Sunday, December 23, 2007

I guess it happens from time to time

I have tried so hard over the past year to not bring work home with me. That is a horrible habit (one of the worst IMHO) that many people get themselves into and become burned out at work. Sometimes though, there is a computer that I would either like to learn how to fix or need to learn how to fix, but can't do the research at work, so I make note of what is happening and do the research at home. I might do that a couple times a month. I enjoy learning how to fix problems like that. What I don't enjoy is fixing someone else's problems, which is what I do at the shop. Now, I have come to not mind it so much because I absolutely love learning. I love learning how to fix things, how to break things, and I love fixing things that aren't broken. If you don't know how to break something, how can you learn how to fix it. Sure, you can learn how to fix things in X conditions, but how many times will it be X conditions versus Y and Z conditions. If you know how to break it (IE. not just deleting random things, but if you delete this and this, this happens, but if you delete this and that, this happens), you can use transitive properties to fix them.

Anyway, back to the bringing work home. Lately, I haven't been able to get work off my mind. And not in a good way either. I am not worried about the computers I am fixing, I am worried about the state of my job (as well as those I work with). Some bad managerial decisions have been made and the shop has lost quite a lot of money. We (boss, Geoff, and I) had a talk about the things we need to start doing around the shop to help increase efficiency and such.

I will say right now, I am not a managerial type of person. I can manage myself, and have a hard enough time doing that. When I am at work, I work. I don't play around really, I don't find a way to waste time while program X finishes doing it's thing. I try and find something productive to do in the mean time. I even work while I am eating lunch. I take small breaks (5-10 mins) every hour or so just to keep me from overloading myself, but overall, I work really hard. While Geoff was down at UT Austin, I had the unfortunate task of also handling phone calls. That really threw me off what I had been doing before. Especially on days where the phone doesn't stop ringing. I don't work well at all under those kinds of conditions. I don't talk well to the customers (when I say that, I mean I can't explain things in a nontechnical sense) so I spend a majority of my time on the phone explaining why their file system was corrupted, what caused it, what they can do to prevent it, then have them ask to explain what I was talking about halfway through. Let's just say, I am not a people-person and if I am allowed to work the way I work, then I can make whoever I am working for _a lot_ of money. Otherwise, it will be much less than optimal.

That being said, my boss wants Geoff and I to started performing a lot of the managerial things around the shop. Geoff is good at this, much, much, much better than I am. I am really, really good at fixing computers...much, much, much better than Geoff (not on a fault of his own, I just have an extremely deep understanding of many operating systems, many file systems, and old and new hardware). This managerial stuff just doesn't sit right with me, and this is worrying me a lot.

Obviously, I am only feeling a fraction of the stress my boss is feeling. I don't know how if my paychecks will stay as high as they have been. I don't know if I will be able to work the way I had been able to work. Thankfully, Geoff is back with us and he will field most of the phone calls. I don't see myself becoming burned out, but I have been less and less happy about getting to go to work lately, and it has definitely affected my work. As the title says, I guess things like this happen from time to time.

In other news, I went sky diving with Geoff and Richard Friday (my Christmas present to myself) and will be going back in February. I also moved into my apartment this week. It is nice.

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