Monday, January 16, 2006

Today was the day of new things.

In the morning, I went to a climbing gym, where my daughter and I practiced our climbing skills. This is totally important if you wake up one morning in the middle of a cliff, or if you are a monkey. Given that my native habitat is in front of the blogspot domain, climbing isn't a core competency for me, but I tried it anyway.

Many thanks to Pablo and.....geez, I need a nickname for my friend X. She's kind of a renaissance woman, so I guess we'll call her Leonarda.

Many thanks to Pablo and Leonarda for inviting Daisy and I to the climbing gym. Daisy was fearless and enthusiastic, happily shimmying to the top of several routes. I, on the other hand, was wary and weak-armed. As it turns out, climbing has little in common with Java programming, but a good time was had by all. Pablo and Leonarda were excellent hosts, teaching us climbing jargon and ensuring our safety. Climb on!

My other new activity occurred this afternoon. I turned down a job offer, sort of. Before I get into that, first let me make an apology.

Pablo, I owe you an apology.

Around mid-December, a job opportunity fell into my lap. A couple friends of mine knew a guy who was starting a new software company. This company needed an experienced Java programmer. They recommended me. So, I figured I'd at least go through the motions and see if I was even remotely hire-able.

You see, I suck at interviewing. I'm not sure exactly what I do wrong. Maybe it's that I crack under the pressure of technical questions, or perhaps my surliness leaks out of the folds of my ill-fitting suit. Either way, it's been nearly 20 years since I successfully interviewed for a job.

So, I played this game. I cobbled together a crappy resume, wore my least wrinkled shirt, and made nice-nice with interviewers. Meanwhile, I hid this activity from my coworkers. This felt natural and made total sense for the coworkers that I don't socialize with, but it felt horrible for the coworkers who are my friends. Ultimately I decided that I didn't want coworker X to have to keep secrets from coworker Y, so I chose not to burden Pablo (or Bubba, who doesn't read this blog) with my little secret.

So, Pablo, I'm apologizing for sitting next to you in a car for 10 hours last week and not mentioning this. I did it because it seemed more polite than asking you to keep my secret. And now, what's a better and more personal way to apologize than to a made-up name in a semi-anonymous blog? Sorry, man.

Anyway, everything came to an unexciting climax today when I discussed salary with the prospective employees. This new company was hoping to pay me about 20% less than I'm making now in my current job. Plus, they'd want me to commute 30 miles to their office about 2 or 3 times a week. Also, they're much less fun than Pablo and Bubba. So, we agreed that they have a great potential business, and that I'm overpaid, and that we'd go our separate ways.

I guess it's good being overpaid, because theoretically I'm making more money than I deserve. On the other hand, it kind of sucks knowing that only foolish employers will be interested in paying me more money than I'm currently making, because I'm not sure how I'll retire, pay for Daisy's college, or support my relatives in their old age, but I did get to turn down this job offer, which was comforting.

I fear change.

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