I had some dreams ... they were klowns in my koffee.

(With apologies to Carly Simon)

This is my journey through job transition from a toxic environment to a better life. Join me for a few thoughts and a few laughs along the way.
What are "klowns in my koffee"? They are the factors large and small that make you less than you are. A "klown" can be a grossly incompetent boss,
a short-sighted policy or a moronic coworker. They won't kill you, at least not immediately, but they abrade the soul
as you scrape past them to get through the day. Sometimes it's best to dump them out of the cup.


Day 365 - Scars Are Souvenirs You Never Lose

Daily Kup (Celebrating One Year of Change)
I started a one-year experiment ... well, one year ago.  The year has gone by quickly.  My highly unenforceable non-compete contract has expired.  I honored the provisions not because I thought that they were ethically or legally valid but because I am a person of honor.

Most rankling was the clause about not revealing any information that would compromise my former employer in the marketplace.  It was stressed to me that this included any revelations about attempted falsification of test data for defense contracts or management purposefully shipping untested and/or defective hardware.  These aberrations are disgraceful in light of the many hardworking, competent and quality-conscious employees who wanted to deliver the best products to customers and were often able to do that despite an unsupportive environment.

"Don't tell secrets about processes, pricing, supplier and customer information" -- Perfectly understandable and appropriate.  "Slide over the whole thing about signing government contracts with no plan or intention for complying" -- little sticky on the whole citizenship responsibility area.  Not a problem.  I hear that "everybody does it."

Now that the mantle of the non-compete agreement has been removed, I'm not nearly as interested in ploughing this ground as I was a year ago.  What was some bitterness has ameliorated into a kind of bemusement, the same way that you shake your head and wonder why they don't euthanize a performing wild animal when you read in the newspaper that it mauled someone in the audience.

The past is now the past.  Year One was expansive and frightening and ultimately satisfying.  There seems to be no need to number my days any more to remember that I lived them. The continuum of my life as it moves forward without artificial divisions will be even better.

“Living well is the best revenge”
~George Herbert

What I Learned On My Reality Vacation

Next, To Change a Latitude ...
We all say we hate a catchy, syrupy pop song with little redeeming social value.  And we hum them when no one is around.  As balding pop rockers go, Jimmy Buffet seems to be having a lot of fun and his devoted fans are absolutely nuts.  When I found out he had a tour called "Year of Still Here," I knew it was a sign.

OK, Well, Maybe a Tiny Drop of Bitterness Left
I was researching owls with my son for a Cub Scout project.  Owls don't have teeth.  They swallow their prey whole.  They later cough up a pellet of the indigestible portions like fur, bones and teeth.  When I read this, I immediately imagined that the head of Human Resources at Porkus had a special wastebasket in her office for just this purpose.

I'm allowed one last parting shot, right?

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