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As I sit in my car, quietly knitting and composing myself, I see that fall has indeed arrived already, that many trees have started to turn brilliant yellow and gold. I donít know what happened to summer this year, I hardly noticed it with the struggle to recover from the freak-out of my back, but Iím determined to enjoy the fall. Iíve already gone from first interview to offer in under a month, so the prospects look very good indeed for a fabulous fall. Prospects that have improved dramatically with a simple phone call received today at noon: Iím in.
I am bored, bored, bored again, but I donít really care. I know that the end is in sight, that the next two weeks will probably be busy with the details of trying to transfer knowledge, once I give final notice, which, unfortunately, will probably not be until Monday, due to the dickering over small details that is currently going on, and the need to get the offer in writing in my hands before I officially resign. I want to give notice now, today, this second, but I know better than to do that, particularly with Retrograde still so strong.
I wake early, ready to go. The pool further energizes me, and by the time I get home, before Iíve even had coffee, I feel ready to take on the world. Whatever burden I have been carrying for the last, oh, I donít know how long, but Iíll guess itís been around three years (do ya think?), it is gone, lifted. The negotiations are over, the deal is made, and I will give notice on Monday. I feel the layers falling away, and the old me, the real me, the one who always believed she could do anything, finally returning.
Lunch with Geoffreyís mother at the Mediterranean place in Port Washington was a revelation. I finally saw a picture of Geoffreyís father; I think thereís a great resemblance there, although G denies it. I donít understand why he doesnít see it or doesnít want to see it. Gís mother has an appreciation for both the title and organization of my new job, perhaps too much appreciation. She was very excited for me, very excited, almost as much as my own mom, but she hasnít even heard the details of the last three years. Does the title pleases her so much?
What an unusual proposition: itís the weekend but I canít wait for Monday. I want the next two weeks to fly by, then have time slow down and linger over the two weeks of vacation. Geoffrey is proposing taking vacation time to be off with me, so that even though we probably wonít go anywhere - I have to get a trip to Michigan in during those two weeks - we will have real time together, to stay in bed late, lounge, nap, hang out, to help need to clear my head of the crap from the last three years.
It was remarkably easy, giving notice. I was very surprised that my boss seemed so surprised. When I stopped to think, however, it is rather unusual: someone surviving the first year here then voluntarily leaving after three years. Not to retire, move out of state or raise a family, but just leaving, getting out of Dodge. The lifers view this place as some kind of paradise, or acknowledge its flaws but canít seem to gather the courage / initiative / desire to go somewhere else. Iím the distinct minority, someone whoís seen the inside and decided it isnít for me.
I see a final glimmer of the real people behind the roles as they start coming by to say congratulations and goodbye. The approaches are as different as they are, and I cannot miss the real sincerity in the best wishes and the (almost) unspoken acknowledgement from those that have been involved since the beginning of just how frustrated I must feel. The people are, by and large, nice, decent, funny, hardworking people that have a strong bond, even if they arenít the best at what they do, and that bond makes it all worthwhile for many. But not me.
When weíre young, we see our parents going off to work and coming home with various woes and frustrations. Weíre told to pick a career doing something we love. Yet how many of us absolutely hate our jobs, even though we did pick something we love? Something has gone wrong with our choice: weíre not allowed to do the job or not challenged, the boss is incompetent, we can tell weíre not valued, the companyís dysfunctional; pick one or several. The result? We want out but are trapped by economics: the job has become a different form of indentured servitude.
Iím itching to get out, be gone, have this over and done with. Thereís really very little for me to do, as any ďfutureĒ work has stopped. All the processes for what I do, and when, are documented, but the knowledge and judgement that comes in to making certain decisions inherent in those processes are not something that can be easily codified on paper. And of course, no one else here has any technical knowledge of security, so they canít really begin to understand my approach. But we will go through the motions so they can see the decisions made.
Ah, it was a very nice evening indeed, almost like having a real life. Going to the knit-in really does provide a clean break between the working day (week) and the weekend, kind of like going out to dinner at Trio used to do for me. I would love to find a similar group a little closer to home, or maybe, someday, have this place be closer to home. Perhaps I will find a place in the city close to the new job which can provide some alternative knitting company. Maybe thereís even something at the university itself, who knows?
Of all the chores I managed to do today, working in the garden was not among them. It is on my list of things to do as its perfect weather and thereís some serious cleanup that needs to happen. I believe I want to do the work, but I seem to find various excuses not to do the work. Even on such a beautiful day, when I would enjoy being outside. Am I afraid that my back will act up and Iíll be incapacitated again as a result? Sitting in the is still a trial, but weekends I feel fine.
