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Old 05-09-2013, 06:46 PM   #121
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I think that's one reason I hate my IT career so much now. There is zero interaction with people outside of meetings. Otherwise, it's pecking at a keyboard all day long...
IT just has no meaning for me anymore. I sit in my cube and see no value at all with what I'm doing.
I have very little idea (OK, I have no idea) what IT actually is. Can you (or someone else) briefly describe what you folks peck out at your keyboards? I'm afraid that I sometimes peck out rather naive and/or dumbsh*t questions.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:08 PM   #122
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In my opinion, this is the dumbest thread ever. Why? Because the answer is so obvious that the question doesn't need to be answered in the first place.

How many people would even get a job in the first place if you were born with enough money to live a comfortable life? Hardly anyone.....
My uncle had the opposite theory. He thought that if there was no such thing as money, everyone would do what they wanted and all of the jobs would get done (more or less). He was a smart man who retired rich from his self made grocery business and sent his 5 children to the best (and most expensive) colleges in the country.

I do not believe either theory.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:36 PM   #123
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I have very little idea (OK, I have no idea) what IT actually is. Can you (or someone else) briefly describe what you folks peck out at your keyboards? I'm afraid that I sometimes peck out rather naive and/or dumbsh*t questions.
IT stands for Information Technology. From Wikipedia:

Information technology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It is basically working with computers and computer systems.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:42 PM   #124
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OP: I infer from your phrasing that you are saying that our poor choice of careers is the reason that we want to retire early and that if we had just chosen better we would not be counting the days to ER.

Hogwash! Nothing went wrong, went south, etc. It was A-OK.

Additional comments:
I chose my career when I was young and stupid. I am much older and just as stupid now.
The career choice was a means to an end: earn a living, raise a family and provide for retirement. It worked for me. I enjoyed (most of) it.
I have been changing from the moment I was born, getting tired of working and becoming intolerant of BS is just one more change.
I'm sort of on this page (bold comment). And, I have changed over the years. When I was 25, I enjoyed being an engineer. But as I got promotions, the work became more about overseeing people do the work, when I enjoyed doing the work before. It happens so slowly that sometimes you don't notice.

I never hated my job, but the politics that evolves started to get to me. I changed careers (not just jobs) last fall...and I've been enjoying it...but I won't want to do this forever either. The goal for me is the freedom to do anything I want at the drop of a hat. Learn to play guitar, go to the hot air balloon festival in Albuquerque, visit family in Cincinnati, attend the Denver beer festival one year, do a short research paper on a former President (in engineering school we sort of skip all the politics classes lol), or start a collection of cast iron penny banks.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:07 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by scrabbler1 View Post
IT stands for Information Technology. From Wikipedia:

Information technology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It is basically working with computers and computer systems.
Thanks, I kind of understood that. But, I was wondering what the IT people might peck out on their computers: I'd like to see a line or two of what they actually do type. And, as long as I'm asking, is it common to be in a cube when you're working? Is a goal to have a cube of your own, or is it a goal to share a cube? How many people can work in a cube? I really know very little about this.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:42 PM   #126
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Thanks, I kind of understood that. But, I was wondering what the IT people might peck out on their computers: I'd like to see a line or two of what they actually do type. And, as long as I'm asking, is it common to be in a cube when you're working? Is a goal to have a cube of your own, or is it a goal to share a cube? How many people can work in a cube? I really know very little about this.
Cubes are common at Megacorp. They're usually solo cubes unless the company is cutting costs, in which case you're paired up (or worse).

Here's an example of what one sub-species of "IT" might peck.

cd ~
ls -alt
less apache_access.1.log


I usually tele-commute (and contract) now so I avoid the cube culture.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:47 PM   #127
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I do remember one aptitude assesment in Jr. HS that recommended farming. Farming!? Yuk!
Probably the same test told me that a career as a gas pumper was in my future. In the 80s, that wasn't a "career" anymore (except maybe in OR and NJ). I guess they hadn't updated the test results.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:16 PM   #128
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Wow, gas pumper. That must've been inspiring. I got hotel manager myself. Why hotels rather than restaurants or offices, I don't know. I never had any interest in either hotels or management, so I'm not sure how it came up with that.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:07 AM   #129
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Wow, gas pumper. That must've been inspiring.
Sheesh. Just tell the kid "The best you're ever gonna be is a ditch-digger." Yup, set your sights high.

Actually, pumping gas in HS was an incentive for me to go to college. There was a guy in his late 50's working alongside me and I sure didn't want to become him.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:15 AM   #130
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Next week 2 of my kids are being tested at Johnson O'Conner. This is aptitude testing:

Johnson O'Connor Research Foundation

My son is about half way through college and has changed his major several times. He is now on his second go round of some of his potential majors. I am hoping that this testing will help him to find an area to focus on.

