Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Free Agency

I find myself in a familiar situation. Someone I know is making a horrible, life changing choice. How many times I have wished for the ability to force someone to make what I feel is the right decision!

What gives me solace is seeing my own life in the rear view mirror. I have made many mistakes. A few were indeed life altering. I have found myself in some dark places. But, would I change any of them? Would I want to lose the wisdom gained? Would I give up the strength those trials had forged upon me? Would I be the person I am today without them?

Our ability to be free and make our own choices is a tremendous gift. Do we all make mistakes? Yes. The important thing is learning to deal with the consequences.

The painful reality is that those we care about will make errors in judgement, and sometimes we reach the point where all we can do is watch the train wreck happen. We pray, we hope for the best.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Life comes at you fast, take two!

When I posted my last entry, from a hotel room in Rochester, I thought I had things figured out. Work some on Xerox, some on Novell. Maybe even continue with a bit of Symetra.

Little did I suspect the turn my career would take in just a few short months. I bounced back to 100 percent supporting Novell, then to heading up the web administration team. And now, in a new turn, I leave ACS, to return to my dba roots. This new adventure will also have me commuting to Salt Lake again, although just 3 days a week.

Peter has also left ACS, which means the old crew is down to Gary, Clint and Scott.

I am sad to leave ACS. I enjoyed the work, made some good new friends and learned a lot. In the end, the work for me dried up. I didn't sense a future for me with the new Novell, and the ADM work at ACS is sparse. If the Xerox thing had held, I would have stayed. But after losing it, Symetra and Railinc, it was over for me.

My hope is to maintain my new and old friendships, while forging new ones. I had a good two runs at Novell, and am grateful for the time I had.

My other desire is for my friends that remain at ACS and Novell to have success and hapiness in their careers. Thankfully, today's technology makes it easier to stay in touch.

By the way, this post comes via my Blackberry, sitting fireside at scout camp. I am so cool, right?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Life comes at you fast

Here I sit, in a hotel in Rochester. This is my 3rd trip out. I'll have spent more time out here this month than I have at home. I'm on day 6 of an 8 day outing this time. After this, I'll return and get to start working from my new office, which is actually some office furniture we placed in the piano room. Yes, I will be working from home full time as of Wednesday.

Two years ago, I was still working with the same team I had for years. Gary, Clint, Scott, Terry, Kent, Peter, Skip and I had worked together at Novell for probably over 10 years together. No one ever left the group, no one ever came into the group. We were a tight knit bunch.

This actually extended to quite a bit of the Novell IT folks. We had little turnover, we worked great as a team, and life was good. I don't think anyone anticipated what was coming.

I had felt something was changing, for several months. It weighed on me to the point that I had to make a change, and went to work for the church. Within months, Novell had outsourced their IT department to ACS, and the changes were fast.

Kent left to work for Ultradent. Terry ended up at Nuskin. I actually left working for the church, came back to ACS to work on the Novell account, and am now half time on a Xerox account. Clint still works for ACS, but is living in Alaska. Gary, Scott and I both work from home, as does Peter. Skip left to work at Overstock. The team is gone!

As far as the former Novell IT department, it is decimated. A few were chosen to still work for Novell, but most of them have left. Many of those that went to ACS seem a bit disappointed and bitter about the change. Very few remain. In fact, I'm not entirely sure how ACS will support the Novell contract, given the widespread departures.

My conclusion is that everyone is seeking something better, maybe a return to the good old days at Novell. I'm not sure what it is they seek, but I hope they find it. Many have gone to work for the LDS church IT department. I suspect they will find it very much like ACS actually. I could have been happy working at the church. The two factors that made it miserable were the commute and the manager from hell. As far as how things are run, you are looking at two ITIL shops, with all the formality and structure that it brings. You encounter management that doesn't always seem to make sense. What I love about ACS is the variety available to me and the ability to work where I want. The church was very odd about working from home, which always struck me as odd since the church itself is very much about family.

My take after working with Novell, ACS, Xerox, the LDS church, Symetra, Unicity and a variety of other groups? The IT industry is what it is, and you have to roll with the punches. Enjoy where you are at, and be grateful to have a job. Be friendly with your coworkers, customers and clients, and make the best of where you are at in your career. If you feel you need a change, do it for the right reasons.

And honestly, hasn't the church IT department grown enough?