Lalala America is dying lalalala.
I learned an important lesson in articulate persistence today, in negotiating to start my new job on January 10th instead of January 3rd. I'd planned to have the week of downtime to go visit Seattle for the first time, hopefully see my uncle and his wife, and generally spend some time not being employed by Kensington before I shove off into the new job. The new job sort of pushed back on the later starting date, leaving me with a host of bad feelings, and I realized that that time was really important to me. When my head cleared on Saturday and Sunday, I was able to think about the reasons why I wanted the time: Kensington has dropped a bunch of new work on me at the last minute, and it would provide a clean break so I could start fresh into the new job. Plus, I have no other vacation plans until June, so I feel like it would be less disruptive for me to take the time off now, and then I can just concentrate on the job (important, since I have a huge ramp-up to do on the codebase I'll be working on). And my new boss went for it.
Once I've signed the written offer, and let go of the first offer I got, I'm going to talk to my boss about my not working the 30th and 31st. When I mentioned it on Friday (and this was yet another thing that pissed me off), he said "Well, we'll see how all this new stuff goes"--which is great, because, setting aside any issues of poor planning or good will, he has no right to not let me go, under the terms of our severance agreement. So that will be a fun conversation.
I'm sort of giddy at how well this has all turned out, though. I was looking for a new job anyway, so I had started studying up on Perl, deciding that since I had a stable job, I would be patient and make sure I got the job I wanted, doing server programming in Perl--no Java, no webapps, not even a little bit. A few weeks after that decision, my team got laid off as of 12/31: perfect, as long as I could find a job, I'd get paid to quit. And finally, I managed to stand up and explain to the employer I wanted why they should give me the time off I wanted. And they matched the salary on my first offer. And I did it all in a non-aggressive, aiki manner: rather than setting the situation as me against them, always phrase things so that we're communicating, connected, and working together to find a resolution everyone can genuinely be happy with. (Compare an old definition of diplomacy I once heard: "The art of getting your way and letting the other guy think it was his idea".) And now I have what I think will be a thoroughly kick-ass job, that looks to be everything I wanted.
I'm pretty proud of myself.