Sunday, March 6, 2011

Catching Up

I'm a little over a month into my new job.

I work for a company that makes blood analyzers.  These are complex machines that are able to perform multiple tests on scores of blood samples at one time.  Mostly these tests have to do with ascertaining immunity.  The handful of us who were hired at the same time have just been helping out on updates so far...pitching in to make sure they go out on time.  The big project we were hired for, however, is about to begin.

This project is an analyzer that is a combination of two existing machines.  There are a number of reasons they want to create it, besides the obvious one of combining the best of two worlds.  We had a kick-off meeting on Friday for the members of our team who would be working on it.  It became apparent at the meeting that those of us who are new would be expected to do some of the technical writing for the publications associated with the device.  This was surprising to me.  It wasn't mentioned at my interview, at least, that we would be participating in any of the writing.  Technical writing is something I've never done before, and it's a very specialized form of writing with stringent rules.  I should be able to do it...I just wasn't prepared to be thrown into it on this project.

This week starts out three days of meetings at the office involving many more people for the project.  There is a palpable air of expectation and import surrounding these meetings.  I'm a little nervous about all of it.  Starting a new job is certainly an anxious event...being part of the next big thing for the company is all that and a little more.  I look forward to the challenge though.  I've felt energized since beginning this new phase of my work life, and that feeling continues as I head into this uncharted territory.

* * *

I began running outside again in late February.  Always a relief when I get to that point.  After more than two months, I was growing tired with the repetition on the treadmill.  The incentive to run diminishes when the scenery around you never changes, and your view is seriously limited by four rather drab walls.  I went to a movie and dinner with an old friend last night.  We ate at Chili's, and my meal wasn't a heavy one on its own.  The dessert I had though rendered that consideration pointless.  They have something called a Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie that really lives up to its name.  A chocolate chip brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream sitting on top, covered with wavy tendrils of chocolate syrup.  After all that, I was completely beyond any notion of satisfaction.  I was your typical American glutton.  I hadn't been able to run during the day due to the steady rain, but I had noticed that it had lessened greatly when I got home from dinner.  Despite it being 9:15pm, I suited up and went for a run.  Running on a full stomach is a very uncomfortable feeling.  I felt like I'd eaten bricks not long into it and well into the night.  I felt better by the time I went to bed though, and slept deeply.  I love running at odd times.  That late on a Saturday night, the windows were full of warm light, and the houses seemed to rest in a statelier repose, as if thankful not to have to shrug off the bitter, icy winds for a change.  Torrents of rainwater rushed through the storm drains I passed.  When I threw up the shades in my bedroom the next morning, a new blanket of white had replaced the soggy ground.  I went out later and shoveled my driveway...again.  I hope it's the last time for the season.

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