I must be either completely out of my mind, or totally madly in love, for me to stay this perfectly chilled for almost a whole week now! But my psycho gauge is registering nearly normal, and I am not aware of loving anyone above anybody else anymore. Could I possibly be in love with the whole Magic Infinity at once?!?

Yep, even the lady who unwittingly drove me to committing my deepest
wishes to paper is no longer that special. But that’s not saying I
wouldn’t jump a hole in the sky if our paths would cross again. But
she’s turned into a comfy jacket rather than a raging log fire like she
was before.

But enough of that aspect of my heart, because this isn’t called Heart @
Work for nothing. And hard@work I was, long and hard even! Came in at
seven like always, and am now sitting here waiting for the six fifteen
to take me home….

It’s a long one, perhaps even twice the length of the three forty-five I
normally take. And I clearly remember having had a real live antipathy
to working any longer then I actually had to, but this afternoon it felt
like the natural thing to do, because lots of preparations are in order
for the Expo which will be held next week. So when my job wasn’t
finished after the mandatory eight hours, I told Fred I’d stick around
until it was done. And later on I wasn’t even thinking of complaining
when he piled another laptop on my desk for a quick refitting…

It really is all about ones outlook on Life, or at least it seems that
way: the new job may have changed me, and Fred’s attitude to a Test
Engineer may be different than towards a Software Engineer, but at least
it worked its magic on our communication: misinterpreted terms still
get uttered, but they no longer result in a gap that can no longer be
bridged, thus ending the conversation.

But what exactly did turn me into a workaholic? Sure, going home still
feels great, but no longer like a Great Escape! And all that because of a
few changes in my job description:

1. Software engineers have to test too, but since the Test department
should come next, they don’t feel like its a core task. I hated it when I
was a , merely because it required wearing two caps intent on
calling one another enemies. Right now, I only have to see software
errors as separate entities, not specifically caused by anyone, least of
all myself!

2. Programmers have to wait more, because all the jobs they do are done
on the same system, using the same development tools. It is possible to
multitask various bugfixes, but since you work with the same tools on
the same sourcecode, it is quite accident-prone, and causes havoc if you
are not careful! Being a tester I employ many systems at once, which is
still easier to manage because multitasking now happens on different
machines, and often uses different software entirely!

3. After 22 years, I finally found work which also incorporates the
hardware I studied as a youth. Mind you, it has evolved a bit since
then, but you don’t study without falling madly in love with
the hands on part of it! This is me, like nobody would ever get it into
his thick skull to promote Scotty to captain of the USS Enterprise.
Some guys belong on the bridge, but I’m definitely not one of them!

4. More service, more reason to smile: a is more of a
problem solver than his programming counterpart At least that is how it
feels to me. New stuff needs testing, which needs a simple mind: no
thinking about what’s inside, if the outside misbehaves you just
describe what it should do, and toss it back to where it came from Also,
the sheer endless stream of various hardware has you looking at a lot
more of the computer realm. Rather than having a mostly monogamous
relationship with your developers machine, you get to put your hands on
most of the beauties inside the company, and even quite a few exotic
ones! Who ever said you don’t get paid to screw around? ;-)

5. Being an entire department rather than part of a bigger team, has an
air of independence. Sure, like Quigon said: "There’s always a bigger
fish!" and I am still a part of the company, but there is this scent of
freedom in the air….

6. The attitude of Fred towards his Tester is one of Quality Assurance
rather than getting the product out as fast as possible. I can now
officially tell him about problems without having the idea he looks
towards me to solve them. In fact, I’m not even allowed to!