Saturday, September 16, 2006

California Love

This last week I was on my first-ever "real" business trip. Real in the sense that I was sent by a company to a specific place for the express purpose of making money for the company, and will be reimbursed for the expenses I incurred during the week. In theory this sounds pretty nice. The week started out great and gradually got worse and worse with each day, until I was constantly contemplating the infliction of physical harm against the people around me.

The best thing I can say about the trip was that it was very educational for me. I have even higher respect now for the client-facing people in our company; they need to deal with unreasonable people day in and day out, and do a darn good job at it. I've also thought a fair amount about my own temperament and motivators. At work I can code for ten straight hours and walk away feeling energetic and excited, because I've accomplished something and have something to show for my efforts. This past week, I ended every day exhausted. One of those days it was because I was kept at the office until 1AM, but even on the others, I felt more wasted walking out the door than ever before, and I think that's mainly because of how my days there were structured. I was constantly busy, but felt like I accomplished very little. I held hands and talked and listened, and every once in a while wrote some code but almost none of that will ever ship. Eh. Maybe I was just in a bad mood, but I wondered several times how long it would take me to quit if my real job was like this.

But it's all better now: I'm back in California! I wanted to fall to my knees and kiss the tarmac when I pulled back into San Jose. My blood pressure has been steadily dropping for the past 24 hours, and now I'm back to my standard calm and positive self. I attribute this in part to an excellent hike I took this morning. No pictures, unfortunately, since I foolishly left my camera at home, but it was still excellent: about 14 miles in Sanborn Park, a bit under 6 hours of hiking, including some good rock climbing and two absolutely phenomenal views of the Santa Clara valley. I tend to associate good views of the valley with hikes in the Diablo range, since the Santa Cruz mountains are so densely wooded and seem to jut in and out more. From Indian Rock and Summit Rock you can catch a breathtaking sweep of the area, from the Bay (which I don't think I've ever really seen from the Santa Cruz mountains before) past Moffett Field over to Diablo down south to the convergence, with all the bustling urbanity on display in the middle.

Ahem. Anyways, that was fun. It feels kind of weird to be relatively routine-based, but it's so calming to be back to my Saturday hikes again. Here's hoping I'll have many more of them!


  1. What is this? Chris, sounding... negative? On his blog? Twice in-a-row? Man, you don't want to end up like me, do you?

  2. Welcome back. But where was it you went to?

  3. Um... I'm not sure if I'm at liberty to discuss that, actually. Out of state, working for a client.

    Some good news: it sounds like we may have located a person to permanently man this position, so it's likely that this will be my last trip to this particular location. (I think other business trips could still be really good; there were just some things about this particular situation that rubbed me the wrong way.)

  4. Yeah, there was a censored sorta feeling to that post.

    Glad things worked out. Whatever those thing may be. LOL