For most of the US, as is common knowledge, this weekend was Thanksgiving weekend.  For most of the "white collar" workforce, that means a four day weekend.  Which brings up an interesting question.  What color is my collar?  It certainly not a laborer, which seems to mean it's white by default, but that seems … weird.  Lawyers wear white collars.  Who knows.

So what did I do with my weekend?  I (along with Heather and the kids) went to my folks house on the coast, ate copiously, stayed up WAY too late writing code by choice, watched some football, came back home Saturday, and went to the zoo for a picnic on an appropriately sunny, albeit cold, Sunday.

Work has been very frustrating since starting at Mentor, and it's only gotten more so within the past few months.  Suffice to say, not having to think about anything work related for four days was a blessed relief.   I don't want to imply that I'm one of those people who dreads going to work every day.  In the general sense, I very much like my career, just the specifics of the past "while" have me to the point of dread.

What struck me this evening, as I was opening my laptop to check my email one last time, was that I didn't want to just check my email.  I wanted to go get a glass of water and spend until the early hours of tomorrow morning banging out some more code (and Flex-based code to boot!).  That was strangely reassuring to me, because it meant that I'm still doing the right thing for my job, it's just the specifics that suck.

Work is something that I've always tried to cleanly delineate from my personal life.  The lens was certainly focused spending last year working from home, but it existed before and has persisted since.  One aspect that certainly contributes is that Heather doesn't really understand software development beyond a superficial level (the "yeah, so I cast the foo char to the boo-leen [sic] array, and pop the kernel stack" level), so the triumphs and defeats at work are hard to bring home with any sort of depth.

My evenings are, ironically, usually spent on the computers working on "stuff", where stuff is any of myriad personal application I've built and use, some public, some not.   I dislike watching TV aside from a handful of shows, but Heather follows a number of series, so she's often watching those or at practice for the community choir she sings in.  A significant portion of the R&D work I do is off the clock.  Which I don't really mind, because I'm going to write the code whether it's paid for or not, but it seems a bit odd from the 25,000 foot view.

Before leaving AudienceCentral at the end of last year (amicably, I might add), I'd been pretty much heads-down on a complete rewrite of the company's software platform.  A significant undertaking, as you might imagine.  Aside from that project, most of the "demanding" coding that I've done since the turn of the century is of a personal nature.  And not even "on personal time to be released open source to the benefit of all", but totally personal.  I put "demanding" in quotes above, because I have two very specific definitions in mind:

  1.  requiring significant effort to …

end of story, at least for tonight.  Heather just came and kissed me, and it was wonderful……..

3 responses to “Me.”

  1. J.J. Merrick

    I consider myself a "no collar"


  2. koen

    I was just thinking about this stuff last night, watching the end of a painful Eagles-Patriots football game. I was happily sitting on the couch with Agent and my two puppies, wondering at how absolutely lucky I am and at the same time, feeling the itch to get busy doing something useful. Useful, of course, being to jump on a computer and create something simple and amazing that will make my life or my work easier or provide a resource to someone else. This is exactly why I had to give up the computer at home, because I am addicted. I have to find satisfaction at work, even if it means coming up with my own projects and challenges, lowering my expectations, and creating situations that will give me all those "I'm a helpful genius!" warm and fuzzy feelings that is so much of the reason that I bother in the first place.

  3. koen’s ride » Blog Archive » The Color of my Collar

    [...] co-worker, Barney, asked the question "What color is my collar?" in a post written over the weekend, concluding it was white. By association, then, my collar would also be [...]