Take Me With You

(forgive me for a work interlude) Typically, I’m the guy at work who knows everything. The guy who’s got it all in his head, the guy who gets the phone calls with obscure questions at 3am. The guy who’s gotta write out a novel of process when he goes away on vacation for more than […]

(forgive me for a work interlude)

Typically, I’m the guy at work who knows everything.

The guy who’s got it all in his head, the guy who gets the phone calls with obscure questions at 3am. The guy who’s gotta write out a novel of process when he goes away on vacation for more than a couple days, and who still gets called in Hawaii or Turks and Caicos or Fiji.

Only it’s not true anymore.

One of the things that happened to me this last year is that I had a horrible year personally, the same time that my group at work got completely re-purposed. We used to be all about chips, and then one day last april, my employer stopped caring much about custom ASICs.

We were the guys who kept the chip designers working, and suddenly we didn’t have a job. So we had to convert to being all about boards. We did it – and we did a great job. The proof is in our latest – and next – products. But to do it, my team had to learn a new business from scratch. And for the first time in years, I wasn’t the guy who was in deepest, first. I’ve been playing catchup ever since.

There are a lot of reasons why, and that’s a much longer, more painful story, a story for some other time and place. The part that’s relevant now is that I’m finally catching up.

I’m catching up because the guy I work with, the guy who wound up in my usual role, the go-to guy, the technical leader, the guy who knows everything, is leaving on a month-long trip to africa. And I have to learn everything he knows and everything he does in about two and a half more days.

This is good – in theory. I need to get back in fighting trim, work-wise. I need to get back to the point where I can manage fifteen things at a time, keep on top of everything, know who’s doing what where. And this forces me back there. Writing it down (thank god for wikis, they make documentation so fucking easy), training people, solving problems. That’s what I do, so having to take over again as the focal point gets me back into the mind set I need.

But god damn, I wish I were taking off for a month in africa. I want to tell him, take me with you.

I woke up with the need to go incredibly strong in my mind, the need to be out the door. The need to feel the weight off my shoulders, the need to be warm and free and open.

There are moments where I hear something out there call me so loud it’s everything I can do not to answer. I woke up thinking, quit my job, quit my job, quit my job. The kind of voice-in-my-head moment where I feel like screaming shut up shut up shut up at the inside of my own head.

My head’s finally getting back in the game, and yet, the call gets louder and louder. I need earplugs on the inside, or I need to listen to the call. Some days it’s a hard choice not to listen to it.

12 thoughts on “Take Me With You”

  1. “I woke up with the need to go incredibly strong in my mind”

    I HATE that, becuase I know if I get up to go, then once I get back in bed I won’t be able to fall asleep again.

    No, seriously, I know how you feel. I feel like my days when I was the superstar at work, the guy who knew everything, are behind me. And the fact that I don’t miss those days means at some point soon I’m going to have to think about moving on. ‘Cause this business takes old guys who have lost their edge and chews them up and spits them out.

    I mean, I haven’t lost my edge really. It’s just that my edge would be so much more fun to use on something other than code. The late twenties/early thirties kids around here, they think this is all new and sparkling and adventurous. Dependency injection. AOP. Spring. JNLP. Ooooh! Aaaaah!

    Meh. It’s just fucking programming. It’s the same old shit. Better, faster, stronger, but it’s still just fucking programming.

    I wanna be a fireman.

  2. I’m right there with you. This is the second time I’ve had the feeling that it’s time to move on from my current job due to the winds of change making the work environment all that comfy anymore. I’m on the hunt myself for another position somewhere else, but being the sole breadwinner in our family and with a spouse that’s basically disabled and can’t work, it’s definitely not easy. I’ve really enjoyed being more than just a repair tech–being in an educational environment, I periodically got to teach the Teachers in how to use some software in a different way, or got to recommend a hardware product that would make their job a heck of a lot easier. But now, it’s just put out fires constantly, and I’m still weeks behind in repairs with our support staff cut virtually in half.
    That, and a school district that is radically changing their OS platform which demands much more attention for management has me starting to look for greener pastures…

  3. I chose to “go” several years ago, but it’s a scary and precarious existence. Although security and stability scare me for reasons I don’t understand, sometimes I wish I had those things. The other day I actually caught myself feeling envious of those guys in the crane things who trim trees. I realize they don’t have a secure existence, but the simplicity of it all seemed really attractive.

  4. Ray wants to be a fireman.

    Hiromi wants to trim trees.

    Clearly it’s all about axes and chainsaws.

    Axes and Chainsaws. Sounds ok by me.

  5. Katt and I are selling almost everything we own and going on the road for a few years. Our lives just got kind of stale over the last 3 or 4 years and we felt we really needed a huge change. I am very lucky in that I can take my business with me while I travel. And I’m lucky that I have my second best dream job. That said, I had jobs for years that I enjoyed but caused me so miuch stress that my enjoyment of life became unhinged.

    Axes, chainsaws, and porn. Indeed.

  6. See, if Hiromi gets stuck in a tree wearing that kitty outfit, then I could rescue her.

    I know what you mean about the tree trimming guys. I was out on one particularly stressful work day and drove by the Department of Public Safety, and there was this guy cutting their grass with a big tractor. And I’m thinking…”state employee…get to be outside with nature all day…that’s the fucking life.”

  7. My job is putting out fires. I’m up and down all day long and my chair never gets warm. I like my job, but I want to move up. I’ve been offered training on a particular piece of equipment that could step me up a pay grade. That was two years ago. And every time I think about it, I want to go. I can’t stay in this position forever, nor this town. In fact, the only reason why I stay here is because I have a good job and how good is it when I’m going to be stuck doing the same shit seemingly forever? And these endless summers are getting old.

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