Job Updates

Thought I would throw out a little updatez. Think most of you know I have been job hunting for a while now and ended up taking a job at the post office. And i want to say I don’t think it is for me. As most of you know I have a little more then a hint of dyslexia. I tend to get the last few letters/numbers/words out of order. So if say i wanted to sort all the mail for 1234 green while i am sitting at their box out of my next pile i would have to extra careful not to get the mail for 1243 green out also. Or more often then not I wouldn’t get all the mail for 1234 green at once. What was happening  was i would have 5 letters for 1234, check and see 1234 1234 1234 and 1243 1243 and just put three in the mail box. Roll up to the next address and then realize that i still had mail for the last box. Once i realized i was doing that i had to be even more careful and that took even more time.

Things you might not know about the post office is that it is super time sensitive.  That is that when people send mail out in their mail box it has to be back at the post office by a given time so it can be processed and sent out to be sorted. Unless you live in a MAJOR city odds are it has to dive out of town some. Ergo a must be back time is in effect at most postoffices. Any mail you don’t deliver must be returned and taken out by the next person. Ergo extra work for them. And in my case it will be extra work on Mondays ie the craziest of the days.

Also you have to scan most packages now at the time of delivery. If the scanner is not working you have to manually enter the 16-22 digit number (like 1234 5678 1234 5678 1290 12). I had more then 5 packages that didn’t scan and again with my dyslexia manually enter packages were very time consuming.

My first solo run might be my last as i got back late even though i headed back in time, but you have to get gas on your way back if you work the Saturday shift (Mondays are too busy to get gas) but my gas card wouldn’t work, making me late for the the truck anyway. But to top things off 3 different people helped me out by taking around an hour of deliveries on top of their normal load. Even with their help i still returned with more then a third of my route. Even if i was able to double my speed I would still have tons more work for the regular. Something i can’t abide is someone else having extra work because of me.

I am not sure what to do. My wife said i had to see for myself and my regular saw my issues and made some comments but i hate to quit. There are lots of good things about the job. It is a total rush, 1000% pressure all the time. I didn’t even have time to eat, drink or piss in the 12 hours i was out killing myself. I do like that rush of an impossible deadline when i have the ability to reach the goal in time. But i was totally crushed on Saturday night some things were out of my hands but most of my delays were due my limitations. And i don’t want to hurt others because of my short comings.

Anyway i am debating things maybe too much like i tend to do. But that makes content, right?

<3s

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Day 12, Baby Eagles

Today’s chapter was a short one, with the moral of never rest for long on one’s laurels. To this end the author told the story of baby eagles. How the nest is built out of thorns and then covered with not so pointy stuff. Then as the babies grow they remove the soft outer layer to motivated the little pen stickers to get them out of the nest. Then they tease the little guys by bringing them food just out of reach until the little buggers go for it and fly…. or not and we have less eagles. Okay so i added that last little bit. But you see the point, live is a unconformable struggle prompting us to grow and fly.

Wow that was good, i need to write that down…

Homework:

12.1, What can i do in the next 48 hours to put me on the path for what i want to accomplish?

Start to read up on Perl, C# and QA best practices for Turbine, get an opening and closing on the new pod i have done with Tobril and company and get that up someplace. And compose my list of topics for my adult book idea. Wow that was a lot and it didn’t that very long to have answers.  Does that mean something?

12.2, What idea have i gotten that could be worth more then a life time of hard work.

Well i don’t want to go in to too many details but have i talked about a my card sorting machine?

12.3, Am i the creator of circumstances or a their creation?

Both i think, right? I mean aren’t we all? There are times when we grab life by the horns and then times when we are getting dragged out of the arena.  Think the trick is to keep getting up after we get speared and try again.

12.4, What seeds did i plant in my mind 5 years ago that brought me here today?

Well for one i thought that i had a life time career at Great Plains, think that was some soft bedding in my nest.  I also think that i had the notion that as long as i was a certain level of profitable that i was golden. But if you challenge the wrong person while they are in the wrong state of mind then that is not true. I need that lesson in more often in less world crushing doses.

