Last day of work before the holiday season. It was strange. I mean, work is typically empty despite the many number of consultants we have since they are often on-site.. but there was almost no one around today. It was also very slow. Almost surreal. "Am I really at work? Am I really looking at this bit of code?" It was quite a blur. I had to work late today. There was a code freeze today and the infrastructure guy whose job was to freeze the code was having great difficulties. So, I had to stay at work until relatively late. I knew I couldn't go get my father's Christmas gift.. so I felt bad that I was going to be giving it to him after the holiday season. But since I'm getting him tickets to Full Moon, I didn't feel too bad about it. I was thinking about getting them tickets to the all-male Swan Lake, but on recommendation of the head of HR, Linda, I opted for Full Moon. She says she's seen it twice and it is very funny and entertaining.
Speaking of work, I got a raise today! Yay! Well, they are changing the system of evaluations and raises are going to be done at the same time in June and December for all employees. I received a $2k raise. Nifty! I also got a Christmas bonus of $1300. I'm not sure what to do with it. I might spend about 1/4 of it on personal stuff.. spend 1/2 on it on my bills, and saving 1/4. Sounds good, yeah? I'll definitely use it to get a new piercing and jewelry. I was very surprised: I wasn't expecting a Christmas bonus. Linda explained that the sales and marketing people get paid with commissions all the time, so it seems normal that the consultants will get bonuses. I guess it is compensation for the hours that we work (like today for example).
My Christmas gift from my father is going to take a little longer time to get to me. I got an email message saying that the package will take a bit longer since they don't have anything in stock and it will be 2 to 4 more weeks. <sigh> I want to have my camera before I get pierced so that I can have tons of photographs taken of the procedure. It's a tragus and I've only got two... so I want to be sure to get many photographs of the procedure. That's ok since my sister's gift of a subscription to Time Out New York will take an equally long time to get signed up and started. I was able to stop by Barnes and Noble to get my mother's Christmas gift (a lovely wooden cookbook holder) and my cousin Kim's gift. I stopped by the Amber from Poland cart at Port Authority where I got some very unique and interesting jewelry in the past and I got her a rectangular cage with an amber bead captured in it. Very interesting! Definitely a conversation piece.
I got my sister to wrap all my presents for me. The only gift that I wrapped myself is my sister's gift. Isn't that pathetic? I just don't wrap well.
Oh! The highlight of the day! Brittly of Water the flowers ~brittly asked for some image help. She was trying to get text to position itself in a circle around her main logo on her website. She, unfortunately, only had a bitmapped graphics program (Photoshop). Well, I volunteered to help! I mean, I have Freehand. It takes only a few seconds to really put together something like that. Just make the circle, type out the text and have the text follow the path of the circle. Well, I emailed her and we exchanged ICQ numbers and started chatting. It was wonderful! In about 30 minutes, we had come up with what she wanted for the main graphic to her website, transferring the file back and forth and testing color, size of font, etc. I think she was really happy with the graphic. <grin> She praised the work that I had done on [woolgathering] and I felt wonderful and fuzzy all over. It's nice to help other people. It makes me feel good. I think a majority of the acts that I do are hedonistic in this manner. In that respect, Ayn Rand is right about my personal psyche. I do things to help people and make them feel better, yes, but I definitely feel better in the process. It makes me feel like I'm a good person for helping another person. It's not my primary motivation for things, but it's unescapably there: the desire for feeling like a good person because I make others feel good. It's definitely a selfish perspective on things, but it's a way of not feeling cheated by others. I've always strove to give to others more than I receive from them... and in the past I've gotten put down because others don't put the same amount of effort for me. It hurts thinking about it. But thinking in this manner, it hurts less.