The Big Announcement My Life 28 FEB 2008

SmileyFor the last while in my life I have been rather… fidgety would be the word I guess and decided that the only way to solve this feeling of restlessness with my current life is either to change my work environment or change my living environment. The problem of course is, as Liz always liked to tell me, I am just too damn comfortable in my little safe zone, my little bubble if you will, and will probably never step out of that safe comfortable spot… ever. Of course she was/is pretty damn right as I am a naturally lazy person who doesn’t like a lot of complications in their life and much rather prefers just to leave things as is and cruise through life as it comes at me. The less effort required on my behalf, the better thank you very much.

However, the restlessness continued to grow and as it did, I began talk of changing jobs. Of course, I’ve been saying this for a couple of years now and as always, never really seriously even looked at doing what I said. Why? Too risky and too much effort of course! Obviously life took a turn for the better for me when I met Chantelle and has been great ever since, but that particular feeling of restlessness has never completely gone away. Basically, some sort of CHANGE is needed in my life, as simple as that.

So I did.

On Saturday morning while I was cooped up in Chantelle’s flat in Gordon’s Bay, furiously programming away, it hit me. I love it there. I love being in that particular flat. I love being right next to the sea. I love being close to my Chantelle. No, I WANT to be close to my Chantelle.

Though of course, as with all my other brilliant thoughts, laid out plans and great ideas, it remained stillborn in my head, brushed aside as I continued with my work. But then I did something strange and rather unexpected…

On Sunday morning, sitting eating breakfast at the guesthouse with Chantelle, I blurt out aloud: “I want to move in with you. I want to come and live in Gordon’s Bay. What do you think?”

Flabbergasted, stunned and just plain smacked silly, she couldn’t believe that those words had just sprouted from the mouth of Mr Anti-impulsive Risk-Averse himself. However, much to my delight and despite the stunned look on her face, I think I’ll take the excited “Yippeeee! I’m so happy!” that she managed to voice as a definite YES then.

So that is that. I have decided, no I have ACTED upon it. I have informed my family of the move, I have given notice that I will be no longer staying in my flat come 1st of April, and no it isn’t an April Fool’s Joke.

Of course you are wondering, “So what is he going to do about work?” Well seeing as I was planning on changing jobs this year anyway, I really didn’t have anything to lose. First thing Monday morning I went into Kyle’s office, sat down and announced my intentions to him. Basically what I told him left him with two options. Either we need to start looking for a new developer to take over my current position or two, he needs to allow me to stay on in this job but work from home.

His immediate response was absolutely not, there is no way I can work from home. UCT doesn’t allow it and my job description most certainly doesn’t allow for it. However, we spent a good hour or so talking, arguing and thrashing about, eventually ending with a “Let me think about it” which is always promising from Kyle because strangely enough, he is actually one of those few people who really do think about something if they say that they are going to.

A little while later, I got called back into the office and he told me that he had gotten the thumbs up from the Faculty Dean and UCT’s main Human Resources manager. The only person not happy about the plan is him, but he can’t really afford to lose me now. So we argued a bit about the terms that I would work under and in the end we thrashed out a plan that, starting 1st of April, would see me come into the office on Mondays and Fridays only (he doesn’t like the idea of me screwing him over for long weekends), though I would be losing my office space and be expected to work on my laptop wherever I can find space. UCT won’t pay for my connection costs (seeing as this move is my idea), but I do get to take all my current electronics from the office home with me. It is not a 100% what I wanted, but it is good enough for me as it gives me enough of the flexibility which is I desired in the first place (I’m looking at telecommuting work as my primary choice if I switch jobs anyway) and makes it financially more viable to fast track the move to Gordon’s Bay.

(Plus it also helps quieten down all those little risk-averse voices in my head)

The deal is not 100% percent finalised until I receive the necessary paperwork, but hopefully that will just be a minor detail and will get resolved shortly. And if it doesn’t, oh well, I’ve got enough resources to tide me over until I find something else, a sentiment that just goes to show how committed I am to this rather self-driven major change in my life.

No matter what, nothing is going to stop me now – Gordon’s Bay, Chantelle, I am coming home!

About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.