The Nine Faces of Dave
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2006-03-26 08:08:50 (UTC)

three months in a nutshell

Wow, I haven't updated since December. Almost three months;
that's almost matching my old record. So what's happened in
the world of Dave since then?

Well, the job didn't pan out. I guess their Human Resources
department got sick of my delays and offered the position to
someone else. That was a little hard to take; first they up
the signing bonus, then they withdraw the offer.

So, I spent January poking around for a different job, and
finally found. Software company? Another contractor fed by
the government trough? Long-haul truck driving? Actually,
the job is with a credit union in Santa Fe. It's largely an
IT position, but I am doing some programming work. There's
a team of about five of us, and we write custom software to
make new computers work with the old systems they've had for
decades. This is in addition to upgrading the old systems,
but it's a very slow process, so there's some job security.
I moved here in early March, and so far work has been really
great. New Mexico is amazing: nice weather, great scenery,
and really cool people. I may have found a niche here.

Actually, that's just bullshit. Had you going for a minute
though, eh?

The reality is that I ended up taking the job with the place
in New Hampshire, and while I did move here and start work
in early March, it hasn't been nearly as much fun as that
made-up scenario. In fact, it frankly kind of sucks.

I started three weeks ago, and have had one real assignment
in that time, which took about three days to get done. The
rest of the time I've had to find creative ways of killing
the afternoons, occasionally assisted by long meetings.

Living here hasn't been anything special so far either. The
traffic sucks, though it's the fault of the road system, not
the other drivers. I haven't met many people here yet, save
for my neighbors in this temporary place and the people in
the office at my new apartment complex (more later). I've
spent most of my time going for walks, reading, watching TV,
and playing video games. Just as predicted.

But hey, new apartment, that's gotta be a thrill, right?
Sure, if you consider artificially inflated rent a thrill.
As I found out shortly after taking this job, rents around
here have gotten ridiculous in the last few years, because,
get this: people are moving here and commuting to Boston.

I'll pause a moment and let the stupidity of that sink in.

Now maybe this is just me, but I can barely stand a commute
that lasts 15 minutes, let alone an hour-long, 40-mile trek
into a massively congested city. Sure, it's peanuts next to
what some people do around Los Angeles, but I firmly believe
that southern California makes people stupid. This is New
England, where people are supposed to be a little brighter.
Maybe that's just code for "better educated."

Getting back to the rent, I managed to snag a two-bedroom
place at the only downtown apartment complex in this whole
city. It's also the only one built worth a damn, as most of
the rest of these places are huge sprawling places that were
built as cheaply as would be legal. And then they charge
$900 a month for rent! Granted I'm going to paying $1195,
but my new place is huge, so I win. I managed to work out
an agreement with the management that when a one-bedroom
apartment comes up open, I'll be able to move, so I won't be
paying this insane rent for too long. Who knows though, I
might find a roommate and stay in the big place.

At any rate, I'm hoping that living downtown will make it
easier to meet people, because the south end of town is a
joke: nothing but strip malls and ugly apartment complexes,
a suburban sprawl pretending to be a city. Just like home.

So that's the story of the last three months. The next few
weeks will consist of moving my stuff to the new apartment
and getting some furniture so it's halfway livable. During
the days, I'll be trying to alleviate the boredom at work.
Personal internet use is restricted, so I've had to employ
techniques such as drinking coffee, staring at my monitor,
and the all-powerful hiding in the bathroom. If my boss
were around more, I could use the classic "talking to your
boss" trick. We'll see how things go.

For now, I'm going to keep hoping things get better in some
respect, be it work or my personal life. Maybe I'll hit the
jackpot and see major improvement in both directions. Hey,
a guy can dream.

I'll get back to updating like I should, and maybe we'll see
something good happen. Until then...

This is Dave, signing off.