My daughter is soon to graduate high school and knows what she doesn't want to do (she doesn't like purely academic work and knows she doesn't want to earn a 4 year degree), but she doesn't know what she does want to do. She wants to take a career focused program at community college but for that she needs to decide which career.
I took Johnson O'Connor aptitude tests when I was 18 (many, many moons ago) and paid for my kids to take it when they were the same age. After reviewing their results the JO people offered to look up mine and go over it with me. That was a lot of fun and also very educational. Well worth the money.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:45 AM   #131
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Ever since I was in my 20s I had planned on retiring before 60 and fine tuned that to 57 as I got closer - with the economic bust and the great sequestration this got changed to 55. For about the last year I have been testing retirement - taking the time to down size everything and get a feel of it all. I have received a few tempting offers to go back, but so far nothing that makes me want to give up my new found freedom... Only time will tell for sure...
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:22 AM   #132
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Sheesh. Just tell the kid "The best you're ever gonna be is a ditch-digger." Yup, set your sights high.

LOL.... this reminds me of a story my sis told me...


She was a teacher... there was one of her students where some teachers said that the guy was going to grow up to be a ditch digger....


Many years later, he came to school with his kid... he talked to my sis... she asked him what he was doing and he laughed.... he said "I am a ditch digger!!!"..... except that he was an operator of a big drag line or back hoe (do not know what he operated, making a guess here).... paid very well from what I understand...
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:17 AM   #133
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Thanks, I kind of understood that. But, I was wondering what the IT people might peck out on their computers: I'd like to see a line or two of what they actually do type. And, as long as I'm asking, is it common to be in a cube when you're working? Is a goal to have a cube of your own, or is it a goal to share a cube? How many people can work in a cube? I really know very little about this.
As one of the previous posters replied, IT = Information Technology. Basically, what I do is...I'm in charge of several large systems at work that help our Customer Support organization manage support cases our customers have open with us. All the "screens" and processes they use to open cases, change data in cases, add comments to cases, close cases, open up dispatches (sending new parts to customers), etc, I'm responsible for.

Some of these systems talk to other systems, including some with our third-party vendors. For example, when a customer support rep needs to do a dispatch (send a new part) to a customer, they open up a dispatch and fill out all the information needed to send out the new part. When they submit the dispatch, all kinds of automation has to happen behind the scenes to put together the order, and send that order to our third-party vendor that actually stocks and ships the parts out. That integration between our system and theirs is a huge undertaking, and any bug or change can cause the whole thing to break down and need troubleshooting.

So a lot of what I do is gathering all these requirements these various people have for bugs, enhancements, etc. Some of it is done via email (hence being on email pecking away a lot), and some via meetings (hence being in meetings the rest of the day).

Then, once I've banged enough peoples' heads together and get them all to agree on how the systems are going to be changed, I get to sit in my cube some more and peck out all the code needed to fix the bugs, or implement the changes. This can be a job in itself, because imagine trying to get 8 or 10 "stakeholders" from various departments, some of whom are with our partner companies, to agree on how to change a complex system. They all have their ideas on how it should work, and because you can't please everybody, there's always a handful of people who are ticked off that their idea didn't get implemented.

Regarding cubes, I would say they are the de facto workplace environment now, at least for American companies. In fact, at the Silicon Valley startups I've been at, they try to enforce a culture of "sameness" across all the employees, and even the CEO and execs have cubes (no offices).

I've been lucky because I've only had to share a cube with somebody once years ago, when the company was expanding so rapidly they ran out of space and had to double people up. The norm at least for places where I've been is to have your own cube.

I hate cubes. I've only had a real office once in my almost 30 year career, and that was when I was a real estate agent running my own gig. If I'm lucky enough to retire in a couple years, I will never (and I mean NEVER) go back to working in a cube ever again. Even if I run my own company, I will have an office, I don't care how elitist it seems. I've done my time in cube prison, and will never go back if I can escape it.
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:32 AM   #134
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Cubes are where the people who work for me work. Offices with windows are where people like me work. Corner offices with windows are where my bosses work.

We use offices as incentives. As in, "Hey Mikey, if you can produce 7% more TPS reports this year, we will move you from that cube near the shitter to the cube a little bit less near the shitter".

And then if he meets that goal, we might set another one like "Hey Mikey, if you can reduce errors in your TPS reports by 3% this year, we'll move you from that slightly-less-near-the-shitter cube you got rewarded with last year, to this waaay better (although equidistant from the shitter) cube that gets a faint whiff of natural light from my window laden office".

And then if he meets that goal, we might set another one like "Hey Mikey, if you can properly staple 100% of your TPS reports this year (staples in upper left, oriented no more than 10 degrees off the vertical alignment) we'll move you to a real live office. I mean, let's face it, it is still really close to the shitter, and there are no windows, but on the bright side, we will securely cover the sign on your door reading 'CUSTODIAN CLOSET' with a temporary sign (printed on 8.5x11 paper) with your name on it. You will have your name on an office door."

