Friday, March 11, 2005

Losing My Religion
Over the past few weeks, I have been deeply depressed with my job. Since I haven't been teaching, the only day I have come to my day job on time all week was Tuesday ... because we had a meeting and I would be missed. I was supposed to be in Best Buy Sunday morning for a two hour meeting there and I completely blew that off. After drinking the majority of a 5 liter mini-Coors Light keg the night before, I just wasn't in the mood to get up at 6:00AM and drive across town to learn how I can better sell service plans (and other retarded duties that have nothing to do with my work there). I found out last night that one of the Geek Squad guys showed up to the meeting late, and caught hell about it. There was talk about punishing me too, but it seems to have been forgotten now. I never heard a word about it.

I sat down for lunch Tuesday afternoon with an old friend, Matthew Curtin. Matt taught me some basic things about UNIX and C many, many years ago when we were both much younger. These days Matt runs a very interesting company titled Interhack ( As founder and CEO, Matt has built a company that sells security. And by "selling security", I mean that his team shows up to your front door and installs everything needed to secure your company. Also, being an expert in his field he is often called upon by government entities to tell them what they should be doing. Neat.

I long to work for a company like Interhack. It sounded like a YMCA for adult male hackers. As much as I wanted to come up and see his office, I didn't want to intrude and I had also run out of meter time. As I walked to my car, I found that my meter time had run out ... and I had a nice $20 parking violation to pay. Woops.

I later e-mailed Mr. Curtin explaining that I would love to come work for him if he could ever find a place for me. Knowing that I am completely unqualified for the job, I threw out a couple of words like "internship", and "cheap labor". Who knows. If nothing else, I would love to have lunch with him again. Next time I won't have to search for the place and I can bring more meter change.

Looking back, I think the timing of my meeting with Mr. Curtin was not accidental. I imagine if I were a religious person, I would wander into a church and talk to a priest through a screened booth. But, I have no faith in any religious entity. My lack of faith is in no way spiritual. I need a technological priest. Perhaps this is why I sought out Mr. Curtin. He had given me faith once in technology and I was counting on him to do it again. At the same time, I was looking for a way out of my two jobs. I am at the point in my career where I am ready to drop everything and walk away.

Aside from going to the eyedocter, having lunch with old friends, and avoiding my job, I have been preparing to teach a class next week. Last week I taught a beginner SuSE Linux course which was pretty tame - and lame. This next week I was slated to teach the "Advanced" SuSE Linux course. And it actually is advanced!. My experience with SuSE is slim to none, and learning this material for the sake of delivering it ... really stinks. While I have learned a ton, and studied insanely I don't know that I am ready to teach this class.

Halfway through the week I was told that a guy from Novell was free next week, and was coming to co-teach my class. As I attempted to get details about what was going on I found that no one has any idea of what is happening with this class. Today I finally was able to get a phone number for this guy and I gave him a ring. It seems he was planning on teaching the class. No help from me. I am overjoyed. Now, I can sit in the class like a student and see how he is going to teach it. I'm glad I forced myself to prepare to teach this class. If I knew that this guy was going to do the class, I probably would have been goofing off all week. Now, I can coast through the lessons and "play student". The next time I actually teach this class, it will be much easier, and the pressure will be off! I can look forward to the weekend. God Bless.

And so ... what AM I doing with my career? Other than updating my resume, and pouring over job sites I have made zero progress. I know I can't count on someone handing me a job. But the more I look for a job, the more discouraged I become. I seem to have the wrong collection of job skills right now. I need to stop, and refocus my studies (security, databases, etc). Perhaps I should be looking for a job that would have tuition benefits so that I can work on a college degree! Look! I'm planning something!

Allow me to take this moment, to thank the many random Best Buy customers who buy iPods and don't understand how to use them. Thanks to you all, my music collection is always growing. This week, I have been listening to some classic "The Who", and I will leave you with this ...

"But my dreams they aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be
I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance
That's never free"
- The Who [it rhymes - so it must be poetry! {inside joke}]

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