Posts Tagged ‘work’

Closer to Normal

Thursday, February 27th, 2014 No comments

Earlier in the month, we had about 4 days of snow. It was the most snow I’ve seen since I moved to Portland. This coincided with my assignment ended at work. I ended up getting a week off from work unexpectedly and started a new assignment the following week. The new assignment is going well so far. I really like the team.

Podcasting has been going well. It’s taking up a lot of my time, but it’s a lot of fun

I didn’t get a chance to take the swimming class I was supposed to start in January that I had signed up for because I was working late. I signed up for another class that started in Feb. I’m enjoying it. I might not be good at all the kicks and whatnot, but at least I’m comfortable in the water. I need to work on floating on and swimming on my back.

I’m glad work isn’t as crazy as it was in January. Things almost feel normal again around here.

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Somewhat Rough Start

Sunday, June 30th, 2013 No comments

I started my new job last week. It wasn’t the best start I’ve had, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that I had first week difficulties.

I had to go to one of the client’s campuses on Monday to pick up my badge and then I had to report to work at another campus in a different part of town. It turns out the address I was given to both places took me to the wrong buildings on those campuses. I reported to work almost 30 minutes late. When I got to the front door, my badge didn’t work. By the time security got there and I found the desk of my manager, I was 45 minutes late. He was in a meeting though. Someone on my team told me they would let him know when he got there. When I finally got to meet him, he didn’t care that I was late and showed me a place where I could get settled in. Since I am a contingent worker for the client, I had an appointment set up to get a laptop to use. My appointment wasn’t until Wednesday morning, so my manager told me to come back then. Basically, I had another 2 days off.

On Wednesday, I got my laptop. I went to my desk and tried to log in, but my password wouldn’t work. I called in to have it reset, but they had to send it to my manager since I haven’t logged in yet. My manager was nowhere to be found. After lunch I found out that he was in meetings all day. I decided to go home and read since I wasn’t sure I would get to speak to him that day.

On Thursday, I saw my manager early, but he had lost my password. I had my password reset again and was finally able to get on the network. My manager told me a few subjects that I needed to get ramped up on. I spent time getting my development environment set up and did some studying. Apparently, there were a lot of meetings that week. I hardly saw my teammates. On Friday I did more studying. I went to lunch at 11:45 and missed a message from someone who wanted to speak to me about what I would be working on. He was away from his desk the rest of the day. Things are looking up though. I still don’t have access to everything, which a normal first day/week problem I expect. At least I have an idea of where I’m going.

I’m glad to be back at work even though I didn’t get to do much. At least I wasn’t forced to sit around when I couldn’t do anything. Hopefully, next week will be smoother and I can get some real work done.


Back to Work Again

Monday, June 17th, 2013 1 comment

I have a new job! I’ll be working for Allion USA Engineering Services. They are a validation and software development company. The software development part is a lot like what I came from at Tactel, so I was very interested in working for them.

I first went in to speak to them in their office a month or so ago. They were interested, but had to find a place to put me with a client. While I was there I told them about my friend and former co-worker Alston, a QA engineer who was laid off from Tactel at the same time as me. They hired him a couple of weeks later.

For the past couple of weeks, I had a feeling they would find something for me soon. I felt good about some of the client interviews and was waiting to hear back. I felt a little nervous about going on my trip to Reno, but I figured I could handle any requests from there. On Wednesday, I got an email asking if I could interview a few hours later. I did the interview late that afternoon while I was a hotel room in Reno waiting for John to get back. I was pretty sure I nailed it because the interviewer seemed very pleased with everything I was saying. On late Friday afternoon, I received an offer from Allion.

Although technically today was my start date, all I did was fill out paperwork and watch a training video. I won’t start for real until Monday. I’m very excited to be getting back to work. Now I just have to get back into a normal sleep schedule.


Surprise Vacation

Monday, June 17th, 2013 No comments

At the end of the week before last, my friend John texted me to say that he was going to be in Reno, NV for 2 weeks and it would be cool if I could come down for a few days. I went to Expedia and saw that it would cost only $196 for round trip tickets. I usually don’t go on trips on such short notice (4 days), but I didn’t have a job and it wasn’t expensive, so I figured I would go. My former co-worker and Alston and I had said that we wanted take a quick trip just to take a break from job hunting, but we never got around to planning anything. He was hired by a company that I referred him to and I had a feeling that something would be happening for me any day, so there didn’t seem like a need for a trip anymore. I figured that if I had any requests for phone interviews while I was gone, I could do them in the hotel room.

John was busy during the day, even on Saturday, so we could only hang out at nights. That gave me a chance to shop and explore.

Tuesday – I arrived in Reno around midnight via San Francisco. I went straight to bed.

Wednesday – I did some shopping during the say. I think all I bought was a card game and some books. I got a request for a phone interview on very short notice. I nailed it. I decided that instead of leaving Friday as originally planned, I would leave Sunday so that John and I could drive to San Francisco Saturday. That night we went to a casino and ate dinner there. Afterward, we gambled some we went home.

