Last…

No in depth discussion tonight. No rants. No raves. Just a guy ready to catch a few hours of sleep before loading up the dogs (and the air mattress) and heading east. It’s been a long time coming. I’ll miss the house… And even a few of the people I’ve met here, but it’s time. I’m ready.

Slightly chilled feet…

The moving truck has come and gone. I’m sitting here in the living room with the iPad perched dangerously on one knee and the 18 inch television sitting on Rubermaid tub. The dogs are in a general state of confusion and there’s still the must have essentials that need to be jammed into the Tundra tomorrow night. I don’t want to say I had a moment of doubt sitting here, but it was sort of the “ah ha” moment when I realized that this is reality now and not some half baked scheme I’ve been working on for almost a year.

I know this is a great opportunity and other than the house, there’s really nothing holding me to Memphis. That’s what makes the decision easy. As much as I’m running away from a toxic job, I’m running towards the only place in the country I’ll every really think of as home. That’s really what makes the expense and general pain in the ass of moving worth while. Once I get on the road (and the property manager finds a renter) everything will crystalize and I’ll know I pulled the trigger at the right time instead of just feeling it.

With all my gear somewhere in transit, I’m ready for the departure part of this experience to be over so I can focus on the much more exciting arrival part of the program. Cross your fingers that there will be some nice dog friendly houses for rent waiting for me to take a look at on the other end. Getting away is all over but the official departure cemony. I’ll get that out of the way tomorrow and these chilly toes will be a thing of the past.

Closed door…

There’s a good chance that when I’m sitting in an office alone with the door closed I’m doing something important and I don’t want to be interrupted. The closed door should have been a dead giveaway. The shake of my head when you peered through the window could have been another good indication. The look of disbelief followed one of smoldering hatred when you walked in and started talking about getting your timesheet signed should probably have stopped you dead in your tracks. But no, despite the voices coming out of the speakerphone middle of the table, I actually had to tell you that I was on a teleconference and that no, this wasn’t a good time for us to discuss it. Actually, I think the exact phrase was “Christ on a crutch, I’m on a call here. Get the eff out.”

Fact is, I was doing a phone interview for a promotion with a different big government agency. If I don’t get the position, I know who I will forever blame for it. If my boss was sitting behind closed doors, wandering in just to discuss routine operational questions would be the furthest thing from my mind. The door’s closed for a reason. If it’s critical, I’ll make my own decision, leave a note, or send an email, but unless the fence line is about to be overrun by shotgun toting rednecks, I’m not taking it upon myself to decided whatever’s on my mind is more important than whatever the boss happens to be working on.
Good judgment, I suppose, isn’t something I should expect… but the ability of people to operate without me at my desk for 30 minutes seems like something they should be able to manage. Or not.

Editorial Note: This part of a continuing series of previously de-published blogs appearing on http://www.jeffreytharp.com for the first time. This post has been time stamped to correspond to its original publication date.

Size matters…

When I was 20, I moved into and out of the dorms with all my worldly possessions in a 1991 Chevy Cavilier. At 23, I needed my first u-haul; the one that looked like a S-10 pickup truck with a panel van body. At 25, and heading from Southern Maryland to Petersburg, VA I needed the 17 foot model. at 28 and leaving Maryland for Memphis, they brought the 26 foot truck. A few days shy of 33, I’m looking at the pile of boxes that now fill every room and really think that unless they bring a full semi trailer or a 40 foot shipping container, these guys are going to be in for some serious trouble tomorrow. I’m even starting to second guess the pile of boxes earmarked for the Tunda. I’m not going into a philosophical discussion about wants versus needs or conspicuous consumption, because my brain just isn’t working on that level at the moment. Actually, it’s just barely one step above the “grunt and point” level this evening, though the fact that I’m able to communicate at all after the whirlwind weekend should be testament to human resilience.

If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to obsessively check every drawer and cabinet a few more times before collapsing into my nice comfy bed for what will probably be the last time for a few weeks.

Brass tacks…

For those of you following along at home, the great packing saga of 2011 is coming down to brass tacks. By this time tomorrow, the only thing not boxed will be the cable modem and sundry electronic gear… and by this time Monday, everything should be on a truck and headed in a north easterly direction. I’m sticking in town for a couple of extra days to wrap up the loose ends, but have every intention of being on the way myself by Wednesday. There’s still a metric crapload of things that need to get done between then and now, but for the first time, I’m starting to feel like I’ll have it all done by the time I collapse tomorrow night.

I’m going to do my best to keep posting throughout this ordeal, but if things go dark around here for a couple of days, you’ll know that I misplaced some charging cables or accidentally sent my modem with the movers. Stay tuned, this story is about to get interesting.

x1000

If you were expecting another post about the harrowing experience of packing everything you own in preparation for dragging it 900 miles across the country, I’m saving that for tomorrow. Tonight is a purely self congratulatory post celebrating the 1000th visitor for the month. Well done May, very impressive. Since half my hits lately seen to come from people looking for information on the now-defunct hiring freeze, it’s only a matter of time before things settle back to the more routine 500 view a month level. It’ll be a good long time before I gin up a topic with that kind of interest again, so I’ll savor the moment. Well, the moment and this frosty Stella Artois. Cheers!

A matter of priorities…

So far we’ve had two meetings today with the Uberboss. One topic was a training program that no one wants to participate in and the other is about a report that literally no one is going to read. How do I know that no one will read it? Easy. The office that requested the report in the first place no longer exists. But I digress.

I’m not saying that management has its priorities jacked up, but at some point in the near future, we might want to actually schedule a meeting about the year’s budget request that has been rejected twice now by the home office. Way back when dinosaurs ruled the earth and I was an MBA student, I learned that having a budget and sticking to it was among the most important things I needed to do as a manager. Maybe I missed the day when they went over the part where they were joking and really the budget was just something you should blow off since no one really needs money anyway. Or maybe he just went to a different school.

So, once again our fearless leader is at war with his own superiors. Yeah, I’m sure this is going to end well. Maybe we should just schedule a meeting to talk about new signage for office doors… Which would be funny if it weren’t already on the calendar for next week.

Editorial Note: This part of a continuing series of previously de-published blogs appearing on http://www.jeffreytharp.com for the first time. This post has been time stamped to correspond to its original publication date.