Monday, September 30, 2013

Fraught first foray

Well, nothing worth doing is ever easy, correct?  Good, because I think this new job is going to be pretty doggone challenging.  I got through my initial bout of HR business this morning without any big issues, including getting my first badge for the day for USA.

I then headed over to JSC and got my temporary access badge to enter the base and got myself up to the offices whence I'll base myself for the foreseeable future.  It is kind of a rabbits' warren of partitions and doors and narrow walkways.  It became quickly apparent that getting through the next round of security screenings and obtaining permission to use IT resources was going to take a bit, which might actually take even longer (more below) given current events.  I got the whirlwind tour and gauntlet of introductions, and I think some names and roles sunk in after the first immersion.  I eventually got some hard copies of training materials I need to start learning for my various levels of certification for the hierarchy of positions within the Grappling Visiting Vehicle Officer (VVO) Group.  Reading that material and intermittently trying to find out how to get IT access and sort out other bureaucratic issues consumed the rest of the day save for about 30 minutes spent touring the attached building with the actual operations rooms/flight control rooms.  Learning acronyms is going to be a long-term effort, which comes as no surprise.

Soooo, my initiation into this challenging position is being made all the more tough by the looming issue of the government shutdown and potential furloughs that could go into effect as early as tomorrow.  Great, just great.  Contractors like me won't be unable to work, but we may be kept out of JSC proper and have to work elsewhere.  Regardless, this will neither get me my badges any more rapidly, nor will it get me into and through the background check process any swifter.  The plan is to go to work at the normal hour tomorrow and see what happens.  It'd be nice not to have to worry about this, but it is what it is (way above my pay grade).

So, my plate is pretty full for the time being.  I think it will be from now on, period.
“Man does what he can and bears what he must.”

Monday, September 23, 2013

Turning the crank

Since I last wrote, I have continued to get acclimated to my new digs and environs.  The weather has been fair, despite some rains that rolled through over the weekend.  I have kept myself busy with continuing to research my past for the big upcoming background check, as well as taking care of sundry address changes and such for my bureaucratic entanglements.  Some of the bigger tasks that are almost completed are now just waiting for others to mail me final versions of titles, driver’s licenses, etc.

My apartment complex is quite nice, rather nicer than any I have been in before.  Of course I would not mind an uncluttered vista like the view from my folks’ place back home, but that is not really possible here.  So it is and so it goes for a country mouse in a city house.  After a week in the apartment I am getting used to some of the rhythms of the place.  The gurgle and spurt of sprinklers turning on late woke me up the first few nights.  I also seem to be coming to grips with my paranoia about mold, but will remain vigilant to keep that at bay.

All in all, things are going well and I think I will be well and ready for work to start next Monday. 
“Like many introverts, I'm capable of adopting a persona and going out into a public place if there's a reason to."
~Neal Stephenson, Eurogamer interview pub. 7/5/2012

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Dislocation, relocation, & now this location

I got myself moved down to Houston over the weekend and Monday with the assistance of my folks, and thankfully with no mishaps.  The truck I was given was a 16' one, not a 10' one like I'd ordered, so I had plenty of extra space in the cargo box.  After getting my folks to the airport I started the process of unpacking and doing the multitude of errands involved in resettling someplace urban like this.

There are already things I miss about home, for sure.  But, it has been alright here, and I've probably not suffered any more than my usual fair share of trepidations upon embarking on something new.  I know I have to make a long-term home here, and I think it will be doable.  It's mostly going to be a mind game, like so much of life is it seems.

A few niceties of the experience thus far are that I seem to be able to navigate pretty well, though I haven't been here much since an internship during the summer of 2000.  My apartment is pretty close to a lot of the places I've needed or will need to visit to take care of the relocation errands.  The public library nearby is pretty big/extensive.  I will have a succinct commute to work, as well.  My apartment is also very livable, though I'm going to have to deal with some paranoia regarding mold in the swampy environment here.  All in all (knock on wood), the process of becoming a Texas resident is going pretty decently so far.

"Turning Japanese, I think I'm turning Japanese!  I really think so."
~The Vapors