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Jul. 13th, 2006 @ 04:52 pm escape from planet poverty: a case study in success
Current Location: san francisco
Current Music: Huey Lewis and the News - The Power of Love(coffeeshop radio
Remember that really awful interview I had yesterday? Well, apparently they hated me so much they're offering to hire me.

No, I don't understand it either. (I mean, I failed every test.) And though I offered to work for free, they're offering me $20 an hour as a QA tester. That's more than double what I was expecting.

Normally I would be overjoyed, but the catch is

a) the three-hour commute each way no longer sounds so painless now that I'm no longer desperate, and
b) I'm going to miss going to the library every day and writing every night. I had just started doing that, and now it's not going to happen.

I'm almost tempted to say no just so I can spend this summer reading and writing and people-watching full time (this may be the only opportunity I have to do this until I retire), but at the rate my pockets are emptying it seems downright irresponsible. (I know God provides, but passing up a blessing to wish for another just doesn't seem like the kind of deal God would be okay with.) And at $20 an hour I might actually be able to break even this summer--including the $3000 I spent on plane tickets to Taiwan for my spirit quest and plane tickets to Boston for volunteering at SIGGRAPH.

But that's six hours a day down the drain. I'd have to get up at 7 and go to bed at 12, and I'd get home from work at around 9. I guess I could work in two hours to write, but augh. That's assuming I never need to stop to breathe. I guess I could get around this by moving to Palo Alto (where my job is), but that's a hassle in itself. And Palo Alto is a little slow for people-watching.

Argh! Why can't anything be easy?
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toroko
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From:oddtodd
Date:July 14th, 2006 12:16 am (UTC)
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If everything was easy it wouldn't be worth doing.

Congrats on the job. If you're really so hesitant, though, you may not want to take it. Yeah, it'll be rough, but it sounds like you'd get a lot out of it.

$20 an hour, on the other hand, is more than anyone in my family has ever made. And you can write and people watch during the commute.
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From:erf_
Date:July 14th, 2006 12:24 am (UTC)
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The $20 an hour comes from that college thing that you and I are doing. Philosophy major or not, I'm sure you'll be earning plenty for your family real soon. :]

I could write and watch people on the commute if it wasn't comprised mostly of twenty-minute legs of waiting for buses and watching for stops, with a one-hour can't-be-late-or-I'm-screwed train ride in the middle. Maybe I can nap on the train on the way back, though--that would give me some energy to write when I get home. I just hope no one picks my pocket while I'm asleep.
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From:hatikvah_42
Date:July 14th, 2006 12:28 am (UTC)
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Congrats on the job!

Can you spend the commute reading?
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From:erf_
Date:July 14th, 2006 12:30 am (UTC)
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If I can read in twenty-minute shifts while listening over tons of ambient noise for a small digitized voice to announce the names of each stop.

(Translation: No.)
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From:erf_
Date:July 14th, 2006 12:30 am (UTC)
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But thanks! I think. I hope.
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From:hatmaster
Date:July 14th, 2006 02:02 am (UTC)

attack the mainlanfd!

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enuff siad
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From:erf_
Date:July 14th, 2006 02:10 am (UTC)

Re: attack the mainlanfd!

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反攻大陸
殺豬拔矛
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From:mimeinashoebox
Date:July 14th, 2006 02:18 am (UTC)
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wow. that is insane.

i really don't know what to tell you. but... you can always try it out for a while, and if it really sucks the life out of you, you can quit. you'll have already made some sort of money by then, which is further along than what you've been expecting.
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From:erf_
Date:July 14th, 2006 02:21 am (UTC)
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wouldn't that be a breach of contract?
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From:retch
Date:July 14th, 2006 03:02 am (UTC)
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California is an At-Will employment state, which basically means they can fire you whenever they like, but also means you can leave whenever you like. It is customary to give two weeks notice, butyou only need to worry about that if you think you may ever interact professionally with any of the people at the company again.
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From:erf_
Date:July 14th, 2006 04:36 am (UTC)
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SWEET!
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From:mimeinashoebox
Date:July 14th, 2006 11:15 am (UTC)
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I guess. I don't know the arrangement that was offered to you.

... I'm used to the sort of job where you can say 'sorry, here are my two weeks notice.' heh.
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From:retch
Date:July 14th, 2006 03:04 am (UTC)
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that';s a hellish commute, especially in light of the details you give below. If you can afford it I'd recommend living in the valley if you do take the job. The Web2.0 bubble is blowing up, so don't jump at the job just because it was offered, keep looking for opportunities if this one isn't making you go wow.

Overall I'd say pass, but that's just my take, and hey, first job is first job. A couple years employment opens a lot of doors.
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From:erf_
Date:July 14th, 2006 04:33 am (UTC)
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As someone who's been there and back and then, your input is especially helpful. I will consider this carefully.
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From:retch
Date:July 14th, 2006 08:42 am (UTC)
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well, I don't want to scare you away from a job oppotunity. Getting a foot in the door somewhere is a good thing, though a programming job is probably better than a QA one if possible. You want to move rapidly into expensive programmer salary, not get stuck in QA ranks.

And the commute is indeed a big deal, that would eat a lot of your life, mine improved dramatically back when I worked in NYC once we moved to Hoboken and I went from 3 hours a day on trains and in stations to ~45 minutes. Either live near work, or REALLY love the job and not mind commuting, imho.
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From:judgewargrave
Date:July 14th, 2006 03:08 am (UTC)
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I'll bet you Stanford has some co-ops that would be willing to host you for cheap over the summer. As for the commute, use the first few days' pay to buy yourself a pair of noise-cancelling headphones.
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From:erf_
Date:July 14th, 2006 04:31 am (UTC)
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I'm looking at a few of those co-ops, actually. The time I'd spend doing co-op work would be far less than the time I'd waste commuting.

Noise-cancelling headphones? I'd miss my stop every time, because I wouldn't hear them call it.
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From:drabheathen
Date:July 14th, 2006 04:35 am (UTC)
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Yeah, I'd say try to find lodging nearby...

congrats, though.
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From:cougarfang
Date:July 14th, 2006 05:19 am (UTC)
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.......當大人好麻煩ㄡ........
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From:erf_
Date:July 14th, 2006 06:30 am (UTC)
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Not for everyone. I think I just have a habit of inviting complicated situations.
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From:nameusedsorry
Date:July 14th, 2006 10:28 am (UTC)
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Hey man, congrats on your job : D 'S called skills. However, 3 hours is surely quite some time... But as long as you think it's worth it, 's all good.
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From:ignatia
Date:July 14th, 2006 08:41 pm (UTC)
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i have about an hour and twenty minute long commute right now, the 20 minutes being a walk from my friend's house to the metro station, 55 minutes being the ride on the metro/transferring trains and five minutes for walking to my office building.

you'll get used to it enough to do other stuff on the train. i always have a book in hand, and each part of the train ride is about 20 some minutes each (it is mandatory i transfer trains).

have fun, though.