I started a new job today. For ten years, I’ve worked at Hi-School Pharmacy in Vancouver doing IT support, but it had become clear to me over the last year that I didn’t have a future at that company. We weren’t getting raises, there was no opportunity for advancement, and in the end even the new projects started to dry up.
So now I work at Allion Test Labs in Beaverton. It’s a cool company, although it’s hard to describe exactly what it is they do…the short version would probably be “testing consumer electronics,” although it’s a lot broader than that. I’ve only just started, so I don’t really have a feeling for how the day-to-day is going to go, but everyone I talk to there enjoys their job and is happy with the company. That’s a lot more than I could say at Hi-School, and I could get used to working at a place like that.
There are downsides, of course. Working at Hi-School for so long, I got a real fine sense of what was allowed and what wasn’t, what rules were actually followed versus what the employee handbook said. I knew under what circumstances I should put off taking lunch, for instance, or when I could take off for the day 15 minutes early. I’ve just got to re-learn all that, and it takes time.
It also means that I don’t get to go to Norwescon this year. It’s in just three weeks, and I won’t have enough vacation saved up to make it. I kind of had a feeling this was coming, so it wasn’t a shock, but I’m still disappointed. Oh well; there’s still Westercon, WorldCon, and OryCon. It’ll be a busy year on the convention circuit.
I’m also hoping that this will be an opportunity to dig back into my writing. I tend to write with more discipline when I have less time to put off writing, and with this job I definitely have less time. Enough time, to be sure, but it means that I have to prioritize writing like I really haven’t for awhile. I think this job could be a good opportunity, in more ways than one.