Monday, October 18, 2010

I'm seeing a trend

I went to Six Flags with a friend, my cousin, and two of his friends. I wanted to make this a less shitty version of his birthday party (which was a disaster thanks to his dad). I figured we'd go to Six Flags and have fun at Fright Fest. On my first ride I dislocated my shoulder. I swear, I hate this goddamn shoulder. Luckily my friend was with me and dropped me off at the hospital. The kids were able to stay at Six Flags until it closed. He then dropped them off at home and came back to get me.

I've noticed that, without fail, I tend to dislocate my shoulder when I start a new job. It's quite annoying, really. I'm going to have to get surgery to fix this mess.

Worst weekend ever. His stepmom was a raging bitch this weekend, his father has no balls to stop her, and the shoulder didn't make matters any better.

Friday, October 15, 2010

So much to tell

I might as well start of by telling you guys that I got a new job. I know it's been quite a while since I last posted and it's mainly because everything sucked for a while. This job pays VERY well and they value the quality of the code written, not just the quantity. I've been at the job about a month now and I love it so far.

I also got a new phone, a Samsung Fascinate (Galaxy S SCH-i500) which is a very fun Android phone to play with.

None of this is why I chose to write this blog post, though. About a month ago was my little cousin's birthday party. He turned 14 and we had a small family gathering for him. It was fairly last minute and, as usual, his father bailed halfway through. I told my cousins that I may take over my parents' mortgage since I'm making good money now and my parents want to retire and move away. On hearing this my little cousin's older brother suggests my cousin move in with me.

He declined saying he wished to go to school with his friends, which I can't fault him for. He called me tonight to tell me he's reconsidered because he believes he has a better chance at getting recruited to college on a soccer scholarship if he goes to high school around my area than where he lives now. Quite frankly I'm honored he'd consider living with me.

I spoke with my uncle (not his father but another uncle) about this and he thinks it's far more responsibility than I should take on, no matter how much I love my cousin and want to give him a better life than he currently has. Raising a teenager will be very challenging, especially a teenager that isn't yours. I have until the beginning of the next school-year to consider this and deliberate very carefully. I'm not sure what I should do just yet but one thing is for sure, I won't be making any rash decisions.

My uncle then dropped a bombshell on me. He told me his sister-in-law is to raise his two kids (currently 5 and 4 years old) should he and his wife die and that he wants me to raise them should anything happen to his sister-in-law. He told me to think about it long and hard because it's a big decision. The likelihood of that happening is very slim, but still something that needs careful deliberation.

I now have two monumental decisions to make that impact my family. I would love to immediately say yes to both but they are not decisions to be taken lightly.

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Busy bee

My friend and I have been working on a website for a local marina. He pretty much did all of it, haha. He was bored, he just graduated college, and had time on his hands so he started throwing features in for the hell of it. I learned some Cake (PHP Framework) so that was good.

Aside from that, I dislocated my shoulder again on Sunday during my uncle's Memorial Day barbecue. I was playing football with my little cousin. I threw the ball, he came at me and I went to bring him down. That's about all I remember before I hit the floor. He says he stiff-armed me and hit my arm. All I know is my arms were out, I felt an impact, and heard a crunch.

As odd as this may sound, it's not so bad. It hurts like a bitch when it's out but when you either have drugs or it's back in, it's pretty much over and you move on with your life. The only difference is you've experienced something very few people have. You're one experience richer. Sure, it's not exactly a pleasant experience but it's still different.

I've also been working on my personal website, which is long overdue. The code was easy, the content has been the hardest part so far. It's always been hard for me to say anything about myself or my work because I don't like to toot my own horn, I usually let my code do the talking. I'll be putting it up in the next few days.

A quick shout out to Mirrorboy for being far stronger than me even though he's only 17. He could teach us all a thing or two.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Such a pushover

Came to my uncle's house for the weekend. Might leave tomorrow morning. My uncle seems to have promised my cousin a bike and when he went back on his word last night my cousin threw a tantrum. Not a "yelling and throwing stuff" tantrum but more of a "depressed, went to sleep early, nobody talk to me" tantrum. I guess that's not really a tantrum, is it? In any case, I went out and got him the bike anyway. Consequences me damned.

