This was the best gig ever. The guy who owned the company was (and likely still is) a great guy to work for and the work was always pretty darned interesting. I worked on various areas of the Microsoft website over the next few years but the biggest piece was also the most fun.
For more than a year, I worked on the Zune website. It was all encompassing work and very fun. Plus I got a Zune which I still have. It was a great little gizmo. And the website was fun. The woman in charge was from Brazil and a ton of fun. I hate that the Zune died. I heard a guy on a podcast the other day talk about how he tried to get his up and operational again. Microsoft offers the server software for download but after much futzing, he was not able to get it going. The end.
And while I worked on other Microsoft website areas for a bit after Zune, it was really the end in many other ways. Microsoft, at the behest of local and federal governmental guidelines, put the vice on their vendors crushing many to death and squeezing many others down to a dribble. My company was in the latter bucket. They just could not longer get the kind of work I had the skills for.
And they laid me off. It was the summer of 2012.
I'd discovered a couple of years before this that having a commute of under 20 steps and rarely leaving my condo was not working well for my body. So I joined the gym across the street. I went fairly frequently - maybe taking 1 day off a week. I hated it so much. I even hired a trainer and still hated every second of it. And then, one day, I decided to check out swimming pool exercise.
I loved it from the first time I got into the water. I mean really loved it. A fat person in water is graceful and buoyant. Everything that gravity kills, the water gives back. I quit the gym and did water exercise classes at the city pools. When I got laid off, the first thing I did was make sure I found a class every day and then I even got an MP3 of guided exercises and didn't even need a class.
And I went back to that oh so generous unemployment payout system. My COBRA health insurance stretched almost to when I was eligible for Medicare and my boss, when he laid me off, said that he would cover the 2 months difference one way or another. (Such a really nice guy.)
I kind of looked for another gig. But, I knew I had enough money to live on from investments and savings (and later, Medicare and a small IBM pension) and didn't really need to work so that really kind of hampered my efforts. Finally, when the unemployment payments ran out, I declared myself officially retired.
I gave up my aqua fit classes for lap swimming and the rest, they say is history.
But, of course, I have final words so... To Be Continued