I ate my own leftovers last night. Tonight, I was getting ready to put Steph’s leftovers on a plate and then into the microwave. I thought of something that I decided absolutely could not wait, can’t even remember what it was now, which took me back to my computer. When I returned to the kitchen, the styrofoam to-go box was on the floor and the leftovers were gone. A certain brindle-colored foodhound had just executed her first successful food bogarting since she moved in here. I went to find her, and she was just lying on her bed, all quiet-like. Who, me? la dee da.
As long as I’m talking about the dog. Since it’s cold out and I am too much of a wuss to take her for decent walks, I found a “doggy daycare” place, where I have been taking her every Friday. They loved her there from the very first minute she showed up. Polly is way better at social situations than I am. And all that extra exercise is making her a lot less anxious.
My new contract job is about seven billion times better than the last one. These guys value code quality, empathy, and following the platform’s established conventions, unlike the Canadians. They listen to my input, and mostly let me have my way. They’ve never tried to get me to commit to doing six months’ of work in two weeks, which seems to happen even in the best of circumstances.
All jobs through the contracting company I work for start with a two-week trial period. At the end, they talk to the client about how it’s going, to see if they want to proceed. I was forwarded the email my new boss sent in response. He said I was “kicking ass,” and could the contracting company get them somebody else with my same skill-set and experience, but for Android?
Dude. I totally rock. And it’s about time I got paired up with an employer who can appreciate that.
To be fair, I know at least part of it is that the guy I’m working with doesn’t really understand iOS, so he’s kind of dazzled. He presents a fairly common problem, I produce a fairly pedestrian solution that just about any iOS programmer could have pulled off, and to him it looks like magic.
If anything, I feel like it is me who is dropping the ball this time. I am not working as much as I probably should, because all their deadlines are reasonable and/or pretty far away. Since I don’t have to go into an office, who ever knows that I am taking advantage of the fact that my bed and my iPad are a match made in heaven?
This is one of those problems that long-term telecommuters face: blurring the line between personal life and work. I have to establish a routine and stick with it. It helps when I get out of the house and go work in coffee shops, but that’s not as much of an option as it should be, because I don’t like leaving the dog here by herself. She doesn’t like that.
Steph is, and remains, the light of my life. I don’t feel like I can or should talk about that very much, because it’s mostly Steph’s story to tell, not mine. She is doing very well in school, despite a whole lot of things that have conspired to make life difficult for her. I do what I can to remove obstacles.
In many ways we have a stereotypical father-daughter relationship. I often feel like she takes me for granted, as all children do with their parents, and that she doesn’t listen to me very much. But every now and then she parrots back something I’ve said without even realizing that she did so, in such a way that it’s obvious that it has become a plain uncontested fact for her. I often hear these things in the context of her taking my advice and passing it on for someone else’s benefit. Then I am reminded that, yes, she really does listen. I just can’t expect her to be like me, is all.
Finally, a little postscript about the Canadian company I was working for. They still haven’t cut me off from their subversion repo, and I can’t stop looking at the updates. Now that I am no longer invested in it, I can see how horribly wrong their app is shaping up to be. All the signifiers are there, glossy images and decent colors and marketing copy, but in total, it’s just ... off. There is no soul. It’s like something put together by aliens, doing their best homo sapiens impression. It has the same lack of joy and humanity that characterizes that terrible boss I used to work for. Nobody is ever going to fall in love with that app, that’s for sure.