Savage Enterprises Publishing
Mike Aragona - Freelance Writer / Editor

The Last Word

Rewards of Slacking — (October 1999) To say this summer has been a strange one would definitely fall under the "understatement" category. However, this summer can and does also fall under the "great" category. This might sound confusing considering my recent lack of work, so allow me to explain.

You all know I'm quite the believer in Fate and Karma. Thus, you know how I expect Balance in my life. I trust in the Positive Power of Life to get me through while never shying away from aggressively pursuing a goal. That level of aggression is instinctive, by the way. Sometimes I'm gung-ho, other times I'm laid back. After all these years, I always trust my instincts to guide me correctly.

As I mentioned last issue, I did not feel at ease when I started my job at the Naval Engineering Test Establishment. I'd been looking forward to working there but even on the first day, I felt something was amiss. I'm glad I stuck by my principles and my beliefs during my four months there. It may have made things a little stressful, but my faith kept me going. I was a tad surprised when my contract was terminated, but again, I was expecting it and had begun preparations towards terminating it myself when it came. Again, as I mentioned last issue, there were a lot of good things that came from my stint there, the best being getting money owed me from DPM.

So, I found myself out of a job and immediately went about preparing for the search. I updated my CV, called up some Head Hunters, began Networking, signed onto some online search agents, and began applying. I did this solidly for about 2 weeks and then began to wait for movement. I felt that since I was still being paid (vacation time, 4%, 2 weeks notice) that I could take it easy. I wasn't worried about finding a new job. I knew it would come. The problem was that I began to fret about accepting the first job to come my way instead of the one that was right.

The best part of this semi-forced unemployment was the liberty and the ability to spend it with those I love. James and Melyssa were still going to school/ daycare in my area and would do so until the end of August. Thus, a typical day for me was as follows: get up early; log onto the Net; check mail; job search; follow-up on contacts; 3 hours later or so, log off. Afterwards, I would have lunch and read/ write/ watch tv/ or tidy up the apartment (remember, I hadn't fully unpacked by this point). My mom would pick up Melyssa at noon from daycare, feed her, and make her take a nap. At 2:30pm, Melyssa would come upstairs and we'd hang out or lay until 4pm. At that time, we'd hop in the car and go get James. I'd let them play in the schoolyard and go home for 5pm for supper. After supper, we'd play together until their mom came to get them for 6pm. I'd go upstairs ad continue what I was doing until the kids called me at 8pm for our nightly singing of Puff The Magic Dragon. My nights were usually spent reading, working on Comicopia, chatting with my "bestest" friend, or at the coffee shop.

Because of this routine, I wasn't too pressed to find work. I was spending so much time with Melyssa that I looked up on it as a gift from God. Here was my chance to make up for all the hours I had to work. For all the times I couldn't spend any time alone with her. A chance to re-bond. We had our private time and then, when we got James, we had our family time. Obviously, these were periods of big adjustments, but we made it. The three of us were The Family Unit now. And we had to make the most of our time together since new changes were coming.

As I mentioned, during this period, I also got the chance to spend a lot of time talking and/or being with, my "bestest" friend. The majority of you know her as my Muse. You may have thought this was in the figurative sense. It is also in the literal one. Her name is Chantale and I'm sure you'll be hearing a lot more about her. As I mentioned to Colin in email recently, she used to be a Wonder Woman fan and now, after my introducing her to it, a Galaxion fan. Hopefully, next year I can get her to contribute a page in my section (which seems to be the rage here lately :)).

So, there I was, the middle of August, knowing how good I had things. Knowing I shouldn't rush out and get a job because the time I was enjoying with James, Melyssa, Chantale, my Mom, etc, was not going to last. And thus, I let myself enjoy it. Then, August 29th came and I brought James home. I would no longer see him every day. Melyssa stayed with me and Tuesday August 31st I brought her home under the same conditions. They both started their new school/ daycare on September 1st. I knew now was the time that a job would land at my feet. Chantale went back to University on September 6th and I started at Standard Life September 13th. Just like that, in less than 2 weeks, I had found a job. Just like I knew I would.

It's funny actually working again. There wasn't any challenge in being hired for this job. They found out I was available and, based on my years at Dpm and the word of mouth of the software vendor they deal with, the Manager of Projects wanted me there: sight unseen. I'm currently in that strange position where it's almost like I'm "reserved" (ie; they snatched me up so I wouldn't go anywhere else) until they can fully use me. I am working, and I am productive, but it doesn't feel like it yet. I'm not being crushed by boredom (yet) as I was at NETE, and I'm not wired/ losing sleep as I was at Dpm. If anything, I'm confident, self-assured, and, mainly, patient. One of the nicest things about working here (next to being downtown; which I love, and next to working for such a high-profile company) is that the University Chantale attends (Concordia) is 2 blocks north of here. This means that I get to see her almost every day :)

All in all, considering what I went through these last couple of months, I have to admit that terminating my contract at NETE was definitely one of the better things to happen to me this year. 1999, as far as I'm concerned, will be remembered, to me at least, as the year of Celebration. Maybe I'll go into more details next issue :)

(The Last Word (c) Mike Aragona. All rights reserved. No reproduction or retransmission of this article is granted without written permission of Mike Aragona)

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