Tuesday, November 01, 2005

New Job

I have tried to get into the habit of not writing about my job. Mostly I don't write about my job because I don't want to think about it after hours when I do my blogging. Secondly I don't write about it because some things about my work aren't meant to be discussed outside of work. It is easier to avoid crossing one of those lines if i just never get into the habit of writing about work.

But there have been some big changes going on for me at work lately. A week and a half ago my boss walked in and told me that the program I have worked for, in several different capacities, for almost 19 years was running out of money, they had to make some cuts and I was one of the cuts being made. I was ordered to stop working on their projects immediately and start looking for a different program to support.

This a real body blow. I had just finished a programming project and was starting the verification effort pending a delivery in November. I figured that they would at least want me to finish that job first. I guess I was wrong.

So I started an immediate job search. Looking for work is actually pretty tough to do. Management is of little or no help at all. My branch head gave me an outdated list of job openings to look into. My Division Head and Department Heads are non-existant in the help department. Unless of course they find out that my salary is coming out of their overhead budget. Then they get involved quickly. They won't help me find a project to work for. They'll just nag me daily for a progress report on my job search.

The base does have an e-mail list that goes out daily about job openings. But the selection is limited and most of the points of contact on the list never return calls or e-mails. So getting booted off a project means that I am pretty much on my own to find a new job.

This can be difficult if, like me, you have spent the last 19 years working with the same people. I don't get out much nor make many contacts.

So I sent an e-mail out most of my friends and aquaintances asking if they knew of any work.

My best friend was looking out for me again. Twenty years ago when I wanted to get out of my job in Texas he turned my resume into a branch head here who eventually interviewed and hired me. Last week he gave my resume to his boss who eventually interviewed me and hired me. They were looking for programmers who knew FORTRAN and C, which I do. So naturally they are talking about putting me to work programming in C++. But that's managers for you.

I started my new job on Monday. I spent most of the day packing up the stuff in my old cubical. It was tough sorting through 19 years of files, piles and stacks of stuff. I managed to get my personal files and stuff finally sorted out of the work stuff and into boxes.

Then today they had a large multi-agency program review. I was told to sit in on it in order to try and gain a familiarity with the program and the players. It was a lot like watching the spanish channel on TV with the subtitles turned off. Lots of nice pictures and people talking about things that make no sense to me.

This is the first non-missile program that I have ever worked on. They don't build anything that doesn't go boom. So I'm a little out of my element. Hopefully I can get some instructions, introductions, and a better start on my new responsibilities after this review.

In the mean time tomorrow is another day of meetings. One of the other programmers promised to bring me an acronymn list so maybe I make a little more sense of what is going on.

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