Excitement, Anxiety, and Macs! Oh My! (Got a new job)

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Well, after almost 9 years at the same place part time, during which I have worked 1 year fulltime elsewhere and 4 other places part time, I'm finally getting a career again.

boring background stuff. You can skip the next 3 paragraphs if you just want to get the skinny on my new gig.

Right out of high school, I got a job at the local community college as a lab assistant. At the time, lab assistants would tutor for anything from word processing to C++ and could do homework on the clock. I'd been taking college classes while I was in high school so I already lived in the lab. It was a logical choice. While in high school I had a few part time jobs, so I kept the one I'd been at which only worked me 15 hours per week. The college started me at 20 hours a week.

Working 35 hours, 20 of which allowed homework, gave me time to spend with my girlfriend, some okay money for a 17 year old, and of course, enough time to take about 12 hours of classes and still get homework done. I ditched the mall job to take a 30 hour a week job as a desktop PC/Mac tech at about $3 an hour more at the college. Like a promotion you apply for. A little more fast paced, but enough cash and free time.

Finally in 2000, I got a full time job in tech support for a network security company and was quickly promoted to the penetration testing team. I kept up with 30 hours a week at the college as well, getting up to being a server technician. I left the security company after about a year, and I've had a few other part time jobs since then, but the part time job at the college has been my mainstay for the past 8 and a half years. I'm currently a part-time systems analyst pulling more cash per year 30 hours a week hourly than I was pulling salaried as the all-star "hacker" for the security company.

Well, I'm ditching them next week. I've applied, in vain, for several full-time gigs at the college. They passed me by several times for reasons unknown to me. I'm throwing job stability to the wind, and trading it for a company that's ready to give me a full-time job with a very juicy benefits package, and pay me what I'm worth - for real.

I'm stoked. It's a small start-up that's fortunately already gone through some of the most painful parts of starting up. The desktop environment is 100% Mac OS X. The server environment is almost purely OpenBSD. These are my two favorite operating systems in the world. I'll be a system administrator for their OpenBSD cluster.

It's hard to believe. Even though I don't officially start for a week, the college was closed today so I spent quite a bit of time in my new office just getting up to speed with some things and building some rapport with my new co-workers.

It's kind of a scary move. I know the college isn't going to go under or get bought by a company that just doesn't want to compete with it (and fire all the employees once they own the company). These are all things that could happen to me now. But at the same time, I've been working my tail off at the college, doing pizza delivery, and some consulting and programming on the side. I won't be making much more per year right now, but I'll be working a lot less hours, spending a lot more time with my wife, and not worrying about my health as much. It's the first time I'll have had insurance since 1997.

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FunnymanSE30's picture
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awsome, good for you, and goo

awsome, good for you, and good luck with your new job Smile

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doug-doug the mighty's picture
Joined: Apr 14 2004
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Good Job!

Congrats!

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eeun's picture
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That's great, ax0n!

That's great, ax0n!

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BDub's picture
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Congrats! Startups are fun

Congrats!

Startups are fun.

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Jon
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I'm glad it's "more official"

I'm glad it's "more official" than the few phone calls I knew about earlier. It sounds like an awsome enviro to work in, esp. for your interests.

So, do they let associates come by, or being that they're a small start-up do they keep the perimeter pretty locked down? Wink I'd at least be recognized by a couple of the other guys, I think.

From what I've heard of the cluster, most people here other than DDTM would probably be drooling. Laughing out loud

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Jon
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I just found a blog entry for

I just found a blog entry for the cluster: http://www.kozoru.com/archives/2005/11/tales_from_the.html

FWIW, does Kozoru have any interest in a guy who does Computer Linguistics? I know a guy who's related to a guy... Wink

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gobabushka's picture
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COOL!!!

Dude, that's great! Congrats!!!!

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doug-doug the mighty's picture
Joined: Apr 14 2004
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Re: I'm glad it's "more official"

Jon wrote:

From what I've heard of the cluster, most people here other than DDTM would probably be drooling. Laughing out loud

Okay, I am a mainframe guy, not a Linux/UNIX guy, that's fair enough.

Saw the pics and the setup is impressive. But it leaves me wondering what in the heck you can do with that much BSD power (obviously I do not get it).

Hmmm, could you somehow install a Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator on that thing so you could play Gauntlet?

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'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

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Congrats

and good luck with the new job. Finding the perfect job is never easy. It's always hard to find that fine balance, and I wish you luck with it. (I ended up moving 1200 miles for my current job, which so far has been the ideal gig for me) It's always good to go to work and feel that it's a much more relaxing environment than at home. I wish you all the best.

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Re: I'm glad it's "more official"

doug-doug the mighty wrote:
Jon wrote:

From what I've heard of the cluster, most people here other than DDTM would probably be drooling. Laughing out loud

Okay, I am a mainframe guy, not a Linux/UNIX guy, that's fair enough.

Saw the pics and the setup is impressive. But it leaves me wondering what in the heck you can do with that much BSD power (obviously I do not get it).

