a measure of depth rather than breadth  

my day of jubilee
October 31, 2007 10:55 PM

So, much of my time since the great cross-country move has been devoted to trying to secure a new job. I had intended to do this before moving, however, my old job decided to throw me a curveball and curtailed my seemingly courteous 2-month-plus notice into about 3 weeks. I understand why, and don't begrudge them, but it sure shot my planning all to hell. So, schedules got moved up. The move happened before the job, which meant that even after all the chaos of moving, I still had the hell of searching for a job lying in front of me.

I had an interview on the 15th with what would be a dream job for me - excellent company, good product philosophy, and a position I described in said interview as "like going shopping for cakes, and finding one made entirely of icing."

It really is. It's UI design - what I liked most about my previous jobs, but was usually a side or afterthought, or just developed with such a deadline that I always felt it didn't get what it truly deserved. Thus, icing on a cake. This was a job that was all icing. Trust me, it makes sense.

I had to create a 45 minute presentation for this interview, which is not something I have ever had to do, and it took what seemed like the bulk of 4 days to prepare.

The preparation was worth it - if for no other reason than I now have some miscellaneous portfolio stuff resurrected and up for show.

Since the interview, I've had a lot of people wish me well, a lot of people who know companies like it or the area tell me I'm totally in. People who are simply friends back home cheering me on, with the usual "they'd be crazy not to hire you" kind of upbeat but ultimately air-filled puffery that I know I don't react well to when I'm genuinely on the line on something.

I have had a rather caustic reaction to any such confidence or even speculation that assumes too much for my taste. This is because of who I am and my life's history of having the things that I'm really invested in not pan out. I found I was not alone in this feeling when years ago I saw the following on television, in a wonderful episode of The West Wing:

TOBY
Put it down. Everyone in this room let me have your attention, please. The law of our land mandates that Presidential appointees be confirmed by a majority of the Senate. A majority being half plus one for a total of what, Ginger?

GINGER
51.

TOBY
51 yea votes is what we see on the screen before a drop of wine is swallowed! Because there's a little thing called what, Bonnie?

BONNIE
Tempting fate?

TOBY
"Tempting fate" is what it's called.
(Starts collecting champagne glasses from people)
In the three months this man has been on my radar screen, I have aged 48 years. This is my day of jubilee and I will not have it screwed up by what, Bonnie?

BONNIE
By tempting fate.

This is exactly the reaction I would have given the people who were so sure I was "in" before having seen that episode. Having seen it, I didn't even have to exert any effort - I could wholesale borrow the caustic pessimism so aptly exuded by Richard Schiff. I could rail on people prematurely celebrating on my behalf - not out of actual superstition, but knowing that the memory of the celebration would be all the more bitter to me if the job didn't pan out.

Fate, it seems, was not so sorely tempted.

This Monday afternoon I found out I got the job, and after aging approximately 24 years in the 2 months I have been unemployed, it was finally my day of jubilee.

I don't start until mid November, which means I can finally have the vacation everyone has assumed I have been on - when in reality I have been stressing myself out, biting my nails and aging approximately a season a week for a while now.

For anyone who may be reading this who has gotten the crabby side of me that was collecting champagne glasses, you may now drink up. That's what I've been doing, and why it's taken me 2 days to make a post about it.

[toby, how 'bout now?]


Comments:

Atheists aren't allowed to believe in fate, or tempting fate. Sorry, just cold, hard science for j00!

BTW, we gave the kittehs baths last night, they smell good and are fluffy, and they don't completely hate us :)

Posted by:
Mia
on November 1, 2007 2:33 PM

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