dad that I was going to take a pay-cut to work somewhere else with potentially more satisfying work. His head nearly exploded: between the loss of title-based status and the drop in compensation, he just absolutely could not comprehend the rationale behind the decision. He’s one of those guys that thinks “work is a misery no matter what, so you might as well get paid as much as possible.” PS, it turned out to be a good move anyways.
“It seems like people think you’re some kind of weirdo if you’re not constantly striving to advance to management level.” So true. Try being a secretary, always having wanted to be one, being really good at it and never having had any desire to manage people at all. So many people seem to just kind of fall in to secretarial/admin work because they can’t get anything else and then try and use it as a stepping stone to other work (should I blame that Melanie Griffith/Harrison Ford film?) that, yep, managers seem to think you’re some kind of weirdo if you don’t want to do what they’re doing. I think at some point I came to the realisation that it’s only natural, since people will judge you by their own standards, so to speak, and if they have the ambition or desire to manage and move up in a company, they struggle to understand those who don’t.
Glad I came back to finish reading through your archives, by the way. It’s very useful and I think I’m going to try and do something similar. I have no FU money and will never retire early but nonetheless will be handing in my notice by the end of this quarter (have a three months from end of quarter notice period). I just reached a point recently where I realised it’s the same old shit starting to happen that sent me to the brink of a nervous breakdown three years ago and it’s just not worth it. I think it’ll be really good to look back on not just this but all of my jobs till now and try and remember the good and the bad about each of them. It’d be good to have that stuff clear in my head when choosing my next one. Thanks.
So, were the coins really as big as your whole body (Mario graphic ref)? No wonder we like VG so much, you get to travel to inventive places and get rich just by jumping up and grabbing floating money. Interesting comment about your Dad, mine would be pretty surprised by my financial situation. He knows we’ve had it good, and he had it good too, but I don’t think he knows how different the working world is. Also, not to be to random in this comment, but I like how you are treating this as ‘the work experience’ – it’s just one of many options available. I hated my previous choice, but is was necessary and I would’ve chaffed at it being called an experience, but my latest gig is definitely an open ended ‘experience’.
Video games aren’t an improvement over many parts of life (hiking, eating, and hanging around with my wife come to mind), but there’s no question they’re better than office life, hands down, all day, every day. On the subject of the parents — I can’t even tell my Dad what’s going on with me financially — he would shit a brick if he knew I was on the edge of retiring, and I’m not sure there’d be any way to calm him down. It’s weird — he dislikes work but simultaneously accepts that it’s a mandatory part of life to be endured, at least through age 60. For me to tell him I’ve just short-cutted the misery, well, I’m just not sure what he’d say. My first guess is “lazy.” If you ever tell your dad, I’d love to read a post about the experience… To your ‘random’ comment (love random comments btw): absolutely, even within a certain field or industry, things vary quite a bit from job to job, and each option ends up having its own distinct feel. Glad you left your own bad fit job and you’re somewhere that feels better now! Good for you, EV.
What am I missing? This is not a long post… is it somewhere else now? Was it removed? Thanks for any info you can give me.
There are links to pages underneath the all of the wordpress.com stuff at the end of the page.
I just added some navigation tip reminders to the opening pages of the job experience posts to help folks find their way.
Thanks for bringing this to my attention.
Durr got it! Haha can’t believe I missed it. Thanks for the help! I’m going through all your posts and quite frankly… they’re awesome.
Your blog is really entertaining so far. I’ve been reading it from A-Z. You make me laugh!
I’ve been reading through your work stories over the last few days. Found my way hear after reading somebody else’s particularly entertaining work stores on MMM and fellow posters talking about “Doom.”
I’m really enjoying them but Cthulu’s behavior makes me a little physically sick. We all know there are bosses like that out in the world. But reading a detailed description of it is quite disturbing.
On a lighter note. I love the stories! Very entertaining writing with lots of introspection and interesting observations.
“JUSTIFY YOUR INACTION IN WRITING” had me laughing for a good minute. Great writing.