Archive for December, 2011|Monthly archive page

An Open Letter To God

This may seem odd or even obnoxious, especially given I’m working under the impression that you’re omniscient, but I’m going to work with the tools I’ve been given. I could make this a New Year’s thing, I’d rather bring it up now, given the season, while it’s still in my head.

2011 has had few high points for Yours Truly. I’ll be honest, I thought my career was dead. Two years out of IT is a veritable death sentence, and given how hard it was to find work in my area of expertise, I was about to follow in my Uncle Dave and my Grandfather’s footsteps and join the Carpenter’s Union. No sense of shame in that either — I needed a job, and that’s good honest work. I’m sure your son/Messenger/Rabbi would understand.

That changed on 11 August, when I won a contract with FedEx. I didn’t realize what I was missing in a day job until I started working there. I won’t go into details save one — people there believe in me. That means more than the paycheck. Come 1 December, I became a full-time employee.

 

Oh, and let’s not forget my sister beating the Universe to bring her daughter into the world on 11 September. That trumps everything I’ve done this year.

What I’m trying to say is that this year ended well for me. The same can’t be said for a number of people I know — be it in their professional or personal lives, they’ve gone through some serious shit.

Let me be honest — I don’t think You’re directly involved in our lives. At the very least You don’t meddle in the day-to-day stuff. You’re the Creator and King of the Universe — that’s a big picture item, and when you compound Humanity’s separation from You, it makes the relationship a distant one at best. Still, I know You’re reading this.

Whatever blessings or miracles You have for me — send them elsewhere. Send them to the people I know and care for that need uplifting.  I don’t need it. I’m where I am through my own machinations — You may have given me opportunities, but it’s always  come down to me to make the most of things. That’s the way this chaotic universe works. You may love us, but it doesn’t.

The only thing I want for myself in 2012 is to be a better person. Let’s be honest, there have been times where I’ve been a heel or a tool or both. The change is up to me, just as with everything else in my life, but if You have wisdom to offer, I’ll do my best to listen.

That’s all I can ask. The rest is up to You…

 

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That Waning Fear…

Been way too long since I’ve done a post here. Need to catch up on things, but getting affairs to balance out — again — has been tricky.

As of Decemeber first, I was no longer a contractor at my place of employment. Instead I was a full-time employee. That’s right, I got an upgrade.

Two days later, I ended up volunteering to act as a project lead for the very project I was brought on to work as a contractor. On top of that, I have one coworker telling me “You’re closer to this project than I am, so I was hoping you’d take it,” while another is signing praises to me and tell me that “this could my chance to shine.” Furthermore, my manager, who talked through most of my second project meeting, sent me an email saying “Good job, this will get easier the more you do it.”

Honestly, I wish I knew what the hell I did to earn that sort of honor…

I’m being trusted to be a run a project that involves millions of dollars of high end computer equipment. I’ve got a team of fellow admins ready and willing to support me and help the project along. In addition, not only is my manager supporting me, I’ve also got the feeling that he’s watching me to make sure that I can handle it, and if I can’t, he can swap me out for someone else before it becomes a problem.

This sense of others’ belief in me is incredible and downright terrifying.

Sherman, set the Wayback Machine to 1999, when I joined what was once Mellon Financial. On my first major project, my manager quietly went to everyone else in my group and said “Don’t help him on this…” Ain’t that nice? Thrown to the fucking wolves a month in, and on top of that, I had to learn about High Availability using a product that I wouldn’t wipe my ass with. For about four years, I worked for a manager that didn’t believe one word I said, even when I had evidence to back it up. I had an eighteen month respite from that, but I that interim was spent cleaning up a black spot on my record before my next performance review. Then the reorg hit, my group was further Balkanized and I ended up with a manager who had zero experience in our field of technology… and didn’t believe a word I said.

Even with two years in between that job and this, the shift from that to what I’m experiencing now is…disarming to say the least.

A severe paradigm shift, this job is already forcing me to recognize the bad habits I’ve build up from my last place of employment, the most damning of which is the infamous “not my job” syndrome. It used to be “Hardware? Not my job. Maintenance? Not my job.” How it is my job. I’m in a position where I need to wear a lot of hats, where I need to dive in and look for things to do and look for ways to improve the environment.

It’s on me to step up.

It’s on me to bring my “A” game.

It’s on me to help lead things here in new and innovative directions.

That I’m not alone in this mitigates the fear, but it’s still there in the pit of my gut. The voice of fear nags at me, never telling me I can’t do this, but instead question me and my ability. That voice warns me that my co-workers and my manager will be soooo disappointed when I screw up and fail.

Elsewhere, deep in my soul is another voice. It’s the Paladin. He sees what’s before me, surveys the scene, leans in close and whispers two words in my metaphorical ear:

“Bring it.”

So I will.