("These are the voyages")

The preceding 40-odd hours have been fraught with emotion.

Gee, that is such an innocent sentence....

And yet....in that short timespan, I've been fired from a comfortable but futureless job, and hired for a promising-but-tough job that is sure to take me all the right places.

Quick flashback/background:

("Five years ago...")

I used to be a career programmer. I got tired of that (yes, my geekish friends, there are other kinds of geekdom worth pursuing) and took up history as a field of endeavour. Recently, I got my BA (with, I might immodestly add, the record highest grade average at my University).

All the time, I've kept on working as a freelance programmer, part time, for the same employer where I used to work full time. I've been there since 1989, believe it or not. Recently, given my academic level, I'd been planning to junk that job and get a new one, more relevant to the study of history. I'd been offered jobs at the Royal Danish Archives, and elsewhere, but I hadn't taken them. They paid less money (civil servants don't exactly cash in on their careers), and my existing job required no brain at all. I was simply too lazy to upset the apple cart.

Recently, my place of employment, a newspaper, had been the object of a buy-out, and the new owners were known to be trimming the fat (that would be me - hi, guys!).

Fast forward to yesterday:

("Meanwhile, at the newspaper, our intrepid hero, supecting nothing....")

When I arrived at work, my boss (who, I might add, is an all-around nice guy, and the only boss I've ever had who I really like) called me into his office. "We have to talk," he said - and, hey, I knew what that meant.

Sure enough, I was fired. No surprise. My boss tried to break it gently, and promised me a long and gentle tapering-off of the relationship, if I so desired. He knew that, as a student, I'd have to go shopping for a job immediately (I do have two kids to support, after all), and he promised to make it as easy as possible for me.

I didn't pretend to be happy about the situation, but I was openly relieved. My own laziness had been keeping me from quitting, even though I knew it would be better for me to do so - in order to get a more relevant job. After all, being a web programmer may be all well and good - but it has no real significance on the CV of an historian.

Anyway, we parted on amicable terms, with an agreement to fix a final date sometime in the very near future - and I went job-hunting.

Not for long, though...


("Leaping tall buildings in a single bound...")

Having spent a customary sleepless night considering the matter, I went to the University today. In a far from random manner, I went to see one of my teachers, who'd been my guide through the difficult subject of the Second War for Schleswig-Holstein a little over a year ago. He had a high opinion of me, I knew, and he'd always struck me as being a mover and shaker, one of those people who are connected.

I presented my situation, and Bona Fortuna smiled on me. It seems he'd been looking for a research assistant with precisely my qualifications. Ten minutes later, I had a tentative job offer (subject to a few funding considerations, but pretty much bankable). Not only that, but this was precisely the sort of job that I'd been thinking about getting, in order to get started in the field of professional history, for over a year.

Go figure.


("Sour apples")

Yes, there are some sour apples, but only a few. I should be completely overjoyed. Really, I am.


It's just that I'd so wanted to be the one that quit to go on to better things, instead of the one that got fired.

I guess what pisses me off is that they beat me to it.

- 30 -

(in other words, EOF)