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2004-05-19 - 5:50 p.m.

I haven't decided what I'm going to write today so I figured I'd just start and see where it gets me. I've had a very productive yet domestic 3 days off which end tomorrow morning. The house is clean, which is a good thing since I'm having a party on Saturday night and have pretty much no time between now and then that I won't be working or sleeping. It should be good- I have people coming to it from Brisbane and Adelaide, though I'm wondering why I haven't heard from a couple of my Uni friends yet. Jane has picked out another deadly sounding punch so I hope nobody reading this is planning on doing any driving that night. Oh and I've put some songs in a folder to form the party CD for the night. Question- if my "party songs" folder is 334MB and contains about 6 hours of music, what does that say about the 5GB of music I have on my hard drive? Don't worry, it's mostly stuff I've uploaded from my collection.

I think I've covered my holiday pretty well. I got the rest of my photos back yesterday- as you'd kinda expect they don't fully or even close to capture the experience (the fact that some of the highlights of my trip did not involve any photographs being taken says something). Still, for the most part I'm pleased with them- except most of the night shots, particularly of Vegas. There's a photo of Meaghan and I on top of the Stratosphere (tallest building/ tower in Vegas) which came out really well because it's focusing on us and the lights of the city show up nicely, but when you're just trying to take a photo of the lights there's not enough contrast, or something.

The only bit of the trip I really wanted to touch on in any more detail was the drug stuff, from the point of view of it always being a hang up of mine that I hadn't experienced things for myself, and where do I stand now that I hav experienced a few different things? But I'll leave that for another time.

I guess work is another thing I could talk about. Within our career structure there is a yearly "Personal Performance Bonus", which requires our manager to rank each of the people in lab, very Year 10 School Certificate :) So there are quite a few different positions in the lab, but everyone still gets ranked from 1 to about 22, and your PPB ranges from 0% (there are people in the lab that deserve that but I'm sceptical as to whether it is ever applied) to- whatever- in order for the average PPB to be whatever the company says it should be (in this case about 5 or 6% I think). It looks very much like I was ranked at the top of the pile this year. Which leaves me a bit...speechless? Baffled? My personal performance bonus was 10.5% of my salary, and I knew it was good, but the other day I found out that the one guy I assumed would have done better than me actually didn't.

I don't think that I am the "hardest" worker in the lab but I feel like this is vindication that there is more to it than that. There are people who knock over all the work in half the time of others then bitch about everyone who isn't as fast as them, don't make an effort to get involved with other sides of our company, don't have good people skills and above all just aren't particularly nice. It's nice to know you don't have to be a selfish asshole to be considered a top performer. Nice to dispel the whole "nice guys finish last" myth, even if it's an exception to the rule and you really do have to be ruthless to get anywhere. And it shows the importance of gaining the trust and respect of your manager. I wouldn't call myself a "suck", but I fully realise that there is virtually no value in doing anything if your manager doesn't know about it. Okay, no value when it comes to career development- you still know when you've done your job well, and know when what you've done has made a difference.

The question is- where do I go from here? It's difficult enough to think about giving up my shift allowance when they're paying me an obscene amount of money to deprive me of sleep and make me work weekends, nights and public holidays- but if the opportunity comes up I don't think I'll hesitate, because it's hard being in a relationship with a Monday to Friday 9ish-5ish worker and working shift, and it's hard having to miss out on things because you're working. I just don't think I'll go looking per se. And as for the idea that I'll get bored or restless in this job, or this company, and look for something else- I'm not the most capitalistic person in the world but it's a reality that money gives you a means to do some of the things you love (travel, have a raging restaurant habit, live in the Inner West and dream about buying there, etc) and I don't see myself finding somewhere that pays me better than here.

I do know that there's going to be a maternity position coming up sometime this year that I'm very keen on. It's ideal for someone as unsure as me- if I hate it I still have my current job to come back to.

Mmm, that's about the extent of my thoughts that I feel like delving into at the moment.


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