Blinders

July 17, 2007

In the course of my professional life I have changed jobs a number of times. In most of those instances there comes a point in time where you know you are going to leave the current job and a sometimes subtle, sometimes profound change occurs. I refer to this change as the blinders coming off.

While I am not a horse person I recognize blinders as a piece of the tack worn by the horse to prevent it from seeing anything to the sides. The "blinders" in this case don't actually blind the animal but they do induce a form of tunnel vision; if it is straight ahead the horse can see it, otherwise it doesn't exist. I think we go through our lives with various blinders on as well. Some we knowingly choose to wear, others are there subconsciously.

In my experience, most of the jobs I've left voluntarily have, in the process of leaving, contained a moment where the blinders came off and I allowed myself to see the little annoyances, or perhaps the larger hidden costs of the situation. It is as if once you are no longer dependent upon being satisfied with the position you can see all the things you don't like about it clearly.

Turns out that moving has a similar blinder removal epiphany. My current living situation is in a gated community. The gate, and surrounding fence, supposedly makes the property more secure. And, while I suppose it does add a certain level of deterrence, the gate itself is a royal pain. In the three plus years I have lived here there hasn't been a single week when one of the four gates (two in and two out) at the main entrance haven't been out of commission. One night recently the entrance gate for my side of the property wouldn't open; we had to manually push it back on its tracks to get access. And almost every time I come home there is a car sitting, idling in the guest turn-around waiting for a resident to enter so they can tailgate through the gate while it is open

That the gate provides any security at all is a joke; the only dwelling I've ever had robbed was this one.

I say all of this knowing full well that the new place has some hidden "features" that I am carefully tucking behind the blinders, features that won't become obvious to my until it is time to move from there.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.