Chapter 3. The Itch

My expiration date for a gig has, historically, been three years. Strangely, this mirrors what I believe is the development cycle to get a product right—three releases before it’s real. One release per year, the product is done...and so am I.

I say this like there’s a plan, like I know that after three years it’s time to move on, but this is not a science. This is historic observation. As I look at my resumé, it’s obvious. In fact, I often start leaving before I even notice I’m leaving.

Leaving starts with an itch.

Are You Answering the Phone?

I rarely answer my phone at work. There are really only two types of people who call: lawyers and recruiters. The lawyers are calling for good reason. They know that anything that passes through the keyboard is forever, and since their jobs hinge on conversations that we might not want to be forever, they use the phone.

Recruiters, on the other hand, are just cold calling. They’ve got a name and the main number of your company and they’re dialing. They don’t care who you are—you’re just 10% of your first year’s salary. And they’re the main reason I never pick up my phone.

The phone rings maybe 3–5 times a day. The ringer is low, and 99% of the time I just ignore it, except when I don’t. In the moment of considering the ring, an instant mental analysis occurs that sounds like this: Recruiter. Meh. But I wonder if it’s something interesting? More interesting than what I’m doing right now? More potential? A raise? I could use a ...

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