Posts Tagged ‘NOB Cross-Media’

Where do I go from here

Monday, January 31st, 2005

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.

Ughm… *rubbs head*

Friday, October 22nd, 2004

Well the last week has been colorfull.

Started the new job at the media company, and feelings are still mixed.

First of all, the positive points.

This is a big operation. Its a very cool enviroment to work in. Round the corner of this office is the cotrol room for our national television channels, and upstairs are the newsrooms themsselves, that we had a walk though. When I go to lunch I see people I previously only new from TV. Yesterday I got the grand tour from one of the network guys. I visited all tv studio’s and radio studio’s aswell, very cool to see the live productions as they where happening. At one point I found myself walking across the studio of the Dutch version of Sesame Street

There are tons and tons of server and switch rooms here, and the main datacentre where all the hosting takes place is massive, and my all definitions the perfect datacentre, with all the high-end tech in place. Its also highly, highly secure.They have a huge datacenter here, biggest in the Netherlands after AIX, and they host a hell of a lot of bandwidth, the majority of which they use to move digital media content around between studio’s and production companies. They also host the SLAM for the city, that all the DSL providers use, and all teh cable stuff is hosted there aswell, aswell as arrays of dail-up banks. The company I work with also supplies the infrastructure for all the customers here, they are a tier-3 provider. They have stuff here that I only knew from websites..  equipment like Cisco 12000 series routers. They are currently building a storage centre to store future digital media (film stock), which will be 2 petabytes when live, and will extend to doezens in the future.
There are many many techs here. Loads of audio/visual specialists of course, and people with expertice in high-level routing, satalite comms, sginals, codecs, encryption, etc.

All in all.. a very stimulating enviroment to get to work in.

Unfortunatly.. the work in question is plain old second line desktop support.  Dragging pc’s around, installing applications, helping people with their little problems. Boring.. boring boring…     However.. I have already noticed that I seem to be more up to date than the guys here when it comes to new tech, and they will soon be migrating to Windows Server 2003/XP .. so I have a headstart in this.

I also see a lot of room for advancement.. they are very loosely organised.. so I can see myself climbing into a more sysadmin-like postion here after a while. In the meantime however, its pretty boring.

Another major downside is the travel time. Takes me two hours to get there.. that is 4 hours (or more) out of my day. Its completely tired me out so far, and I honestly dont know if I am gonna get used to it. I have to travel by train and tram as I have no drivers license.. cause I cant pay for it.. cause I am chronicly underpaid.

On top of that..  my laptops harddisk seems to have failed.. I have only had the thing one month!

Perhaps I was asking for it.. Cause I still dont have a headphone for my XDA, I have been using the laptop as my walkman to listen to podcasts.
Usually on my lap in the train, but sometimes in the bag, when there was no room. I think the heat might have killed it, or the controller.. as the laptop cant even see the HDD in the BIOS anymore. I am still waiting to here if where are gonna get new laptops, cause mine and others, where not new, but where probably used as display models.  Now this. Might be because it was already used..  who knows. I will be caling HP later this eveing when I get home.. but cause its vriday, I might have to wait till monday… damnit.

More messed up shit: I cant pay for my travel expenses. When you are traveling on public transport, you buy your own tickets, and then have then cashed in by the employer, and you get the money back.. after a month.    I have to dish out over 300 euro’s to buy a train ticket over here.. and as I am chronicly underpaid, I cant do that, I simply dont have the room financially, like i dont have room for a great many things.

Even more messed up shit: Been getting bills again for former lodger. Rather intimitating letters like “pay now, or we will take your stuff“ …  I tried mailing scans to him, but his mailbox was full. Its been 5 days and he still hasn’t returned my calls.. I will be paying him a visit this weekend, I already phoned the bailiff and gave them his adres, but its very annoying nontheless, its seriously destroying any friendship we had left. (The friendship with the lodger, not the bailiff, lol) Another bill I got cant really be pointed in his direction.. first I have to prove that he doesn’t live here anymore..  jees.

Been listening to more and more podcasts. Until this morning they where the perfect way to spend the time traveling. Now since its gotta take a while to find headphones for my xda, I thought I might get a cheapo mp3 player.. but are there even cheapo mp3′ with enough space for all those podcasts..  oh dear.

New job again…

Wednesday, September 29th, 2004

Well this week has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster when it comes to employment. It all seems to have turned out well though, as today I have a good interview with the people at the media company I was enthousiastic about. Have to spend the next few days at the current job with the defence people though..  very very boring.

The job at the media company appears to be a general kind of administration of their office enviroment, including all aspects of it, so that means server administration aswell as simple service desk type work. I dont mind as much though. or at least I dont expect to mind as much, as with such a wide area of activities, I can probably keep my interest, especially because you can be more pro-active in end-to-end solutions, cause you control all the ends of the enviroment 😉

I am pretty exiting about the company in general, as they seem to be involved in all kinds of front-line technolgy. Besides the media services they offer, they also provice hosting and co-lo for other media companies, and they basicly administer the network infrastructure of all the media companies around them. (They are located in the middle of a Media Part; a large collection of media, television and radio related companies.) As you can imagin, these kind of companies need rather a lot of bandwidth at their disposal, and the company I will be working for supplies this also.  They also host large storage solutions, and expect to have upward of 2 petabyte of managed storage by next year, for customers and also their own activities.

They currently run NT4 front and back, but are in the middle of a migration to 2003 and XP, with Altiris as a management solution. I really cant wait to get started there! Should be able to start in the next week or so.

You have heard of Wardriving right? Well I fired up my laptop and NetStumbler in the train on my way back.. so what do you call that?
It was rather 100mph, you can cover a lot of urban ground, and within no time I had about 100 access points on the list.  And it indeed seems to be true what they say.. most didn’t even have WEP enabled, let alone anything better.

Got myself a 512mb Sandisk SD card to go in that USB SD-cardreader thing I got with my laptop and for use in my XDA. Will be sticking tools and ebooks on it, and some music.