The original words of Phanes, tirelessly carved into a slab of "No'".

Growth Pivots

It seems like it’s always like this in my life: When I want to change or improve anything I have to do it all at the same time because things just align like that.

So many things have happened that I don’t know where to begin.

First, I quit my job.

While super stable for information systems work, the role was supposed to have been me taking a step down for a bit to make time for my SILO GROUP efforts.

It ended up not being that at all. So, I quit. My main reasons are:

  1. I was having to work a ton of hours, mostly in after-hours research of a vendor product that I don’t believe has long term market efficacy.
  2. I was coming home too tired to work on SILO, which is the reason I work at all.
  3. I didn’t believe in the product’s vision or respect the product’s quality of implementation — and I couldn’t cut up the contract with the vendor even though I felt someone desperately needed to in order to cut our losses on what I felt was a bad procurement.
  4. There was no project manager so I was having to be the project manager.
  5. I had no team so I had to be implementer. This would normally not be an issue except the politics of bringing the project to fruition were exhausting. I would say 50% of my work was protecting the roadmap from political disruption. That’s just not how I want to do things.
  6. I had no operations coverage so I had to be operations.
  7. I took a huge paycut for the role to come over from my previous gig. Not the biggest factor but it was tens of thousands of dollars a year and I would kind of like to pay my car off this year or at least save for emergencies a little better, and start investing again.
  8. No emphasis was placed on packaging software for deployment and I was outgunned trying to fix it before it causes a massive security event. Common sense does not prevail over tenure.
  9. I can deal with all of these, but the biggest factor was a result of a change in leadership. That change caused my blood pressure to spike up to levels designated for stage 2 hypertension, and for 2 weeks of that I was actually worried that if I sneezed I’d have a stroke. Hours on calls defending absolutely terrifying things, like not making changes in production without testing, and automating deployments. I had to get a bunch of bloodwork done and even my doctor was really worried, and put me on some medication. I looked like shit and I was stressed out unnecessarily. My livelihood depends on the quality of my work — and I was quickly losing control over the quality of my work. My blood pressure is elevated just thinking about what to type or not type on this item number 9.
  10. Someone called me with a job to offer me that I couldn’t turn down.

So, after a particularly bad call on a Thursday, I went into the bathroom and answered my phone. We talked about the role a bit. I expressed interest and set up an interview. And then I got the job.

My blood pressure dropped almost immediately to optimal levels.

Now at this point I was taken care of and had a path forward, but I wanted to see if I could fix the problem before turning in my notice — it would have required revising my role and reporting structure; I liked the company and most of the people I worked with and for, so I wanted to try to repair if I could.

I needed to give them a chance to move things around so I could stay.

I got a VP on a call and made my pitch, and — it turns out the role I was pitching for was actually already being considered and that I was the person they had in mind for it — he thought it was a great idea. The only problem — his vision of the role would be reporting to the only person this role should be saying no to sometimes. I had to turn it down because it was destined for failure and didn’t solve the problem. I can handle the issue as a peer but I can’t handle it as a report. I had to somehow explain how this didn’t work without throwing anyone under the bus or appearing ungrateful. The negotiation ended with a request to revisit at the end of the month. No. I’d be gone by then as my new role started before then. I put in my notice the following Wednesday.

So, it’s time to leave. The two hardest things in life are (1) staying when you don’t want to stay and (2) leaving when you don’t want to leave. In this particular case it was somehow both at the same time.

Part of me feels like it’s a huge mistake and the other part of me tells me it was the only path forward that didn’t involve my early death — blood pressure is not a joke. Blood pressure will kill you, quickly. It killed my Dad just last year.

So, for the last 2-3 weeks I’ve been prepping for a new job that starts on Tuesday while keeping from losing the old job.

So far we’re still in easy mode. It gets hilariously complicated from here.

The House That Wasn’t

I had been looking for a house when this started and had placed one on contract. Big, huge, beautiful house.

Until the inspection. The inspector found about 15k worth of mandatory pre-movein repairs before we even went into the house. Estimated work needed was around 50k before we were done. There was paint over water damage. Shelves were propped up by cookie jars. So many issues.

So we got out of the contract.

Oh Shit I Still Have to Move

So I’d decided at this point that buying a house, keeping my old job, and prepping for new job at the same time was too much to take on at once if I wanted any of it done right.

I’d have to drop the house search until I was settled into my new gig.

I get a call the very next day from my landlord. They want to remodel and since I’m month-to-month after my lease expired I need to find a new place by the end of the month.

Oh, and by the way, we’re going to inspect on the same day as your first day at your new job.

So I’ve been apartment hunting and I’m nervous. Applications are in, but nothing signed yet.

Today is the Saturday before my Tuesday inspection, and my Tuesday first day at my new job. And 7 days before I have to be moved out, and I don’t have a lease on a new place yet. Fuck me.

The place I’m expecting to pull through is quite a bit more than my current rent but still easily affordable, and has a huge back yard for all of my tennis-ball-throwing-and-fetching needs. I’ve got the place held pending application review so hopefully it goes well.

What about the Dog?

The dog is fine.

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The Personal Blog of Chris Punches