My last entry here was in August of 2001. It has been five months since I’ve written in this section of my site, and a lot has happened since then. Most of them have been the reason why I haven’t written anything here. But here I will now summarize the past five months.
I started this section hoping to write daily. No, not a weblog, but anything—whatever. Sometimes about something from my life, sometimes something I found on the Web, sometimes a review of a movie we just saw, and sometimes even some fiction. That was the plan. And I tried. And it lasted maybe a month or two. But my life isn’t on the Web, and life would take precedence over writing here (especially as our wedding approached and I underwent surgery).
It was the surgery that really put a damper on this section. I won’t go into all the gory details (you can get that in the archives), but I will say that I was rarely in the mood to write. Eventually though I was able to return to work... lying down. It’s not as easy as it sounds (try propping yourself up on your elbows and type for most of the day). And when I would get home, I would just want to relax. But eventually I was able to sit and work more easily.
If you remember, the Web industry went through an explosive growth of Web-based companies and IPOs. But eventually that growth collapsed on itself and masses of people in the Web industry began to lose their jobs. I was lucky. When this wave of collapse caught up with the company I was working for, the bosses had another company (we worked in their offices) they were in charge of (and looking back it’s now obvious that our Web design company went out of business because they were devoting all their time to the other company instead of ours and not getting us any new business). January 8th I got transferred from Q to Qode.com. I survived. But not for long.
I don’t know all the details (I was recovering from the surgery at the time), but bosses were selling the company to another one: Neomedia. The transition was fine, I don’t remember that anyone got fired because their job wasn’t needed with Neomedia. Neomedia was buying the system Qode developed, and so we were all a part of that system. But the bosses left. Why I don’t know. One thought was that they did what they had always wanted, create a company that they could sell for lots of money. Maybe they got their money and left, like I said, I don’t know. But it didn’t matter, I survived again. It was April and I was now working for Neomedia. The wave of Web collapse hadn’t caught me yet. Or at least not for the next eight months.
The only exact date I have is August 15th, because that is the date on the termination letter we all got on the Qode side of Neomedia. That was the end of a long few weeks. Weeks where our numbers dwindled as employees were being laid off and the company kept telling us how they were going to merge with another company and grow stronger from it. What began as a company full of employees with office lined walls and plenty of cubicles in between, turned into a company of so few employees that we were able to all get offices instead of cubicles.
I guess we could have seen it coming, I mean we all felt something wrong. Like the time when they were sending back all the cubicles they rented. There wasn’t enough of us for so many cubicles, so they had us pack our things and boxes and got our computers set on folding tables. The boxes made the next phase easy. It was maybe only a week or two later that one by one some employees would be called into the CTO’s office (in charge of our department). When they came out they wouldn’t say a word, but they would go to their computer and send an e-mail to everyone along the lines of: “I’m off to the beach. Nice working with you.” Later that afternoon we had a meeting, informing us that that was all of the layoffs and we few remaining were spared. But not for long.
In the following week or two we moved into the offices. We tried to work, or at least to look busy (some didn’t even bother with that), and we waited, hanging onto our jobs from meeting to meeting. Until August 15th, a Wednesday. They rounded us together into one of the large, empty, cubicle-less rooms. They told us that the deal with the other company fell through. They told us that the company didn’t have any more money. They gave us our “goodbye” papers. The wave of collapsing Web companies had finally caught up with me.
The good news was that just the Monday before, Judy had gotten a job at a local university (Lynn University). She’s not making as much as I was making in my few months at Qode/Neomedia (and in my opinion it’s not nearly enough for all the responsibility and dealing with students she has to do), but at least we survive off it. The bad news is that it’s been five months and I still haven’t found a job. I’ve sent out my résumé countless times. I’ve revised and improved my résumé almost as many times. And I’ve even gone so far as to create a résumé I hope will grab employers’ eyes. But still, no jobs come calling. And it gets depressing.
To help stave off the sorrows of not getting any job replies, I’ve found some distractions for myself. They include: computer games, reading (and enjoying) all four Harry Potter books (after being convinced by Judy to read them), collecting fonts, and even enjoying the holidays. And that’s what I’ve been doing all these days. Looking for a job, and distracting myself from getting depressed about not finding a job.
So in all this time, why haven’t I written anything here? Well for one thing, what is there to write about when you’re days are almost all the same? Sure, it’s a little bit of that, but it’s also a snowballing effect. Once you stop writing because you’ve lost your job and you don’t know what to say anymore, you find it hard (at least I do in all of this “you” I keep saying) to start up again. Especially when more goes wrong with the world beyond your losing your job... I’m talking about 2001.09.11 here, a.k.a.: September 11th, 9/11, or the day four planes were hijacked and forever changed the U.S.’s view on terrorism. While for other people that event inspired them to write and share their feelings, it inspired me towards a greater numbness of not updating my Web site.
But it’s a new year now. 2002. 2001 was so bad, 2002 has to be better... right? Well I hope it turns out that way. And it’s time for me to change my distractions. Of course I’m still looking for a job, but now, by writing this, I hope to get myself back into the updating-my-web-site-regularly mode. I’ve already begun work on several new designs for this site; and I plan to add more jokes that have been piling up in my e-mail, categorize my poetry, and even begin to try to learn PHP and MySQL.
Also in my absence from updating this Web site and writing here, I missed my five year anniversary of having joek.com. I registered this domain on 1996.12.09. Five years and at least as many site design changes. I marked the anniversary, not by posting anything on this Web site, but by transferring the hosting of my Web site from Verio (whom I had been with since the beginning) to Xeran. I did this for more disk space, access to MySQL, and a cheaper bill. So now my site begins it’s sixth year, and I hope the next five improve as the previous five have.