Wednesday, December 5, 2007

It's a karaoke Christmas...

I went up to Dallas to spend the weekend with a close college buddy. He and his wife were having a party, and wanted to see me before I moved. As soon as I got there Friday night... I knew it was going to be one of those weekends.

They were knee deep in cleaning products, nothing was ready for the party the following night, and the house smelled faintly of incontinent dogs. I love these two people with all my heart, but every time I go up there for some type of party, they never seem to have anything planned out in advance, and that always initiates a three-day argument. Let me take an aside... I'm not married... hell, I've never even been in a really long-term commitment. So I am not an expert, or barely even knowledgeable on the topic of married life. Couples fight. But I beg of you... please... when you have out-of-town company who drove four hours to spend a very precious few hours with you before he moves eight-thousand miles away, would it kill you to not send me upstairs to sit quietly while you and your wife bitch at each other! I personally loved it when they were openly fighting during the party itself over who got to run the karaoke machine... classic.

It was a great party, though. I still don't like karaoke, but obviously I am in the minority on this one. The next day we went and played absolutely horrendous golf with a couple we met the previous night. Scott kept catching me staring at the woman we were playing with... but I would have beared her children if she would have let me.

So far, everything with the move seems to be going very well. I still have some financial issues to deal with, but it's all coming together. One thing I'm upset about is my Arabic lessons. I bought a little workbook and some CDs to try and pick up some basics. I was doing really well for about two weeks until the quickie move and end-of-job issues started popping up. Hopefully I'll have some more time to study in the next few weeks... but considering my travel schedule... that probably won't happen.

My current job with the City ends in two days. Until last year, I had never quit a job in my life for reasons other than "I'm moving away" or "I'm going to college." My previous job I interviewed for and won during my last semester in college. Let me tell you... that is one of the greatest experiences ever... not so much starting your career... but knowing that for one full semester you only need D's. Anyway, I worked at that company for almost nine years, quickly moving up the ranks of technical staff and then management. Towards the end, I was really getting tired of what I was doing. I had nowhere else to climb in the company, and my friends and family could tell that I was sinking under the stagnant waters quickly. My parents were openly wanting me to quit and do something else. This came as a shock to me; as my dad had worked for the same company for 27 years, I thought that the long-term employment with one company was the only way to go. But, bolstered by their support, I started looking around, found my current job, and quit. I can honestly say that the day I turned in my resignation was one of the hardest days of my life. Even though I knew I couldn't keep working there, I had grown up in front of these people, and many of them were considered very close friends.

I did not have the same feeling when I quit the City. In fact, I was extremely anxious and excited about quitting this time. I enjoyed the work, and some of the people were very friendly. But in my job I'm completely separated from everyone, by physical location and the nature of my job. No one knows exactly what I do, or how it melds itself into what they do... and you know what... neither do I. That is my biggest concern with the City, is that there is a huge lack of focus and direction from our leadership. My current boss gets these grandiose' ideas, will have absolutely no knowledge or insight into what planning or preparation is required to make his plans a reality... and will assign his woefully under trained and ill-equipped staff to get results. Just doesn't make for a successful bureau.

I'm really concerned for my laboratory. I handle most of the hands-on workings of a very complex analytical system; including all the quality control and data analysis. I'm actually writing this entry in my mobile lab while the turbopump warms up. The two other members of my team... aren't here. In fact... they're never here. Neither of them spends any more time in the lab that what is absolutely necessary, and neither of them have a grasp on the workings of the systems. This isn't that they're not as good as me... it's that they don't have a fucking clue as to what is going on. This... makes me really worried.

But, at least they're taking me out to lunch tomorrow to celebrate my leaving... even if it is to Ninfa's...

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