Uncanny Valley


If you haven’t seen this yet, it is an interesting short Sci-Fi film on VR Junkies.


While I am not contemplating the issues shown in the film, I do suspect VR, particularly realistic FPS’s, will ruin some lives.

I’m now an unemployed bum. I finished up my job on Friday. It was an odd final month.

My boss since July was inexperienced in her role and did not understand what I did. While she had an admirable quality of doggedly working through issues, she tended to be passive aggressive and disinclined to ask for advice from underlings.

While I produced the hand over documents she asked for, I had worked some long hours to get more than 7 years of documentation and email history sorted and ordered into an easily searched repository. It was a sort of legacy to help my boss. She would be able to see every client issue I had come across – how it was reported, what advice was given, and what work was done. It should have helped her greatly after I had gone.  However, she seemed dismissive of it – instead putting all her faith into the couple hours I spent talking to the (mostly silent) Off-Shore team who were organised at the last minute to cover my work.

I departed without a word of thanks for the years of service or an appreciation of the diligent handover.  While I had no doubt about my decision to leave, that reinforced it.

After working for more than 20 years straight without an appreciable break, I am taking three-months off before I start to contemplate what my next move is. I am not by nature the type who likes uncertainty, so I am going to have to work at keeping my mind focused on enjoying the downtime instead of stressing about next year.  I should get some more EVE time in.

The relation with cancer I mentioned recently passed away. My father spoke at her funeral last week. You don’t know how long you are going to be here for, so it pays to work towards the future while enjoying today.  I hope she is finally at rest.

12 thoughts on “Uncanny Valley

  1. I fear you have made a big mistake. Unless you have skills that are nearly unique and highly marketable, I think you will see being out of work is a massive black mark. And I am betting that your references will not be that great, based on what you have said here about your ex-boss. She does not sound like someone who appreciated your efforts.

    • When I have finished my break I’ll finally get around to joining Linked In. Between my previous boss of 10 years and the large number of colleagues and customers I’ve worked with, I’m sure I can paint a picture of competence for prospective employers. As long as the narrative is right, the quick availability tends to trump any old school views on being unemployed – particularly given almost all jobs in my field are now contract or fixed term. It does however weaken your position in salary negotiations.

      Having said all that, finding an employer in the same field is not my only choice. We will be closely investigating the options to work for myself, or buy a business, or take the time to re-skill into something new. We are in a position were any of those choices is viable. It just requires me to be a little bold and step outside of the familiar.

      • Best of luck in your search… but first. REALLY enjoy your time off first my friend. Seriously. Take time to smell the Roses… life is short and sweet and best when savored. Hell, even Dimmy gets to wallow in his hate only once.

      • Thanks Tur – ensuring my mindset is right to make the most of the downtime is my number one goal. In all honesty it only frees up a few hours a day. I have been the full time Dad for the last 18 months who squeezed in work between the kids. I’ll still be doing all the school and kids activity runs, shopping, washing, cleaning, half the cooking, gardening and all the rest. Hopefully life won’t be quiet as rushed, and I will be able to clear some of the to-do list backlog.

    • (BTW Dimmy… I once took off work for 2 YEARS to stay home w/ my new born daughter… when I decided to go back to work, took me only 3 months to land a job at my old rate. Plus, recently, I was out of work for 7 months and when I did land a position, it was the first FT position I have had in 17 years as a contract IT tech… been here over a year now and doing great. My experience trumps your supposition and fear mongering.)

    • I don’t have an issue with Dinsdale Pirannha’s comment – at a much earlier stage of my career it would have had merit, and it still would in certain industries. I might well come across older school recruiters who still think that way. My wife works in the same technology, but from the functional side. I know half the jobs she gets called about require immediate starts. The job market is different now to when I first started.

      • Cool… and I am glad you are positive about it. It’s just the only thing that burns my ass more’n a 2’6′ candle is the unflinching sophomoric negativity of Dinsdale Piranha aka Vince Snetterton. To reply on someones blog in such a negative manner, on a personal Real Life situation, just… just… pisses me off. But it’s Dimmy and like floods, plagues of locusts and other horrid things I can’t control or do squat all about I tell myself to try and just let it go… =P

        And yes, the market has changed in my 18 years… but I have a feeling with your time in career, the relationships and contacts made etc., etc. when you do get to seriously looking that you will have that most wonderful of stresses (I have known this once or twice myself)… the stress of which of these job offers to accept? =]

  2. Shit… got all caught up in the dimstuff and forgot…. OMG what a great video!! Reminds me of the Hollow Pursuits episode, the one about holodeck addiction. Really great take on man’s ability to take anything and make both the amazing and the really horrible out of… anything. Where man finds a medicine, there too lies a poison. Such is life…

  3. It’s a bugger when you walk away unappreciated. Unfortunately, they oft times don’t what they had till they don’t have it no more. By which stage, it’s usually way too late.

    Good luck with the hunt. Have a wonderful break 🙂

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