I kept coming back to ask myself, would it really be so bad if this job went away?
This felt particularly urgent Thursday evening, and Friday morning, as my employer's displeasure at my not having accomplished what I hadn't known he wanted me to accomplish sat in front of me. And I realized that ... I would be annoyed if I lost this job, because I don't like the idea of losing a job, and I'd be irritated that I had lost the income even if I could go a fair time without completely draining my savings. But I wouldn't be hurt, the way I ended up depressed and feeling lost after my last academic job ended, and I wouldn't feel at least I'd accomplished something, the way I have when various short-term contracts (including for textbook-writing) had ended.
All right, so, I felt accomplished in getting what was finally specifically requested done in under a day's work, particularly since I had also to learn enough about geocoding and about something nonsensical called ``High-Level Language Application Programming Interface'' along the way. If I had more days like that, giving me at least enough challenge to keep me awake, letting me learn stuff, bringing me accomplishments, maybe it would be worth it. But I have few of those days, and little reason to think I'll get more. In the main, what I get is regular patterns for my week --- as though I needed help in forming regular patterns in my life --- and a paycheck.
After Friday I'm confident my employer has faith that I can give what he needs. But I also realize sharply that I don't have faith he can give me what I need.
Trivia: There were 285 participants in the 1896 Olympic Games. Source: The Book Of Numbers, William Hartston. (I have my doubts about just how reliable the book is, but enough do seem correct from alternate sources that I think I can accept this as at least being on the order of magnitude.)
Currently Reading: The Revolution Of Peter The Great, James Cracraft.