Stumble to Daylight: A Cubefarmist’s Paean

The Naked and Famous – Punching In A Dream

A year at PayPal felt like this

sometimes like this

It was never ‘For England! Long live the Queen‘. All nobility was denuded by flat smiles from foreign middle-managers who did not exercise or care about boundaries, and another $K and 401k match. Indians are a muted culture of acquiescence and assrape and technical skill. In moderation they are reliable, perfunctorily rah-rah, and and don’t whine wanting free trips to play paintball. En masse they overwhelm American ingenuity, encase autonomy in officialdom and tar. The 80% of my co-workers who were on H1 visas thought PayPal was worth it. Mostly. Where they came from and their disposition to deference didn’t stop them from complaining to me constantly, however, while still themselves contributing to the problem. When i gave notice they thought me heroic in my self-determination, and just a bit spoiled in my slothfulness.  I heard Americans rank 36th in math and 1st in self-esteem. They quickly went back to work; I quickly stopped showing up til my exit date.

Money can be worth less than it is. I took a pay cut to see my kids.

Walking away from money is deeply conflicting. Paternal responsibility as a provider, nurturer, role model. Status, validation, benchmarks of accomplishments are barometrics for my paradigm. While they are hollow, a pricey college degree and 15 years in the salt mines make them mean everything. It stings the car payments and tuition. I haven’t felt it yet, but i probably will in a year. I will always pine for Bagel Day, drawers of scotch tape and coffee, jugs of peanut butter.

I took a pay cut to see my kids. I ride more. I weigh less. We took the girls to a waterpark for 7 hours at 102 degrees, and I only yelled once when my wife spilled cherry soda all over the car. Cherry muthafuggin soda IN.THE.CAR! Give a dude a break!!

A friend said i was buying happiness.

No more TPS reports for Hari Kupanyavijayjay.  Instead I *pause* *blink* *blink blink* …develop software all day! Read code, tweak, polish, dig, streamline, scrum manage, config and release, document and control, peel onions and root out cancer. I bring order out of chaos and glue bonds no one knew existed so no one knew were brittle. The possibilities for precision and elegance are ecstafying. My spell-check isn’t sure that’s a word, but i’m sure its a state, as rewarding and effective as a left join pulling orphans out of a database. I have relearned more linux in 2 weeks than I forgot in 6 years.

I took a paycut to see my kids. There is no fax, no office phone, no sink, 1 router, a Dropbox account, and 2 other doods breathing and typing and tooting in a tiny office with me. I yell a lot less. I think a lot more, like Spring has come to my e-space bringing wildflowers and cool rivulets of runoff. I don’t dread starting the work day, or dread its end knowing there are still hours at home that make no difference whatsoever.

The new gig thinks its like this.

And maybe it is. Out of meatspace, if you believe in rainbows and unicorns, they are kinda true. Optimism about work is a welcome change after too many years of resignation and toil. 6 weeks have been really good.

There was one catch: I had to use a Mac.

Despite the rapidity with which  they identified me as Their Guy, and my palliative glow in someone wanting in my resume what I wanted in myself with only a 4 mile commute, Arabs and Jews seemed an easier problem to solve than learning a Mac.

Le MacBook sat on the table for 3 hrs while I waited for the seraphim to alight and begin programming for me. When they flaked, I couldn’t fathom how to login without an ALT key.  For 2 days i was driving in Britain, faucets plumbed backward burning me reaching for a cold drink, close rudely maximizing, save rudely closing, Star Bellied Sneetches. i was iFucking glad Steve Jobs got cancer, someone needed an iHug.

Day 3: more powerful than my come-to-Jesus snowboarding moment. The whole underlying linux shell hums for a web-based software engineer, with seamless UI integration that Winblows couldn’t master in 15 years. And unlike Windblows, you can actually turn off the iShit. The programs, plugins and  populace are all undeniably tighter. That so many Mac fanbois never conveyed the sheer technical superiority of the Mac allows my continued snootiness at their fantoms.

Day 4: zombie-apocalyse mode:  i will kill for my MacBook.  Once you go Mac you never go back.

My fast affection for the job was much the same. Going from a team of 10,000 to a team of 10 was still simply software development. But so lucid, tighter, and kinda a joy to use it. I look hipper carrying a MacBook and not a swipe card, and doing hip things, and soon hot hip chicks will flock to my hipness.

I actually like my coworkers again.

Everyone has a stake, but mostly keep the sabre-rattling to themselves. A professional crew, with a lot of impressive experience and weapons. Very hard to build in Phoenix. Very focused, and very fun.

Most days have felt like this. GO IGGLES!

I want to be a millionaire, so fucking bad. I want to spend each winter break snowboarding with my kids. I want to not work. I want to ride and cook healthy and walk the earth. Maybe. Mebbe not. But if you believe in rainbows and unicorns, they are kinda true.


  1. Sounds like you have landed a great gig. One that many corporate cube denizens would love! I wish you peace, happiness, and fulfillment. Perhaps you will have time to consider Indians, and whether it is a trait of their race, country, education, or the employer they were stuck underthat made them as they were.

    Happy riding

  2. thanks RM, good wishes to you too. its a holistic culture thing, imo, just like Americans are wild & entitled, russians are brilliant and defeatist, japanese are hammerheads…software dev is global and international. i have lots of respect for very capable teammates, but it is what it is.

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