 

Oh shit that is the end of the book. Guess the time of reading and putting my mind at ease is over. Time to take what i have learned and fly.  Guess tomorrow starts a dev diary?

Day 11, Sleepless Mornings.

Sometime in the wee hours of the morning my sleeping brain decided to get back to the task at hand of writing a cover letter for one of the Turbine positions i plan to apply. When it jumped forward to the interview process where i was trying to explain why i was let go. That thought is better then coffee or a million pounds of crack if you don’t ever want to sleep again.  I spent the rest of the night calming myself down, clearing my mind of the bull shit then going back to sleep where my brain would shoot right back to that same problem once again shaking me awake.

Repeat until 6:30 where it is time to start making progress on the day. Grumble, Frumble, shit fuck balls motherfucker dog kicker…. I might be in a bit of a foul mood. Worse of all i still don’t think i have an answer to the problem and i know that i am too brain dead to make a dent now.

 

Homework?

Today’s chapter was about looking at doing something on my own vs looking for another job.

11.1, Do i know anyone that was fired then started their own business, successfully?

I don’t know. I can’t think of anyone. I know a few people that could have but i can’t think of anyone that did. Do any of you fit the bill?

11.2, What skills do i have that could be the basis for a creative business?

Well i think i have covered the whole writer/storyteller idea. I have been working on ideas, some are good and others are less then good. I could also do that podcasting thing, but i would be one of the totally unknown podcasters trying to make a living poding. Very unlikely to happen.

11.3, Do i have any ideas that would fall into the “peacemakers, storytellers or healers” category?

Not sure what this is asking. I know that he means like mediation/health businesses when he says peacemakers/healers category. I don’t think i really have an idea there…

11.4, Do i have an SWISS income idea?

SWISS means Sales While I Sleep Soundly, aka he wants to know if there is something i could do then generate cash flow while i am doing something else. He talks about digital book sales. Sound familiar?

11.5, Do i give myself time to “sit of ideas”?

By this he means take time to let your imagination run wild. I want to say fairly often, i mean you all have seen my writing it is mostly about being in my head. 🙂

11.6, “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires”. How does this apply to being content in a job you hate?

Think the point is you can’t be content in something you hate and delight in the Lord. But if you do something you love then good things will happen for you. This is a lot like a self fulfilling prophecy.

11.7, How does my culture/environment/expertise limit my being able to see new opportunities?

Right now i am kind wallowing in the “no on loves me and i don’t love no body” mind set. That is blocking out a lot of my field of view. But my father worked himself to the bone for 20+ years the plant he worked at for so many years shut down and he has struggled ever since. Think he is now happily unemployed, knowing him he is running a “gun store” out of the house. That was always his dream, by the way. Opening his own brick and mortar shop… I really need to get my shit together and get on at Turbine and or knock out a few of these book ideas.

 

<3s

 

Day 10, Entrepreneur?

If any of you were waiting I am sorry for the late update, i had to drive out of town to take the assessment test for the post office and i think it went fairly well. Most of it was fairly easy but i think i might have been a little slow in places. Any way that is not important right at the moment.

Today’s reading was all about getting your mind looking at other job models like starting your own business. I have lots of ideas and but i am lacking some skills to get some things rolling. Others i do have the skills for but i wonder if i can make them happen and still support my family?

Okay lets jump to homework then maybe look at some of the options i have been mulling over.

10.1, What do i think of the word Entrepreneur?

It is a good fine word. I have always wanted to have my own business. But i often feel i am great with ideas but often feel that i am missing on some skills. But while i am thinking on it why do i spend time on learning/working on other skills vs the ones i need to make some of these ideas real…?

10.2, Do i have what it takes to be on my own?

This question might be a big part of the answer to how i left of the last question. I just don’t know. I have a family to help support and what if i fail more then a few times. I can’t let Torrance carry the bag because I am riding on the fail train…

10.3, Are you an “accidental” entrepreneur?

