I got a new job, part 2

So, as mentioned previously, I got a new job.

I didn’t mean to be vague in that post; I just honestly didn’t think anybody would care very much! But since so many people are asking about the job, I thought I better go into a bit more detail.

The long and the short of it is that my job doesn’t really change much. I work on user interfaces for computer programs. Whether those programs are used by rocket scientists, or automotive engineers, or now architects and construction firms, at the core they are still just buttons and checkboxes and pixels on a screen. You’d be surprised at how little difference the domain actually makes on how you program.

So I’m still programming, just sitting in a different location. What I’m not doing is managing. All of the hiring, planning, presentations, supervising, tech support, sales…all of that stuff is someone else’s job now. That’s kind of amazing! I haven’t been able to focus on just the programming for a long, long time.

I’m also really digging the train. I do have to keep my schedule handy, but it’s so wonderful to just leave the house and hop on a train. I don’t even need to bring my keys with me when I leave the house! Crazy. And it’s really nice getting some walking in, to and from work. Always before I just sat, and sat, and sat. Now I get to get out, see the sights, you know? Really…smell the smells of Chicago. And boy are there smells downtown. Yowza.

The job is cool. I mean sooo tragically hip, you have no idea. I keep thinking “this is too good to be true, somebody pinch me”, and then they come around and go, “Sign up on the list, we’re buying everybody smoothies!!” (This is not an exaggeration; apparently it’s monthly.)

The downside of all this tragic hipness, is that it actually kind of makes me feel old. It’s been 9 years since I’ve started a new job, and I kind of forgot how hard it is. I’m used to doing things a certain way, and I’m used to knowing everything, inside and out. I’m used to being in charge. Suddenly I have to figure everything out all over again, and ask all the hip youngsters to teach me how to do these new tricks. I have to keep reminding myself that 1) I just started, I shouldn’t know how to do anything yet, but it will come with time, and 2) getting to learn a bunch of new things is a feature, not a bug.

But that’s really a rather minor concern. I feel very compelled to do a good job, show them that they made a good choice by hiring me, so I just feel a bit of frustration sometimes that I’m not yet operating at peak efficiency.

One of the main things the company focuses on when looking at candidates is personality. Because of that, everybody is super outgoing and friendly. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Company culture is a really, really big deal to them (to us!) so they have a very intense training / orientation period at the headquarters in Pasadena.

So they wanted me to come to Pasadena for 3 weeks, and I said, “my wife will kill me”. They said, “we don’t want your family to feel anything other than excitement over you joining the company” which is pretty damn classy, if you ask me.

So instead I spent 2 weeks in Pasadena, which is a lovely town that is ABSOLUTELY CHOCK FULL of amazing restaurants. I mean, seriously. And I was living out of a hotel room, so I just HAD to go out for every meal. It was a rough life. I may or may not have had 12 year old bourbon WITH BACON IN IT.


I guess we’ll never know.

I also managed to meet up with a dozen or so SoCal writers who I ‘Internet-know’ but hadn’t met in real life. That was definitely a highlight of the trip. Everyone was even more wonderful than I imagined they would be.

All joking aside, two weeks is a long time to live out of a hotel with your wife and kids on a two hour time difference, and I was very ready to come home. With all the new stuff I’m learning, I kind of need the routine and stability of home to balance it out. I knew it would be busy starting a new job and changing up our routines, but I didn’t really realize *how* busy it would be. For the past month or so, I have had very little time (you may have noticed a lack of blogging lately).

So here’s to getting back to the routine, settling in, and letting the ‘new’ become the ‘old’.

::raises a glass::

::eats bacon out of said glass::

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