I'm in a twilight zone between having resigned from a job and finding a new one. Perhaps not twilight, perhaps it is just night-time, between the sunset and the inevitable sunrise...

I started at my last job with such high hopes and expectations. My retrospective view is stained with some bitterness, but not so much as to be unclear. I've learned that one of the most dangerous things a company can do with their key staff is to over-promise and subsequently under-deliver. The problem is, of course, when one is being over-promised to, only a cynic would not believe, and I'm not one who is normally cynical.

So I spent 22 months of my precious life labouring towards a future that would never be. I was promised equity in a spin-off business. I was promised a significant development facility staffed by geeks of my own choosing. I was promised international travel. I was promised a pot of gold.

Most (if not all) others in the organisation have similar stories to tell. The best and brightest leave. Only mediocre staff remain. Which compounds the cycle.

That none of these things eventuated is not due to crash-dot-com in 2000 or the tech wreck in 2001. This state of unhappy parting is down to a misunderstanding of generosity. On one hand the owner is an extremely generous fellow -- open nights at the bar, weekends away, plenty of RAM. But on the other hand, he can't let go of anything really important, like direction, influence, control, peer-level participation. It takes an extraordinary man or woman to take complete control and perform impeccably.

What results is an environment of blame. And all the best people leave.

I'm mostly sad. It could have been great, if only the boss had eased off the gifting (which is merely beads and blankets after all) and opened the power structure a little.

I'm seeing my headhunter again today, meeting number two. I'm pretty excited by the Gartner opportunity. I never realised they did hardcore consulting work. They sound like a smart bunch of people. I'm ready to work with smart people. People who I don't have to dumb everything down for.

I guess I'm feeling confident. Everyone around me says I should be. But after 22 months of being told "relax, everything's gonna be great!", I suppose I'm a little gun-shy. It's critical to me and my sanity that I move soon though.