That's how the office space hierarchy works in some joints. With the caveat that the CEO or some other uppity up can always trump your middle management ways by taking your sweet less-near-the-shitter cubes and putting their own people in them, thereby displacing your own (hard working) people into some ethereal work-place displaced refugee status with not even a stinky cube to call their own.
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:02 PM   #135
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Cubes are where the people who work for me work. Offices with windows are where people like me work. Corner offices with windows are where my bosses work.

We use offices as incentives. As in, "Hey Mikey, if you can produce 7% more TPS reports this year, we will move you from that cube near the shitter to the cube a little bit less near the shitter".

And then if he meets that goal, we might set another one like "Hey Mikey, if you can reduce errors in your TPS reports by 3% this year, we'll move you from that slightly-less-near-the-shitter cube you got rewarded with last year, to this waaay better (although equidistant from the shitter) cube that gets a faint whiff of natural light from my window laden office".

And then if he meets that goal, we might set another one like "Hey Mikey, if you can properly staple 100% of your TPS reports this year (staples in upper left, oriented no more than 10 degrees off the vertical alignment) we'll move you to a real live office. I mean, let's face it, it is still really close to the shitter, and there are no windows, but on the bright side, we will securely cover the sign on your door reading 'CUSTODIAN CLOSET' with a temporary sign (printed on 8.5x11 paper) with your name on it. You will have your name on an office door."

That's how the office space hierarchy works in some joints. With the caveat that the CEO or some other uppity up can always trump your middle management ways by taking your sweet less-near-the-shitter cubes and putting their own people in them, thereby displacing your own (hard working) people into some ethereal work-place displaced refugee status with not even a stinky cube to call their own.
Whew! I feel better already! At least my cube's not IN the shitter!
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:33 PM   #136
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I once had an office that was carved out of the lobby of the former personnel building. It was next to the shitter and actually had an attached old phone booth for use as storage.

Man, I miss those days.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:30 PM   #137
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Cubes are where the people who work for me work. Offices with windows are where people like me work. Corner offices with windows are where my bosses work.

We use offices as incentives. As in, "Hey Mikey, if you can produce 7% more TPS reports this year, we will move you from that cube near the shitter to the cube a little bit less near the shitter".

And then if he meets that goal, we might set another one like "Hey Mikey, if you can reduce errors in your TPS reports by 3% this year, we'll move you from that slightly-less-near-the-shitter cube you got rewarded with last year, to this waaay better (although equidistant from the shitter) cube that gets a faint whiff of natural light from my window laden office".

And then if he meets that goal, we might set another one like "Hey Mikey, if you can properly staple 100% of your TPS reports this year (staples in upper left, oriented no more than 10 degrees off the vertical alignment) we'll move you to a real live office. I mean, let's face it, it is still really close to the shitter, and there are no windows, but on the bright side, we will securely cover the sign on your door reading 'CUSTODIAN CLOSET' with a temporary sign (printed on 8.5x11 paper) with your name on it. You will have your name on an office door."

That's how the office space hierarchy works in some joints. With the caveat that the CEO or some other uppity up can always trump your middle management ways by taking your sweet less-near-the-shitter cubes and putting their own people in them, thereby displacing your own (hard working) people into some ethereal work-place displaced refugee status with not even a stinky cube to call their own.

The beatings will continue till morale improves.....

My last j*b required an office. The best they could come up with was a room with a chair and no other furniture in a building scheduled for demolition. To access it, I had to visit an admin office and ask for the key. The first time I tried to do so, the admin office was locked, as the admins were all out on a team building exercise. Thanks, but no thanks. It's good to be ER!
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:36 PM   #138
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We use offices as incentives.
My office was a wonderful incentive to FIRE.
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Old 05-11-2013, 06:16 AM   #139
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We use offices as incentives. As in, "Hey Mikey, if you can produce 7% more TPS reports this year, we will move you from that cube near the shitter to the cube a little bit less near the shitter".
... and that has a lot to do with why I loathed the idea of working in an office even at the age of 12. It looked a lot like being condemned to a dungeon.

If I hadn't spent 18 years in a police patrol car I would have found something else outside that required moving around a lot. I seriously considered U.S. Border Patrol (they sent a recruiter to the college) but I figured with my luck, since I hate cold weather I'd be assigned to the Canadian border, not Texas or Arizona.

Driving a long-haul truck would have been preferable to the stifling, suffocating, slow death of an office cube no matter what it paid.
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Old 05-11-2013, 07:44 AM   #140
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... and that has a lot to do with why I loathed the idea of working in an office even at the age of 12. It looked a lot like being condemned to a dungeon.

If I hadn't spent 18 years in a police patrol car I would have found something else outside that required moving around a lot. I seriously considered U.S. Border Patrol (they sent a recruiter to the college) but I figured with my luck, since I hate cold weather I'd be assigned to the Canadian border, not Texas or Arizona.

Driving a long-haul truck would have been preferable to the stifling, suffocating, slow death of an office cube no matter what it paid.
I'm pretty sure that long haul truckers make as much or more than most cops.
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