When I moved to Miami and started making so much money, my CD collection was one of the central things in my life. That was back when cdnow.com was still around. That site was six billion times better for buying music than Amazon. I don’t even want to know how many thousands of my dollars that place ended up with. Now I’m being neglectful of the whole concept. There are seven or eight favorite bands of mine that have probably put out new records since I’ve stopped paying attention. A couple of those will go out of print before I get around to buying them. I will be sadx0rs.
It’s better to regret things you have done than things you haven’t done. Is that still true when other people’s potential regret is factored in?
I spend so much time immersed in work. I have almost always been a major contributor in every tech job I’ve ever had, this one is no exception. I get a real kick out of accomplishing a lot. I don’t just do the job, I care about the outcome. They tried to micro-manage me to death the first few months I was there, to the point that I almost quit several times. Now that they know what I’m capable of, I have an almost embarrassing amount of autonomy. They tell me the broad outlines of what should happen, and the details are my problem. I am so good at handling those details myself that nobody knows exactly what I do, or how my software works, except in the vaguest sense. I consider that a good thing.
By pretty much any measure, this is the best job I’ve ever had. I’m making far more money than ever before. My best friend in Nashville is a coworker. My social group is 90 percent other coworkers. I’ve had a tendency to get into ugly situations with people at earlier jobs, gradually eroding my position within the company to the point where I have to quit. There are people at this job I don’t like, for sure, but I’ve been able to wrestle all those situations into an uneasy equilibrium at worst, or to a passably friendly truce at best. I’ve been there for over a year now, I’d say the situation is very stable.
Still, though. It’s an office job. Sitting in front of a computer all day every day is no way to live.
Let’s talk about what I consider to be the nadir of the typical office job: the doughnut. Two or three times a week, our company provides us with three or four boxes of Krispy Kremes. I can’t stand those things. Here’s what doughnuts say to me: “You’re not going to get anything worth having. You’re not going to make any lasting impression on the world. You’re not going to make a big difference in anybody’s life. You’re appreciated here, to the extent that the emotionally dulled people who work in this kind of environment are capable of appreciating anything, but that’s about it. Here’s your consolation prize: a mild sugar rush and a bunch of empty calories.” I admit I eat one of the damned things every couple of weeks, because resistance is futile. I am as much a part of that environment as anybody else who works there.
As human beings, we are capable of so much more. All of us.
On Sunday I am leaving for San Francisco for a week. Work trip. I wish I was looking forward to it. I would be, if at least one fun coworker was going. Alas.