Maybe, think i am more motivated to work on some of my ideas more now then ever before. But i still want that traditional X$ a year JOB.

10.4, What service or product could i promote?

Like i said before i have a few book ideas and have had a ton of shirt ideas as well as a few “modules/Dnd quests” in mind.

10.5,What invention could i develop?

As a “thing” I have had this idea for an “aquaponic tree” that would allow any one to grow some simple produce.

10.6, What are 3-4 ideas that i have had on the back burner or have seen others develop?

see above think i talked about 3 or 4 already.

10.7, Describe 3-4 times in my own experience when i was paid on results vs “putting in time”.

I want to go back to that time when i cleaned out the goat barn. Other then that i don’t really remember a time where i got paid via results. Maybe if you look at it from the right angle my live in nanny days could be thought of like that.

10.8,What would prevent you from doing something on my own?

Again i want to say it comes back down to profit and support of the family. Am i going to try this writer thing but that is low cost just time and doing but that doesn’t really count as on my own…

10.9, Is it exciting or frighting to think about being my own boss?

I would love it, assuming i knew i had X+ income each year. Are you kidding? Writing, poding thinking up apps and tee shirt ideas all day would be amazing. Hell i even thought about doing some standup. But at some point you have to turn ideas into realty and i have never done that with out someone paying for my time but then they get the big bucks each year, right?

Day 9, Wow almost 2 Weeks.

Big day today, I have a few resumes to send out into those interwebs but only one or maybe two jobs i think i really want. But it is time to write those cover letters and finish updating my skills slash “Professional Experience”. I always find that finding the right level of spin to be hard; to much and you sound like you are spinning to little then you sound dumb. For example in the last 6 months i mapped out and planed roll out for my  former company’s LDAP structure; including a sweet conversion to a single user vs a shared user longing that would not only include the external users/sites but would absorb the internal personal as well. That last line was clearly too …. wordy. But that is what happened but it sounds like spin, at least it does to me.

And today’s chapter was about salaries… But i am ready to send out resumes. I haven’t worked in almost two weeks on anything besides myself and while that is a worth wild thing spending all day inside my head is weird. I like completing things. Chalk up another win for mister Skinner and his box.

Well i am going to take my wins where i can and i am going to do my homework get out these resumes and then maybe write something on how Dwarfs are now the master race in DDo…

Homework:

9.1, Is negotiating on a price uncomfortable? Describe three things which i have negotiated on the purchase price.

Sometimes it unpleasant but i think it is just because we as a culture have shifted away from a barter system and more in to a list price world. That said i “trade and buy” magic cards all the time so i have that going for me I am going to count that as two. Once for dealing with a shop and once for dealing with other players. I have bought/sold a few cars over the years but most of the time it was the price is x and i moved the price just a little off x.

9.2, Have I negotiated my income in the past?

My last job i tried to move the price some but i ended up taking their original offer. Other then that i haven’t really negotiated my income and i would say that wasn’t super successful.

9.3, Do i know by changing companies that i am increase my income by 40-50% but that is unlikely to happen by “moving up” within the same company?

I do, but i also know that moving up is “safer” and i think i said it before i tend to be overly loyal only leaving a company in the past when they show me 0% chance at a future.

9.4, What are the guidelines for what is reasonable? What is fair? And is it reasonable to ask for more?

What is reasonable is relative to location and responsibilities. For example if Turbine was located here vs Boston i would be happy with a much smaller salary. Can i ask for more? Guess it depends, the book says yes. Once someone has decided to “pick you up” then they want you and there is little risk in trying to pick up options… aka salary or other perks. I know that as part of my job negotiation i plan to get GenCon off.

9.5, Read Matthew 20:1-15. How does this parable fit with what i have learned?

Wow that is a good one, I haven’t read that in a long time if ever… You will get what you agree to. If I agree to work for a dollar and then someone comes in after me and asks for and gets 2 dollars then i have no room to complain as i could have asked for 2 dollars before agreeing to the dollar.

