Unemployed

For the first time in 17 years, I found myself unemployed on Friday. Regular readers know that I found out that I would be losing my job last fall and that I have, in fact, found a new job that I will start in about a week. So I’m actually only going to be unemployed for a week. But it makes for a good headline, no?

The final week at the old job was quite a challenge. I had accepted the finality of it and just wanted the week to be over so that I could move on. I grew more excited that the end was near as the week wore on. Then Friday rolled around. I had decided that I would spend the morning saying good-bye to as many people as I could. As I made the rounds, I felt a profound sadness. After all, these are the folks that I have shared a substantial part of my last 17 years with. We have shared teamwork, laughter, hard work, success (most of the time), and failure (occasionally). But we have always been a team…at times like a family. That’s the toughest thing to leave behind–the wonderful people.

As I walked out the door for the final time, a smile swept across my face. And in fact this smile lasted the rest of the day. It was a selfish smile. One celebrating the accomplishments of my time there, the fact that the turmoil is finished for me, and that I am moving on to a new, exciting chapter in my career.

For my colleagues that remain, I wish nothing but the best for them. Despite the huge personnel cuts, I still have a lot of friends at the company and the company means a lot to the local economy. I wish nothing but success for the company and my former colleagues going forward.

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I’ve Got a Job!

Those of you that follow this blog regularly may recall that I found out last fall that I would be losing my job to outsourcing in July. I’ve been looking inside and outside my company since then and had not been successful in finding something that was a good fit.

Well, that has finally changed for the good. I was just offered a position as the IT Administrator for a small manufacturing company. Basically, I’m going to be their one-man IT department. It is going to be a radical change from being in a very specialized position at a large company to a jack of all trades at a small company. However, I’m looking forward to the new challenge, and thankfully they are willing let me work through the learning curve on some of the areas that I’m not as strong in.

Since one blog is not enough, I’m starting a new blog called One Man IT Shop to chronicle my transformation from a Fortune 500 IT foot soldier to the general of a one-man IT army. It’s going to bore the snot out of just about everyone. I put the chances at less than 50% that even one person will be interested. But it’s mostly there for me anyway.

Great New Jobs

As many of you know, I’m looking for a new job. My plan was to stay in the same field, but hey, if the right job comes along in another field, I might give it a try. cnn.com posted an article on “Some really odd jobs”. So sit back, relax, and help me sort through some of these to see if they might be suitable for me.

1. Breath odor evaluator

Not a big fan of the whole outsourcing or illegal immigrant labor thing, but maybe this is a job that Americans just won’t do.

2. Diener

What they do: Prepare cadavers for the pathologist before autopsies are performed in hospitals.

For those Generation X and older, do you remember watching the opening credits to Quincy, M.E. in the 70s? Remember where Quincy was talking to the line-up of cops by a cadaver. Then when he pulled the sheet off, the officers all fainted one-by-one. Yeah, that’s me, collapsing to the floor. (To reminisce on that opening, click here.)

4. Ocularist

What they do: In short, they paint artificial eyes. It sounds easier than it is, since as with real eyes, no two are exactly the same.

Wow, that sounds like a very interesting, rewarding career. I believe that I would enjoy this for tens of seconds before I quit.

5. Flatulence smell-reduction underwear maker

What they do: Create underwear that protect against bad human gas for people who suffer from gastrointestinal problems. The underwear is made with various materials and filters to help remedy hydrogen sulfide gases, the main offender in foul smells.

I guess making it wouldn’t be so bad. I just don’t want to be the tester. I’d happily delegate that.

6. Beer tester

What they do: Taste — and spit out — beer all day to approve new and existing flavors.

Finally, a career right my alley–getting paid to drink taste beer all day. No boss, really, I promise to spit it all out.

7. Crack filler

This is wrong on so many levels, that I don’t even want to comment on it. I try to keep this blog PG-13 or cleaner.

8. Ball tester

Well, I have no interest in being a tester. I would like to sign up to be a test subject depending upon the circumstances. (That’s still PG-13, right?)

9. Video game tester

What they do: For eight hours a day, five days a week, a group of males and females of all ages play video games. They repeat levels, games and characters, looking for any bugs and/or glitches in the software.

Sweetness! This might be the best one so far. I can sit on my butt, eat chips, chug Mountain Dew, and play. I love it!

10. Tampon tester

Pass.

11. Gold reclaimer

What they do: Scour old teeth for fillings, melting the gold from them with broken gold jewelry into tiny gold pellets, which is then re-sold to jewelers.

So I get to go whack old people and pull their teeth out? I mean, it sounds like a good way to relieve some stress, but are you sure it’s legal?

12. Dog sniffer

What they do: Once a week, they analyze the odor of dog’s breath to test the effect of their diet on their teeth. Breath is graded on a scale of zero to 10 and is categorized as sweaty, salty, musty, fungal or decaying.

“…musty, fungal, or decaying.” (shivers) Add this one to the illegal immigrant/outsource list.

13. Potato chip inspector

What they do: Search for over-cooked or clumped chips to discard as they come down the assembly line.

Mmmm…daddy like. I’ll check into this one also. Ooops…there’s another “defective” one (crunch).

14. Porta-potty servicer

What they do: Like regular restrooms, portable toilets need maintenance, too. Once a week, service workers clean these single-stall facilities to achieve certain standards of sanitation.

It’s really every little boy’s dream, though you’ll never get any of us to admit it: To drive around all day sucking the crap out of porta-potty tanks all over town…yeah.

17. Safe cracker

What they do: When combinations are lost or forgotten, safe crackers use their ears and fingers to open the safe.

I could do this, but only if my tool of choice could be dynamite.

19. Paper towel sniffer

What they do: Paper towel manufacturers prefer their products to be odorless before, during and after their use. Naturally, paper towel sniffers ensure that once a paper towel is used, there is no noticeable scent.

There seems to be a lot of demand for people to sniff things and rate the hideousness thereof. Outsource all of these, please.

20. Foley artist

What they do: Use whatever they can find to create and record the noises used to make the sound effects in films, like heavy footsteps, rolling thunder or creaking doors.

I don’t fancy myself an artist, but this actually sounds like fun.