Solving the World's problems with common sense and a flamethrower.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Almost a week. . .

. . and the new job is still very much a revelation.

It's such a surprising feeling to wake up at a decent time in the morning, after a decent nights' sleep, and actually to look forward to going to work!

The impact it's made on my mood, even in such a short time, is marked. Everything seems brighter at the moment, and I hadn't realised just how down and unhappy I was at work.

I'm learning so much about so many things, from Exchange administration to server management to SQL - with a spot of basic desktop support thrown in.

I can't describe how glad I am I made the move. Long may it last.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

First Day. . .

. . and all is well.

Can I mention how bloody lovely it is to have a commute of just 20 minutes each way?

I can't remember the last time I got home without feeling exhausted.

I feel I have a steep learning curve coming - but it's going to be FUN.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Bullet Bitten, Beginning to Bob!

OK - it's now official so I can blog about it.

Those close to me will know that I've always been into technology and computing. Yet I've always done the sales side, with a little occasional support on the side.

As far back as three years ago, even my Dad (when I built him a PC for Xmas) had said I should consider being a techie as a career.

Over the last year or so, I've become less and less satisfied with selling the solution. I've become disillusioned with sales, and with the people I found were selling as well. In many (too many) cases, IT sales people are looking to close the deal, without understanding the technology or providing a solution that fits the need, preferring instead to make commission.

In fact, I've reached the point where I honestly believe IT sales is a career choice for ex-estate agents who think estate agency has become too honest!

That, allied to a 150-mile round trip commute every day, led to my decision. . .

I've done it. As of this Thursday, I am officially an IT Support Engineer (that's the job title). Basically, I'm going to be a Bob for $WEDEVELOPANDHOSTSTUFF - and I can't wait.

My now-ex company were most understanding - once I'd got past the "if you stay with us you're bound to make loads of money" spiel from the Sales Manager. "It's not about the money" is, I've discovered, heresy - and not something a Sales Manager can comprehend or offer any form of objection-handling to!

So, while in real terms I'm taking a pay cut, what this means is:

- A 20-mile round-trip commute, taking my time in the car from 3 hours per day to just 30 minutes;
- No sales targets;
- Such a HUGE drop in fuel costs and insurance that I'm actually better
each month despite the pay cut;
- NO more cold-calling. Ever.
- No more suits. Or ties.
- $EX-WIFE gets less of my hard-earned every month (double bonus).

I've bitten the bullet - and even today, just 24 hours after handing over the letter, I can already feel the stress bleeding off and my mood improving.

They say when your job is also your hobby, you never work a day. I'm about to put that to the test - and I can't wait.

Monday, December 04, 2006

A Great and Geeky Weekend

. . .was had by all!

Saturday night was spent quaffing beer, burning Knoppix CDs and configuring xmame.

Mostly quaffing, in my case.

Sunday dawned, and we dragged ourselves to Worthing and the Sussex Linux User Group stand. . .

It turned out to be a great day out, introducing many people to the wonders of Open Source and what it could do (we had a MythTV demo thanks to Steve, a looped presentation on OpenOffice, my Ubuntu 6.10 laptop running Hak.5 videos, and an old P3 configured as the aforementioned MAME box running 'Gauntlet' and 'Star Wars'.

As well as that, it was a good chance to meet a number of SLUG members I wouldn't normally meet, given that I can't make the moots. So hello to Gareth, Richie, Colin and Dominic - and no doubt others whose names I can't recall at the moment!

More photos are here on Flickr.

I really enjoyed the day - it's interesting to see the range of reactions to Linux, and the enthusiasm LUGgers have for promoting it. The Fairs seem to me to be a good way of increasing awareness, and I'll definitely be promoting the idea with my local LUG, OxLUG.

All in all, a great weekend and a really enjoyable day out on the stand. I'm looking forward to helping out next month!