Job? What job?

Voice Card  -  Volume 32  -  Paul Card Number 11  -  Tue, Jun 14, 1994 12:13 AM

My "Hello" card, written a few weeks ago, refers to the abrupt termination of my employment at Digital Equipment Corporation. As some time has passed since that card was written, I thought it would be worthwhile to pen an update.

I was formally notified of my layoff on the day after Memorial Day, and that Friday my badge and credit cards and car keys and other ties to the company were confiscated. I will stay on the payroll through June, after which I get a lump-sum check worth six more weeks of pay, plus vacation time. This is enough to keep me in kung-pao chicken into September, if I'm frugal.

In May, when this transpired, I fully expected to be scrambling to find a new job, perhaps similar to my then-current position. Now, unexpectedly, I find myself not even trying to find a permanent position. Instead, I'm looking for consulting and contract programming work, and shuddering at the thought of 8-to-5 permanent employment. This means a probably large drop in pay, and a major change in lifestyle.

At present, the prospects look fairly good. I've a week of free consulting scheduled at the Free Clinic of Roanoke, Virginia; 300+ hours of prototyping work for a company that can't pay me for at least a year, if ever; and ongoing discussions with a dentist and a restaurant owner, who think that programmers should earn minimum wage. I've interviewed with Microsoft, with a small consulting firm based in Seattle, and later this week I'll try to sell my services to a company up in Boise.

I've also slept in late for two weeks in a row; cooked some great Chinese food; found the time to read several classic books; gone on a few good hikes; and spent a bunch of money. Now this is the life!