Hmmm, could you somehow install a Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator on that thing so you could play Gauntlet?

You'd probably index data for searching. Not necessarily internet, perhaps knowledge bases, encyclopedias, etc... After all, they are a search technology company...

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The Czar's picture
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Being a part of a startup is

Being a part of a startup is *really* fun! I've found that you get so much more control over your own work than if you're working for an established "old-blood, old-money" company. Plus, when the company takes off, you can feel good knowing you were a part of something very successful. It's an awesome feeling Laughing out loud.

Congratulations on your new gig, and best of luck in the future! Looks like 2006 is gonna be your friend! Laughing out loud

Cheers,

The Czar

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One more day of unemployment...

Good grief it was surreal on friday.

I wound up my last day at the college, I busted my freaking butt. It's the first week of the semester and everyone is going bonkers.

I first checked to make sure all my boxen were alive and well. Then I look at the helpdesk tickets. They're blowing up. I spot-check all the accounts and a bunch of them need to be sent up to the database guys to synchronize. The first 2 hours of my last day were probably the most stressful 2 hours I've experienced in over a year.

The co-workers sprung a surprise going away party on me. It was really wierd. My boss started rattling off all the wierd quirky things that our department has been through in the last 8 and a half years. I was just a kid right out of high school when I started there. Some of the stuff listed was stupid crap that *I* did in my grey-hat days. There were a lot of good memories and some tragic ones as well.

More than all that, it was just plain freaky to see these people who I've worked with -- some for months, some for years -- wishing me well. I fully planned right out of high school to make a career at the college. It's why I started working there in the first place.

I bumped into the founder of my new company today at my favorite little coffee shop. It's his fave coffee shop too, but I was here first. I'm actually posting from the very same place, back again some 8 hours after running into him. I live here.

Tomorrow (well later today since it's sunday now) I just go to church and run my A/V stuff and lights. Then go eat with the parents and go home. No going to work after all that. Poof. 6 free hours of my life that I have no clue what to do with.

I can tell you one thing. This is going to be a wild ride. They get catered food 4 days a week and eat like a family at the meeting table. They come and leave as they please (so long as work gets done) and working from home is okay once in a while, especially if it's friday. Talking is an infrequent thing. It's all encrypted AIM. The think tank room is full of intense silence broken only by quiet keystrokes or the occasional short discussion between multiple people to get onto the same page.

I'll keep you all posted on how my first week goes. From the sound of it though, it is one of those "you have more control" things. The place is an autonomous meritocracy. You take something and own it, you nurture it. You don't climb the corporate ladder, you earn respect and power through accomplishments and making groundbreaking discoveries that help the team.

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Re: I'm glad it's "more official"

Jon wrote:

So, do they let associates come by, or being that they're a small start-up do they keep the perimeter pretty locked down? Wink I'd at least be recognized by a couple of the other guys, I think.

I'll find out. I'd think they're pretty open to friends being there, but there are plenty of things that they're sensitive about other people seeing. If possible, I'll get you out there sometime. The co-lo is actually more impressive and I think I could probably get you in there without many problems.

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Jon's picture
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So, this is the first time si

So, this is the first time since highschool that you've been without an official job? Like I mentioned on the phone, it must be odd to not have any work to do, but also at the back of your mind you know pretty well that it's only for a couple days. Unemployment must be much esier when you have an obvious end to it.

I'd call you a work-a-holic, but that might be an understatement. I mean, you are the guy who setup and kept a log in a spreadsheet to keep track of pizza delivery. At least you always knew how much should be in your money bag. And the mild social engineering of customers for better tips. Genius. Smile

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Re: So, this is the first time si

Jon wrote:

So, this is the first time since highschool that you've been without an official job? Like I mentioned on the phone, it must be odd to not have any work to do, but also at the back of your mind you know pretty well that it's only for a couple days. Unemployment must be much esier when you have an obvious end to it.

I'd call you a work-a-holic, but that might be an understatement. I mean, you are the guy who setup and kept a log in a spreadsheet to keep track of pizza delivery. At least you always knew how much should be in your money bag. And the mild social engineering of customers for better tips. Genius. Smile

Seriousely, it's the first time since 1996 I've been without an actual job. I was jobless for about a week in '96 when I quit CompUSA. Jim Robbins (used to run around with Victor, he had many handles on Comp-U-Find, Mike Hunt being one of his most used), got me on board at Babbages about 4 days after quitting my job at Ch0mp.

So This bumps me up to about 6 days of unemployment total since 1995, and yes, the first time since graduating high school that I haven't really had a job. In the sense that I'm technically not on board with Kozoru till tomorrow. I have a job lined up, so I'm technically employed, but I'm in limbo at this point.

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The Czar's picture
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Consider it a well-deserved v

Consider it a well-deserved vacation after 10 years of hard work! Kick back, put your feet up, enjoy an evening with those special to you and recharge your batteries so you can start your new job fresh.

Just a thought..

Cheers,

The Czar

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