I have successfully navigated Company A's hiring process, and they are calling me tomorrow to discuss an offer. This motivated me to ping Company B; it turns out they did love me after all, and they're looking for a time to schedule a second interview round. (As I suspected, I worry far, far too much.) But this is awesome, because I'm covered, with a good job, no matter what happens. Now we'll be into negotiating starting dates and dealing with Company B's lagged schedule for the hiring process. I'm still torn and have no obvious way to choose between them: A is a longer commute, but only 3 days a week; B is closer and has a nicer office, but the work may not be quite as challenging. Soonish, I will have offers from both, and I'll have to come to a decision.
This is a fascinating piece on why rewards don't increase motivation. It tracks closely with my experiences in the workplace: at my current job, our salaries are relatively low, and we get bonuses instead, as a percentage of our salaries; the bonus level (one's standard bonus might be 8% of salary, for example, and in a given [good] year we might get 110% of the standard bonus) is a fairly straightforward computation based on the company's performance versus its goals. That sounds like a good idea, except that many of us, like me, don't actually have any effect on the company's performance. No matter how well I do my job, some git in Product Management can and has fucked things up. The times when I'm happy and genuinely productive are when I'm not at all concerned about money; when I get cranky about work, money is often the first thing to come up for me. This is not inevitable: at the severely stupid startup I worked for in 2001, I felt quite well-paid, and hated the job and despised the company purely for the stupidity. One of my goals in setting salary requirements for my next job has been to ask for a level I'll be genuinely happy with.
About five weeks ago I dropped a guy on my foot during aikido: I threw him, didn't get out of the way, and his knee came down on the tendon leading to my big toe. I went to the doctor the next day, he sent me to get X-rays, and I left it alone and waited for it to get better. It didn't, so I went in this morning. Turns out it was broken: bilateral fracture of something-or-other, right down in the ball of the foot. More X-rays. Looks like it's healing. I'll go in again next week to have him look at the X-rays and make sure. I'll also look into rigging a foam donut to tape to my foot, on the theory that it might heal faster without the repeated thumping of hundreds of pounds of pressure.
Excellent. I approve.