To read about F's and my London trip, start here and click "newer post" to continue the story.

Monday, December 13, 2010

For the second time in 6 months ... "first day on the new job".

It went well. They were prepared for me - had a nice office, already a login on the computer on my desk and email set up. Everyone was pleasant and I was welcomed over and over. So I think this is going to work out.


I want to talk just a bit about the scripture passage I put up yesterday because I had been thinking about it.

It irritates me a little bit when people read a whole bunch of stuff into a Bible story, that they can't really support. But I can't help speculating about this one. The man in the story had been to Jerusalem to worship. Either he was a Jew, or a person who was drawn to Judaism, or maybe just a spiritual person doing a survey of world religions, we don't know. But we do know that he would not have been allowed into the Temple to worship as another man might have been; because he was identified in the story as a eunuch, this would somehow have been obvious to the observer, and per Deuteronomy 23:1, "No one who has been emasculated by crushing or cutting may enter the assembly of the LORD."

So am I wrong in seeing a bit of frustration in his response to Philip, "How can I understand unless someone explains it to me?" He may have gotten the complete brush-off and it still stung a little. But he was still drawn and wanted to learn, hence his asking Philip to explain what he was reading.

And he was reading about a man who was humiliated, deprived of justice, and would have no descendents. As chief treasurer to the queen of a wealthy nation, able apparently to travel freely, and not on foot, one wouldn't think humiliation and injustice would resonate with him, unless as previously speculated, he had been turned away rudely in Jerusalem. He certainly would have no descendents. So when he asked Philip who the prophet was talking about, himself or someone else, he possibly hoped that he was reading about someone he could identify with, who would have been sympathetic to him and whose religion would be accessible to him. And of course he was.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Third Sunday in Advent

Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”

Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.

“How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:

“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.
Who can speak of his descendants?
For his life was taken from the earth.”

The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.

-Acts 8

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Second Sunday in Advent

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I ’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

-Emily Dickenson

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Okay, so, update. And yes, Ma, I am dizzy.

When I was at the previously mentioned conference for environmental professionals, I received a call while my phone was turned off. A message had been left for me by a head hunter, about a job I'd applied for in early 2009. I didn't call him back because I had a job.

But the next week my boss sent a couple of financial spreadsheets, and when I'd looked at them, I did call that head hunter back. A couple of interviews ensued, and my references were checked, and then I got an offer letter on the very same day that the company purchasing the lab had taken a good look and said they couldn't support me after all.

I told R I felt like a teacher's pet. Whose? he asked. God's.

I mean, wow.

So we're going to talk to the landlord on Sunday about buying this house AFTER ALL.

The new job is at a blending facility. You might think lab work is lab work, but going from a biodiesel manufacturer and glycerin refinery to a commercial lab was a big change. Way more external customers to deal with, and the whole dimension of what happens to the data after it goes out from me, using it to tweak the system and make decisions, was gone.

(Yes, I know the word "data" is plural. I'm trying not to be compulsive.)

Everybody except me is either laid off or switched to the new employer. The Memphis folks have expressed disappointment that I am not going back there, but they are keeping me on the payroll till the last second, probably; and if they don't the new folks want to pay me a daily rate to stick around till the new job starts. So once again I won't get a break but I AM NOT COMPLAINING. OH GOOD LORD, NO.

R is being kept by the new employers in some kind of function. Because he can fix equipment and do other things - he installed an eyewash station shortly after I started and was appalled by what we had, for instance - they wanted to keep him kind of part-time/on call; but it's already looking like working into more than that.

So. We're going to haul off and buy a Christmas tree today and be a little less tentative as we look around this house and think about things we want to change.

My coworkers are sad to see me leave. I am the best boss ever, evidently. Damini, who has loaded me down with bangles over the last six months (maybe I don't look girly enough to suit her), says she will go wherever I go. Life is just a series of meetings and partings, I reckon.