Well, October has certainly been an interesting month. Toward the beginning of the month, on the fifth, I was officially notified that my services at work would no longer be required. I had gotten a heads up from my boss a week earlier on September 28th. I can't say that this came as a surprise; I had been expecting that particular phone call since last December. That was when a merger resulted in about 99.9% of the work I had been doing going away. For the past ten months, I've been doing something at work other than web stuff for the most part. I was still getting an occasional call about legacy stuff, but most of my time was being spent on another project I had been assigned to while my boss figured out what to do with me. They were bidding on another big web project where I would have been useful, but they didn't get it, and when that happened, I was let go. My last day was October 19th.
I can't say I'm heartbroken. I was bored to tears. I dug into my temporary project as well as I could, and can honestly say I now know more about banking and printing checks than I ever wanted to. But there just wasn't enough work to keep me occupied, and I was getting increasingly frustrated. In the week and a half since I left, I've really realized how badly I felt at that job since December; even with all the uncertainty that unemployment entails, I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. My months of exile are over. One thing that leaving the job has done for me is freed me to think of myself as a web guy again. I had been aware of a little project started by Lisa Herrod in Australia a few months ago, I work on the web, for people to post photos of themselves on Flickr and tell their story about working on the web, but as my months of printing checks dragged on, I was starting to wonder if I would ever work on the web again, so I hesitated to post my story. Being laid off freed me to do that.
So anyway, the low-key job search I've been running since the spring has kicked in to high gear. I had two interviews within three days of my job ending. There's a possibility one of those may come through with a job, but I don't want to jinx it by writing about it.
In the meantime, I've been trying to enjoy my time off, and largely succeeding. We've been renovating our family room this summer. I've been able to work on some finishing touches for the room, installing the moulding, moving the furniture back in to the room, that sort of thing. I'll probably post more about that once the room is really finished. We ordered a couch a few weeks ago (after I found out I was losing my job, in fact; we had the money for it saved up and decided not to let my employment situation get in the way of finishing the room), and hopefully it will be showing up in the next couple of weeks. One of our wedding presents a few years ago was a home theater-enabled stereo, but I hadn't gotten around to installing the extra surround sound speakers. Now I have. Right now, I'm building a bookcase for the room to hold the DVDs that are currently scattered around the house in piles. It's sitting in the garage partially assembled at the moment.
I've been spending a lot of time on Flickr in recent months. I've found my toy photography habit a useful way to engage my creative side while the creative side of my job disappeared. There are a lot of photos from trips I've taken in recent months: Ohio back in August, Wildwood over Labor Day weekend, and earlier this month Cape May. Laura and I went out with some toy cameras on October 20 to mark World Toy Camera Day, shooting in the morning out on Sandy Hook, and in the afternoon down in Point Pleasant Beach. That was fun. I haven't posted my photos from that day on Flickr yet, but will over the next week or so.
2007 up to this point has felt almost like a lost year. I suppose that's a big part of why I haven't been posting here much. (The other part, I think, was that I was pretty shaken up by a lightning strike that hit our house in July and took out about $10,000 of electronics while I was sitting right next to them.) I'm not sure I'll be getting any better about that any time soon, though; I just haven't had much to say, and I'm starting to rethink what it is that I want to do with this site. So I may be relatively quiet for a while longer.