July 10, 2005 was my fifth anniversary in my current job. Since it was a Sunday, and I was out of the office the week of July 11, I thought I might have missed out on my 'happy anniversary' ceremony. I thought that, like a missed graduation, I'd get my reward for five years of service in my office mail. But this afternoon, my boss and the head of HR came into my office and presented me with a $50 Amex gift certificate for my time served. It's like prison: $10 for each year. I'm kidding. I love my job, my boss, and most of my co-workers. This firm has treated me well, and I've tried to do the best work I can. I have no interest in moving on, so I may well be here in 2010 to collect another anniversary gift certificate. I doubt I'll break any employment records, though. There's one secretary who has worked here 50 years, almost since the founding of the firm in 1946. The recruiter who got me this job was right when he said that people come to work here and they never leave [but he meant that in a good way].
Also in personal news, I can finally reveal (to the three people who read this blog and haven't heard yet) the nature of the other "secret" side project that I have been working on for the past few months. Last summer, I traveled to Frankfurt and London with a guy whose wife works as an editor for Wiley Publishing. She came with him to our office Christmas party, and we talked about my then co-worker who was writing a Blackberry book for Wiley. She asked me if I was interested in writing a book as well, and we chatted about some possible topics. After the party, she put me in touch with another editor who had some possible work for me. He and I discussed a few ideas and eventually it turned out that they had a book in progress that needed help to get it to press on time. I was interested in writing a book on Mozilla Firefox, but they already had a book in development. However, the lead writer wasn't going to be able to finish it on his own, so Wiley was looking for writers who could write a few chapters each. I took on three chapters and wrote them in February and March of this year. The book, Hacking Firefox, is done and should be on store shelves in a few weeks. I've already been paid for my work, so this isn't a plug to sell more books (it won't make a difference to my bottom line). I don't think my name will be on the cover; I just hope it will be inside the book somewhere. I'm supposed to get one copy of it when it comes out so I'll see if my name is in there. Anyway, that was the big project that kept me busy in the winter.