Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How’s That New Job Working Out? (And what its like to stick it through)

good-advice-for-hard-times-2[1] Just over 6 months ago, I posted a brief rant on what it means when a team member quits on you and sprays napalm on your work environment and leaves you to pick up the pieces.

I’m not really bitter about it anymore.  I was at the time.. briefly.. but shortly after it happened, it was what it was.  The gentleman who quit felt a need to leave, and he did.  I disagreed with how he handled it of course, but all I could control was how I picked up the pieces and moved forward.  And that’s what this little post is all about.

I happened to notice it’s been 6 months since the other guy quit, and I got to reflect on how much things have changed for me since he’s left.  More responsibility.. more opportunity.. more control… more respect… more leadership...  Gee, maybe the other guy leaving isn’t so bad?

Actually.. it was… it was real bad.  In addition to this guy leaving, we lost our VP and another resource within a 4 month span, making me the longest tenured IT employee after that.  We’ve faced service outages and power outages, angry customers and angry partners, and our leadership team not only expected us to stabilize the business in spite of our losses, but continue to grow as well.   I’ve lost a lot of nights and weekends this year due to issues and\or stress.  But here I am.. writing this now.. still alive. I’m also writing this as I have recently traveled to our parent organization in Atlanta,GA. I’ve walked into a larger organization, with a larger team, and a larger technology stack.. and everyone has been terrific.  They’ve wanted to know what technology I’m using, how we decided to run it, and where we’re going next. They’ve been more than forthright in explaining how they manage their processes and goals, and have encouraged me to do the same.  It’s been a tremendous few days of give and take, and I still have a few more to go.

6 months ago I looked at my dad and explained the stress I felt, and he subtly reminded me “bud (he calls me that when he’s going to be endearing), you don’t get to choose your opportunities.”  And he was right (dad’s tend to always be right somehow).  I had a choice.. get out of dodge and find something easy, or take on the opportunity the best I can.  Obviously I chose the latter, and here I am managing some of our most important IT resources, gaining tremendous experience, and finally feeling optimistic about where this career choice can take me.

So the other guy who quit with no notice, was the grass greener?  No, of course not.  He messaged me on LinkedIn only 3 months after his move and told me the new job is a grind and he’s looking to get out (“hey, let me know if you get any leads on a programmer position” he told me).  I’m not happy to hear that news from him, nobody deserves to be unhappy in their job.. life’s too short after all.  But it does go to show, if you run from opportunity, you’re never going to find it.

Book Review – The New Kings of Nonfiction

The New Kings of NonfictionThe New Kings of Nonfiction by Ira Glass
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So I started working on this book several months ago. I enjoyed picking it up and reading a chapter, but that's all it was, just a chapter.

The book is a collection of independent stories, compiled by Ira Glass, to indicate that today's author's are just as strong as what we had a decades ago (as he explains in his prologue). I struggled getting through the book because there was no reason to continue each chapter.. no storylines to follow, no characters to track, no arc to complete.

So why the 5 stars? Because each chapter is that.. damn.. good. OK, I take that back. The early stories were interesting. I mean.. really interesting. Acid\Tar pits and a class action law suit - and the compelling nature on why it's not always the big corporations that are evil; An expert painter toiling in anonymity an the bizarre circumstance that caused the world to recognize his works - these works were very well done and I liked them.

As the book went on, the stories only got stronger and stronger. The final 4-5 chapters, I simply could not stop reading. "Losing the war" - a piece on what our war veterans have experienced compared to what we think they experienced - was heart wrenching but beautiful. Another chapter was a self written essay about someone who experienced first hand the World Series of Poker. He wrote with such detail and emotion, my heart was racing as if I was playing myself. Possibly my favorite was another piece on the "life" of a news radio DJ, how their news cycle works, how the PC world conflicts with a sometimes semi-non PC point of view, and how it affects the occupation.

As the stories went on and on, they got stronger and stronger. I typically like to read non-fiction to open my mind to a different concept, reality, or perspective. This book didn't really achieve that (on the whole anyway), but it was absolutely enjoyable to page through and read the works of some fantastic authors.

View all my reviews