the return to the working world

Last Monday, I started my new job. The shift starts at 5am and ends at 1pm. When I drive to work, night still covers the sky. When I’m off, it’s daytime. I wake up around 4:15-4:25am to get ready for work. My commute is less than ten minutes. I had to adjust my sleep schedule to accommodate the shift, but I have adjusted.

The job is easy and pays decent. What I enjoy most is the lack of stress. I don’t deal with customers, my tasks are not very challenging but are monitored for performance, and I can listen to my MP3 player all day long. I hope to have this job for a while, because it makes life much better than my previous job.

After I leave work, I don’t have to worry about it until I return. My co-workers are nice people, and the company has a good amount of projects to stay busy. I gave up a bunch of perks leaving my last job like a real coffee machine, a snack machine where everything costs a quarter, a soda machine where everything costs a quarter, a big desk with drawers, and health insurance that didn’t cost me anything out of pocket. Sacrifices have to be made, and I’ll be OK without any of that for now.

I sit in front of a computer in a quiet room with only a couple other workstations crunching on a keyboard all day. The day goes by relatively quick and stress-free. I look forward to leaving for the day to get things done because I can, but I don’t dread being at work nor do I dread having to go back.

I try to take a nap around 3 after I return from work, so I don’t have to go to bed around 9. I like having the ability to run errands when traffic is relatively light, and everywhere is open. I am getting my current comics read in a timely manner now. I’ve been keeping up with watching movies and catching my favorite TV shows. The worry about finding a new job is gone for now. This routine makes me happy.

This upcoming Thursday will be interesting. I plan on getting my eight hours of sleep right after my shift ends, so I can wake up in time to get prepared for the Watchmen midnight premiere at Alamo. I’m not super excited, but I am looking forward to seeing it. Once I get that movie out of my system, I’ll be eager to see the new Wolverine movie.

My bedtime is near. Peace out.

the premiere of watchmen at alamo

Along with the twelfth issue of Young Liars, I picked up four ticket vouchers to a private midnight screening of Watchmen at midnight on March 6th organized by one of my favorite comic shops in town, Capstone Comics. I’m looking forward to this movie, because the graphic novel is excellent.

I also look forward to being in a theater filled with dedicated comic fans for this 163-minute film and enjoying a late night meal and a beer or two with Neil, Mare, and K$ at the most brilliant movie theater concept on the planet: Alamo Drafthouse. (Real) food, beer, and movies were always meant to be together. They say that theaters make almost nothing off ticket sales and rely on their concession to keep them in business. Alamo has no problem with that.

Nevertheless, this movie should be a good watch in the theater. I’m picky with which movies I spend ticket prices on, and I usually wait until the DVD is released to completely enjoy films in the privacy of my home. When the time arrives, I see myself saying how much I liked seeing Watchmen. Tune in after March 6th for that. Peace out.

the necessary reboot

Howdy. I hope you had an excellent New Year’s celebration. A few weeks have passed, since I’ve updated this. One of my resolutions that I plan to stand by is to write more in this than the past nine months if the variables are right. This post will be a big update, so I hope you’re ready to lend me a few minutes of your time.

The holidays have come and gone. At the end of December, I took my first trip out of town in 2008. Mare fronted me a ticket to Raleigh to spend the Christmas holiday with her family. My flight left on the 23rd, and we returned on the 29th.

In-between, I enjoyed being in another state and away from the chaos of my day job. I had the opportunity to sleep in and do next to nothing without feeling guilty about any of it. We watched movies every night and drank coffee every chance we had. The vacation was very relaxing and much-needed.

I read Watchmen for the first time during the break which was an excellent novel. I’m eager to see the movie. I read Bukowski’s Post Office during the plane rides and at the airports which was a fun and easy read.

I did my best not to think about work and how chaotic it has become, but I ended up doing so much contemplating and devising. I spent plenty of time deciding my next move when I returned to Austin and back to work on Tuesday.

When we returned to Austin on Monday night, K picked us up from the airport and we dined at Pluckers. K and I had the all-you-can-eat special and got our money’s worth. We took another glimpse at the Wall of Flame to make sure our Polaroids were still hanging… all three of them. I told K the news that you’re about to read in the next paragraph.

During the wee hours of Tuesday morning, I composed one of the last opuses that I would write for the corporate entity I spent two and a half years of my life employed with. I typed up my letter of resignation, my two weeks notice.

I only got a few hours of sleep that night and that would cause a chain reaction on my health over the next six days mixed with the stress of making such a big decision for my future and my career.

