Tuesday, February 15, 2011

going nowhere

I have a job. A very good, well paying job. I work as a network engineer, managing/designing/maintaining computer networks. No, I don't work with computers, or users, or printers, etc.  I work on the network. The routers, switches, firewalls. I work for retail. So next time you are in a store somewhere and the clerks are complaining the network is down, or slow, then someone like me has probably been called to work on the issue. Much of the time when it is stores that are down, there is a telecom vendor involved, and data links or the WAN is down, and it is up to the vendor to resolve.

I also work on VOIP systems.  We have our own customer call center (to support outside customers), and a help desk call center (which supports users at stores, or corporate, which supports internal customers).  The help desk escalates issues to my team if the issues are network related and the help desk can't resolve.  VOIP technology puts the phones on the network, and merges both the world of computer technology and regular telephone technology.  Our telecom group is new to that whole idea. So I work with them because I have background in it.

I'm a key employee, and have lots of specialized knowledge and experience. Sometimes I think I know lots about a lot of things, but not about any one thing.  However, while it might sound conceited, I know a lot more about most of the things I do than anyone else here. I also think that I've gone as far as I can career-wise.  I am not a manager, or supervisor. I am a team lead and have people under me, but they are not direct reports. I'm not even sure I would want to be in management. Management can be so political and such a bureaucracy. I think I prefer to work on things and solve problems and design things.  I'm not sure I would be able to do all of that and be effective in management. I'm also pretty sure I wouldn't even like being in management.

I'm thinking about some of these things because a good friend/coworker was just promoted to manager of her dept.  She was a lead much as I am, only with the DBA team. Her manager will be leaving, so they offered her the position. I don't see that sort of thing being an option in my team. I am fairly certain that my boss is going nowhere, and neither is his boss. Also another good friend recently took a new job within her company and is now a manager of her division. She talks about how she likes, no loves her new job. I like my job, but I don't love my job. I used to love my job when I worked for the company prior to this one. But it was privately owned, and the family decided to sell it off, resulting in a lot of people including me being laid off. It wasn't as bad as it sounds, I got a decent severance and a key employee bonus to stick around until the company dissolved. I was lucky to find this job, and have a smooth transition from one to the other without being without a job in the middle. But this time it is just a job. Not a job that I love.

So am I going nowhere? I guess I'm trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up. I've re-invented myself several times in this life. When I was young, I taught music lessons for decent money, that and did some baby-sitting. Teaching banjo lessons was a lot more lucrative than any other job for a 14 yr old - I made $25 for 1/2 hr session. I was good at playing/singing. Not great, but good. Banjo, guitar. I had fun with it. I also took piano lessons for several years and could play that. Now (for some years now) I can't play.  My brain can't process reading music anymore.  I can read it, but it is like translating a foreign language, into another language and then from there into a 3rd. that's the best I can explain it. I can look at the music and think about it then, tell you what the note is (a,b,c,d,e,f,g etc), then look at it and figure out the rhythm. but to put it all together? Even when I was young I played much better by ear than sight reading. As for pickin' a banjo, or guitar, my hands wouldn't cooperate now if I remembered what to do. My fuzzy fingers on my right hand would complain if I had to play for very long, and I'm not sure I could work my fingers to pick the way I used to, or even do the cords with my left hand. As for the piano, I lost all memory of how to read/play the bass hand. I can pick out a melody with my right, but to put the two together? forget it. I think it maybe partly MS related. Or maybe it is just result of some other brain injury from the past. I still love music though. And I can still sing. J & I sing together in a local womyns chorus. Music is something I've always felt close to, not that I ever would have been good enough to really make any money at it.

My first real career was in art...

No comments: