Sometimes I do want a cat. An awful lot of my friends have psychotic attack kitties, though, who pee in their shoes and draw blood to show their affection. I really cannot see the appeal there, and I've taken to viewing it as a warped feature of their personalities, something else to be smiled and nodded at. After all, it's not me getting my nose sliced open by my beloved pet. (See whole Aibo vs. Cat series here.)
We have a rollicking 3-day week at Kensington, which for me will now include one job interview per day. The one today was supposed to be lunch with this manager whose schedule got shot to hell and wasn't able to call me last week; I figured, hey, why not just drive up to SF, it's only for an hour or so, why take the time and money on the train? For starters, the meters in that part of town are all one hour, $1.50 an hour, and I got to feed mine twice. So when someone says "lunch" in this context, plan for some amount of time about three times longer than lunch.
The talking went well, though, and the manager and the programmer and I got on well, and they're having me back Wednesday for a second round with some other people (including the VP, which in my experience means I should have a ready response for how much money I want; though it doesn't mean they'll make me an offer, there's no real reason they wouldn't). Most of the talking was just casual geek rap, including a bunch of questions to probe exactly how much of a nerd I am. I appreciate that, as I'm tired of working in geek isolation, cut off at work from my subculture. It's the only place anyone's ever asked me about my favorite Star Trek captain. They keep the lights down very low in the engineering section, and they don't have to use Windows as their desktop operating system, so I got the general feeling I could work there and be happy. Wednesday I'll find out how much of the work would be in Java, and I can decide how much I want that to be a factor.
Tomorrow I interview with my friend Jeff's company, about which I have startlingly few thoughts.
Kensington really is trying to be good to us for the layoff, and as part of that they've given us three months of services from Spherion, a wide-ranging staffing services/layoff transition company. They seem to know their stuff, despite calling themselves "workforce architects", and while I'll take advantage of them, I'm highly skeptical of their ability to help computer programmers. At the orientation is was me and another Kensington employee, and then two soon-to-be-former-employees of Intuit, a lawyer and a privacy/sales guy. I used to go round and round with my mother on the differences between my world and theirs, the realm of straight, normal office jobs. Just for starters, a suit, that indelible hallmark of respectability everywhere else, inspires emotions in computer programmers ranging from mistrust and disdain up to and including revulsion and (for the inexperienced or timid) fear. Seriously. It's not our way. I confess I need new clothes, and have even bought some, but we're talking khaki-and-rugby-shirt outfits, not a suit. This Dilbert strip isn't far off: no one expects us to be really well-dressed, and it confuses them if we are.
(I don't know that I've convinced Mom yet, even after getting several jobs on those terms, but she did give up. *grin* [Hi, Mom.])
So much with the tired. I'd like to sleep through dawn, any day now.