Yesterday I solved the noisy coworker problem by bringing in headphones and letting iTunes go with an 11-hour playlist on random shuffle. I had my annual review, too. A 4 on a scale of 5, with the comment, "the only criticism I can really make is that you don't seem very engaged." Raise your hand if you're surprised.
I spent Monday moving along with the new interface at a good clip. This morning, I slowed down a bit. After lunch (a chicken pot pie brought from home) went out driving--and my mood finished falling, from quite good yesterday to "just okay" this morning to "inexplicably sad" during the drive and now.
I like driving for the sake of driving--exploring, finding new places, maybe seeing old places in new ways. I'd been realizing that while I hadn't been on that particular road in a while, I'd been on it before. I've been on nearly all the non-residential roads in the area, and I've been on a fair number of major roads across the entire state by now. And there it was, the irrational thought: I want to live in a place with new roads. Ideally, twisty little mountain roads--forest trails, canyon highways.
When this year started, it started with the strong feeling that I'd finish it living somewhere else. Even though I love to travel, that's a foreboding thought. I've lived here nearly all my life, after all. Other times it's a welcome thought, yet tinged with desperation. Send resumés anywhere! Accept anything! Somebody'll decide you're a good match and hire you!
This is one of those times, I suppose. Part of me wishes I'd stayed at Intermedia precisely because I'd be laid off now. I'd have taken a few weeks to drive around the country, and then--what? Well, anything.
It's easy to say I should be as open to things now as I would be under those conditions. Friends who've said as much to me, though, have in point of fact consistently been under those conditions: unemployed, about to be unemployed, or underemployed. My combination of debt and relatively high income makes me inclined to stay here as long as things don't get vile.
Yet to play Devil's Advocate with myself, I've passed my one-year anniversary, so I'm no longer going to look like a "job hopper" to most recruiters. Whether I get a raise or not is up to "Mafia T.," our operations director. Mafia T. is aware that I've had my resumé out on Monster. Does this mean he'll be inclined to give me a significant raise to try to keep me, or not give me a raise at all to be punishing?