9.6, What would i do if i tripled my current income? What could i offer that would merit that?

Assuming they mean my last income and not the now income… Triple would be fairly great. What could i offer??? I like to think that in the right place i would be worth that now. As for putting reasons as to why now…. I would need to think on that.

 

Well i got more writing to do and i need to use the pooper.

<3s and see you later.

Day 8, Mad Interview Skillz?

Today’s chapter was all about working on those interview skills. In fact in a later post, maybe today there are 20ish sample questions that we should have answers for almost with out thought. The author, Dan Miller, advises taking the time to write them out. Think i will for you all but not in this post. In this post i want to do the home work and then talk about some decisions i think i have made.

Homework:

8.1, Can i describe my strongest areas of competence?

Sure, I am excellent at mapping out complex structures be that work flows or data models. I am also good at bug fixing, both on my own code and others. And i want to say i am not a shabby programmer, in my own write. Outside of technical skills I am a fast learner, can speak publicly, explain/teach on anything with a little get myself up to speed time and am a natural entertainer.

 

8.2, Does knowing that interview means “to see about each other” make asking questions in an interview more comfortable?

I am one of those people that is fairly comfortable during an interview until you ask me a knowledge question and then my mind blanks even when i was thinking about the answer like 2 secs before. I remember one day i was out on a solo VFR flight and some low clouds rolled in over the airport. I had planed to request a special VFR landing and was about to make the call when my flight instructor jumped on the comms and asked what i was going to do? I said was was planing to request that special VFR landing. He says “Good, how do you do that?” Total mind blank. I let him know i had it right before he asked but now i am drawing a blank. He replies just ask the tower for a special VFR when you request to land… I felt so dumb but that is how my brain works sometimes. I can talk about myself or things i have done but ask me a technical question while i am nervous and brain freeze.

 

8.3, Am i aware of any annoying “filler words” that i might use?

I know i write with the word ‘so’ a lot to move from part a to part b, but i don’t think i say it out loud a lot. This might be a good question for you guys, have you noticed me using filler words too much?

 

8.4, Is my level of enthusiasm “contagious”?

Unless i am having a rough day i would say normally i am fairly contagious. I am not 100% always on but most of the time when i am talking to someone my levels are quite good.

 

8.5, What are some unusual interview questions?

I don’t remember anyone asking me any weird questions, i know Tobril has had the whole why are man hole covers round question. Which the answer is so that they can not drop in to the hole. But i play dnd so thinking on my feet quickly when it comes to riddles and other “fun questions” is a well flexed muscle.

 

8.6, How can i be humble and godly and still show confidence?

Long story short i am the person god wants me to be and how can i be anything else other then confident that i am who i am because this is how he/she/it wants me to be?

 

8.7, Would i take a position even it i knew it was not a good fit for me?

I have in the past and i think i would again in the future depending on what made it not good for me.

 

 

Okay so that was the homework think this was another good chapter. But i want to get some clear plans in place for the day. First there are some things i want to get done around the house today. Then i want to start looking more into the surrounding area’s companies and see what is around that calls to me. I have had a few friends send me some openings that i might be interested in but most are quite a drive away or even a plane ride away and while i am all for exploring what is out there i need to look and see what is closer to home then not.

Also i took the first online test for the postal service and i must have passed or maybe taking the test was the real test, idk, but i got an email to take the follow up in person. I have that scheduled for Friday morning. The test center is a short car drive away about 90 mins on a major campus which i have only been once and really don’t know my way around so i will need some time to get that all in order and planed out so i can be on time and at the right location.. I wouldn’t bother because this position is not all that great, but i was told that there was a better position was about to open up and i would very much like to look into this next position.

The other thing i really want to spend sometime on today is getting things in place to start recording more pods. I know that i can’t really expect to make money on poding or blogging but i think i can make a few bucks and what time is better then now to knock out a few pods? That said i need to look into this twitch think also. Maybe it would be worth wild…. What do you think? Would you all watch me ddo?

 

<3s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 6, getting to the meat

Couple of things before getting into the homework, Magic and jobs.

