Why, Yes. That IS a Cliff.
A whole lot has happened since I wrote last even though it has only been a week. I came into work on the 31st after an excellent weekend and started working. I was not doing anything too arduous, just the usual runlists. By 10 or 11am, I had a bad headache and my jaw ached. I couldn't figure out why at first. Then, I realized that I was so tense, I had been clenching my jaw as I worked. That is what was giving me a headache. That was one of the reasons I hurt from my shoulders up. That was the straw that broke the camel's back.
Without having any clue of the buzz my resume had generated on Monster, I walked into Lori's office to talk to her. She had been looking much more relaxed since she resigned and I declared that I was going to quit. Give them my resignation as of today. Period. End of Story. I'm pretty sure she did the adult thing and pointed out how bad that would be for me to do and my basic response was, "Yep. I know that's a cliff. Here I go."
I had a meeting with my boss planned, so, I decided to wait and calm down. Then, he tried to cancel it. I walked into his office and told him that I needed to speak to him today. Since I never do that, he made the time for later in the afternoon. I went back to my desk and called my parents. Mostly because I needed to vent, they don't work in the afternoons and eventually, I knew I would tell them anyway. Dad was concerned. Mom already knew I had plans for it. Both of them told me they supported me and if I didn't manage to grow wings fast enough after I leapt from the cliff, I always had a safe haven with them. Then, Dad joked about making me do yard work.
Note to self: Next time I jump off a cliff like this, wait until I have another job to let the parents know. They worry too much.
My meeting with my boss was kind of funny. He was absolutely speechless. When he did find the words, he asked me if there was anything he could do to make my transition easier. I asked him what I needed to do now. Besides putting my resignation in writing, he didn't know. He had never dealt with someone resigning before. I almost felt sorry for him because he had a lost "Oh, crap! What do I do now?" look on his face.
His boss came into my office a day later with "What the hell?! Why are you leaving? Who am I going to get candy from? Who's going to do the status?" An amusing greeting from him since he's one of the reasons I'm leaving. A minor reason... but a reason nonetheless. Then, he told me about sending out my resignation email to the organization later that day and that he would miss working with me.
The responses to finding out that both Lori and I are leaving MS within the same week have been very interesting and somewhat unexpected. The first group of people, mostly from PlaceWare, has come to me to tell me they wish they could leave too but cannot for various reasons. They tell me how unhappy they are and wish me good luck in my endeavors outside of MS and make me promise to keep in touch and let them know where I go. I did not expect this. The second group of people, mostly from MS, has come to me to ask me, "Why are you leaving MS? Sure, you're bored with Live Meeting, MS has many other projects. Why leave MS?" It is almost an accusatory line of questioning. I get the sense some are asking "Aren't we good enough for you?" in-between the lines. Again, unexpected and occasionally creepy. The third group of people, from both sides, has expressed a great sadness at no longer working with me. For some, it had been over 5 years. I will miss them a lot. But, it's not like I'm leaving the state. I will see them in social situations.
I've been asked many times why I would leave a good job with spectacular benefits and a stable future. All my reasons basically boil down to one simple fact: I am not happy. Not as things stand. Not in this job. Not working for this company. I do not want to spend more than half my life in a job that I am unhappy with. My more detailed reasons for leaving are as follows:
1. 5.5 years on any one product is a very long time. I really do need something new. I want to work on something, anything, but Live Meeting. I am proud of what I have accomplished but, it's time to move on.
2. I do not want to code. I have never liked coding. MS is moving to all SDETs and that is not a good fit for me. I have been extremely stressed ever since this edict has been passed down.
3. Patrick is no longer my boss. I have had both the worst and best bosses of my professional career while here at MS. Patrick is the kind of boss you go through hell for because he's just that good. He's no longer my boss and, as swell of a guy as my current boss is, he's no Patrick and thus, no worth going through reasons one and two for.
4. I want to. I want to see what working outside of MS is like up here in the Pacific NW. I want a different environment. It is a simple, basic but important reason.
So, now, I'm doing interviews for jobs. The Monster board is pretty awesome. I have three hot prospects: One from Monster located in Bothell: one from a friend located in Kirkland; and one from a friend and Craig's list located in Capital Hill. I'm pretty happy with the selection I have had. My only worry right now seems to be whether or not I'm going to get enough time off to rest in-between jobs rather than whether or not I'm going to have a job to go to. As problems go, that's not a bad one. Really. I seem to have leapt from the cliff and grown wings fast enough to catch myself as I fall. But, it's been nice to know that others have been waiting with arms outstretched, just in case.
Monday night, we really got Ben. We planned a surprised birthday party for him on his regular Crimson Dawn GM night. Of course, he made it a bit more complicated by showing up way earlier than usual, the monkey. We adapted and overcame the problem. It didn't hurt that he had called me on the pre-text of wanting to return my B5 DVDs in order to get me there to do a Crimson Dawn downtime scene. I agreed. He thought he had pulled one over on me. Hah. We showed him. I think he was pleased with his gift from all of us: A year subscription to Netflix. I decided on this because he's been coveting one for at least five months.
Tarot Card for the Day: Eight of Swords