The first week of the new (contract) job hasn’t been hectic as much as it’s been… well, surreal, albeit in a slightly Dilbert-esque fashion. As of right now (Friday, 3pm) I don’t have a working laptop, nor do I have email. Nor voicemail, because that’s linked into the email system. (The company is highly, highly networked, which one might expect for a huge network equipment manufacturer.) I’ve been taking notes on meetings in the aforementioned Hog Bay Notebook on my Mac laptop. And so far I’ve been in not two, not three, but six meetings—seven if you count today’s business lunch. My work laptop is attempting to download oodles of data from the network right now to configure itself (second try), which is why I have the downtime to write this: I suspect by and large this job will not have much downtime otherwise.
In fact, I’m realizing that this is probably the biggest job I’ve been on—the most responsibility and the most people directly affected by what I do. This makes me faintly nervous, although on the flip side, it’s nice to cross that hurdle. As much as my self-image has been of a slightly bohemian geek bachelor who’s never been interested in a traditional career path, over the past year I’ve been asking myself just why I haven’t been interested in that, and haven’t gotten back any satisfactory answers. I loathe the thought that my “responsible adult” gene may be rearing its pinstriped little head, but I’m just a few years shy of 40, and lost opportunities weigh more heavily these days.
The most thought-provoking part of this whole affair is observing how much, well, better I feel having structure in my life. This is also counter to my self-image—although I know in my heart it isn’t counter to my past experience. The dilemma I had since the California move still holds true, in that I’ll need to figure out how to structure all my personal projects around the work time.
But, admitting that I do need some structure has some immediate ramifications I should follow up on: establishing a schedule for Claw & Quill that I can actually keep to, which will start by spending a couple days climbing out of the hole that it’s in right now, then by clearing out the accumulating backlog of submissions. (I’ve at least been smart enough to have the automated response tell people to expect a two month wait rather than a two week one. I ask myself, “How do the folks at Fantasy & Science Fiction get so many submissions and respond so quickly,” although I answer, “by paying editorial assistants to do that as their job.”)
In retrospect I’ve been loading new projects onto myself in a somewhat manic fashion in an effort to shake my ennui, with the predictable result that I’ve dropped the ball on all of them (without shaking the ennui, of course). Logically, I should have put the energy I’ve put into Claw & Quill into getting BandariMUCK airborne first, then turning to the webzine at the start of the year.
Ah, yes, Bandari. The MUCK’s basically in a stall. I’ll write about that in yet another message, I think, rather than blathering on in this one…