Friday, May 29, 2009

Revolving Doors

I'll look back at this weekend as the eye of the storm of change that has defined 2009. I found out a few weeks ago that a significant restructuring at the company I've worked at for the past seven months meant my job was unlikely to exist in a few months time, and that I should expect to be made redundant. In contrast with last year's shake-up, I was advised by management that the outlook was acute, and that I should start making other arrangements as soon as possible. As a social formality, I updated my LinkedIn status to say that my job was at risk and I'd be interested in Unix positions in central Scotland.
Within days, a colleague from my preceding employer got in touch to ask if I'd consider a return, and a few days later, I'd formalised this with the company. Helen advised prudence regarding this company, who she perceives as having taken more out of me than vice versa in the past. This was good counsel, and led me to make sure that I continued to set up a meeting with another potential employer, and also negotiated the best conditions possible with the frontrunner.
Plan B crumbled, following an interview that reminded me far more than it should of The Apprentice, and I've agreed a quick exit with the current firm, so I'll be rejoining my old company on Tuesday. I'm mostly positive about this, because my present position was a bit of a compromise; the money hasn't been what I'd hoped for, and the role has been almost overfamilar. However, I've enjoyed the routine, and my colleagues have been fine fellows to a man. I will miss them, and especially my line manager, who has elevated being a good bloke to a vocation. I'll even miss the commute, because 45 minutes twice a day of private time with a book, an iPod and a thermos of coffee, while the West Lothian and Lanarkshire countryside speeds past, constitutes a series of miniature holidays.
The old firm are recruiting to staff a project which will involve spending much of each week away from home, in England. I have mixed feelings about this, as does Helen, but I'll try and make the most of it. I hope that being away will enforce some work/life hygiene and I'll be able to avoid working from home at all. Again, time spent travelling, and staying away from home, is good for catching up on culture and media. I shall, like Ghandi, be the change I want to see, and do all my travelling by train.
My last day at this job is next Monday. The day before, I will be attempting my second marathon. Two weeks ago, I really thought I wouldn't be competing this year, as a flu-like illness had demolished my training schedule, which was already badly deformed. However, infused with post-illness energy last weekend, I went out and proved I could run 24 miles, so I'm on for the race on Sunday.
This week has been an atypical one, then, of deliberate low effort. As well as starting nothing new at work, I've been deliberatively not running, as recommended, to recover from the training run, and mainly eating low-fibre carbohydrates, also as recommended. I think I could keep this up indefinitely.