So, yeah...things are going. The job is everything I expected and hoped: a casual environment among good people, and well within my capabilities, which was an important consideration, frankly, because basically I'm not really qualified to do anything any more. Which came as a bit of a shock, let me tell you, when I really began to face up to that facet of my lack of employability. In any case, though, this is definitely shaping up to be something it looks like I can handle.
As for the job itself, I tell people I'm just doing office work. If pressed, I'd probably mention computers. The phrase "data processing" comes to mind, though I'm not entirely sure I ever really knew what that meant. One funny aspect is that it looks like a big part of my new gig will be working with a certain software product that was basically our biggest competitor from back in my dotcom days. This is purely an observation; I don't hold any particular party-line rancor for the product -- aside from the disdain I hold for basically all software products -- and in fact my experience in developing similar systems means that I'm taking to working in this environment like...like a fish taking to something that isn't water but that is close enough to still swim around and live in.
Yeah. Kinda short on brain power there. ;)
Which brings me to my next point. The job itself is fine, and it looks like I can handle it, which is definitely good news. The bad news is...the commute. I am in no way exaggerating when I say that every minute of my working week is accounted for. The daily commute from Philly to New York means that, as long as I want to get a decent amount of sleep at night, I am either in bed, at work, or commuting. And since getting a decent amount of sleep is important to me, the above is exactly what my life is like now.
The biggest adjustment has been not having an Internet presence to speak of. I have, in my history, found it very hard to stop paying attention to something once I've started. This is why I basically try to avoid exposing myself to anything new. Ever. Because I tend not to throw stuff away. Well...it has become time to learn. Months ago, when I found myself with literally no demands on my time, my infostream basically grew to fill more or less the entirety of my waking hours. That is...I had enough stuff coming in at me to keep me occupied reading things on the Internet...well, pretty much all the time. Now...I have no time. This past week has been a short, sharp shock in me leaving stuff unread. I have to say...it didn't hurt as much as I thought it would. So at least there's that. :)
Anyway. So I did the "All Internet" thing, and now I've done the "No Internet" thing. Now I've got to strike out into that always-incredibly-hated-by-me grey area, and try to find how much 'Net time I can reasonably get in during a work day, and just see what I can do with that. There's a lot I don't mind losing from my infostream, and in fact I've already jettisoned a lot of junk. I also find I don't mind leaving the comics for weekend review. There are a couple blogs I miss reading, mostly from authors; I'll have to see if I can keep those going. Honestly the biggest hole in my life has been my peoples. I've done no chatting, no Facebook, no nothing...for a whole week! I'm sure most of the people I know have basically forgotten about me by now. ;) That's what life is like now...people are constantly bombarded with a ridiculous cacophony of professional, amateur, and social attentionphiles. I'm just one lackadaisical loner, doomed to be run over on the Information Superhighway. It's a little tough sometimes, when you think about people a lot and you know they're not thinking of you. But that's life in the big time, yeah? This'll all get better someday.
So, yes...that leads right in to the next point -- what's the plan? Well, to be right up front with y'all, there's no plan for the time being. The point I'm at right now...well, is basically this: I'm completely tapped out on savings, am carrying an enormous amount of debt, and though I'll have more information on this once I actually get a few paychecks under my belt, I suspect that I'm basically taking in just enough income to cover expenses and no more. Now, fortunately, "expenses" in this case also means addressing the debt, which means that eventually, things will start turning around. But for now, I am super broke and look to stay that way for a while. Maybe someday, down the road, I'll start looking at coming back to the City and all that. But now is really not the time, guys.
As for the rest of life...well, what can I say? There hasn't been that much. :) I'm going to try to take some extra care with regard to health these days. Remember that five days a week, I am accounted for 24 hours a day, and most of that requires me to be...well, sitting. Either at my desk or on a bus. Forget cooking, I'm lucky I even have time to eat. Basically I spend the week living on sandwiches, which are cheap, portable, and are easily eaten on a bus. Exercise is pretty much right out; basically I try to build it into my commute by making the hour's walk home from the bus station. This is my first weekend, so I'm still trying to get a routine going, but it looks like I'll have a good chunk of weekly chores to address. I was actually kind of surprised how much I had to do today; it's weird what piles up when you don't do anything during the week. It's actually a very weird mindset to get used to; I had to turn down some after-work socializing, because I realized that it wasn't really a matter of just shifting schedules around or anything...basically time I spend that's outside my regular workday routine gets automatically deducted directly from my sleep that night. So, yeah, I don't guess I see myself getting out much during the week. ;)
Aside from the free time issue, though, things generally seem stable and sustainable, which frankly was the most important thing I was looking for. It's going to be a little tough at first, I think, but like I said before: the time has come to do necessary things. So...onward, yeah, everybody? Gotta fight the good fight for a while.
Man...I think I'm coming down with something. Isn't that dumb? Getting sick right when starting a job. That's what I get for leaving the house. ;)
Anyway, I'll seeya around, everybody. Or not. ;) Peace!
Edit: P.S. Catching up with a whole week of Internet becomes exponentially more bizarre when that week contained April 1st. At least two or three times during this process, I've gone, "Wait, WHA- Ohhhhhhhhh..."