So this weekend was the “big” local magic  tournament. I started out strong undefeated in the Swiss even though i had to fight the mirror (aka the same deck more or less) and 3 of my worse match ups (Mono red agro).  Took everyone down, if i had to go to the game in many of the matches. Cut to the top eight and got paired up to the person i beat in the first round. It is very hard to beat the same person a second time in the same tournament statistically anyway. Out of so many game each person should win so many games and if you won the first time around the odd shift back to the other person. But that is not how i lost. Once again i lost to the top of my deck game one (mull to 5 with 2 lands keep, drew a 3rd land on turn 9ish… ). Now game two we got to play magic, think i made the wrong call when i could make her discard and it bit me. I hear she, yeah i took off i was running on 1/2 a banana i ate 6 hours ago, lost in the finals to a counter spell. Bad beats all around.

As for the job. I was at my sister-in-law’s yesterday and we were all talking and she told me that the local post office was looking for help. The post office was on my on again off again list as a place i wanted to work. I remember back in grade school going on a field trip to the post office and really wanting to be a mail man. Somewhere along the lines i lost that. So i checked that out this morning and while the current posting it is not ideal job as it is a rural as needed posting but when i called this morning i was told that there was about to be an city delivery position opening up and that sounds amazing. Seeing about getting my foot in the door. And like my wife was saying i could do this as needed thing for awhile while i work on getting on at Turbine.

 

Okay time for homework.

6.1, Do i understand the areas of my competence?

Hmm, yeah? I am a good to fair programmer, i have seen great programmers and i am not in that league but i can follow and work with them. I am great at debugging and fixing things. I am creative, entertaining, clear headed and really great at planing out workflows and tweaking them to be more efficient.

6.2, Do i feel trapped b/c of current/past work experience?

I do feel a little trapped. I more or less took the first programming job out of school and it was great for a long time. But now i am a “php guy.” But a “legacy” php guy. I was the one that not only wrote the new stuff but had to keep all the old stuff working. Then somewhere in the last few years style of programming changed for the better but i had all this legacy code to keep up and major projects i was in the middle of when i looked up and everything was different. It was like i was being boiled alive and the water in the pot was slowly getting hotter so slowly for so long i feel cooked.

6.3, Do i realize how easily my skills/abilities might transfer?

To some degree sure. Once you understand the ideas behind programming; other languages are mostly syntax changes. Mostly…. Being able to work solo or in a team is easy to transfer and these rough learned skills like planing the LDAP structure and creating the interface tools are fairly easy to port.

My main issue is most of my work was done on a private/internal only server and only a small part of my programs are accessible via the public web and those are mostly behind private accounts as well. Being ambushed like i was caught me with my pants down and i have 0 of my code base at home. Most people want to see a portfolio…

6.4, Can i see value in thing i may have done as a volunteer though church or community?

Sure, my writings and castings have value. My ability to entertain is worth wild to the right people. Question is how do i cash in on that? Also my writing has to have improved, right?

6.5, Is there skills or training i NEED for the work i want to do?

Depends, lets say I get one of the Q/A jobs at Turbine, i need to get up to speed on C#, working on it btw Turbine guys… or it is on the list anyway.

If i am going to deliver mail, i just need to get into better shape, also working on it. Cleaning up some of the exercise equipment after lunch and i will be starting some kind of regiment.

6.6a, Has God giving me abilities that do not match my desires?

I am sure there are. I am fairly good at things. Not the best at everything but who is? And there are things i can do that i don’t enjoy there has to be… Just because i can’t think of anything right this moment….

6.6b, If so how can i reconcile those?

Well i need to identify them at first. Then start to evaluate them on a one by one basis, i mean how good at something am i that i don’t enjoy. Other then kids… I am scary good with kids, young ones until about 12 then they become monsters that i am only okay with…

 

Okay all need to go. I want to that everyone that left comments this last few weeks. They all helped. But now i need to clean some stuff, get a workout in and take a gov test i guess.

<3s