After wandering the desert for the last several months, it’s about time that I return to blogging. I had a sort of Howard Beale (Network) moment which lasted a while.
See, earlier this year, I did something I did not expect to do, ever: I walked away from a job.
I should explain that before taking the position, I had been unemployed for 6 months.
Being unemployed, as so many Americans are all too aware, hurts like a bastard. First there’s the shock from being laid off.
Then, the job search goes from focused to wide: I’d applied in grocery stores. I’d have done anything, convinced that there’s no job not worth doing. I filled out applications everywhere, retooled my resume so many times I lost count, had a few interviews where I basically was a “filler”, just one of several choices offered to clients, never picked. Like so many others, my self-esteem took a hit.
Friends “disappeared”, but eventually a former work colleague reached out with a job offer which I promptly jumped on late last year.
This job was in a completely new industry to me and turned out to be a Death March every single day.
In his book “death march”, which I only recently discovered, Edward Yourdon describes a death march as “projects whose schedules are so compressed, and/or whose budgets, or resource (people) assignments are so constrained, that the only “obvious” way to succeed is for the entire team to work 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, with no vacations until the project is finished. While the corporate goal of such projects is to overcome impossible odds and achieve miracles, the personal goal of the project manager and team members often shrinks down to mere survival: keeping one’s job, maintaining some semblance of a relationship with one’s spouse and children, and avoiding a heart attack or ulcer.”
I lasted three months before throwing in the towel, and that was one of the toughest things I ever did.
Strangely, I still posted reviews during that time. After another brief period of unemployment, just how bad the experience had been took a while to sink in: the stress level had put me at a real risk of a cardiac incident, as my blood pressure was through the roof. However, those days are over, I now take meds to regulate the blood pressure problem and the job I have keeps me physically active.
In this economy where even dishwashers have to pass an interview, I’m back in the saddle again and plenty thankful for what I have.
Blog posts and movie reviews shall be forthcoming again shortly…