Friday, August 4 2000
My boss Linda took me out to lunch at a fairly posh West LA Indian restaurant today, all expenses (including import beer) paid for by the company. This outing was strictly business, however. We had to go over my "Performance Plan" together. It's the document against which I will be measured when the time comes to decide on my pay raise and yearly bonus. For me, the whole thing was a perfunctory exercise, and I'm sure it was for Linda as well. But she's a senior manager and she had to at least act like it meant something. Still, I'm a jaded programmer and am fully aware of the fact that I mustn't stay at any one job for very long if I want to advance in the industry. I'm well aware of the low probability that I'll even be around when the raises are finally handed out.
Anyway, we had an amiable, wide-ranging talk about what the company needs and what I'm good at providing. She sort of hinted around that the company needed a Flash Developer, but being very green about Flash, I was hesitant to take the bait. In the aftermath of the Performance plan, it looks like my next big project will be the design of a rejuvenated member pages section. It will be sort of like the free home pages offered by Geocities, etc, but maybe I'll get to do some interesting stuff like building database-driven templates for things like photogalleries, weblogs and online journals. The most satisfying thing that Linda told me in our discussion was her desire for me to hand off most of my developed products (such as message boards) to "Jr. Developers," enabling me to continuously move on to newer and better things.
Throughout the day, I felt myself becoming increasingly ill for the first time since January of 1999 (a year and a half ago; amazing when you add up all the self-abuse). It started with body aches and strange mental symptoms. I described these to my bemused colleagues as resembling the effects of "huffing glue." (Mind you, I've never disrespected my body enough to actually inhale solvents.)
Strangely, though, this early stage of flu onset was the perfect sort of malady to have while designing a four-table statistics database. I even stayed late working on the big stored procedure that populates it, though I declined an invitation to go out with my colleagues for the purpose of hoisting a few fermented refreshments.
When I got home, I found the internet access had been cut off. What can I do without my main method of expression? Not a whole lot. If I'd been feeling healthier, I would have returned to work. But I was feeling pretty sick by this point. So I took a bath and went to bed. Kim, who had been out doing things in Venice where she's trying to get an apartment, came home much later.
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