I'm feeling a bit better today. Maybe I got some valid sleep last night, or maybe it's just the fact that you can only sustain unrequited anger for so long towards someone. Or maybe it's the fact that I spent most of last night on a long walk to the library and Best Buy and back again, while the rest of my family was out of the house. Yes, I think that's it.

Because while I like having a family, I also like not having one -- being able to take time by myself, go where I want, enjoy what I want, without having to worry about anyone else's desires at that particular moment. It's not selfish, it's just private. I like being able to move quickly and change my mind at a whim without having to convince anyone else to go along with me. It's more a matter of efficiency than anything else.

Of course, that still leaves me with the fun of my job. This morning the company was rounded up and informed that one of our sales guys had cleaned out his cubicle last night and delivered his two-week notice this morning by e-mail. Apparently he was concerned about the financial stability of our small operation and decided to abandon ship while the getting was good.

Small wonder, really, since we've probably all been thinking the same thing. Ever since the monthly financial reports for our tiny, twenty-odd person operation started going south last year it's been looking poor, but just a month or so ago we learned five employees were being laid off, five more were taking a 20% reduction in hours (and therefore pay), and the rest of us were taking a 10% reduction in pay whether we liked it or not.

I was relieved at the time to discover I wasn't among the fired, naturally enough, but I was never confident it would last, and I'm even less confident these days. Financials don't seem to be improving quickly enough, and now this.

So once again I'm looking around, and passing out résumés, and talking to friends and doing whatever I can to cover my own backside so that when, not if, my position vanishes, I'm ready to move on. My family, and mortgage, depends on it.

I'm not sure moving on would instantly help things, but I'm sure not enjoying this job as much as I used to. Once there were three of us back in this corner of the office doing Internet development; now it's just me, and when I'm stuck I'm stuck by myself.

And as is universal for people in my line of work, the clients are usually (I use this politely) morons. I'm currently dealing with a client with whom we agreed to develop an e-commerce site for fencing supplies. Not the sword-fighting kind, the backyard kind. Chain link, vinyl and wood, tools and accessories and gates and all that. The client saw a competitor's site written up in some kind of national magazine, decided he wanted one just like it but better, and we agreed.

Which was stupid, because (a) the competitor's site is, to be bluntly honest, an unsightly piecemeal chunk of crap. Why he'd want to recreate it is beyond me. I've also been given a couple of Photoshop designs from a freelance designer to be used as templates for the site, which of course have none of the fonts I'd need and need to be rebuilt anyways because the categories have changed. The reason they've changed is because I changed them, because the original ones were copied from the competitor's site and were fundamentally illogical. They're still illogical, because there's only so much anyone can do with this assignment, but at least they're more organized.

Today I finished working up Dreamweaver templates for the site, and now I need to start dumping some content in there. I can't build the e-commerce side of the site yet, because the client can't or won't give us enough data to build a comprehensive database for his products, and I now doubt he ever will. I've been telling people that I can't create content out of thin air, especially about fencing supplies which I know less than nothing about, so the client needs to supply it or at least help me work some up that makes sense.

That's not happening, so I'm giving up and going with the client's original plan: take the stack of product brochures he's handed us, scan the photos and copy the descriptive text, copyright matters be hanged, and build some content out of it.

I'm going to forget the database or anything so efficient. I don't ever expect to get to the e-commerce side of this site. To be frank, I don't ever expect to get any more product information after this, so a dynamic and easy-to-update database would be pointless overkill.

Oh well. At least we've already been paid for some of the work. I'd hate to spend my last paycheck begging for some return on my work for this thing.

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