Sep 192011

The last two weeks have been another exercise in Rich anghst. Similarly, the two before that, and probably the next couple as well. Let’s stay focused though, and I’ll begin.

I believe that there are many fine humans who have the ability to just roll with the flow and keep their lives moving and functional. Surprisingly, perhaps, I believe I am one of them.

It just takes me a little longer to get through it sometimes. And that’s the melody of me: determination, anxiety, confidence, lack of confidence or motivation, capability, all swirled around in a bedrock firm belief that it’ll all work out. In short, I’m not typically mistaken for a smooth operator along the way, but I like to think my results are undeniable. Wink        EYE OF THE TIGER.

Section below forcefully de-fonted because it’s pretty weak and woeful, but I wanted to share it anyhow …On top of:

  • A leaking toilet that required removal of the tank and full replacement of the mechanisms (heroically managed by this guy)
  • The same toilet starting to rock back and forth (before the above, quit blaming me!) necessiting a full toilet lift and replacement of the closet flange. Combined, of course, with 8 hours of learning and YouTube videos until finally convincing myself *just today* that even though it seemed quite doable, the raw number and challenge involved if my job fell into the edge-case category makes it a nonviable repair. So, let’s add calling a plumber and steeling myself to pay up to $500 for a 1.5 hour (performed by a professional) job
  • My vendor contract a.k.a. employment ending on September 30th, and the budgeting, forecasting, resume updating, job searching, and interviewing around that
  • A lengthy contract dispute involving lawyers, that has pushed back beyond the expected end-of-August complete date. Meaning that the outcome is still up in the air; always great for a good night’s sleep
  • General desire and motiviation to learn consumes a lot of time and energy: books on influence and persuasion (pretty keen, actually), installing MacOS on VMs, and figuring out a lot of tough new server-side technology
  • The 20+ work hours per week average from the prior month have recently and rapidly scaled into a full-time whirlwind of emergency issues on other projects, all during my critical looking-for-what’s-next phase
  • The realisation (British spelling, top-notch) that our short summer is ending early — it’s dark by 7:30pm now and that’s a personal moody maker Frown

The dilemma that overwhelms all other concern is:

Wow. I got a job offer. Run for the hills! Save the children! In fact, the recruiter I’m working with tells me that after my interviews last Friday, another offer is on the way. So two job offers.

Dealing with this decision has been the toughest part of the last almost two weeks. I wish I could agree with those of you who are thinking, “drama king. that’s not a real problem. wish *I* had that kind of a problem.” Everything is working fine in your head, don’t worry, those are exactly the right things to think — I’m just unable to agree as far as it concerns me.

After my deep work-induced burnout almost two years ago, I am beyond hesitant to overcommit my mental and physical resources. The first job offer pays nicely, and the work I’d be in for is very challenging. I’ve been spinning trying to figure out whether it’s gonna hit the “too challenging” mark. Trading dollars for mental health and wellness isn’t a mistake I wanna make again. I like to win at work, a lot, and prior to late Fall 2009 I never paid too dearly and had some good success. My v4.0 self (another story for 2.0 and 3.0) doesn’t want to, and cannot afford to sign-up for crazy pay/crazy life/worn body/worn mind work. Pretty tragic. Even I think it’s pretty pathetic, but that’s why I had such a puritan, black and white upbringing. Smile Seriously though, just trust me it’s been a challenge.

The 2nd job sounds and feels like a really awesome position with a great team, that I should be able to handle easily. On the scale of pay, congress won’t be looking to take away my tax breaks, but it’s still an exceptionally good pay rate. There are two levers working against this one: a long commute, and it pays 33% less than job the 1st. If I think of it as a simple equation:

Job MatchThen it’s still not an easy choice.

  GOTO PayButRisk
  GOTO LessPayLessRisk

That’s a big IF, however: there is no valid comparator for that object.

How is one to know the actual degree of the variables involved without taking one or the other job, and trying it out? I’ve mentioned to some friends in the past, that my special curse (and yeah, it really probably is a blessing) is that job offers always come in twos. No job offer? Check, I know exactly what to do. Only one offer? Lot easier to decide. It’s the terrible two that is my bane. Struggle

So, anyhow, it’s an imperative that I’ve got to protect the sanity and the health. Not only is that the right thing to do, but without those, the whole $ part of the equation becomes a big zero anyhow. Until Saturday night, I’ve been looking at it as an all or nothing. Right choice, hurray! Wrong choice, fundamental doom.


Yep, faith. That’s where the answer lies, and why this’ll end up being a post with a step toward redemption, instead of just a testament to my trademark vanilla anghst.

To stay in the classic BASIC metaphor (lost to the vast portion of my adoring audience, be that as it may), I am mostly decided toward:

  GOSUB PayButRisk

That’s brilliant, in my opinion! I, of course, didn’t think of it. To rephrase more commonly (in Klingon): wAHExactly. I’m gonna TRY IT OUT.

My pastor and good friend, Rob-Bob, passed along this inspiration. Our church’s  vision includes a direction to “follow in the dusty footsteps of Jesus.” There is so much goodness to write about this. For the sake of finishing the post, however, let me explain how this fragment of a much larger, more meaningful directive applies. When I was talking to Rob-Bob about this, he started to pray, asking that as I try on whichever set of these shoes (job-wise. the jobs are shoes. job shoes.) that I … ding! And that was exactly it. I do not need to commit to a 50 year term if I chose the riskier — and perhaps more rewarding in every way — job. No m’am, I don’t relish the idea of hiccupping into six weeks of a job and then suddenly quitting. That’s all kinds of non-optimal, but it really does have a nice perspective fit.

And that’s what GOSUB is: do a certain something, with an expectation that you will RETURN. Now, why couldn’t I see that this wasn’t a life or death decision that must be right, absolutely?

PeaceRollin’ with the flow and keepin’ things movin’. That’s what I’m aaaallll about!


Thanks again, you’re all awesome! Tell me what you think — Rich



I love B.A.S.I.C. programming. I always have, always will. The reason I’m writing this blog, and have a job, and all that neat stuff, is BASIC programming. My first love. I think I’ll write a blog about that soon! I’ll leave with you a few opinions, just for fun:

  1. BASIC is a great language
  2. C is an even greater language
  3. C++ is a cruel joke foisted upon the computer world, just bad
  4. I also detest the Windows Mobile 7 and Windows 8 “Metro” UI. Just horrible.
  5. No matter how hard you work your voodoo reason to convince me otherwise, I’m right. And I know that’s an opinion — those things just DO NOT WILL NOT work for me.
  6. Do you know what an opinion is? My experience is that many, many otherwise *smart* people most definitely do not!

:All-I-See-is-Love:  Okay, that was fun!

RichWrites Loves BASIC

Star  UPDATE [09/25/2011]: I accepted PayButRisk, let’s see how it turns out.

Star  UPDATE [12/12/2011]: It’s a funny world. PayButRisk was the right call all along. It’s a great group, good work, engaging, and challenging. Plus, you know, I can’t sneeze at the pay. [ed: although I am sneezing at everything else; stupid cold today Frown]

Star  UPDATE [03/18/2012]: Turns out the hourly rate is good, but the number of hours per week is lower: 32. And with that 20% fewer hours to bill… I’ve actually taken a pay cut! Especially considering that I’m 1099-ing, so paying all corporate taxes as well. Can I really complain that I have a job? Nope, you’re right, and I am grateful for that!

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