Sandpanther (sandpanther) wrote,

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State of the Sandpanther

So, I started the new job about two weeks ago. So far it's going well -- though I do have to qualify it, since I haven't actually done anything other than look at an awful lot of code. On the happy side, it's been a very long time since I looked at code and didn't have an overwhelming urge to re-write it, or mutter "untrained monkeys could do a better job than this." Everything I've looked at is logic, follows consistent coding standards, and is broken up into logical, easy to use bits. After the past five years it's rather like dying and going to coder heaven.

On a personal level, it's a bit daunting. They are working in technologies that, while I am familiar with the basics on a mainly theoretical level, I don't have a lot of practical experience with. I spent most of the first week muttering "why on earth did they hire me??" to myself. (Fortunately, I resisted the urge to corner any of the people who I interviewed with an ask them the same question.) After two weeks of looking at the code and seriously thinking through how to implement the changes that I am going to be asked to make I have regained a little confidence. But I am still very nervous about my ability to perform to deadlines and within expectations.

For the geeks, the technologies I'm working in are primarily ASP, with integration to a DB2 database, with a COM+ layer implementing the business rules. Most of the parameter passing is done using XML DOM objects. (Which so far seems pretty darn spifty to me.) I've worked pretty much not at all with any of these technologies, so on a professional level, this is most excellent resume fodder for me.

The company still has the air of a .com start-up, only they are sensible about planning, and everyone is very professional. No skulking into work in shorts and Birkenstocks here. They don't start coding until the requirements are fully speced out and documented, and when failures occur (no matter how minor the failure), they are examined, and corrective action to prevent the problems in the future is documented and implemented. Or in other words, they act the way I expect a grown-up company should act. Again, I've died and gone to organizational heaven.

The people... Let's just say the place is staffed by a bunch of me-clones. They're geeks. I've overheard discussions of Serenity, explanations of bits of old Angel episodes, and someone asking what Sin City was about. (The latter was followed up by someone saying "that was a great movie!" Not only that, but some of the media geeks are also car geeks. (See what I mean about me-clones?) I was particularly amused by a conversation that included the phrase "butt-dyno". (The speaker was disparaging the accuracy of one's butt-dyno.)

I know that the STi in the parking lot is owned by someone who works in the company. I think I know who owns the Evo, and he works there too. So far I haven't actually talked to the STi-owner, and haven't talked about anything interesting with the suspected Evo-owner. But there is still time. I am a world-renouned stalker, and I want drives, dammit!

So, yeah. Other than my insecurities and the fact that the project has not formally started yet (leaving me with relatively little to do), the job is kind of like I've died and gone to heaven. At first it seemed to good to be true. Now I'm starting to think that maybe mizutamari is right, and the Job Fairie has blessed me.

I took 'Tegra-chan in for some routine service and to check out a strange clicking noise in the front end. I could do the service stuff myself, but it leaves me with toxic fluids that I have no convenient way of disposing of, so I decided it was worth paying someone to do. Besides, I think I have lingering psychological damage after listening to Colin McRae at Citreon complaining "how hard is it bleed brakes properly?"

It turns out the noise in the front has to do with the front axel, in the CV joint area. It's kind of a weird problem, and the mechanics aren't entirely sure what is going on. I decided to go ahead and replace the part anyway, since it really should not be making that noise. (Even though when stuff in that area usually makes a different noise before failing. As I always say, it's all fun and games until a wheel falls off. And I do tend to do more driving that is likely to provoke wheels falling off than most people.)

So they replaced the part. And that should be the end of the story, except that it isn't. It turns out that they got the wrong part -- it fits my car fine, but it's for a model that doesn't have ABS, so it is missing a bit that integrates with that system. They only realized this after they put the part in and took it for a test drive. The bad news is that the ABS light came on, indicating a system failure. The good news is the noise went away. Since I needed the car back, they put the old part back in, and I set up another appointment.

Now, I don't get the noise that started the whole thing in the first place. Okay, it will happen every now and then. But for the most part, no noise. I'm kind of debating whether to cancel the appointment to put the new, correct part in or not. I think I will go ahead, just for the peace of mind. Though I suspect strongly that I probably could leave it alone for a while and not suffer any ill effects. Still... I don't like things being wrong with my car.

Last week I went to my iai class for the first time in over a year. I recognized pretty much no one, but the people who I did know were really happy to see me. During practice, for just a brief span of time all I had to worry about was if I was doing the form right. It was like in the old days (read:two years ago or more) when life was regular and planned and there weren't huge financial issues or worrying health issues or evil work issues. I think I could really get into getting back into that state more often.

From there I went to the Fanime meeting. I had barely walked in the door when several folks from Con Ops made space for me at the table and waved me over. Aww... It is good to have friends. It made me all warm and cuddly.

After that I had dinner with my mother, which, while it didn't go as nicely as the other parts of the day, it wasn't all bad. (She has decided that I am deeply depressed and need counciling and possibly anti-depressants because I am not jumping for joy over the job and trip and stuff. I know that I am not as happy as I expected to be over everything, but now I think the main problem is that I am still very, very stressed (starting new jobs can be like that you know...), and I'm fine with it.) And I did at least get the very excellent news that my father's last doctors appointment came back with very, very good results and I can probably safely stop worrying that my father is going to keel over from a heart attack any day now. He also seems to have the diabetes under control now. So that is a rather huge load off of my mind.

So life isn't as perfect as I was expected it to be -- yet. But day by day I am starting to remember what it was like to have the space to be stressed by trivial concerns, rather than being flattened by the large ones.
Tags: rl

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