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MegaZone's Safety Valve
The Ramblings of a Damaged Mind
I'm Not Dead Yet!
Hi all - long time, no post... Life has been a bit rocky the past couple of months. I haven't been reading LiveJournal at all either, sorry if I missed anything important. I'm trying to get back into the swing of things again - I just made a post to GizmoLovers.com explaining some things, so I'll paste it here. The short version is my hand is still messed up and I lost my job on February 2nd. So life is juuuust peachy.

First of all, thank you to everyone who is actually still reading this. The blogosphere is a 'what have you done for me lately' world, and I've certainly seen the hit count graph trending rapidly downward since I stopped posting. I appreciate those who have stuck around through the drought.

So, you may have noticed that things have been pretty quiet around here for the past couple of months. I've received a few inquiries about just what's going on and if I'd ever resume posting, etc. The short answer is yes, and I'm going to be trying to get back into the swing of things now, though it may take a little while to get back to speed.

What happened? Well, as I posted back in January, I'm having some problems with my left hand. Since that post I have had an EMG, and it confirmed what my doctor suspected all along - something is wrong with the ulnar nerve. My left pinky and ring finger, and part of the hand, are still numb. But it has been a few months and I'm adapting to it, so typing isn't the struggle it was at first. I'm waiting for a neurology appointment and I'm still hopeful the issue can be fixed in the end.

But that was just the first in a chain of events. I posted that on January 20th, and my blogging was a bit lighter in the days that followed as I was still struggling with typing and most of what I could manage was devoted to work. However, that soon changed - I lost my job with Sling Media on February 2nd. The short version is that I was participating in discussions at SlingCommunity.com and I posted something I didn't think was an issue in the context of the thread, and it probably would've been nothing - just a small post in a discussion forum. Except it got picked up by a popular blog (which I won't name since I don't really blame them, as a blogger I've done similar things in the past) and excerpted out of context, and from there a bunch of other blogs picked it up, and before I knew it it was a major issue for management - and as a result I lost my job. I was completely blindsided by this, and I'm still out of work and trying to find a new position. I hope I can do so soon, I really can't remain unemployed for long financially. (BTW, my resume is here.)

This was a pretty big punch in the gut, and, honestly, it put me into a pretty bad depression. Believe it or not, this is the first time I've lost a job. I've been laid off a couple of times, but in those cases it was a company-wide thing and there were huge signs that it was coming, so it was expected and I was ready. In this case I was completely unprepared for it. I really loved working for Sling, loved the people there, and believed in the products, so it was very hard to have that end. My job with Sling was my favorite job, ever, and it will be very hard to find anything like it again. I really saw myself working there for a long time. I'm also the kind of person who really puts my all into my job, and I invest a lot of myself in my work. A good deal of my self-identity tends to stem from my work and my accomplishments therein. So my emotional reaction to losing the job was as if someone I cared for had died - it hit me pretty hard. And with the economy as it is, it is not a good time to be looking, so that's amped up the stress a bit.

The timing was also bad because I had a previously planned trip to visit my family from 2/14 to 3/1. I would've been blogging less, if at all, during that trip anyway as it was a vacation and time to visit my folks. But it also meant I couldn't really start looking for a new position right away as I would not be able to interview, let alone start, until after the trip. And, honestly, the depressed mood I was in was not conducive to constructive job hunting anyway. I just didn't have it in me to keep blogging during that time, my head was elsewhere. And I was still angry and frustrated over losing my job, so I didn't really trust myself to post about it in that state. I tried to keep participating in Sling Community for a short time, but I realized it was like salting the wound at the time and it was better to walk away, at least for now. I still care about the user community, so I may jump back in once things are more settled.

The upside was that I forced myself to pretty much ignore everything in my life for a couple of weeks and enjoy the time with my folks in Florida. We also took a few days to go up to Walt Disney World, and if you want a place to ignore life, you could do worse than Disney. So the trip gave me some time and distance from everything else, which is also why I deliberately didn't do anything related to tech, blogging, or work. (Well, except for my usual annual IT service for my folk's PCs, but that's family. And I could do that in my sleep.) After returning home on 3/2 of course I had a number of things to deal with - doctors, unemployment paperwork, COBRA, starting to look for a new position in earnest, and just generally pick up my life. I'm pretty much back on top of things now and my mood is a lot better, though not quite fully recovered, so I'm picking up the blogging reigns as well.

I've been largely out of the loop - I completely stopped reading blogs as well as posting. I needed a break from things to deal with everything - but I've been saving emails and the like to work my way through. Right now finding a new job is my first priority, but I miss blogging and I figure it'll probably be good for me to keep my brain in shape anyway.

Oh, and I'm not too proud to beg - since I'm unemployed even a little bit helps, so if you're planning to make any purchases using the site's affiliate links will provide a little something.

Thanks again for sticking with me through the drought, and I hope to be back to my old post volume soon. I wish I could make a living doing this, but that's not going to happen real soon. ;-) I'm the meantime, wish me luck.

Tags: ,
Current Location: 42.308929N 71.795328W
I am: tired
Current Media: TiVo: Reaper

(Deleted comment)
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: April 8th, 2009 12:14 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Thank you. Things are improving, I just accepted an offer from ColoSpace.
From: dirkcjelli Date: March 18th, 2009 03:16 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Good luck. I don't know how things in your end of the job market, but things structural-material are rough.
robotech_master From: robotech_master Date: March 18th, 2009 03:19 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Aw man, I'm sorry to hear life has been mistreating you like that.

