I’m not the kind of guy who complains a lot, but wow. This sucks, and I need to make more than a few tweaks to fix it.

I’m homeless. It’s not quite that dramatic–I’m not sleeping under a bridge–but I don’t have an apartment. The room I currently call home is a budget motel room with insects in the bathroom and a heater that sometimes works and all the propaganda I want from CCTV. It costs about $30 a night, hotels being ridiculously expensive like any housing in Beijing, and is barely bigger than a bed. Fortunately it’s in the Wudaokou neighborhood, which is a close commute to work. I need a close commute to work.

Oh yeah, work. Shortly after I got here, one of the best techs on my team quit. He’d worked 6 1/2 years without a full-time offer, and a management change was as good a time as any for him to leave. He left for a much more lucrative job at another company. Meanwhile, my purchasing clerk left on maternity leave. I hope she comes back; she’s really good and it’s hard to find anyone that good. So, this leaves my admin doing 2 jobs and the rest of the team splitting another one and me ramping up in a new (and really different) job during the busiest period that the office has seen in the last 2 years.

This has meant a month of 7 day weeks and 10-14 hour days. One week was so busy that I just slept in the office – there was no point in leaving, and I didn’t really have time to sleep but I did anyway. With so little time outside work, I lagged on finding an apartment, and then I had the problems I alluded to previously.

Finally, I found an apartment that I could afford and was one that I wanted. I returned from yet another business trip to find out that the landlord had changed his mind, and was going to let relatives live in the apartment instead. Now I’m back to searching for a home–one that I’m unlikely to see much of anyway if the current pace of work continues. It had better not, because this isn’t what I signed up for and I burned out the last time I worked this hard and I’m really not having much fun (fun being a big reason why I took the job, the adventure, and the smaller paycheck). It was such a dramatic burnout that I didn’t think I’d ever work in this field again. I’m not there yet, but given my usual oblivious state of mind, when I feel like there is a problem it usually means it’s pretty far gone.

Well, at least it’s winter, so the oppressive heat of summer is gone. Oh yeah. My winter clothes. They’re all in the cargo container I shipped in July. It’s now November and everything is still hung up in Customs.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. At this rate, and with my luck, I hope I don’t get hit by a bus.