Thursday was my last day at Hutman. It was pretty sad. I didn't know if there was anything that was going to come up to work on, but it stayed pretty quiet. Mostly I worked on cleaning things up, deactivating my copy of Adobe Creative Cloud on the work computer, deleting my user accounts stuff like that. We went out for an Indian buffet, that was nice. But overall, pretty uneventful.
So here's how the last few days have been... And how I'm feeling about the future.
It's kind of hard to easily exit when you're working somewhere that has a lot of ongoing projects for a lot of different clients. Especially when many of those projects span weeks or months. And there are a lot of things that I didn't really have documented or explained for the other devs. That's kind of why I made the c5_boilerplate package - it was very much to go through and train them, and to make it easier for me to do stuff in the future. There was some talk about how a couple different complex applications work.
There was one last project that was coming up that our new developer...
Their new developer. Their new developer.
Sorry, it's still fresh. I still think of myself as part of the family at Hutman.
Anyway, one of the last things that the two of us went through was conceptually how to code a couple pieces of that application. Well, two pieces (simple, but important) of it, at any rate. She seemed to have a really good handle on it. But when I last talked with Robert, it sounded like something I could bang out in a couple of days. The custom objects demo was a great starting point, and both of the pieces were similar enough that creating one basically meant the other was done. So this week was spent banging that out.
I finished it up about 5:30 or so Tuesday. Everything seemed to be working great, it was kind of weird to have something just flow from beginning to end exactly as planned.
It's been happening a lot lately. Things just work out perfectly. Wake up. Kettle on. Shower. Out and dried, walk to stove, turn off right as the whistle begins to blow. Pour into waiting french press. Buying tea at the coop by just putting a bag over the jar and pouring it. Who cares how much? And it always fits like the picture above. No thought. Nothing but guessing. It's weird how accurate that can be.
It seems like there's always some little glitch with projects, especially when there's a deadline. That's just how web development goes. But not this time. It felt really great to know that nothing had come up with my last project. That all the other ones were pretty well set. That I wasn't, I guess, breaking anything by leaving.
I guess, really, isn't that the problem with leaving anything? You know what needs to happen for you, and no matter how great those are, you think of how bad it could make things for people who are left behind. Do you stay to help them, or do you leave to help you? It seems like far too often, I choose the later. And a lot of times, I don't even allow myself to form deep connections simply because I can see that there will be a time they need to end. And the pain of even seeing that there will be an end, often why, and how... That can completely break you. The fear of the end prevents the beginning.
Maybe that's part of why I went back to freelance. Not so much that things weren't good where I was at. They were quite nice, it's an amazing to work there. If anything, it was that fear of commitment. It was seeing the next 5-10 years laid out, and knowing I would need more. Selfish, I know.
I had decided kind of last minute to throw a barbecue / potluck to celebrate. Then I headed out to run a couple errands, and came back home to get things together. The last few weeks I've been doing a ton of cleaning and getting rid of things, rearranging. So I felt OK with actually having people over. But the more that I looked into the state of my place, the more that I found needing to be cleaned. So Wednesday night, I found myself still cleaning things at 2am. I didn't think it would take too long, but then remembered that it had been months since I cleaned my fridge. Kind of hard when you want people to bring food and you've got a totally icky fridge. So everything had to be pulled out, then cleaned, then put back. There were a few other things that had to be done, sweeping, mopping, etc.
At the end of it, my place was cleaner than it has been in years. But I'd mopped myself into the bedroom, so a lot of stuff still needed to be put back in place. Up at about 7:30 to finish everything up and I thought it was perfect. Left for work, but was a bit late still with getting it all together. I didn't want to be late on my last day, so was in kind of a rush to take off. I was taking the slow bike out so I could bring panniers and and carry stuff back, so switching things over took awhile, too. Ran out, and made it about 1.5 miles before I realize that while I had almost max cargo capacity, I did not, actually have my chai.
I'd made up enough to ensure that there was enough for any friends that showed up who wanted to be sober, and my day at work. So like 2.5 or 3 gallons. A TON of chai. But none to take with me.
