Work Archives

It’s hard not to blog about work. It’s hard to blog about work.

Accidentally Unretired

Telling people “I accidentally retired” usually gets a chuckle, but it’s actually pretty spot-on. I fully expected to go back to work once Stephanie started grad school (because what else was I gonna do?), but I never did, and now here I am, five years later. I may need to retire that quip however, because 2023 sure seemed like the year I accidentally unretired. It all started with a humble Craigslist ad that I posted just over a year ago, offering to help people with their DIY projects—for free…

My offer didn’t exactly receive a groundswell of attention. In fact I only ended up working one gig for free, and just before taking off the guy slipped me $25 “for gas”. Meanwhile I kept an eye open for ads from people looking for help. After responding to one that seemed up my alley (the title read: Need helper in Pacific Grove yard clean up some digging [sic]), and hearing nothing back for several weeks, I got a text on Christmas asking if I was available the next day. Stephanie was scheduled to work the 26th, so yes, yes I was! He offered to pay me…and I kept mum about my ad. Turns out earning someone’s gratitude by doing work that directly helps them while also earning a little scratch at the same time is a pretty intoxicating cocktail. Thus the “I’m not looking to be paid” line in my original ad eventually fell by the wayside.

Here’s a screenshot of its latest incarnation, circa December 2023:


Screenshot of my 'Need help with your landscaping or renovation project?' Craigslist ad, circa December 2023

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What To Do Next?

Judging by the cottage industry of books and videos hawking strategies for “Getting Things Done”, most people seem to be overwhelmed by how much they have to do. My challenge is the opposite; I have a hard time coming up with what to do next. Even when I get into something (like so many of my landscaping projects in Fresno), no matter how exacting I am with each step, no matter how much of my seemingly limitless time that I expend, ultimately I reach the end, and then once again I have to wrack my brain to invent another project, often more elaborate, sometimes more fringe, to occupy my time.

The start of a wave in Monterey Bay in black and white
The subtle start of a wave

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Second Sabbatical

It was hard to return to work after hiking the JMT in 2016. Usually when I get back from vacation, I feel refreshed and excited. I’m not sure why this time was different. Perhaps it was my approaching 4-year anniversary at Sincerely—I had never worked anywhere longer. I had the itch to go off on an adventure, perhaps attempting something like the PCT. There was only one problem: Stephanie had just started her first semester at SFSU, with 2 years to go before she’d complete her degree.

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Hawk at work

This morning, a hawk chose the ledge outside the window in front of my desk (six stories above Market Street) to hang out for about an hour and a half.

Hawk in San Francisco looking at me
I pulled back the blinds so I could get a better look

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Rockstar Life

Most of my work days are pretty benign. And then there are days like today. Though to tell the whole story, I need to go back to yesterday.

I put in a full day of work on Wednesday, shipping an important feature just before 5. Went home to chill for a bit and pack for my 11:40 red-eye to Chicago—to attend a meeting early the next morning. Scooted with Stephanie to Shalala, her new favorite ramen shop. While there found out that my flight had been delayed until 1. This was actually good news, because after dinner we had tickets to the James Vincent McMorrow concert at the Fillmore, one of my favorite artists as of late, and the reason I opted to take the red-eye instead of leaving earlier in the day (with my three compadres from Sincerely). I had been planning on ducking out of the concert a little early and heading straight to the airport, but this meant all pressure was off.

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