Monday, February 28, 2011

Long Time No Blog

Tons of changes in my life since my last post. So let's get right to it.

"Job" Finale

My full-time "job" came to an end. It was essentially a consulting gig through my business that ate up a lot more of my time than it needed to. While driving home from the Thanksgiving trip to Maine, I pretty much came to the conclusion that I needed a different direction in my life. What I had been brought into that company for was not coming to fruition.

The primary reason I was brought in two years ago was to eventually replace their main IT guy when he retires as he is 60+ and pretty much the only guy there that knows anything about the database and IT infrastructure he has set up over the years. They all knew they weren't just going to get a guy right off the street and have them step in to take his place. They need to start training someone and sooner was a lot better than later.

The specific skillset they needed was someone with rather extensive database programming skills along with the ability to create various forms of media. Media being books on various programs they're selling and whatnot along with videos for various shows they attend. This was something I knew going into the initial sit-down with the powers that be. This was also something I made abundantly clear: My skill set does NOT include either of those.

Y'see, I'm basically an entrepreneur. I've owned my own business for the better part of 11 years now. My skillset is mostly confined to the typical issues a small business or residential end-user runs into. That doesn't mean I wasn't capable of learning what they needed, but they had a choice to make when they sat down with me.

Do you have the time to invest in training me or would you rather find someone who already has the skillset you're looking for? Odds are, the latter was going to cost them a lot more than they were willing to pay, especially after this fiasco.

Anyway, in typical fashion (wasn't typical to me at the time, amazing what you learn), they decided to do in-house training and give me a shot. I was happy because it basically meant my monthly business expenses were covered and then some, so I wasn't having to chase down every single penny to make ends meet. They were happy cause it meant my "boss" was freed up to work on more meaningful stuff to the ownership rather than having to spend a lot of time on bullshit like "can you change my desktop background?" or "this entire section just lost power because someone plugged in a jet engine to use as a space heater and we're too f***ing dumb to go flip the same breaker it trips every single time this happens."

So we're about two years after the hiring and I'm at a crossroads mentally. I'm tired of the politics and 15 chieftains who all have less stinky shit than the other ones, so therefore their request takes priority over someone else's. Very little training has taken place between my boss and myself because of constant changes, most of which were reactionary and caused huge ripple effects in the way things were setup system-wide. I'm not against change mind you, the problem with change and their ownership is that one tells you to do it one way, another tells you to do it differently, then you get them together to figure out a solution and they change their minds the next day and want you to do something totally different. If that happened every now and then, I'd be slightly frustrated, but I'd accept it. This wasn't an every now and then type of thing though. This was basically an every day thing.

I come back from the Thanksgiving trip to find the following:

- Owner has retired effective immediately.
- They've decided to merge two of their companies together.
- They've decided to create a new company in one of their old company buildings.
- They've decided to open a new company in TX.
- They've also decided to open a branch extension in the same location in TX (2 companies, one building).
- The accountant that fired me on April Fool's day via word of mouth was now the president.

My initial inclination was just to give them the finger and walk right then. One of these days, I'll learn to listen to those a lot more closely. I opted to stick it out because I knew how much crap it'd put on my boss' shoulders if I left. His Dad was about to pass away at the time (ended up passing away about a month later) and he already had a ton on his plate from the sweeping changes that were taking place thanks to the new leadership.

So as the holidays progressed and we got into 2011, I made up my mind to leave. Just was a matter of finding the right moment. I had it in my head that I wanted to finish the setup of the major stuff, then walk and I was probably about two weeks from it. Apparently, the accountant/president had similar thoughts and decided to go ahead and release me the day after my last blog post. The logic behind this release actually made a little sense, but...

...the part about "not having to pay IT consulting after 90 days" was simply ludicrous. What they don't realize is that while they may get someone with a skillset that's better suited for their needs, the notion that they won't have to pay an IT guy after 90 days with the new guy is based in fantasy and the reason why is because their structure is set up for constant change. Constant change means the need to redo various aspects of the company's IT infrastructure. Constant change means they bring most of the need for an on-hand IT guy on themselves.

The writing was on the wall when I got back from Thanksgiving. I knew it, but opted to stay to help my "boss" get through what was undoubtedly going to be one of the most tumultuous times he's had there. I was "Fired" back in April cause the accountant was allegedly watching out for the bottom line. A short while after this, I realized the accountant was basically just playing favorites and trying to figure out ways to line his own pocket better. His son was hired on as a broker for a sister company. He failed. Instead of releasing him like everyone else, they moved him to the main building to do...the same thing. Anyone care to guess what the result was? Yep. Failure. Again, instead of releasing him as they do with anyone else, they moved him over to a different company to take care of the accounting, all while remaining on the payroll for the company he had essentially failed twice.

Once these changes had been decided, the guy that was figureheading the "new" company was basically a guy that had been doing accounting work. The guy taking his place?

If you said, "the son", then you'd be correct. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against his son. The dude is actually really nice, he's just not a salesman. There's nothing wrong with that, some people just aren't cut for it. The problem is his father basically letting him continue to suck money from the company while contributing nothing to it while firing people who were actually making contributions.

Anyway, we're 45 days out since I was "fired" and apparently a lot of the same issues I was dealing with when I was there are still there. Case and point:

Their phone system was down per a former co-worker I ran into at Wal-Mart a couple days ago.

So anyway, I'm happy and basically done with that company. I'm back to running my own business full time again and making plans to return to school and expand my skillset during the fall semester. While a lot of people have made a point of telling me that I'll probably be called back in at some point, I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. All I know is, right now, if they called, they'd have to pay me a lot more money, offer up some guarantees and actually treat me like a person. I have better shit to do with my time than coddle and massage huge egos.


They really should rename this game to "Abyssea".

However, I do love the new approach to development they've taken with FFXI. They're making a much more concerted effort to communicate with their playerbase. Is that because FFXIV is a huge failure at the moment and they're trying to do everything they can to retain the FFXI player base? Possibly, but I don't really care. I'm going to enjoy it while I can.

Chest-bitching jobs is a lot of fun and a great way to create a lot of flexibility with our group. Been trying to ween us off PLD usage lately by having people volunteer to chest-bitch MNK or NIN. Normally, our runs consist of 18 people all concentrating on one thing. While we've had huge success doing that, I think it's getting close to time for us to start splitting up into 2 or 3 groups. PLD tank isn't the best way to go about this, so I'm basically working to position ourselves better to handle this.

As for my own in-game accomplishments, I've managed to do the following:

- 5/5 DRG AF3+2
- 2 BRD AF3+2 pieces (head and legs)
- BLM to 90
- MNK is on the way to 90.
- On the way to finishing Caladbolg.

Still got a few other things to round out, but time has started becoming sparse for me again. Maybe another blog post in the near future about that, but who knows really...

See you soon. :)

1 comment:

Qtipus' Information

FFXI subscriber since NA release.