In my car I've been listening a lot to Billie Myers' CD Vertigo. I picked this up first because it had a song ("Should I Call You Jesus") which I whimsically thought of as Unitarian Universalist dance pop:
Should I call you Jesus
Or should I know Buddha
Don't you know Jehovah
He read the Kaballah
Should I call you Allah
Does it really matter
God is God by any god-given name
The song I've found myself most addicted to is the first cut, though, called "Am I Here Yet." Its chorus begins with something like
Sent a letter
To the future
Asking for directions
It came back to me
"Return to Sender"
It's difficult for me not to think, "Yeah, I know that one!" when I hear it.
As expected, Kim was laid off on Thursday. As would also be expected of Kim by anyone who knows him, he's already moving forward with plans--getting books organized to donate, preparing to sell off as much of his stuff as he needs to in order to get it to fit in a trailer his car can tow. He's already made arrangements to get the hitch. He's set a date to put the house on the market, and it's very soon (next Thursday).
And he already has job leads--very tenuous ones, mind you, of the "I know someone who works for so-and-so and they're looking for such-and-such" type. But that's sufficient to circumvent the HR department, which is what you're looking for in a job search. In most companies, part of HR's function is to deflect résumé floods from hiring managers--even though the hiring manager is definitionally in a better position to know what she wants than HR is. (Interestingly, the system I'm setting up now doesn't do that--once an applicant fills out the online application, the system itself does a check against a minimum qualification list. If the applicant passes, hiring managers immediately have access to the data. HR users can override the system's qualification judgement either way.)
Amusingly, Kim's decided to look for work in San José, too, and that's where his job leads are. We're not moving out together, though--I'm not interested in another do-it-yourself move, and he's not interested in a highways-and-byways road trip. He's come to a variant on my conclusion about Tampa Bay, though: it's just not the place to be looking for high-tech jobs now. In my case, they're not using the technologies I know except at junior levels, and in Kim's, he's simply priced himself out of this market. (I suppose if the web market out here is "junior level" unless you're doing EJB or ASP.NET it means I'm priced out of the web development market here, a dismaying thought.)
This does mean I'm going to have to start putting the long-talked-about plans into motion, though, and with Kim-like rapidity. More stuff to sell and stuff to repack. Finding a moving company that can get stuff out to Tugrik's cheaply (but still intact). Choosing what things will be coming with me on the road trip and keeping me company until my own furniture arrives. Figuring out what path I'm planning to take, when I'm going to leave, and how long I expect to take in transit. Putting myself back on a budgetary diet, as I've let myself get far too spendthrifty over the last few weeks. As they say, I'm spending money like I have it--which I do, but I need to save it. If I can put aside $1500 (!) for transportation costs, I won't risk dipping into savings or using credit.
Right now, though, I'm heading off for the writers' group meeting in Brandon. I haven't been there in months--but I'm expecting this to be my last time to see them.
And, on the way, I'll be calling mom and letting her know what's up. As faithful readers know, I'm expecting angst storms, but hopefully she's getting prepared for this--and maybe we can figure out a way to get me back for Christmas, although it's highly irritating that Christmas falls on a Wednesday this year. I'm optimistically hoping I'll get some kind of work shortly after "landing" out there, but that could be confounded if I have to say, "By the way, I'll be in Florida for Christmas week."