Where do I go from here

Today was the last day at the media company I was with. I was only there for 3 months, but I was kinda of saddened to leave, even though it had partly been my choice to go.

Its a real shame they where so far away from where I live. Well, far away is a real relative term in the Netherlands, where actual geographical distance seems tiny, until you factor in time spent in traffic jams, or trying to get connecting trains.. and the latter is still my case as I still don’t have a drivers licence.

If they had been any closer, I would have made the case to stay. But 4 hours of travel a day where really beginning to wear me out, not to mention my spare time basicly vanished, and I do so value my spare time.

One of the things I will especially remember about that place is the support I got from the boss, the guy in charge, ..  I hesitate to call him a manager, as he was far to technical for that term to come to (my) mind. In my world all managers are tech-illiterate and bad-news. This guys was neither. I felt somewhat intimidated by him at first, but you must bear in mind I am easily intimidated. But later on, and especially after we had kind of decided to go our separate ways, in as, I was going to be replaced, he really impressed me with his genuine support, and his heart-felt wish that I got into a kind of job that I could really thrive in.  The rest of those guys where also very pleasant to work with, some of course more than others, but on the whole a group of people that knew how to get things done. I seemed to get on best with a part of the team that where their own little mini department, with their own specialities, and not directly involved in what the rest of my own team did. But these guys where the real geeks of the department, and I suppose geeks bonding just seems to happen naturally 😉

What caused me to eventually leave was of course not just the travelling distance, though this played a large part. But I found myself doing exactly the kind of work I have been doing most off for the last 3 years; second line help desk. This more or less excluded me in scope, from getting to the real meat of the IT that they where managing. Sure I got to play a little with servers, and especially in the last two weeks, I tried to dig into some serious Windows server issues.. well “dig” is a very strong word to use.. “sniff at”, is more apt, as my main job responsibilities kept “getting in the way”.

The insanity of my situation strikes me when I say that sentence out loud: “main job responcibilities kept getting in the way”.

There are two ways to approach the situation: 1. I have my priorities all fucked up and should shut up and just do whatever work they throw at me .. or 2. , which is my prefered choice, I should try to do the work I love doing and am very good at doing, no matter what anyone else says or thinks.   Basicly I have been consistantly put into the position of choice 1, and my employer, the IT services company I work for, doesnt seem to get the hint that when you stick a guy on a job he is totally bored with, and 4 times the customer sends him back with the message “this guys is too skilled and enthousaistic for this kinda boring-ass work” , that.. the guy is probably too skilled and enthousaistic for this kinda boring-ass work.

The aforementioned head of the IT department I am leaving, actually wrote an email to my employer which states in no uncertainy way “this guy is not a second line helpdesk support guy, and basicly positioned me as more of a consultant that anything else, though with the side note that I needed to work on my communications skills, and he is quite right.

So tomorrow, I have a talk with my HR manager.. again.. about this same issue, which we have in fact discussed before. No doubt she will accuse me of sabotaging my position at the customer, and I will call the company crazy for not making better use of my skills, knowledge and natural enthousiasm.

Now I am really, really scared of conflict.. with anyone. I am not one of these people that can just say ‘screw em’, how people percieve me us far, far too important for me, and often leads me to be trampled underfoot by people who can say ‘screw em’, or in that case’ screw him’. I believe it is for this reason, and this reason alone that I am still crosely underpaid and basicly exploited at every turn, cause I am basicly too chicked to stand up to them, scared shitless of any kind of consequence, or the prospect of ‘not being liked’.  Its a fucking stupid mind set, especially in the hard-ass business world of IT and IT services companies.

One thing I try to keep reminding me is that the worst they can do is fire me, and they would need a pretty good reason to do so here in the Netherlands. If they do, the basicly release me from the 4000 euro’s I owe them, and it would open up the prospect for me of finding work that at least payed better, even though it would probably be.. you guessed it.. helpdesk work.  As long as I dont have my MCSE, I dont stand that much of a chance of getting a good position anywhere.. and with good I mean interesting… I dont really care about the pay, besides, anywhere else, I would get more money that I get now (about 1200 euro net)!

Since I am basicly going to be roaming around between home and the office, where at least the proxy will let blogjet though, I will be posting more often again, so expect a post from me tomorrow or so.

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