May 25th, 2005

I are employed.

Long time no post. I got a job.

I've mentioned before that now I'm engaged I decided I should get a "real job" for a few years. Pay off the condo, build up a nest egg, get health insurance, and basically have some stability for a while. It's good to hold down the same job for a couple years before thinking about having a family, no?

My first attempt at this was Dell, which was a ghastly mistake. (And I knew it, but I thought that if some portion of Dell was actually trying to do Linux it was my duty to help make that work for them. Yes, I knew that Dell has been starting some new project to play with Linux every few months for over five years now, and it always blows up in their face, and they can't keep Linux people with the exception of Matt Domsch. Now I know _why_. My mistake was trying to stick it out even when it was clear three weeks in that it just wasn't going to work. And the first two of those weeks, just about everybody else was away for the holidays!)

So my second time around, I was a lot more careful in the search. That said, I interviewed for a job two weeks ago, got a job offer last week, and started my new job monday. I'm working at GigaNews (a division of what used to be called texas.net and is now called datafoundry because they're expanding outside of texas), a company that does Linux (and means it), has been in business for enough years that I can reasonably expect them to be around for another five, and whose core business is Usenet (which means they stick with a technology even when it becomes briefly unfashionable, understand why scripting languages are a good thing, grok the internet, and have been around long enough that they fact they do Linux isn't because it's trendy but because it makes sense for them, etc.) I'm confident I can do what they need me to do (and be happy doing it), and the people they have working there are cool.

Apparently, when you look for an actual day job, a dress code comes with the territory. (Even at an otherwise clueful company with nice co-workers and cool technology.) On the other hand, I did ask for a more conventional 9-5 work environment, and this isn't a particularly egregious dress code as dress codes go. Short sleeved polo shirts (which I already had a few of) and slacks (which turn out not to be the same thing as jeans, although I already had one of these in a drawer somewhere). I wear polo shirts voluntarily, and I've even worn the slacks before (albeit because everything else was in the laundry). This dress code basically meant spending $50 at wal-mart to supplement my wardrobe, and having to do laundry more often. I'd probably feel slighly less silly if the required costume was a gorilla suit, but oh well. McDonalds makes you wear uniforms, the military makes you wear uniforms, actual day jobs make you wear uniforms, but it's part of what I signed on for, and part of what they're paying me to do, so...

And it does mean I get a nice office all to myself with a desk that could stop traffic with two (count 'em, two) flat screen displays. (Running windows, but that's because they want to test all the cgi displays against IE and the windows version of Firefox. Can't blame 'em for that. And my job consists entirely of ssh-ing into Linux servers where I do all my development, so I never actually have to _deal_ with windows. The machine came with putty pre-installed and I am _expected_ to have multiple putty windows open at all times. (Well, ok, they think I should use screen, but I like having multiple windows open.) Life is good. My desktop machine could be a dumb 3270 terminal, life would still be good.)

The big implication of this job is that I finally have to bite the bullet and learn perl. (And mason. And for that matter NNTP.) This is actually a plus, I like jobs that let/make me do something new...

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Last night, Fade and I went out to see Dark Side of the Rainbow at the Alamo Drafthouse. It continues to be deeply weird watching two classics create interference patterns. Luckily, this time I remembered to bring earplugs.

I have a new car. Picked it up monday night. It's Fade's car except A) black, B) mine. Other than that, it's the exact same car. (ok, with different interior upholstry). Somebody was selling it amazingly cheaply, and I went "ooh", and was the first person to show up with actual money. Yay car. So now I need to sell the station wagon. I'm told that anything that runs and has air conditioning is worth $2000 around here, but I think I'm going to have to knock off at least $500 for "obvious repairs needed". (New back window, if they want to root around in junkyards for something cheaper than a new part would be, and filing off the rust over the two back wheel wells...) But to be honest, I'd freecycle the thing if I thought it would find a good home...

I spent this morning at the Sociopathic Security building picking up a new Identity Theft Card. Couldn't find my previous one (I never can), and they need an official Identity Theft Card to let you start a new job, because the _last_ thing we'd want to let illegal aliens do is work for a living. So that ate a bit over 4 hours out of this morning. (And they're only open from 9-4, monday through friday, so I can't do this when I'm not supposed to be at work.) This _would_ be the day I finally get a programming assignment I can sink my teeth into. Oh well. Tomorrow.

So now I have printouts of RFC 977 and RFC 2980 that I need to read. I should go do that. (I've been reading new stuff all week and my brain is sort of rebelling. I even read "Learning Perl" at the SS (Yavol!) office all morning, so I don't feel that guilty about not being in my office because I'd have been reading perl documentation there (either a book, printout, or off the screen in my office) anyway. The code drop for me to write test cases against wasn't committed until about 2 pm, and that just means I have MORE to read. (Including those RFC's. The printouts are sitting next to me, on the couch at Metro. I should go read 'em now...)

Rob
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