Showing posts from August, 2009

Unemployment, Interrupted

Well, there go all of my semi-retirement plans: I got a job! Now I have to put on pants and go back to the office, which really throws a wrench in my previous plans to ride my bike, walk around in shorts and sandals, and spend every morning smiling serenely over my newspaper at everyone as they rushed in and out of Starbucks. I even considered taking my laptop down there so I could pretend to be working on another book!

[Sigh], I suppose I shouldn't complain too much. After all, the job came to me before I even got around to looking for one, while other people can do nothing but look. I guess God has his first assignment ready for me already. Exploring Boulder County by bike will have to wait.

My New KPIs

Working as a financial services consultant for the last six years, I learned to love metrics. We measured everything: the site's performance, response times, down time, up time, wait times, peak times. We measured return on investment, return on capital, expenses, revenues, client satisfaction, and call volumes. If you could assign a number to it, we tracked it, and if you couldn't, we made one up (they call those "composite metrics"). But the most important numbers were the KPIs, Key Performance Indicators. If you wanted to call yourself a project manager, then you had to get yourself a set of those. KPIs measure the success of a project. They tell you whether the last six months of meetings, late nights, arguments, and design debates were worth it. They also tell your boss (or in my case, your client) whether you're worth the money they're paying to keep you around. You watch those numbers pretty closely. Now that I'm voluntarily unemployed and living i…

Into Thin Air

So this is it. We're really leaving Boston after 12 years to move to Boulder, Colorado, a place we've visited exactly once, for a long weekend. This would seem stupid if it didn't almost exactly mirror the move to Boston 12 years ago. Of course, last time it was just me and my wife, moving from a small rental house in Tacoma to an even smaller hotel room in Harvard Square. That time, we had only visited Boston once, overnight. But it felt right, and other than the bitter cold (-40 wind chill the night we arrived) and a mild case of pneumonia for the first couple of weeks we were here, it all worked out amazingly well. Who needs planning, or lists of pros and cons, or… housing?

Yeah, we're moving to Boulder without a place to live -- though I'll settle that before the family arrives -- without a job, and without really knowing anyone in the area. We're going because it feels right, like our time in Boston has come to an end and God has a new assignment for us in …