I thought I was in trouble at work. My boss wanted to immediately meet with me privately. He was very serious, and I felt like a dead man walking on my way to be terminated. It was quite the opposite. He gave me a huge project, to be a part of a small, super-secret team of people working on the super-secret sale of the Agilent Healthcare group. He needed me to do all the financial analysis, business forecasts, and presentation materials for potential buyers. As an incentive to stay and a bonus for the additional work, they would be giving me a lump-sum payment of a full year’s salary. He had already given me a significant pay increase, noting that I was substantially underpaid relative to others doing similar work.

My job is bringing in a lot of unexpected extra money between the raise, this bonus, and all my stock options. The cost of this house we are building is well beyond our original budget, but with the additional income, we won’t even need a mortgage.

I was nervous telling Lou about the project. I wasn’t sure if he would be upset about the hours that I will have to work, or happy for me getting a great assignment, or thrilled about the income boost. It was a little bit of each but he says that he understands, and that the sacrifice will be worth the extra income so we don’t have to go into debt. That was a relief.

For now, I’m doing most of my overtime from home. I drive Anjelica to and from camp on my commute. Even after she starts school, I’ll do my best to avoid extra hours in the office. It’s a lot easier on everyone if I get home early and wait until both Lou and Anjelica are in bed before tackling the extra workload.

I knew this job was a good thing.