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The diary entry wherein our fearless protagonist reassesses his priorities and discovers he is not a "geek" and has not been a "geek" for quite some time.
The moment of truth came in 1994.
I was following my first choice of career -- the work I actually cared about, the work that made me proud.
I was going nowhere.
Enter a certain attractive lady with expensive tastes. She liked me well enough, but to keep her interested, I needed some more bling-bling (that's "gangsta" talk, kids). I was already fed up and frustrated, so she was the perfect catalyst for a major life change.
With a lot of hard work, late night studying, and a small amount of bluffing, I was in a new line of work. I was a "geek" at a time when "geeks" were well-compensated. The lady was gone in short order, but my future was definitely looking brighter.
Fast forward to now. I'm bored out of my skull. I'm tired of hearing debates about Linux vs. Solaris vs. NT. I'm tired of the latest vendor-supplied solutions to problems that were supposedly solved two years ago. I'm tired of new buzzwords and acronyms for old ideas. I used to take pleasure in creating something from nothing using only my brain, an editor, and a compiler. Now it seems pointless.
In short, I'm sick of spending my adult life with my hands on a keyboard and my retinas absorbing radiation at a 72Khz scan rate.
Do I want my old job back? Hell, no. Not for what they pay. At the same time, if I have to write another "for" loop, track down another memory leak, or learn yet another productivity-enhancing industry standard IDE, I'm liable to hang myself with the closest length of Cat 5.
Enter my manager. Seems they want me for a company architectural team. Been there, done that. I didn't do anything except make UML diagrams and long-winded documents for executives who never looked at them and wouldn't understand if they had. It may have been a career advancment, but I didn't like it. Give me a problem to solve and code to write, please.
That was then. I'm sick of writing code now.
I got into this for the cash, not the code. Let's face it, if I was following my passion (said with appropriate melodramatic breathiness), I damn sure wouldn't be doing this.
Crap. I brainwashed myself. I actually started thinking I was a "techie guy". How did that happen?
The irony is I forgot the best piece of advice I got way back in 1994. I was chatting with a veteran Deputy Sheriff and saying I didn't think I could leave my job because it was what I was "good at".
Quoth the Deputy: "That doesn't mean anything. If you threw garbage eight hours a day, you'd get good at that, too."
...or if you wrote code eight hours a day.
Screw this. I don't have a use for TV drama, 30-Something, mid-life-crisis Oprahfied self-analysis. I don't have time to waste asking, "What do I really want to do in life?" I already know -- I want to live in a nice house, sleep with a pretty wife, send my kid to a good school, and buy some cool toys. Whatever gets me there fastest is what I need to do.
Time to hang my editor in the closest -- right next to my old black uniform. See you in the boardroom.