I was eager to get the discussions over with when I submitted my two weeks notice on Tuesday. I told my immediate supervisor and the manager above him via email that we needed to talk. I also alerted the HR manager, but I was more clear in my message to her. She was the first to respond. We had a half-hour discussion, and I poured my heart out to her. It worked as a practice round; The points were made and she understood.

My manager’s manager was who the two weeks notice was addressed to, and I really wanted to speak to him initially but he was tied up in meetings most of the day. I had a long discussion with my supervisor next. The cards were laid out on the table, and he also understood.

I finally got to chat with the VP of my department, the addressee on my letter of resignation, along with my supervisor in the VP’s office. The VP was initially shocked but could understand. I reiterated for the third time that day the reasons for my decision, and he was able to understand. He gave me options, but he could tell that I wasn’t going to stay.

That was December 30th. The next couple days were company holidays, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Lucky me. I intended to return to the office on Friday the 2nd, but the cold that started fifteen minutes before I was to leave the office that I probably caught on one of the plane rides got the best of me.

I called in and wrote an email on Friday morning. I felt weak and ill when I woke up and could not gather the strength or energy to make it into the office. I rested for four more hours and worked from home for what would have been the rest of my work day. I did not get as much done as I planned, but it was a half-day plus I was ill. The two-day company holiday became a five-day break for me along with the extended break I took the week before. Bonus.

As much relaxing I did for all of these days, my head has still not cleared. This is the main reason for leaving the company. I’ve become too obsessed with it, and it has detached me from almost everything else in life. I want it all back. I want to leave this behind me. The nature of the beast has become too overwhelming that it has affected my mental stability, and I need to seek other opportunities.

My last day with the company is going to be Tuesday the 13th. Tomorrow will be the first day of my last full week. I have a lot of documentation and training to do along with my daily tasks. This is the result of a lack of resources, talent and determination in a department where a good portion of the burden rests on select individuals.

I entered that place with an expiration date. I knew when I needed to go, and the time has arrived. I’m ready to move on. I need to return to the simple life. I need to not have as much responsibility for a day job as I have been given. I need to gather myself and enjoy life once again. I need to spend more time with my family and friends. These are my resolutions not just for this year but for many years to come.

the days you never want to end

Saturday and Sunday have come and gone. I always dread when these days end, because the weekend is too short compared to the work week ahead.

This weekend was enjoyable for a change. It usually goes by before I really get a chance to grasp it, but I think I had some good use of it this time around.

Friday night was my company’s holiday party. It was a casino night party. The food was much better than last year, but I would say last year’s party was much more fun.

Mare and I played blackjack with a couple co-workers and then left early to go downtown to enjoy the rest of night. We had some drinks at Creekside Lounge on 7th. Surprisingly, their drink prices are very decent and the bartenders know how to make them. A couple DJs were spinning. The music was loud as you’d expect from a downtown bar on a Friday night. Before we knew it, the whole place was packed with people. That was the signal to close out the tab and call it a night.

Of course, the late night munchies after drinking surfaced. Mare and I went to Jack in the Box for some 2am breakfast. We also had to get some bacon cheddar potato wedges, because those are the best late night fast food drive-thru fries that I’ve found anywhere in town. Please let me know if you know any better fries that you can get at a drive-thru open at 2 in the morning, but I’ll be doubtful. They also had a new menu item we had to try: mini-churros. They were decent for late night dessert.

On Saturday, I cleaned the Hex 5 aquarium. I cleaned up the wires behind the television set. I went to the Crown and Anchor Pub for the first time in a few months and had an excellent time. We had a decent-sized posse present, and more fun is always to be had with strength in numbers.

On Sunday, I did the two to three times a year deep cleaning of the betta bowls. I finally beat Portal. I haven’t beaten a video game in years, and it’s a good feeling and was definitely worth the effort. I’m working on Half-Life 2 now. I read the first issue of Watchmen. DC has reprinted this series and will be releasing the 12 issues weekly until the movie is shown in theatres on March 6th. I’ve been hesitant to get the graphic novel, but I’ve decided to collect the single re-issues.

In less than eight hours, I will be back to my occupation as an office zombie. I should have VPN’ed today but decided to enjoy my entire weekend instead. I feel it is my obligation to worry about work when it’s time to work or when work needs to be done and relax when everything work-wise is mostly stable.

Mare will be going to North Carolina on Wednesday. I will be going next Wednesday. I finally get a much-needed vacation elsewhere. This year really came and went. I’m glad I will be able to get some time away from this town real soon. Peace out.