The Countdown Recommences
I have just come back from seeing the film Argo about the Iranian Hostage crisis. Its a very good, very tense film & I enjoyed it a lot. However some of the scenes set around flights bit a little close to the bone, for all that noone was going to shoot me if my paperwork wasn’t in order, the just-in-time-ism and the very strong sense of “you are not among your kind” and “if things go wrong, the outsiders suffer” reminded me of my times down south. Which is timely, because its come up again and I’m wondering if I’ve let the experiences fade too much and so am about to let myself be talked into something for far too cheap.
Most of you are probably aware but my time along the Spanish frontier will soon be drawing to a close – by this time next year I would expect to be somewhere else. Where exactly that will be has not been decided. However suggestions have been made and considering that I currently work for one of the larger projects in the Gulf of Guinea and said project will probably be heading down there over a time frame that overlaps with my own timescale for moving… well you’re all smart people, I don’t need to get out the crayons.
I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this. My visceral “hell no!” reaction has died down. A bit. Another three years before the mast would be a mugs game but given that the thinking that has been laid out before me is that they want someone to be the memory and take the project down there… well, make that a one year hand-over and that I think I may be able to live with. I think. See some more things, hurrah!
The other major consideration on my mind at the moment is that I am out of sync. Posts for people like me rotate on a rythym much like elections – short of someone dying or abdicating, those seats turnover on a foreseeable schedule. And none of the seats that I want are turning over soon, certainly not next year anyway. So, offer to stay on the project for another year – save myself the floundering about of trying to figure out a new country, new language and new job at the same time – making it only new country plus new language which at least are related and not what anyone is paying me for. Go, be the memory for a year, see exotic places – but briefly – and bump into the 2014 cycle for another tilt.
This, that you have just read, is a paen to inertia. This is what people can talk themselves into over the almost certainly better option of just taking a step outside into options that are almost certainly what I would like… but just not to be handed to me on a plate. I think I’ve become institutionalised. They’ve got me. I’m not sure which is the appropriate Shadowrun source book to reference here but this is all written up in one of them.
I guess the best thing I can say about this is that there is no rush, just yet. I should find out what is proposed for me in the new year and at that point I can make a decision one way or another. Lets sit tight and hope that somehow the stars align and something interesting comes up.
I’ve started into the rituals of departure already – print off calendar pages all the way out to August 2013, anticipating that by the end of that I’ll be gone. Back fill with vacation to be taken so as not to end up running around like when leaving Scotland trying to cram work into the last remaining days on hand. Or indeed, not to end up like down south when I found myself working extra hours to earn vacation that I never used. Planning six months ahead is a throwback to the way things were down there; in the week leading up to your vacation you are already planning the next time out so that you’ve got something to look forward to when you come back.
Compare and very strongly contrast with the social culture here where sitting around prepared to say yes to things is really how it works. I have been burning jetfuel recently to use up vacation and to fulfill as many of the “I’ll come see you” promises I made this year as I can and each weekend I’ve been out of town, the day before I fly interesting things have been cropping up – but on thursday afternoons or even fridays! Its an odd type of courage to have to have, first world problems, I guess, but when you know how miserably dull the weekends can be just lolling around the rather small town here – and the fun there is to be had just on the other end of a few hours flight – then deciding to sit tight and trust in the disorganisation of people… that can be fraught.
Finally though, things have worked out reasonably enough here so I’m going to trust they’ll work out in the next place too. Can’t hardly be worse, can it?
And thats the daft attitude that will get me sent somewhere grim again. Must learn to say no to things. No. No. No I will not go there. No, that is not what I asked for. No.