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31 July 2002 (Wednesday): the job-as-relationship analogy

Dude, Eric Cheng is badass. I mean, he plays with sharks and stuff.

Two more days. I may actually miss software engineering. There's nothing about the world I'll be entering soon that involves the same degree of cold logic, a clear scientific definition of whether it works or not. Hell, I may get downright nostalgic about sitting in front of this here monitor at 10 PM some Thursday night, going down my bug list, reading the symptoms, clicking on the guilty source file and letting my eyes flicker across the code, searching for answers, knowing they're in there waiting for me to find them.

I just had an exit interview of sorts with one of the bosses. It was like one of those awkward end-of-the-relationship chats, in a way. I'm breaking up with this girl, and she's not trying to make me stay or anything, but she wants to know: where did it go wrong? What did she do? I could be hurtful and list all the things I never liked about her, personality traits of hers that pissed me off, stuff she did that made me think "whoa, I am really with the wrong woman here." I could tell her that she didn't do anything really, that ultimately it was my fault, my not investing enough in the relationship, my being unable to bring myself to care enough to make it work. I said a little of both, in the end. But the overwhelming feeling was one of inherent hopelessness. You and I were not meant to be together, I wanted to say. That's all. There's nothing you or I could have done. You could change, but then you wouldn't be you. I could change, but then I wouldn't be me. Let's stop trying to change each other and just go our separate ways.

It wasn't nearly as agonizing as it would've been romantically, of course. They're happy for me that I'm off to pursue a long-held dream; they're just sorry to see me go because it's one less engineer with a clue around here (and the higher-ups have closed the rec on my position, which means they can't replace me -- yikes). The analogy doesn't really hold because none of this is anything personal. But still, I found it hard to answer when asked to give some honest criticism of the group I've worked with for two years. Yes, I hated working here at times, especially near the end. But whose fault was that, and could it have been avoided? I don't know. Maybe I was just never meant to be happy here.

posted by enjelani @ 05:00 PM PST

Replies: 5 comments

I just found out where you are departing from (I think anyways. My ability to deduce is slightly impaired, being a guy and all)... crazy. I'm curious if you managed to work under a big-wig I used to (His first name rhymes with "Insane") who left my company, went to yours, then left yours to come back to mine. After he gave a big speech to us about "staying the tough road". Buggah off ya wanker!!

Anyway, i've never really had an exit interview, but i'm sure i'd have a big long laundry list of shit to rant about. My favorite was when Moonie's "D" did so in front of our entire staff in San Diego during a "Town Hall Meeting". I was so proud :) *sniffle*

Much luck with the remaining job :) Sometimes I wish I had the conviction to pursue my dreams further...

posted by syndromes @ 31 07 2002 11:02 PM PST

And nice pics too Senor Cheng!

You make me want to (almost) get up off my ass and go shutterbugging again ;)

posted by syndromes @ 31 07 2002 11:02 PM PST

enj and syndromes - thanks!! :) i'm glad that my uh... hard, hard work (hehehe) provides pretty pictures for others. :)

posted by echeng @ 01 08 2002 07:05 AM PST

I'm not impressed because in Baywatch, David Hasselhoff was stranded in the ocean and he fought a shark with his bare hands!

posted by uslennar @ 01 08 2002 11:13 AM PST

I kicked a few! Does that count? :)

posted by echeng @ 01 08 2002 12:24 PM PST