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October 19, 2001: The other side of the coin

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One of the perks of this new job I started is its location. There's a bit of a commute, but that was no big deal because it ended up being just down the road a mile or so from Richard's office. This meant, in other words, that for the three days per week he worked at the office we could carpool, and maybe even meet for lunch on occasion. Needless to say we were both rather happy about this turn of events.

We only got to carpool one day. Yesterday Richard joined the ranks of thousands of other California computer nerds when he was caught in his company's latest round of budget-induced layoffs.

In a way, it is a bit ironic that this should happen now. Prior to my getting this new job, we were seriously discussing having me actually just *quit* the Big Fish, even though I didn't have anything new lined up. The threat of me having to go away on yet another assignment loomed to heavy on our shoulders, but only the fear of being unemployed kept me from actually leaving. As it turned out, I didn't have to - two very short weeks full of interviews and stressful waiting and the-company-to-be-nicknamed-later offered me a welcome way out of this particular conundrum.

The main thing, however, is that because we'd been considering the situation of my possible voluntary unemployment, we had already taken the time to sit down and ponder the financial considerations. And what we discovered is that we would be just fine - not forever, but at least for a number of months. What this means now is that we'll also be just fine (for a number of months) while Richard hunts down a new job as well. Knowing that we're not going to be in any danger of losing the house cuts the stress level considerably.

Now instead of him reassuring me that I will find a new job and that I'm not nearly as incompetent as I was starting to feel, I'm going to be the one doing the reassuring. I'm not the slightest bit worried. We're in a far better position to handle this than most people would be, and I am well aware of how lucky that makes both of us.

He's always been far more aggressive about job-hunting than I. He's got the skills that so many are looking for, and he's one of those rare people who makes friends wherever he goes. I've no doubt he'll find something even better - something that's a better match for his skills. If it's in the same location as my job and we can try this carpooling thing again, so much the better, but that's only a selfish and small wish.

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