I'm in a sort of similar boat, except that instead of my hand it's my leg that's giving me trouble—it's encased in a Taylor spatial frame, with rods and wires going into or right through the bone. I'm living with my parents while I recover enough to be on my own again.

I also got laid off from work, though it's looking like I have a line onto what might be my best job ever—I just have to get busy on it, when the leg starts hurting a little less (praise Percocet).

If there's anything I can do to help you out, I'd be happy to.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: April 8th, 2009 01:10 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
DAMN - what happened? I hope you're healing well - and I hope you get that job. (Or got it by now.)
robotech_master From: robotech_master Date: April 8th, 2009 01:26 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
What happened was on October 3rd, I was heading east toward work into the rising sun. The rising sun got in my eyes. Shortly thereafterward, I had a fateful encounter with the back of a parked car.

Didn't hurt the car any. Not even a mark on it. Totaled my scooter, and my left leg.

I was in a brace for several months—one of those annoying things with about six velcro straps. But the darned leg healed crooked, and last month I went into the hospital to have them re-break it and build an erector set around it. Now I'm wearing this thing called a Taylor spatial frame with Ilzarov fixators: three wires that go right through my leg above the break, and three pins sunk through the skin into the bone below the break. And adjustable struts that hold them together. Every day, the struts are gradually adjusted a couple of millimeters to pull the bones back into true. (We make the last adjustment on Thursday.) After that, I wear it for five or six more months while the bone regrows and heals.

The annoying thing about it is that I have to work with the flesh around the wires and pins twice a day to keep it from adhering to the metal and causing trouble. It's a bit painful, and kind of gross too.

I've put some recent pics of the leg on my TwitPic account if you want to see. It may be a little gross, but it's a lot better than it used to be.

As for the job, I haven't really gotten it yet per se. It's a sort of a test thing. I have to submit a sort of essay in collage form to demonstrate some cogent fact about current cultural trends. (It's a long story.) Then I get $600, and get on as a contractor to enter news articles into their database. I'll get $2 per entry and should be able to make about as much as I did at my old hell-job—assuming I can force my silly self to get down and work on them. Procrastination has always been my greatest vice. :/
trinsf From: trinsf Date: March 18th, 2009 03:26 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Aww! That's all terrible! I know the "what have you done for me lately" comment was more to the GizmoLovers folks, but I appreciate your knowledge and insights on all kinds of subjects, even when you're not posting regularly.

I'm not a big name bay area person, but my sweetie and many of his friends are connected at all the big name places. I'll keep my ears open for things out here -- did you ever finish the move here, or are you still on the other coast?
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: April 8th, 2009 01:11 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
I'm still in MA. The move had been postponed indefinitely due to the housing market here (I own a house), and now it isn't going to happen since I lost the job.
reme From: reme Date: March 18th, 2009 03:31 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
i wish you luck! you're in my thoughts.
weaktwos From: weaktwos Date: March 18th, 2009 03:55 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
I will think good thoughts for employment soon, as well as the recovery of your left hand.
hnybny From: hnybny Date: March 18th, 2009 04:00 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Wow, I know you loved Sling so this must be really hard for you. I can only hope you find a job as fulfilling.
mackys From: mackys Date: March 18th, 2009 04:24 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Best of luck on the job hunt. If I see anything that looks promising, I'll forward it your way.

If you end up needing to do some temp work to keep the lights on, I've worked with TEK Systems before and liked them.
nilasae From: nilasae Date: March 18th, 2009 08:41 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Whoa, that's a whole load of stuff you had on your platter. Good luck, man & good to see you back!
booniesbill From: booniesbill Date: March 18th, 2009 12:00 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Blech, C-Term strikes.
buddhagrrl From: buddhagrrl Date: March 18th, 2009 02:23 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
AH!! This!
buddhagrrl From: buddhagrrl Date: March 18th, 2009 02:22 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
I'm sitting in Starbucks getting watery eyed reading this. I want you to bbe happy and content and have idea what that would mean.

No idea. Feeling like a useless voyeur. I just wanted to tell you it hurts to think about and I have nothing but sympathy for your experiences of the last few months.

So I guess.... I'm wishing you luck, is what I'm saying. Making an aspiration. May MegaZone be safe, healthy, happy, productive, creative, and content.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: April 8th, 2009 01:15 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Thank you - and sorry to upset you, though I appreciate the concern.

The good news is I just accepted an offer and I should be working again soon, probably next week.
pfloyd From: pfloyd Date: March 18th, 2009 03:04 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Good luck to you, mate. I wonder what's been going on with you whenever I passed your street on Monday and Wednesday mornings on my way to work after dropping off Marcus at day care.

Chin up. Things can always be worse.

qedrakmar From: qedrakmar Date: March 18th, 2009 03:27 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
That sucks, dude. Are you in the bay area or are you still back in MA?
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: April 8th, 2009 01:16 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
I'm still in MA - trapped by the housing market with my house here.
pockyman From: pockyman Date: March 18th, 2009 09:28 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
I'm sorry that things haven't been going your way, man. :/ I hope you find something soon; if I hear of something, I'll let you now. ^^

Fingers are crossed, man!
rfachir From: rfachir Date: March 28th, 2009 01:30 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Good Luck in your search! Check out the non-profit medical world. Those companies expect some serious help from various stimulous programs.