A gentle answer turns away wrath,
Buta harsh word stirs up anger.
The Big News: Ian and I have signed the lease on a 1,000-square-foot apartment in Marlborough. We visited the complex, a place called Avalon Orchards that reminds me of all the homogeneous apartment complexes I hated to see bulldoze their way into empty (but for the trees, grasses, and wildlife) plots near my home, on Wednesday. Despite its homogeneity, we found the complex and the apartment itself irresistable: 5 miles from Raytheon in Sudbury, walking distance to bank, pharmacy, and grocery store, with a small plot of what the manager called “conserved land” behind it. We ignored the rotting Halloween costumes in the “conserved” bushes and imagined the walking, running, and biking possibilities.
My description sounds a bit dour, but chalk that up to 50 pages of environmental-crisis reading. It is a lovely place, with lots of nice amenities, within our price range, and we come into possession on April 15. I look forward to having a place to settle into, whose walls we can paint and where we can spend time in separate rooms—even on separate floors, since the apartment has a loft. We will garbage dispose scraps off our plates and machine-wash our dishes en masse. Ian can ride his bike to work when weather permits, and he can stop at the grocery store or post office across from his work for quick errands. The perfect commute.
Enter the Conundrum. I have learned that Yantra intends to offer me a job as an “Information Developer” at their Tewksbury facility. Now, my reservations about accepting a technical writing job per se have decreased. My Writing in the Professions class and my experience with the employees at Yantra (all very nice people who I could envision working with happily) have forced me to reassess my initial recoil at the idea of software documentation. I can now see it as an excellent opportunity to gain working and writing experience, as well as an opportunity to save up some good money towards a house in Washington (and boy do you need to save for houses these days).
No; my reluctance stems from the commute. 35 miles each way, five days a week, during rush hour. After my hour-and-a-half commute in London for seven weeks, I vowed to work close to home. That commute had the advantage of requiring almost no personal attention: I read a 1200-page novel in a week during that commute. This drive would require my constant attention, as well as racking up lots of miles on our shiny new silver pine mica Prius (kudos to you if you know what color that is without cheating). The official offer has yet to arrive, so the exact price of
my soul that commute remains uncertain.
- Future security. Doesn’t get much more secure than knowing your living and working conditions for the next five years. Fellow TC majors have asked about my near future; they have theirs all figured out, whether it be Grad school or a $60K-a-year starting salary. I don’t want to be the only one still job hunting at the end of the year, and the prospect of something solid starting June 12th looks quite appealing from this vantage point.
- Job search. I’m tired of job searching and I don’t know how long such a search could take if I turned down Yantra. However, I have yet to hear back from a good lead at National Grid, so…
- Conscience. Could my freshly-scrubbed environmental conscience condone driving 350 miles each week for a job, even in a Prius? Will my sanity hold for that long of a drive each day?
- Interest. Will I really enjoy doing software documentation, talking about code and users all day? Will I actually like phone conferences with the dozen tech writers in India, the 13% of my time actually writing, the whole thing? Or should I wait for a job more environmentally-focused that I think will capture my heart more securely?
- Other. Have I missed some crucial factors here? What say you, my loyal readers?
Yet through this whirl of thought, I still realize with shock that God has arranged everything yet again. We will not find ourselves homeless come May 31, we will have transportation and at least one goodly income. What more could we ask for? In fact, what am I worrying about? I could sit at home watching soap operas, eating bonbons, and occasionally running the vacuum and our life would continue essentially the same as if I, too, found a high-paying tech writing job. What is the meaning of life (if some wise guy says “42” I will block him from commenting forever), and why does it involve all these impossible decisions?!