Friday, November 14, 2003

Ghost In the Machine

So its been two weeks and I haven't talked about the new job. I never really talked too much about the old job, either, but it has been a change in my life and is now eating up the majority of my daylight hours.

It's been . . . nice. One of the things is that I know most of the people, and still interact well. There was this strange you've-been-out-with-mono-for-the-semester-but-now-you're-back feeling, but in general its be . . . nice. Part of it is that there a lot of other returning familiar faces at the company, both in permanent positions and other contractors. So its been . . . nice.

Part of its the position - I'm contract work, a financial ablative armor, the business version of shuttle tiles, the first members of the crew to be jettisoned should something go terribly, terribly wrong. In that respect, I live in the grey area between employment and unemployment, and that's a little creepy.

By the same token, I've got a clearly defined mission and limitations. The project is my reason for being, so I have less tendency to wander off to helping other people with their problems (Others have tried to recruit me thrice now for other interesting projects that which, while interesting, are outside my raison d'etre). I also am keeping track of my hours, and discover (surprise) that I have to put in LESS hours than I normally do to avoid hitting my 40 hours a week at Noon on Friday. Friday has already turned into a sleep-in-late day, so I get to the office with the rest of the card R&D staff.

The work itself has been interesting and challenging, and I have made the change-over this week from figuring out how the heck things worked to making positive contributions. The department consists of two other guys and a manager, but both the co-designers I would interact with have been out with family problems and major sickness, leaving me to deal with the manager. Which has been a lot of fun, and though we don't agree on everything, he's been surprisingly patient. Again, my temporary nature gives me a great willingness to learn from their previous experiences.

OK, I'll be the first to admit that I'm rather round-heeled about new projects, but I've gotten comfortable much quicker than I thought I would. An acclimation phase of about a week borders on the near-miraculous. and I've been putting hard 8s (and 9s) into the project regularly, with provable results and more playtesting than your standard RPG ever sees.

So it's been . . . nice. I don't want to get too comfortable, since it all ends before Christmas. So this weekend I have to concentrate on other matters and see what I can do to get something going with the New Year. The other job that I have in addition to this job.

More later,