Although the original intention was to see just one open house, we ended up seeing four houses in one afternoon. Two of which are beyond our budget, two of which I canít imagine buying due to the amount of work theyíd require. One of the houses, thoughÖ we agreed on the location, the house, the property: weíd buy it. If we had the money, as it is approximately double our budget. Nevermind, it was just the third house weíve seen that we fully agree on. Including that all the pink marble in the master bath was just a little overwhelming.
The week ahead is looking long indeed, with nothing to do. I wish I could just bring myself to read at my desk, but I canít quite do it. I am reading my favorite blogs and knitting websites at work, reviewing and printing patterns, writing emails, anything and everything online that I can think of to do at my desk. Iíve no hesitation about coming in late, leaving a bit early and taking a two hour lunch this week, cutting corners with wild abandon. It would be perfect to talk to Helene, but her schedule is mixed up this week.
Mid-morning I received a meeting cancellation notice for the CIOís staff meeting. This is nothing unusual as his meeting is canceled or rescheduled on a regular basis. At the appointed hour, however, I see the rest of the team scuttling toward the room. I ponder the activity for a moment, then casually ask his assistant, there delivering agendas, ďDidnít I get a cancellation notice this morning?Ē and, clearly embarrassed, she mumbles, ďWell, yes.Ē What unprofessional behaviour, approaching slimy. If you donít want me there in my last week, just say so. Yet another indication that leaving is the right decision.
Iím counting down the days, hours and minutes at this point. I want out, just turn me loose. Iím pissed about another meeting that I was shut out of, one that was something that Iíd been working on for a month at the request of the CIO. It absolutely floors me that they are absolutely disregarding my work and knowledge on the project as it stands to date, there is no attempt made to even get the information from me. Itís a final (I hope) reminder of why I am leaving this place, they really donít respect me at all.
Iíd promised myself that lunch out with my colleague would not turn into a rant or a bash-the-boss session, but I failed to keep that promise. Although not miserably Ė we did manage to spend some time talking about life outside the office and future plans and goals. Iíve not told him where Iím going, although he is one of three that actually know Iíve got a new job. It has been interesting to respond to all the questions from others without actually saying anything. And very few have noticed my evasion. I cannot wait to get out of this place.
It is the last change control meeting on my last day in the office and Iím happy. Iíve been amazed at some of the people who have made it a point to stop by the last week Ė they get it. Although it is generally not recommended, I tell the truth at the exit interview even though I do not expect it to make any difference. I know that I must unburden myself in this manner in order to leave all the bad stuff behind, to not take it me, and then walk out of here with my head held high.
The first day of vacation, for me at least. It was a beautiful day and Geoffrey proposed a Saturday drive out to Montauk; off-season, without the tourists, it can be very enjoyable. Standing outside the visitorís center at the lighthouse on the cliff, it was like being at the edge of the world. The wind was blustery and although the Atlantic looked relatively calm during our approach from the west, at the lighthouse point, the swells seemed somewhat intimidating while still on shore. I cannot imagine crossing the ocean in a modern sailboat, let alone during the 17th centuryís vessels.
We are both very intrigued by the antique seamanís house in the woods. The main floor has a series of nice spaces, a wonderful kitchen and beams in the vaulted ceilings, although the upstairs configuration needs work. We see some real potential in the house, which is overpriced in the current market, and the work that it would require is the kind of work Iím prepared to tackle, but it doesnít appear to be for either of us the heartthrob that the tavern was, where we just sat and made ourselves at home. Because we were home in the tavern.
Although I think G was initially more than a little hesitant about going to the wine tasting tonight, I know he had a good time. I certainly did. The food, although not a wide variety, was excellent, as expected at Collins & Main. We didnít really talk to the other guests, but we did spend a lot of time talking to the wine dealers, vendors, representatives, whatever they were called. It was clear other guests were there in groups, not just as couples. Perhaps we can find a way to be part of a group at the next wine tasting
We spend the morning running errands for both of us. Our reward for being productive on vacation? Having lunch at a little Hispanic restaurant that was written up in the NY Times several months ago. It was so simple, the food, the dťcor, the entire premise of the place, but the food is really good, honestly good. I have changed my mind about sweet plantains after this meal and I want to try to mofongo, which is on the menu. This is the kind of food exploring we like to do, but I donít want it to dominate our vacation.
