So I got laid off about a month ago. I’d love to write you a few thoughtful paragraphs about how I’m feeling, what I’m doing, and what the future may hold. But I’m in kind of a bullet-point mood, so here goes a few random observations:

  • The severance package was decent enough (I’d been there for just short of 10 years), so I’m not feeling a panicked urgency to take whatever I can find. I’m trying to balance spending enough time to find a good fit, with not sitting still for too long. “So, Mark, what did you do for all of 2011?”
  • We are all expendable. Read it again. It’s true. Even you.
  • Mrs. Marky Mark and I have decided for now to just call me “retired”, and go buy matching track suits. But at some point, if we’re gonna stick with that designation, we be rocking the tracksuits in a van down by the river.
  • I kinda dig driving carpool.
  • Over the course of the last few months, there’ve been a few things that I’ve either gained or regained interest in. I’ve had time now to pursue them, without guilt that I’m taking time away from my family, or stretching my lunch hour unreasonably. I fired up the table saw and router and built something the other day. And I played guitar for about an hour today. I sounded like shit, but hey, at least I knocked the dust off.
  • Do you know how truly great it feels to sit at the bookstore for two hours with a cup of coffee? And in the middle of that, when you start feeling that tension building up in your gut, and you think “I’ve got to get back to the office”? That’s when you realize “No I don’t. I just need to pee.”
  • The employment picture for IT positions in and around Denver is pretty solid. I just read somewhere that unemployment for DBA’s is tiny. The more I’m networking with peers, the more I’m realizing that corporate staffing bulimia is epidemic. The yearly springtime hiring binges, followed inevitably by the yearly fall staff purges. But this is why you hire people to do what you could buy systems to do, right? After all, you can’t lay off a system in October to make EBITDA look better.
  • A few weeks before the layoff, I’d started a decluttering project. It all began when I discovered I downloaded a couple of Baker’s books here and here. With my extra time, I’ve ended up selling a bunch of crap from the basement on Amazon, EBay & Craigslist. It’s not like this is a paycheck replacer, but it is basically free money, with a side of “clean basement” thrown in.
  • Good things about the last place:
    • Most of the people that I worked with.
    • Good professional growth trajectory for the half of my time there, from Developer to Manager to Director.
    • I learned a lot from a great CIO that I worked for during those years. She was a bit off, but she liked me, and she knew her shit.
    • The money flowed like water in the early 2000’s. Parties, cash bonuses, big annual raises.
    • Minimal business travel.
  • Bad things about the last place:
    • Removed most of ’em. They sound too much like sour grapes. But I will keep the following on the list:
    • Sitefinity blogging software
    • Expensewatch
    • Having Pandora and GMail blocked on the corporate network. Yeah, I get why. I just didn’t like it.

Hey, who knows. Maybe now I can stick to a blog posting schedule?


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