Wednesday, February 14, 2007

V Day, D Day

And when all the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree,
There will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted there is
Still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be.

-- The Beatles, "Let It Be", Let It Be

Thirty-eight years ago on this day, I was born, and today was the deadline I had set for making a decision on whether this marriage was worth staying in.

Over the six months that I've had to ponder and improve my situation, the universe has acted in such a way to call my bluff. My employer's financial distress hasn't made things any easier. It's as if I am being backed into a corner, with some ominous voice in the background saying, "CHOOSE!"

Yesterday didn't make things any easier. I had an IM exchange with the CTO, who said that he has a meeting on Tuesday of next week with a guy who founded a company in the health care sector and is starting up a new company. He wants to demo some stuff I've been working on and wants it working by then. I told him that it might be questionable whether I can have everything working on the deadline, but I would ramp up the effort to do my best.

It's a pattern that I've seen several times before. They get a meeting set up with a potential customer and throw the development guys into a crunch mode to have something new for a demo. Oftentimes, not much thought goes into the content of the demo. The meeting happens, and nothing comes of it. We never hear about the customer again. The code is usually put together in such haste that it has little reuse value. This stuff is what eventually drove the second founder to quit at the end of the year. Unfortunately, the two founders left are the ones who do these sorts of things.

So, I will be in crunch mode up through Tuesday of next week. Hopefully by then I will have a more definitive picture of my job search. I have 13 active leads, four of which are local. I had a phone interview with another company in the Southeast yesterday, and on Thursday evening, I have a phone interview with another company in the Pacific Northwest. This one sells a lot of books.

Two things are very clear right now. The first is that while I will force myself to get through this crunch schedule, I don't have it in my heart to do this anymore. I need to get out of this job, and soon. The second is that I can't make a decision about my marriage until I know where my future paychecks will be coming from.

Things will probably be quiet in this space until the middle of next week, once the crunch deadline has past. After that, I will start a series of posts that will attempt to summarize the big things that I have learned from the crucible. With the job situation perhaps becoming clearer, I can make the decision with clarity.

It may not be today, but soon, there will be an answer. Let it be.
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