We played catch, ran around, and rode the bike today so far. It seems the main reason he asked for a bike is because his friends are going to a pool party but they're riding their bikes there. I'm glad he's happy now. I feel like a bit of a pushover, to be honest. Oh well.

One of my uncles planned a birthday party for me and invited the whole family (no, seriously, the whole family) next week. Should be fun and also interresting. I'll fill you all in on more details later.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

A few changes

I've decided to start a web development blog. I think I'll host it on my site and build it from scratch. I'll probably start tonight.

I sat down with the recruiters last Friday and they, of course, are trying to convince me to stay. This Saturday is my 90 day mark, the halfway point. I'm having serious doubts about being able to finish out this contract. To add insult to injury I've turned down countless opportunities (not actual job offers but recruiters that call with potential jobs). Today I got red in the face and felt like I was about to blow at the absurdity I've been facing. Just a few minutes ago I got that, all too familiar, anxiety.

I actually heard one of the developers say "As long as it works in one browser, who cares?". This website is already 28 days overdue and changes are still being made by the powers that be. I think it's time to find a new recruiter, and consequently a new job. I've been trying to talk myself out of that but I'm not sure I'll be able to stand this place for another three months.

I've gotten calls about jobs that pay between $40 and $50 an hour, that's between $83,000 and $100,000 per year. It's very tempting. What I'm worried about is how this will look on my résumé. I don't want to seem flaky. I have good reasons for not staying at those jobs and I'm sure I can convey that during an interview. What I don't want is for them to judge me based on my resume and then not even get to the interview step. Also, if I start missing days at work because I'm interviewing I'll most likely get fired. I don't want to end up out of a job because I was looking for a job.

This is tough.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

The shitstorm

On Friday I had planned to visit a friend of mine in PA. Because it's a long drive and I didn't want to get caught in rush hour traffic I opted to come in to work early and leave early. I came in to work at 5:30AM and left at 2:30PM. Some might see that as diligent, responsible, or even just doing my job (getting my full 8 hours in). Others only look at the negative, the fact that I left early. The latter would be my manager.

I got an email reprimanding me for not telling her I would be leaving early, despite the fact that I told my supervisor of my plan days ahead of time and the fact that I made sure the day of that I wouldn't be needed for the rest of the day and the fact that I got all my work done. That pushed me over the edge. I called the recruiter and then I sat down with my boss to straighten things out. It turns out she has no idea what I work on all day, no idea how productive I am or am not. As it also turns out she's been removing my supervisor's subordinates one by one by putting them on other projects. I'm the only one left still working under him (by her own admission).

My supervisor is a really nice guy and his code is good, it just seems his leadership is lacking. What bothers me is that she is taking such sneaky measures to effectively demote him. It also bothers me that she told me all of this. I'm not here to be in the middle of a battle of wills, to take sides, or to hold anybody's hand. I'm here to work, get stuff done, and get it done right. What I'm worried about is how it will look on my resume if I don't finish out my contract. I only have 3 and a half months left to my contract. I'm thinking of just toughing it out and getting the fuck out when it's up.

The fun part is that it seems my manager has made waves with another contractor as well and that the recruiter had to step in to smooth things over. Let's see how this all plays out.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The cycle continues

Pride will be my biggest asset or my downfall. I'm not yet sure which it is.

After 2 months and 2 weeks at my current job I'm ready to beat people's skulls into their desks for lack of common sense, lack of knowledge of the tehnologies they were hired for, and lack of planning on the websites we've been tasked with building. I'm going to stick it out the rest of the week before telling the recruiter that I'm no longer willing to finish out my contract. Luckily NJ has at-will employment, that means I can quit at will and they can also fire me at will.

I take pride in what I do because it's what I love. Even if it wasn't, it's my job, I get paid to do this. I might as well do it right. Apathy is setting in and I'm no longer willing to fight. If I don't have the will to fight for my code, best practices, or the security of the website (or lack thereof) then I'm no longer an asset to the company. Furthermore, this website will do nothing to further my career. It's not something to be proud of so I will most likely not mention it as prior experience.

In that case, why am I here? Time to start job hunting again.