I could be wrong, but it seems I'm finally near the end of the longest job-interview process I've ever experienced in my life. Assuming Monday's launch date holds, it will have been exactly four weeks from initial interview to final clearance for takeoff. This may be an entirely normal timespan in the corporate world these days—it's been some time since I worked for a company of this size—especially in light of the extensive background checks that now seem to be commonplace for even the most rudimentary vocations.
As it turned out, the physical I foreshadowed last week wasn't really a physical at all, but a stress test designed to see if my heart might be made to explode under certain real-world conditions. Those would include activities such as lifting a metal milk crate containing lead weights onto a shelf above my head, climbing a stepladder three times in rapid succession, and pushing against a calibrated force-gauge designed to measure, I suppose, my relative level of pushiness. Evidently my heart didn't explode, because they handed me a piece of paper at the end of it all congratulating me for my successful participation, and wishing me luck in my new job.
I think that last part was intended as a joke, owing to the fact I didn't yet have a job. The following week brought a stress test of a different color, by which I mean white. Twentysomething pages of white paper to read, sign, or both, followed by a photocopying session involving various forms of identification proving my inalienable right to work in the country of my birth. I believe I was successful in that test, too, judging by the way my boss-to-be wiggled his eyebrows when he saw what I had done.
But as I mentioned before, I could be wrong. Somewhere, there's a cube farm that contains the person who will ultimately decide whether or not Monday's projected launch is a go, a no-go, or something in between. Not that I have any particular reason to doubt it; it's just that I, too, saw The Matrix, and we all know what can happen when certain phrases are typed on certain corporate keyboards by certain people whose last names may or may not be Smith.
Anyhow, that's the way things stand as of the time and date of this broadcast. For those who wonder, I might also add that the luxury of sleeping at night is returning as the current headache cycle begins to fade, heralding another opportunity to gaze into the washer of life as it spins, out of balance, toward the basement stairs. Is it not glorious?