A blog experiment by Brad Mills.


Task mastering during a free week

Looks like I've got some time to kill this week before I start my new job. When an IT worker with high-level administrative access turns in a resignation, the company in question often disables that access as a precaution against possible malfeasance or carelessness. That happened to me over the course of last week, and by Friday, my access was at the same level as the unclean masses. That left me in a spot where I really couldn't do much work. So, my department manager told me my attendance at work through this week was optional — and said I would be paid for it regardless. There are numerous "real world" things I need to get done anyway, so I decided my attendance would probably be pretty slim indeed.

I've got a friend in the Detroit area who recently took a buyout from GM and retired early. He was an engineer. Now he's a fireman. The suburb where he lives is a quiet little place, so he does things like rescue cats from trees... but occasionally he'll have a more exciting day and rescue a human or put out an actual fire.

This is not meant to disparage what he's doing. I think it's awesome. I especially think it's awesome that he just did it with neither permission nor apology, and I wonder if maybe it was a childhood dream of his to be a fireman one day.

The last time I had a freebie vacation like this (after resigning from a previous IT job), I did a few days of consulting work for a small medical equipment company. And, I've said before that I'd possibly spend my retirement days doing part-time stuff like running a cash register or delivering newspapers, just to have something to do, and something I could walk away from if I felt like I was tired of it.

The things I have to do this week fall more into the "need to do" category as opposed to the "you can walk away from this" category. I am able to stretch them out some and arrange them to my liking, though, instead of pushing them all toward the lean evening hours or the ever-busy weekends. So far so good... they're getting done, the list is shrinking.

And it's only Monday. I might be out of things to do when Thursday rolls around. That wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing either.

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