Jøhnny Fävòrítê (johnnyfavorite) wrote,
Jøhnny Fävòrítê

the haves and the have-nots

monday was my first day at my new job. contrasted against the frustrating deployment i went on friday night, the differences could not be more stark. today i spent a pleasant nine hours discussing various interesting technical issues in an environment designed to help me succeed; friday night i was wading in bureaucratic red tape so deep that it was impossible for anyone involved to do a good job. friday night we saw a bunch of finger-sized cryptography devices scattered around on people’s desks, wondering what they were for. today, i have one of those very same devices attached to my keychain. (they are used to generate predetermined keys necessary to log in to your typical vpn, by the way.) friday, we were setting up dell latitude notebook computers for field employees to use. monday, i was given a dell latitude notebook of my own to take home.

RSA SecurID device

An RSA SecurID device, for generating cryptographic keys.

see, this is the sort of cheap symbolism i have to put up with on a regular basis. yeah god, i get it: don’t forget about the little guys, i’m supposed to help them out, blah blah blah. don’t you have anything better to do, like inflict floods and hurricanes and famines on innocent people? leave me alone, you sadist.

this is pretty close to the classiest office i’ve ever worked in. my boss has a projector that displays the screen image from his computer onto his whiteboard, so that everyone sitting in his office can see it. the break room has a stainless steel refrigerator, for crying out loud.

there was that office in downtown miami where i worked for a couple of years, that was so close to brickell bay that we were in danger of getting wet. i guess it was a little more glamorous. but the people in charge were way too cheap to buy anything as cool as a projection monitor. they weren’t all that interested in technology. the gorgeous office was mostly just to impress potential clients, and to help them ignore their own incompetence.

i had a job in miami once, which was so unpleasant, and my time there so short, that i don’t list it on my résumé. i hadn’t been there more than a few hours before the office gossips were cornering me, trying to get their digs in against their enemies. there will be none of that at this place. everyone involved is super-professional. they all know what they’re doing, they don’t need to run down anybody else to do it.

the dell notebook they gave me is only temporary, until they get their shipment of APPLE INTEL MACBOOKS! yes! eventually i will be programming in xcode, the same environment i’ve been using to write pnews all this time. my boss is a major mac bigot, same as me.

i’m in a low-walled cube instead of an office, but that’s not a major impediment. the environment is quiet and my coworkers are pleasant. everyone dresses “business casual,” which is fine by me. i do have one new coworker who is a little too much in love with the sound of his own voice, but he’s not terrible about it, and i don’t work closely with him. and i’m afraid they are going to be sticklers for needing to always see you in the office at a certain time in the morning. that’s going to be a difficult adjustment for me. if those are the only down-sides that crop up, i’ll be doing very well indeed.

but i have to admit, i can’t stop thinking about the guys i was working with friday night. jerk that i am, i couldn’t help bragging to them that i was starting a new six-figure job monday. a couple of those guys looked like i’d just kicked them in the nuts. after that, they started asking me questions, hoping to learn the trick. “how did you get into programming?” “what languages do you use?” etc. i’d be happy to share my secrets, if i thought they’d listen.

all but two of them had seriously deficient people skills. i’m sure that has held them back occasionally. three of them had major physical disabilities -- one guy couldn’t hear you unless you yelled, one guy had a paralyzed arm, one guy was obese enough to have trouble sitting in conventional chairs -- and it’s not fair, but i’m sure that has held those three back as well. apparently, none of them had such a deep love of computers that they were willing to sit down in front of a compiler on their own time for years and years and teach themselves to program. there you go, that’s it in a nutshell. how do you tell a guy that stuff without harming his fragile widdle ego?

god did not want me to take this job. he had a specific assignment in mind for me instead. i tried, but it was just too painful and unpleasant. he was trying to force me into it anyway, but i told him to piss up a rope. since he doesn’t approve of what i’m doing, i couldn’t count on my normal god-given luck to lead me into a job, so i did it largely on my own. i WILL have my own leverage and some measure of comfort for myself, you fascist jerk. i guess i can see his handiwork in the fact that i’m still in nashville, close to the people he wants me to work on, when i’d rather be in california. i was willing to compromise that much.

i feel bad about being so far off the path. yes, i’ll get back to helping those less fortunate eventually, but right now i’m taking a little me-time.
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