Talking to the folks at the (former) office about my recent good fortune, I've tried to downplay just how happy I am about my prospective future. Not just because I have so manifestly "lucked out", but because so many of them have not.
Almost all of them have been (and are) actively looking for other work; many of them have been sending out resumes, like eager college graduates, on a thrice-daily basis. I haven't sent out a single one.
The most common report? No response at all, not even an acknowledgement that the resume has been received, let alone an offer of an interview.
(And remember: My co-workers and I are the survivors of a group that number over 130 two and a half years ago, now whittled down - without benefit of a union contract's seniority rules - to an official 20.
(We - they - are the cream of the crop: bright, conscientious, hard-working.)
That so many of them are dark-skinned or otherwise visually minorities tempts me to wonder about racism; that none of them were interviewed in person leads me to less paranoid thoughts.
Nevertheless, I have tried to downplay my happy circumstances - that I sent out no (NO) resumes; that I spoke with no (NO) friends or acquaintances whom might have leads; &ct.
That I just - less than 2 weeks ago, and more than 3 and a half years since leaving Web Networks, out of the proverbial blue got a call from Web wondering if I might be interested in an "employment opportunity" - one that promises to be challenging, interesting and, quite possible, one about which I will actually care - had something dropped onto my lap out of (apparently) nowhere, seems somehow unfair.
So, yes: I've been feeling lucky, as if some god in whom I don't believe has suddenly decided to prove his existence by granting me a miracle for which I hadn't even thought of asking.
But, more than one of my aforementioned co-workers argued that my superstition was misplaced, while I was doing the farewell rounds.
It wasn't luck, they claimed, that created my fortune.
"Obviously," said Richard, "it says a lot about your character, that they remembered you after so long."
"It speaks highly of the work you did," said Georgia. "Why else would they still have you in mind?"
And maybe: Why else indeed?
The truth is, I do do good work and almost always have. Whether delivering packages or washing dishes; writing radio scripts or re-installing Microcrap's Dial-Up Networking, I've always had a sense of pride about being good at what I do.
I'm a bright boy and so pick up on things quickly - why shouldn't Web want me back?
And in theory, I try not to be falsely modest.
And yet ...
And yet - even now, decompressing (as it were) 3 and a half years doing a job I was heartily sick of 2 years gone now - and yet, I still find it hard (emotionally) to credit my good fortune to any effort or skill of my own.
Maybe if I had sent out a resume or 3 before this happened I wouldn't feel so much like this happened to me, rather than that I earned it?
I walked out on 3 and a half years of my life this afternoon. What comes next, I guess, is as much in my hands as it is in anyone else's.
Lucky? Maybe, maybe not.
Fortunate? Yes; yes I am.