“What are they going to do – fire me?”

On Monday, I quit my job. Regular readers will know this is no surprise, and has been in the pipeline for ages as part of plans to move across to America before the end of the year. But to finally hand over that sheet of paper to my boss was both simultaneously uplifting and scary. The former, because I can look forward to three months of…well, let’s just say that the threat of being sacked no longer has any great hold over me. But it’s sobering too, in that this is really the first irrevocable step towards departure. It’s one thing to talk about emigration; it’s quite another to take a leap into the dark and give up your employment for the past 11 years, without any idea what your next one will be.

The clock is now ticking, and I suddenly realised that I’d better get on with the next TC, before I lose access to all my spiffy hi-tech apparatus. The past week has thus been a bit of a blizzard of activity, as I start laying out some articles, hand over others to minions, and get stuck into reviewing material (no…please…not another Carmen Electra movie!). At the moment, I am optimistic, though perversely, I suspect that as the deadline of the end of my employment approaches, I’ll be spending more time in the office. I can see them carting me out of the building on October 31st, as I shriek, “Just five more minutes!” [And here seems as good a place as any to include the traditional mantra: “Oi, Lino! Where are the ‘zine reviews?”]

At least one potential distraction has been largely removed, as my Playstation appears to be succumbing to wear and tear (I’m sure it has nothing to do with the pique-induced slapping it took after a particularly irritating LMA Manager loss). From a TC point of view, this is good. However, having struggled through most of Final Fantasy VII and Metal Gear Solid, I feel an odd sense of loss that I’ll never get to finish them. There’s not much point in buying a new machine, given my imminent departure, and I have no interest in starting from the beginning again!

On the other hand, it will be one less item to ship. For I’m already looking (albeit in a vague way) at the prospect of packing all my stuff up. Fortunately, I don’t have much in the way of possessions – at least, not ones without plugs on the end – and most of what I do have, there’s no point in taking over. I like my bed, but my research suggests they have perfectly adequate ones in America. Apart from that, it’s mostly software of various forms, and will provide a good opportunity to engage in some hard-core pruning. For example, do I bother taking any LPs with me? Part of me is going “But…but…but I can’t leave them behind!”, while a rather more realistic part enquires politely when was the last time I even saw my record-player. Keeping stuff is all very well, but paying to ship it does concentrate the mind.

Especially as I’ve got a good seven years of accumulated junk to sort out, thanks to my non-nomadic lifestyle. When you move home frequently, there is inevitably regular winnowing of the dross. Not having this means entire rooms to be gone through and the dreck discarded (I’ve got most of the first 100 issues of Empire if anyone wants to come round and pick them up!). If previous experience is anything to go by, these sessions will degenerate into me sitting in the middle of a bomb-zone, reading books I’d forgotten I had, while listening to CDs that had fallen down behind said books. Actually, I’m quite looking forward to this…