I am delighted with the choice of yarn and pattern Ė the Briar Rose Sea Peal is absolutely beautiful in its shifts from blue to green to purple and back. This lace pattern vest is unlike anything I have previously knit or even purchased for myself, but I suspect this may become a favorite item. Iíll take it to Michigan, and then it will be my train knitting project. I do hope to complete it soon, but I have other projects in progress to finish off: the green mohair bed shrug, grafting the black cashmere stole and the plum tweed jacket.
As we walk the neighborhood around work, I am increasingly excited. Cafť Bruxelles is within walking distance, as is Myers of Keswick. There are many things to do in the neighborhood, and not just food: Kateís Paper, a monster Barnes & Nobel, the Union Square market with their Christmas booths, the list is almost endless, and thatís just the stuff I already know about. I canít wait to explore at lunch during decent weather. Which is good, as I definitely need to move more during the day since evening walks with Lee will be impossible with the later train schedule.
I had plans for this vacation. I was going to work outside in the garden, combining exercise and productivity. I was going to bake, do a lot of baking and I was going to read and knit a lot too. Cram everything in. But the first week is gone and I donít seem to have done much of that. Surprisingly, Iím not too upset about it, as I will have another week at Christmas! Although we have time to go somewhere, I would be happy if we just went to the Gatehouse and snuggled with the fire and did takeout.
The day is effectively eaten by a blitz trip to Rye and back. I knit a bit while hanging out on the Gatehouse couch but not a lot. It is typical of this vacation, I donít seem to get much of anything done. Iím trying to go with the flow on this, recognizing that this is supposed to be vacation, time off, a break in routine, not time spent doing, doing, doing, even though thatís my normal state. It is more important to spend time with G, I know weíre both concerned about that when I start the new job.
Both the Southern State Parkway and Sunrise highway are closed at the same place on the trip in to the airport -- at 7:30 Sunday morning ?! -- and at the end of that drive, Iím worried about making the plane. As a result, I experience my own version of Yarn Harlotís airport coffee agony. By the time weíre in the car on the long drive across the state (longer than I remember, but this drive time is time spent with my family) I gratefully accept a cup from the thermos as a way to stave off the impending headache.
Dinner at home: mom certainly has a way with pork roast (despite the Frankenstein cut from the butcher) and knowing there is fresh apple pie for dessert, I donít eat the usual plateful of mashed potato but pace myself. After not eating all day I am famished but take the time to enjoy this dinner around the table with the family of choice Ė the Rahers have joined us Ė and manage to make dad absolutely crack up with a zinger I sent his way. This is what I miss, what I occasionally long for in my life back on the Island.
The busmanís holiday continues. Dealing with Geoffreyís computer issues wasnít enough, clearly, so today I spent trying to fix dadís NT computer by reinstalling the operating system. Except even with a clean install, the data file errors persist, which doesnít make any sense. Despite my efforts, thereís no improvement in either momís or dadís computer. I wouldnít be so upset about spending all this time working on their computers if I actually fixed something. Still waiting for me at home is my computer and data issues and it doesnít appear that they will get addressed before I start work. Damn!
For whatever reason, I wanted to get home today, all day, from the moment I woke up. I donít know why, I was enjoying the time with my parents and last night I actually got the scoop on Aunt Vonnieís connection to the family and grandpaís sister in California. It was a long trip home, the drive with an additional stop, hanging around the airport, and then the train ride home. I tried to focus on the knitting as a way to lose track of time, but it didnít seem to work, although I made real progress on the vest.
Sometimes the universe just takes things out of your hands. Weíve spoken about getting a flat screen television for a while now, but when my living room TV went POP this afternoon in the middle of Mr. Sardonicus, the only choice left to make was what size and model flat screen to get. We didnít dither too badly in making the selection, and we compromised on the choice: larger than I wanted, smaller than Geoffrey wanted, and a new HD-DVD player. I got everything connected on the first try but managed to put the batteries in the remote backwards. Doh!
Carving pumpkins and roasting the seeds. Itís a family tradition, and once a year, it isnít too much work to clean, soak and slowly roast the seeds. We carved five small pumpkins this afternoon (I mean small Ė smaller than my teakettle) and the seeds are soaking. The weather is perfect, it is a Friday night and yet there are not a lot of trick or treaters coming to my door. Although I wonít manage many real Samhain celebrations tonight, I am thinking of my dearly departed and feel a real connection with the continuing traditions of this very non-Christian holiday.
The Tip Jar