Thursday, August 11, 2005

Sudden Death and Illegal Drugs have been very good to me

Isn't that a great subtitle for a book, like a biography?

My career (such that it is) has been greatly enhanced by being in the right place at the right time. Being that I am pathologically against hard work, this is necessarily so.

My first real career break came as a result of illegal drugs. God love 'em. I had been laid off (fired) from my latest newspaper job, and was growing increasingly unhappy with my choice of careers. Yes it was fun just running around talking to people and seeing things just so I could write about it later. But after doing it for a couple of years things start to repeat themselves, and it gets less entertaining writing a story about the women's annual "we're filthy rich and we give a shit about the community" social event EVERY FRICKING WEEK. So maybe I was getting disillusioned.

I had even gone so far as taking the county exam to become a Sheriff's Deputy. I minored in criminal justice and had some interaction with the Sheriff's Department and after a few years if you made Lieutenant you could actually investigate crimes and do real "policework." The trick was not getting killed before then.

But I had an interview with an IT company just before I was supposed to start at the academy. I was interviewing for a daytime job, which was highly unusual at this company. The company basically sold computer time, so they were a 24 hour operation. The jobs were very sought after, and you usually had to start on third shift, working midnight to 8 am. If you worked your ass off on 3rd shift, you could move to 2nd in a couple of years. If you were a real star, you would eventually get moved up to first shift. Yet I had an opportunity to skip the years of hard work and walk through the door as a first shifter. Why?

The company had just been purchased by a huge multinational conglomerate. Part of that purchase required them to drug test all of their employees. The employees were told if they failed they would have to get counseling. If you believe that one...

Apparently the place was a virtual Grateful Dead concert. The carnage was massive. Third shift was gone. Second was stripped to the bone. Even a few first shifters were shown the door. Even the site manager was unceremoniously severed. (Don't you love that word, "severed"? Odd that it's so brutal that it actually fits the situation and hasn't been euphamized.)

This place was desperate. I got the offer five minutes after I reached home. So not only did I get the choice job and the choice shift, I was a saviour to the place because I could produce from day one. I was happy because it paid more than twice what I made at my previous job.

Flash forward eight years and I am a contractor for another HUGE multinational, trying desperately to get a "permanent" position to get out of the "will I have a new contract this year?" cycle I was in for three years. A former coworker called me from his new location and asked me if I would be interested in moving to Oklahoma City in a few months, as one of his guys wanted to move back to Ohio. I said sure, as long as I get a "permanent" job out of it. He said he would work on it, but it would be difficult. I actually liked my chances because it is in a specialty that maybe two dozen people in the world have previous experience in.

Three days later he calls me in a panic and asks if I can start IMMEDIATELY. It seems the fellow (who I knew and had worked with on a project with in Shanghai China for my previous company, I told you it was an uncommon specialty) went into the hospital to have a small growth checked out. He never came out of the hospital as there were complications in the process of removing the growth. Coma for 24 hours, then death.

Duggle comes in again and saves the day! I felt a little better walking into the situation because I had known my predecessor and didn't appear like a complete vulture to the rest of the staff. But they were very glad to have me, because they were all TERRIFIED of the system I was running. So I settled right in, and here I sit.

And now I'm tryin to get out. If you have read my last few posts you probably remember that I'm not enamored with my coworkers, and my work surroundings are....well....what's the best way to put this? I'm swimming in shit. The place is filthy, and apparently nothing will ever get done about it. My pal/buddy/guy who convinced me to move down here quit several months ago. Good people are jumping ship as though they had long slimy tails and the bilge pumps are running full.

I have a plan. I just hope I don't need someone to get busted for drugs or die suddenly for my plan to reach fruition. Because if it gets worse around here, I'm not above making BOTH of those things happen.

2 comments:

Bill Rini said...

So what exactly is your specialty? If I hear of any gigs, I'll pass them your way.

DuggleBogey said...

I am a factory automation specialist currently working in the automotive industry.

I specialize in HMIs (Human Machine Interfaces) sometimes referred to by the politically incorrect MMIs (Man Machine Interfaces) or SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Aquisition) softwares.