Friday, May 13, 2005

I Was in the House When the House Burned Down

I may be old and I may be bent
I had the money til it all got spent
I had the money til they made me pay
Then I had the sense to be on my way

Warren Zevon

That's how I've often felt around here. It looks like the company may survive after all--at least, it's no longer quite on life support, even if it's still in intensive care--but I still wonder about its long-term health. The technology is quite interesting (and sufficiently unusual that I'm not going to describe it, because that would make even more serious dents in my anonymity), my coworkers are extremely bright (even the ones who don't step up to the plate the way they should appear to be reasonably bright), and I think there's a tappable market for the servcies we offer. We've got at least one or two people who understand the necessity of infrastructure. We've got some indication that the market we've always thought was there has started to realize the worth of what we offer. We've got, or seem to be getting, sufficient funding to get to the next level of funding and business development. But I remain uneasy, and I can't tell whether it's because I really don't like my particular job or because there are fundamental flaws in the company, either in terms of its approach or its personnel. Or maybe both.

As some of you know, I went around and around on whether I should stay or go (yes, I know, that's the Clash rather than Warren). When push comes to shove, it turns out that I did not decide to go to school because I reached a decision about the ultimate viability of the company. That is, one way of making a choice like this one is when it's made for you, when the handwriting is sufficiently large and the wall is sufficiently close to your nose that you can't avoid the facts of the matter--when the house has, in fact, burned down. Although we got close to that--the paintbrushes were out, the wall was being primed--I don't think we ever got all the way there.

In my head, though, I realized that a different house had burned down, that, as I've mentioned incessantly, I really hated the work I do. It's not the people, it's not the structure of the company (though either of those can send me into the Rant Zone on any given day), it's not even the business as a whole: it's the work. Let's face it: I spend way too much time writing missives to Greater Blogovia. I've cut back on that lately, and I'm working on cutting back even more, not least because they're letting me go part-time, and they seem pretty okay with it all, but the MDD (motivational deficiency disorder) is only waning, not completely gone.

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