Sunday, April 15, 2007

Columbia or Bust???

Spent a few days in Columbia, MO this week. Great town. Large town shops, small-town feel, a University that doesn't run from its name, and they still managed to squeeze in a little culture that seems to be missing from Rolla.

Maybe that's the place for me.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The signs are everywhere...

It's time to change my life. My job is nothing but a train wreck. I get attacked by "co-workers" on a daily basis. No one seems to care enough to do anything about it. I've made it clear that it isn't acceptable, that I will leave if it continues, and yet it continues. The place is understaffed to the point that it's necessary to put in 70+ hr weeks just to keep up. Recently I took off a few days for a vacation, and all I could do is catch up on sleep. No one seems at all interested that if we're just keeping up, we're not resolving the problems that cause us to work 70+ hr weeks, and so things will only get worse.

The office environment is terribly unhealthy. Six people cramped into an office meant for one. No fresh air. Plenty of unhealthy mold. No air conditioning for the last three years. I've had headaches and allergy symptoms since moving into the room. No one seems to care about this, either. I've heard that we're moving soon. I've heard this for the last three years. And it hasn't happened. Surprise - they lied to me all along.

The home environment is just as cramped. I have a tiny apartment that's crammed full of everything I own. I want to buy some land and build a house, but with the job situation so unstable, it would be a bad idea to invest in the Rolla area. I went to Walmart this week, and I parked next to someone giving away puppies. I really want a dog, but the small apartment and no yard wouldn't be fair to the dog.

It is always a mistake to stay at an otherwise disastrous job because that's where your friends are. You'll soon be the only one left. And that's where I am. I stayed because of my friends. And now they're all gone. The lucky ones moved on to other jobs. The unlucky ones let the job literally kill them. So far there have been two of them. One of them was my best friend. Before she died she told me that our job took five years off of her life, and to get out before it was too late for me.

I see no chance for success in the current job environment. I see nothing that tells me that we're working toward a more stable and sustainable work environment. I've decided that I'll not be the third person the job kills.

I'm not sure what direction to take. I love the IT development work I do, but I also know that I'll never have a happy customer there. I feel sorry for the other ITers who will never know what it feels like to be successful or to have happy customers. I love photography. I set my own hours, I select my customers carefully and surprise, I 100% of my customers are happy. Lately my Electrical Engineering degree seems to be getting a workout. I've done more EE design work in the last two years than in the last 20 years, and I'm definitely seeing some successes there as well.

Either way, I deserve something better. It's time for a change.