Thursday – I think I did more driving around and shopping during the day. I bought a hoodie because I left my jacket in Portland and I knew we would be outside that night. That night we drove to Lake Tahoe, ate dinner, and took in some of the scenery. John wanted to get some pictures of the sunset.
Lake Tahoe

Friday – I went out, bought another book, and bought an auxiliary cable for the rental car we’d been using (actually, it was a minivan because they didn’t have anything else when I arrived Tuesday night). A little after 4 I got word that I had gotten the job that I interviewed for on Wednesday. I was hoping I would find out something before 5, so I wouldn’t spend all weekend wondering about it. We celebrated with drinks that night.

Saturday – I bought some presents for other people this time. John and I drove to San Francisco. We got there so late we didn’t have time to do much. We hung out in the Castro all night. We got pretty drunk.

Sunday – John wanted to see trees so we drove to Muir Woods. We got to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge on the way there. The woods were fun. We go a lot of exercise walking along the trail. After that we drove back to Reno because I had to catch a flight back. I made it back to Portland via Seattle a little before midnight.
Golden Gate Bridge

Muir Woods

I had a great time. I think that was the longest I’ve been away from Portland since I moved here. It was great to get away for a little while and it’s always fun to hang out with John. I think I’ll be seeing him again in November.

Back in the Market

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013 6 comments

I was laid off today along with 2 other co-workers that I know of. I believe my bosses when they say it was a business decision. They didn’t have anywhere to use me. The last 2 projects I was supposed to work on ending up getting postponed by the client. Lately, I’ve been working on an internal project, which doesn’t make the company any money. Unfortunately, I’m one of the least experienced people in the office (I have over 7 years under my belt), so I guess it’s easier to get rid of me. The guys that I know were laid off are all pretty young.

It all came as a total shock. I assumed that they would find another project for me to work on. There was a mention of this happening soon less than a week ago. So it was a big surprise when I was told that I was being let go and that my network access would be turned off today.

I was about a week away from closing on a new home. Right before I got the bad news, I was on the phone speaking with my real estate agent about the signing and a few minutes before that I was getting the last piece of info the lender needed. Unless, I can find a new job by Monday (today is Thursday), I’m probably going to lose the house.

I am very disappointed. It was the best, most fun job I’ve ever had. I had so much flexibility and I related to my co-workers well. I felt like I was able to express myself without worrying about people thinking I was weird. My next job is going to be compared to this one and I’m not sure it’ll stack up well. They said they might be able to bring me back sometime down the road, but I can’t really wait on that. I’m sure everything will work out fine and I’ll bounce back. I’m grateful for the opportunity and the valuable experience.

Time for another adventure. Thanks to referrals from friends, I have a few calls lined up tomorrow. Tonight, one of the 2 others guys who were laid off is coming over and there will be much alcohol consumed.

Company Meeting 2012

Sunday, December 16th, 2012 No comments

Last weekend, my company had its annual company meeting / Christmas party in San Diego, which is where our headquarters is. It was the first one for me though. John came from Mississippi to hang out in San Diego and go to the party with me. The event was on Friday, but we spent Thursday night – Sunday morning in San Diego. We all stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel.

Hard Rock San Diego

The early Friday activities were just for employees. We had lunch and did some team building exercises. It was great meeting people from the San Diego headquarters and the San Francisco area offices that I had never met before and getting to see the people again that I had previously met. There were a few new hires who hadn’t started yet, but still got to come join the fun.

We took a break and then saw a presentation about where the company is and where we’re going. I’m very much looking forward to the New Year.

After that we took another short break to get ready for the actual party. We had to dress up for this. It’s the first time I’ve had to put on a suit in years. They herded us all on a bus and took us to the yacht we were going to be on for the next few hours. Fancy, huh? After a few cocktails, we had dinner and an awards ceremony. The awards were mostly jokes, like getting an award for always bringing food to the office. Next up was casino night. The amount of chips you had at the end determined how many raffle tickets you got for the drawing later on. The prizes were a 13” MacBook Pro with Retina display, a 4th generation iPad (I think), and an iPad Mini. I wasn’t going to gamble because I prefer gambling on slot machines. John convinced me to play at the end and I got in a few hands before time was up. When we traded in our chips for raffle tickets, I the dealer gave me a few extra, probably because I didn’t get to play long. When they drew names for the third place price, the iPad mini, they drew one of my numbers! I was shocked! I never win prizes! After we left the boat we went back to the hotel and partied some more. I don’t drink much and I had way too much that night on the boat and at the hotel. After some more socializing, I went back to my room. There are some things about this night I don’t remember. Bits and pieces have been coming back to me over the past week, though. John ended up going out with some of my co-workers and their guests.

Me and John

view from the yacht

Saturday, John and I hung out in San Diego. We did a lot of walking, some shopping, some of the same stuff he did while I was in meetings the day before. I had my first ever brunch. Later went to Balboa Park where there was some kind of fair or something going on. We went to some of the museums and met one of his friends that lives in San Diego. I went to bed kind of early because I had an early flight, but John went out again.

beach area

Sunday, it was back to Portland.

