The tomorrow alternative

I’ve been at the current job for a year and three months. An interesting period of time spent participating in two primary projects which resulted in millions of cost savings by moving from an existing traditional data center to a cloud and managed service offering. My last run at it moved a lab environment to a cloud enabled service which I think is really cool. It offers rapid deployment and provisioning, on the go (almost) changes to hardware, and sharing virtual machines with a click or two. You can also build teams and segregate the lab environments into these teams and then script rapid orchestration. Its ripe for puppet or another tool as well.

So why am I counting the days? Why do I look with jealous eyes at a date about six months out and dream? Someone at work asked what I would be doing this time next year at the company. I did not say but the real answer is,

I won’t be at the company or even in the United States a year from now.

As sure as tomorrow gets here and becomes today, I’ll spend whatever tomorrows I have far from these madding crowds. There is something about Information Technology which irritates and frustrates me. Its not that we are, in the end, mere numbers in a system that grinds forward inexorably and what was wonderful sauce a year ago is today’s old news. Its not how people are treated that do this or how we seem to place value not on a person and not on a person’s abilities. What is it that IT places value on?

My managers told me to come with three goals for my FY18 plan. I don’t have FY18 goals. I have one goal now. To work until December and then be done. Its not only because of IT that I feel this way but doing IT bears a high level of responsibility for it.

Lets face it folks. Work is not workable. Its not a thing that most of us find a sense of joy in and accomplishment runs seldom up that stream. Accomplishment is a rare feeling and relief is the operative term for most things. Project schedules and plans. Detailed business reports and whether a project is in trouble or healthy or if it has “asks” or requirements or needs or risks or issues. I have never done a project or program that did not have those things. At a place I interviewed once, the hiring manager asked me to tell him the significant requirements for a network change if,

we removed all risk, took out time limitations, had no problems with procurement, had full teams ready to go

My answer,

It ain’t a project. Go find someone else

In retrospect, the clock ticking is a maddening thing. It reminds me almost every day as I suffer through initiatives and plans and actions that what really matter is not any of this. What really matters is when December comes in its blustery cold and rainy election and I can finally park my tired butt at a park bench and have no place to go to and worry about a document, a plan, an action or a step for someone else. The kids are grown and the need is so much less. The ex-wife marches to her conundrums and glad I am to not be part of them any longer. I don’t need life challenges or next jobs. What I need is an Amtrak ticket that will meander me to other cities not in a straight line.

The reason I started studying photography and I bought a FujiFilm X series camera was to have a thing to do that interested me, was a delightful mix of art and science, allowed me once again to create a thing and then look at how to make it better. I lost that somehow doing project plans and initiatives and answering stupid questions about network non-projects. Working at places I should have skipped because a person in my life said happiness at work was optional and it was all about survival.

I’ll leave you with this. Nothing fantastic. Just a evening positioning of an old railroad bridge. But those rails and those roads are the tracks I will first take.

Perhaps I have gotten a bit better at this photography thing but I don’t really want to become something else in it. I want to find the places and spaces to catalog and then re-invent myself again.

Will catch you soon on these parts or others.

Published by 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.

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