And I actually decided not to turn around. I already thought that I was going to be late, so I just stopped at Freewheel Midtown and had them fill up my water bottle with cold press. Told them that I probably wouldn't be in again all that often. I'll still go sometimes, but if it's not actually on the route to work, it's kind of hard to want to head out for a scone.
It felt so slow riding into the wind with the panniers and my messenger bag, even though I didn't have a lot of cargo. Simple wind drag, lack of sleep, whatever. Somehow I ended up only being 4 min late, though.
Work was slow. I almost had one small bug fix, but I was warned to not sync up and test locally before just looking at it online. Good think I did. If I'd synced everything, it would have been 8-12 min. Since I just logged in to the CMS and didn't see how to recreate, there was no way to fix it, since apparently it didn't exist.
So I worked on removing most traces of myself from the work computer. Seemed like that went pretty well. It was the last thing that I did was this:
sudo rm -Rf .~/jeremy/
That was from an account I made called 'New Guy' for whoever had the computer next. They're probably going to use windows, but in case they use ubuntu I don't want them to be able to access all my stuff. It took about 10 min to do the whole clearing, apparently I had a lot of crap in there.
I was planning on taking my Zenergy Ball Chair with me, too. That was the main reason for all the cargo capacity. but both Robert and my across-the-hall neighbor Cory (the project manager out at Hutman now) said that they could bring it home. So all the extra cargo space was pretty much useless.
So, what do you do with the first hours after leaving a job? Part-ay!!!
It was kind of like that. Mostly it was trying to get the rest of everything together, making guacamole, slicing cheese, onions, and tomatoes, seasoning the ground beef, stuff like that. Was still in that mode when the first people got there. Got the grill going, with some help. I don't grill much. A fire going. Then more people.
I didn't really do the thing where you take pictures of everything. It was a great night, a lot of my long time friends were out, and a lot that are new friends. It was really kind of interesting to host people for the first time in a long time. Especially with things actually kind of 'working' for my apartment. I don't think of it really as a welcoming space. I'm not sure why that is. Part of it might be the fact that I typically only see a lot of my friends when we are all out at something. Often, that's 75 people or more. I look at what I have and realize I don't have enough space to host everyone that I would want to have there.
There were several reactions from people to things that I see as problems / limitations where the person making the comment saw them as a strength. That helped a lot with my mental focus. It still is, actually. Something I think I really needed, especially as I step over that boundary into the unknown. In order to be in the right spot to jump to the next rung, I need to be in a mental state where I can see that next rung as something that can actually reached.
Fear is the mind killer, right?
It was really nice to also feel the way different relationships change, how some can be the same a decade later, and others can head towards that same situation a decade from now.
Friday was spent cleaning things up from the BBQ. A lot was brought in last night, but I had moved a bunch of stuff around for getting music and electricity for lights outside. That just kind of got thrown in when I finally got to sleep about 3:30am.
Nothing really to show that there were a bunch of people there. I think using the backyard more often is certainly in order. In the 4(?) years I've been here, I think there have been less than a dozen backyard parties. Yet it's an awesome space. One friend even said that she was going to come back when we're not even here and hang out there to chill and relax. She just liked it that much!
After finishing up with dishes and some laundry, it was time to have a couple calls with potential customers. Everything the were looking for seemed like it was completely within my skill set, and both could potentially lead to more ongoing work. Already I'm seeing points where I could potentially help them both out beyond what they actually need.
Today I'm meeting with an accountant to make sure I have everything accounted for and know how to do the taxes and track all the other stuff needed to really actually be a business. Or, I guess, a business doing more than just selling software. Actually doing dev for my own clients changes that quite a bit. 2-3K / year requires a lot less attention than 40 or 50.
It seems like already 60/70% of July might be filled up with work. That's pretty amazing.
It's nice to kind of jump out into things and realize that, no, you aren't going to sink like a stone. Instead you just happen to have some base jumping gear, and you scream past everything...
I'm really looking forward to the future.