I had a blast that weekend. It was great hanging out with John, being in San Diego again, and spending time with co-workers outside of work. I’m already looking forward to next year.

Loving Portland

Saturday, April 21st, 2012 No comments

Man, I’ve been neglecting this blog again. I meant to write something after I had been in Portland for a month, but I never got around to it. Things are so busy. I never even finished unpacking. I’ve been here a little over 2 months now, so I figured I should say something.

I love Portland! Yes, it’s rained a lot, but I’ve gotten used to that. I actually like the rain. Lately, we’ve had some really great, sunny weekends though. I’m sure I’ve made many mental observations about what I like better about Oregon than Mississippi, but I didn’t write them down, so I’ll probably miss a few. I like that there’s no sales tax here. That’s saved me a good bit of money. I like that there’s a lot of places to shop. I’ve done a lot of shopping. I like that there’s a comic book store and a Best Buy nearby. I saw a Facebook post from this time last year where I was complaining about not having either one. I like the beautiful scenery. I like the nice people. I like that doctors, dentists, and vets are open on weekends. The biggest complaint so far is that I haven’t found any BBQ that’s as good as Southern BBQ. From what I’ve seen, a lot of the stereotypes about Portland do have at least a little bit of truth to them. Just watch an episode or two of Portlandia and you’ll see what I mean.

I also love my job. The work is a lot more interesting here than at my last job. I get to work with cutting edge technologies and I’m learning a lot. We move at a much faster pace and that took some getting used to. We have a small office and I’m probably the youngest and most inexperienced person there. Things are going well though.

Because of all the long hours I’m putting in at work on this project that’s ending, I haven’t met people outside of work and I haven’t done much in Portland yet. I think that will change soon. In my free time, I have gone to a Greg Rucka book singing, gone to the Spring Beer & Wine Fest, gotten a tattoo, gone to a screening of the new Morgan Spurlock movie after which he did a Q&A, and gone to a Marc Meron comedy show. Except for the tattoo, I couldn’t have done any of that in Starkville.

I’m glad that I made the decision to come here. Maybe I can get some friends to visit soon.

Cabin Fever

Thursday, January 19th, 2012 1 comment

One benefit of working at home: It’s been about a month since I filled my gas tank and I still have a little under a quarter of a tank left.

One drawback of working at home: I’m going a little stir crazy. Other than trips to the gym and to the grocery store, I haven’t gotten out much lately. I’ve probably said this before, but this town is so boring. I’m glad to be leaving.

I think I’m going to the movies this weekend. Haywire looks really good and it’s getting good reviews. I’m interested in Red Tails as well. Watching the Golden Globes this past weekend made me realize that I slacked off on movies last year. That’s partially because a lot of movies I’m interested in don’t play in Starkville, but it’s also because it’s a lot easier and cheaper to stay home. Maybe I’ll go to Columbus and do some shopping as well.

New Job

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011 2 comments

In case you haven’t heard, I have a new job! I’ve done a bad job of spreading the word, but hey, I have been talking about it since I found out less than 2 weeks ago. My last day at Mississippi State University is Friday, December 16, which 3 days from now and 1 day before my birthday.

The name of the company that I’ll be working for is Tactel US. They’re based in San Diego, but they have offices in Portland and Sweden. I think they even have some positions in the San Francisco Bay area. I’ll be working in the Portland office. The interview process was pretty painless and they made me an offer the week after Thanksgiving. I’m thankful to them for giving me this opportunity. I don’t already know everything I’ll need to know, but I will have a chance to learn.

I’ll be starting on December 19th and working remotely from Starkville at first. Then I’ll take some time off and I suppose that’s when I’ll move. I’m looking forward to it. I’m a little nervous about starting with a new company, working with new people, and moving so far away from my family, but change is good.

I’m sure I’ll be talking about my new job a lot in the coming months.


Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 No comments

Man, I haven’t had much to say since Comic-Con.  I have recovered, but I keep wishing I could go back.  I’ve even had dreams about being in San Diego.  I have made a few adjustments in the past month.

  • I’ve started going to bed earlier and because of that I’m getting up earlier.  Who’d have thought that going to be earlier makes it easier to get up in the morning?  Weird how that works.  When I get to work early, I feel like I have conquered the day.
  • I started eating bigger but also healthy dinners so I won’t have to snack as much at night.  When I do snack, I tend to eat fruit instead of chips and candy.  I did this because I had reached a point where I wasn’t losing anymore weight even though I wanted to lose another 10 pounds.  Since I made those changes I’ve lost 7 pounds.
  • I cut back on the number of TV shows that I’m watching and the number of new fall TV shows that I want to watch.  It had become a chore to keep up with all the shows I was watching.  Now I have more time to devote to my other hobbies.  I’m thinking about picking up something new, I just haven’t figured out what it will be yet.