Into the unknown, sort of

Over half of my life ago, I was looking for a job. I had written a bunch of triggers and stored procedures at my first job, but I was relatively green. I had just (barely) gotten my degree in Computer Science, and was looking to get out of Cleveland, TN. I checked around and found a headhunter that found me a couple of opportunities.  One was in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. The other was in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Considering traffic in Atlanta and my, at the time, complete fear of driving in heavy traffic… amongst other reasons… I opted for Virginia Beach.  If you want to know where, it isn’t hard to find, I’ve never made it a secret…

I am not going to say that every minute of every day I worked in Virginia Beach was awesome. They have traffic there, they have hurricanes, and I have coworkers there that are human beings. But over the years I worked there, I have honestly loved everyone I worked with and many of the things we have accomplished. It is very hard to say such things about any other job I have had, though to be fair that is a pretty low number of locations. After working there for five years, it was time to try a new location. 

A coworker of mine called me up about working for a startup in Nashville, Tennessee which delivered Internet to schools. I got to work with different data, different concepts, but just as I have for 25 years, I was working with SQL Server designing Databases and writing T-SQL code. After around 4 years there, I was laid off (which was mostly sad only because I missed the day when the FBI came in and carted off materials. It wasn’t like it was anything sinister, more improper influencing kind of stuff. In fact the company still exists in a slightly different form doing a subset of what we did 15 years ago. I even just read today that the company merged with another in the past few months). 

As I was looking for a job to replace that one, my old company was in the process of setting up a location in Nashville as a disaster recovery\call center site.  I went back and managed their call center equipment for a few years until they could fill out a complete staff. If you are reading this, you probably can guess this is NOT my first, second, or third love in life or even technology.  

After proper call center/hardware management was hired, I went back to my real love database design and implementation. I started working with a team back in Virginia Beach exclusively and was more or less telecommuting from a different office space. Due to the traffic in Nashville, I gradually introduced my company to the actual concept of telecommuting. It was not accepted with open arms. For several years I did this and was kind of the only one. It was a nightmare at times, because if you have ever joined a meeting where you are the only one remote, it is a pain. But the times, they were changing. Even pre-pandemic, they started hiring people to work from anywhere. So much so that a coworker just moved out of country one day, I don’t even think he told our manager first. 

Over the years, I have only considered changing jobs a few times. I have always had a very short list of places I would consider changing jobs to. Very short. One company on that list had a job I had always wanted, called me and basically said “You have the job” and then interviewed me and said “You have the job” and then I didn’t hear back for a few weeks instead of a few days. They had changed their mind due to a reduction in telecommuting and I wasn’t moving that far away from my aging mother. Kind of funny at this point. 

A few months ago, I learned of a job with one of the other companies on my short list that I had lightly coveted when the previous person took it. This person decide to move on, and t he rest is history (which will probably show up in later blogs!) 24 years and just over 9 months of employment later… I am saying goodbye. It is sad. I am leaving a family behind to deal with 20+ years of code I wrote. Some utilities are from my first stint there over 20 years ago which I still occasionally had to update. 

 But it is time and the new journey is going to be incredible. My next position will be using the other skill I employ more than any other. (And I am not talking about theme park photography). Where am I heading? A place we all know and love. More on that in my next blog.