amw (amw) wrote,

new year, work and cancer

It's the second day of the new year.

I just paid rent and have now lived in my apartment for almost exactly 365 days. That was my lease period, so from now i can move if i want. I might do that soon, since my new job is over 20km away.

The job is exhausting. Now that S is gone, it is back to regularly scheduled work stress. The stress is partly caused by our major customer being in Europe, so most support problems pop up in the evening our time. And because my boss/the CTO lives in Colorado, we have meetings lined up from 8:30am each day. Some days i literally work from the moment i wake up till the moment i fall asleep.

I do feel more comfortable than when S was here and he was ordering around the juniors to pull overtime to cover for his lazy ass (I believe seniors should shoulder the biggest responsibility), but it's wearing me down for real. I knew what i was getting into joining a seed stage start-up, but i expected to have at least one other senior person on the ground in Shenzhen to share the weight.

Hiring isn't going well. As i already discovered in my last job, there are very few people in Shenzhen with the trifecta of speaking good English, being high quality coders and wanting to work for peanuts. The best English speakers in the PRD are working in Hong Kong for three times the salary they pay here. Many English speakers in Shenzhen are either mediocre laowai with Chinese wives or fast-talking grifters who are all hat and no cattle.

We had similar problem at the startup i worked at in Berlin, although in Berlin the English speaking talent pool was much, much deeper. I think it's just hard to hire when you are a small company. You can't offer the prestige or the perks that big companies do, so people have to really want to work there.

I still don't know if i really want to work here.

It's the second day of the new year. I am almost 39 and i have nothing to my name. A little pool of cash in the bank that i cannot use because i work all the time. No investments. No belongings worth more than a couple hundred dollars. A bad back. Two pairs of jeans whose crotches have ripped open so wide i am trying to walk cross-legged so i don't flash the whole city.

I need to buy pants, which i am going to hate. I am putting it off till tomorrow.

It's the second day of the new year. I just heard that my mom might not be here for the next one.

I can't remember when she told me she had cancer. Some time last year. She went through chemo a while back and sent out emails saying that went pretty well. Then she started radiotherapy. Anyway, i haven't sent her an email since i started my new job, so i wrote up a long email yesterday, mostly complaining about said new job. I got reply this morning saying she's back in the hospital and they found new growths that put her life expectancy at a year or two, maybe less.

So that's something. She was going to move back to Holland in April to be with her family. I was looking forward to that because fuck Australia. But now i dunno, i wonder if she'll stay in Australia to make the most of the Medicare she paid into for 20+ years? She doesn't have any support there, though, since my sister has apparently disappeared up her own ass. And at least Holland has decent assisted suicide laws.

Oh, funny thing about my sister, a few weeks ago i got an email from her. I haven't heard from her in... God i don't even know how long. Over a decade. And her email literally just says: "The tax office seems to think mom's dead. Is she?" I didn't bother replying because, seriously, what the fuck? Mom was on vacation in Norfolk Island at the time, enjoying what might be one of her last chances to be somewhere quiet and beautiful.

Anyway, i feel like i should feel more upset about possibly losing my mom, but even though i love her, it's not like she has been a very big part of my life since i left home, so it's kinda like... whatever. I do feel bad for her, though. She spent almost her whole life slaving away in a job that destroyed her and the moment she retired she immediately got cancer. Like, what's the fucking point if you spend 40 years trying to scratch together enough cash to enjoy your last 40 years and then you die 2 years into it? That's some fucking bullshit. Capitalism is garbage. I really hope she can recover to the point where she is able enough to blow the rest of her savings traveling around the world and enjoying every last minute. She deserves it.

On that note, I feel like i should do something this break, not just sleep and watch TV and buy new pants.

I will start by reading through about a month of your journals. Hopefully your lives are more interesting than mine.
Tags: career, family, my boring life

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