Posted: September 12, 2006 in Uncategorized

Back around 2000 I picked up a novel at Smith Family, the local second hand book shop, called Microserfs. Written from the perspective of a mid-20s Microsoft Employee around 1993, I devoured the whole book, because every page resonated with some aspect of my own life living and working as a technobody for a large software company. I later bought a copy for my parents and gave it to them, telling them to read it because it would explain almost exactly what my life was like at that moment. Yesterday, while packing for my trip I picked it off the shelf again, wondering how it would stack up now, some six years later.

Before I even hit Denver, I’d polished off my previous book, and started in on this one. The book still strikes a chord, but the more I read, the more I realized how much I’d changed in the past 6 years. Just as with the main characters of the book, during my first years as a cubicle dweller, work was my whole life. I would go to work in the morning, work until 5, then stay until as late as 10 or 11 gaming and drinking the free soda and eat the free popcorn. On occasion I even considered sleeping on the leather couches in the basement and showering in the gym locker room just so I didn’t have to bother going home. Following the computer tech office model made standard during the personal computer boom, the place was designed like a Vegas casino, to keep you inside as much as possible by providing whatever a budding professional geek might want. Compared to my small room in a house shared with 4 other roommates, the common areas bleak and empty save furniture donated or found on a sidewalk, work was a blissful oasis. To mention that I was single would be redundant at this point.

But over time, the novelty has worn off, and I’ve found more to life outside the office. The idea of staying in the office past 5 is now seriously unappealing. The excitement of the late-90s dot boom fizzled, company belts got tighter, and the energy waned with it. I actually exercise, date, and generally have a personal life that doesn’t always focus around tech. The cycle of work-home-work-home is long since broken, and is now the stuff of nostalgic amusement. Now, I have to read a book to remember what my life used to look like. And I’m glad I’m not there anymore.

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Comments
  1. rusulki says:

    Skipping over the Enchiridion AGAIN? *sigh*

  2. Anonymous says:

    Skipping over the Enchiridion AGAIN? *sigh*

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