What is the name you give to that phenomenon where the closer you are to some much anticipated event, the slower you experience time? Like in physics we know that time actually run faster the closer you get to a gravitational mass when compared to the point of view from someone who is farther away. Except that it is the opposite, the closer you get to what you anticipate, time seems to slow to a halt.
That and the fact that I don't even need much the money anymore and would be fine by quitting now are really decreasing my motivation. But also, a series of questions related to the situation at the job, on which I'll elaborate a bit.
As I may have mentioned before, I nowadays work in a team that is responsible for a system written in assembly running in very expensive supercomputers in a big financial institution. It is so critical to the institution that a serious incident like three people there dying in a car accident could risk the company going broke if some serious problem in the system also happened after one such accident. I'm there for about one year and a half and most of this time has been spent on my learning than effectively delivering. I'm working on a rewrite of a part of the system for months and nothing of my rewrite went to production yet.
The fact that it is written in assembly specific to this supercomputing plataform makes it very hard to find people to work on it in the market, but this is not the worse part. The implicit knowledge about the system itself is huge. There is a lot of written documentation, but as any programmer should be able to tell, that is far from enough when it comes to guaranteeing the the sucession of the knowledge of a code base bigger than a million lines and written in a highly unstructured language so close to machine code. And yes, there are very good monetary reasons why it is in assembly, that I won't go in detail here.
Other than those three people, there are about other three somewhere in the market, already retired, that could potentially be contacted in a disaster situation. But you see, the situation does not look so good. To make it worse, it doesn't seem like upper management really understand the depth of this. This week I started working on a change that will go in production and then had the chance to have a better grasp of size of the monster. It got me very worried and feeling guilty that so much time is being dedicated on my learning of the code base, and I have plans to go away so soon.
Finally, today morning I started a conversation with my manager about this. I did not disclose my intentions to retire early, but discussed the situation and how it is not so realistic to expect nowadays that people will have a whole career in one place like it was the case a decade ago or so, and even went as far as use a colleague as an example: "Take john, he studies all the time and travels so much, have a lot of contacts, it is not crazy that at some point someone will invite him to a job at silicon valley earning 100k a year. Actually if he went looking, I'm pretty sure he could find one just now". He wasn't there at the moment. I also happen to know the the other colleague, the most senior other than the manager (who is also a programmer), is close to leaving to another country in the next few months. The manager knows this to some extent but I'm not sure how much, so I didn't comment on him specifically. But I also went as far as possible into communicating that it is not safe to assume that anyone will stay there for so many years, me included. I know it is not really my problem that the company is doing this, but I feel guilty.
In a way, I really wanted that the rumours about a voluntary severance package were true, so that all of this situation would end at once. But I'd better not cling to this idea, because even if those rumours were true, the chances that the rules would allow me to adhere are minimum, I must be realistic about this. At least I got it out of my system to my manager and let him know how I feel about the situation. It is a bit crazy that it is such a strategically important system that if I had interest in working more years, I could at some point in the not so distant future demand crazy amounts of money to support it or to make a phasing out process happen. And I'm just not interested. I'd rather do something else more meaningful instead, even without being paid.
The technical challenge is also wearing off a bit, because I don't see a clear path out of this conundrum for the company. Worse than that, I don't see how I could contribute to improving the situation being at where I am. It is a complex situation really, I'm not sure I'm even very interested because anything that I start tend to generate more dependency on me, which would help with job stability I guess, but is not something I want really. Even if I were to convince higher level bosses that we should start some kind of program to teach young people and prepare them for this, that program itself would be something that would take time and tie me down further.
Meanwhile, the market keeps being great to me and last month my investment returns where like 10% higher than my before tax wages. This month seems like it could be even better. Maybe it gets so good until the end of the year that I decide to take the leap sooner. I know that it is not so great to quit at the height of a bull market, but well, life has risks. The numbers are not that bad.
Anyway, I really need some months of testing the new level of expenses now that the housing line was slashed in half. Food costs still varies a bit from month to month as I have not been so strict about it. I really need to get to a level that feels confortable and stable for some months. I can't make a number in my mind out of picking the months that I did better on each category of expense. It must be based on actual average of a few months. I hope to feel confortable about this until the end of 2019. My main expenses are mostly housing and food, so it is important that I'm confortable with the numbers.