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scrottie (4167)

scrottie
  scott@slowass.net
http://slowass.net/

My email address is scott@slowass.net. Spam me harder! *moan*

Journal of scrottie (4167)

Friday April 13, 2007
05:04 AM

One neurotic programmer, up for grabs

[ #32980 ]

... seems like only weeks ago I was on #perl asking if anyone needed a programmer. Someone said "yes, we do" and mentioned a company that another person I knew worked at, also a company I had interviewed at but didn't get a position before other work showed up. I signed on as a contractor, to start with. Today, I was told that my contract has been terminated. About a week ago, they re-upped it when it expired and were talking fondly of my work.

This is the same company that lost half of the department I was in, and the same with the management that's using agile to micromanage with an acute obsession towards short term deliverables.

And it's now that I feel self pity. Even though I knew things were bad, being fired still feels like shit. And I sit here, sleepless, reflecting on all of the ways I could have handled things differently, and the oppoturnities I missed to guage the situation and people.

A (now former) coworker told me to "learn the lessons I needed to learn and move on". That seemed funny to me. It seemed like a useless thing to say, but wasn't always. I used to make dumb political blunders out of immaturity and ignorance, but I've been at this for about 14 years now. Then it occured to me...

I've been layed off so many contract jobs, released from so many failing startups, been fumigated out of so many offices without so much as an apology... I'm just plain neurotic. And each time I get fired now, I'm going to get worse. I'm going to obsess about warning signs, I'm going to try even harder to project an image of confidence, like nothing is wrong, that just doesn't sit well with other people. I'm going to stress out about any work I do that takes even a little too long. Here, people kept telling me to relax, and not to worry about things like getting work done timely because the code base is big and complex and it just takes longer to get things done here but people are really nice so just chill out. But I can't chill. My task is essentially an impossible one -- to stay hired. I've had dozens and dozens of gos at it and I keep failing. If you stepped on the rake every day, every day under different circumstances, and it always hit you in the face, you'd start getting really nervous and careful walking. You wouldn't "chill out". You'd get downright paranoid about where the rake has been hidden today, and think twice about any midnight trips to the bathroom.

I never wanted to go into consulting. I started out doing this stuff, code, for love. I don't have the detachment or calculation needed to make it. The really sucky thing is the whole industry seems to be moving this direction. I have a great interview, and they come back and tell me they want to do a contract-to-hire thing. Probably because I've been rejected so many times already. Or maybe because even though the interview was good, they could see I was just a little... mental.

So, it's a firesale on a good programmer, just a little damaged. He's my resume:
http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:StNheJaDbWkJ:www.illogics.org/+illogics.org &hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us ... or http://illogics.org if the server comes back up. Telecommute, contract, or Phoenix, with caveats on the office I can work in (I'm fucked up physically and mentally).

-scott

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  • I am leaving a bad project myself and I have hopefully found a very stable one to go to.

    If you don't believe it "luck"..."pray"

  • scrottie, you are one of the most savvy, self-aware individuals I've ever encountered. Don't let the bastards get you down.

    Idea: You might enjoy staring your own business and being your own boss. People say self-employment is risky and uncertain, but then again, so is employment (as in your recent ordeal).

    Is there some challenging Perl itch you'd enjoy scratching, which would turn into self-employment? A Perl app you could build that you would then make a living from in the form of paid on-site calls to c

    • I concur. [stevepavlina.com]
    • Hi Dave,

      Thanks for your comments, and your words of encouragement. You're right, of course. I can and often imagine "there", but the route from here to there is unclear, especially with other human obligations. And yes, there are several little businesses ideas I want to take a stab at, and a few I have already stabbed at. I can see the appeal of something like Y Combinator. My monthly week long hotel stays in LA gave me the isolation I needed to crank out code. Full time employement paid adequately w