There’s always time to Ponder

Ponder is a fun word. It sounds like a combination word of puzzle and wonder. When I practiced archeology, I got to meet a variety of people that did anthropology, geology, history. Many of these worlds I pondered yet I ended up doing archeology. I’ve always thought that archeology is not some passive pastime. Its a active, reaching, doing thing. You are outdoors. In my case, my favorite world was that western part of the Mojave Desert known as the Antelope Valley. It forms a wedge where the desert towns north of Mojave and Rosamond lead one to Edwards Air Force Base. Go east and you drive through buttes and desert and wild flowers and may end up at Lake Isabella. But its the desert for me and was then. Its not a place for everyone so archeologists tend to like places they love. I worked with archeologists that loved the desert, the foothills, the mountains, the coast. Each one had a challenge and thrill to doing the work.

Yes, there was a lot to ponder doing archeology. 

Then we get to doing IT. There is not so much to ponder doing IT. Then when you add the magical words Program Management after it you get my title. I am Program Manager of IT focusing on complex data center migration projects to cloud, premised, and mixed data centers. But there is not much to ponder there. No puzzle and no wonder really. Its kinda all there defined and you have the rules for doing it. To be a project manager one must:

  • understand and manage risk and change
  • define requirements and scope
  • build consensus with diverse teams
  • manage the process
  • manage the people

I’ve been told that you don’t have to have technical chops so I tend to hide some of mine because the common belief is how could a Program Manager know anything about Linux or open source. Its just not a commonly combined skillset. But… We all come from somewhere and we are in a place and we are going somewhere. IT is not a genius field either so plotting out the locations does not require a lot of mindfulness or skills. Its like a bunch of steps you do over and over again. You know the steps may change a bit but there are still the same steps.

I thought through all this before when I considered leaving IT or perhaps IT had considered leaving me. I was locked in due to a debt and I had to outlive and complete and win that battle. There was no half-way measure. Then it was divorce and kids and the so-called community split where we each got 50%. Nothing much to ponder there. IT was just the handmaiden that took my hand and with some bit of guile said,

don’t worry. you just bow to my needs and I’ll take care of you. 

Mistress IT is a wonky one you see. And there is not much to then ponder or wonder or puzzle about. You do a set of things and you win. You do one wrong and it screws up the outcome and people point fingers. I’m told I am part of the so-called “A Team” but really its the steps. I’ve done the steps a few times so when I can feel that the next brick in the path may be loose I am not tricked so often. Yet I do fall. At a few companies I failed doing project management. One thought I was best suited as a travel advisor and budget analyst. The other thought I should take the blame for their Asia team screwing up and not managing correctly. Of course the VP of Sales and I then had to bail them out and get more money.

So IT is not a pondering thing. Its a plodding thing. If you desire it, its a meddling whorish thing that will make demands when you are least likely to fulfill them. Perhaps you should consider working at a gas station or at a park. I don’t hate IT. Emotions have no place in it. Its more the boring, plodding, no pondering thing.

Go ponder that.

Author: Michael Perry

I've been blogging for over 20 years and now am living in Southeast Asia. The blog is about my slow vagabonding wherever I want to go. My home base is in Cambodia but I'm rarely there.