Half Life of a Tech Worker: 15 Years
I m now almost 46 years old. I worked as a Unix Sys Admin for many years. Since January 2008, got laid off with my previous employer (major DoD company based out of Maryland), did some part time teaching with a local university and still doing it today and now work for a DB company now. What caught my eye in this article is someone older is not willing to relocate. I have lived in Colorado since 1995 and there are very few places I would consider living elsewhere. Top of my list is New Zealand and then West Coast.
My previous employer came to me one day and told me I had to relocate to the Washington DC area for the same pay, barely enough money to rent a moving truck and I had to take vacation time to move. When I asked for more, I was told either move to Virginia or it was the door. I took the door. A month after I got laid off, I got a part time teaching position and still doing it to this day and really like it and would eventually like to get out of the corporate world for good and do teaching full time.
Relocation to the East Coast especially the Washington DC area doesn't "float my boat". Totally different lifestyle there where putting in 40 hours is considered slacking off, you are expected to attend company sponsored community events outside of your work hours and you are expected to like dressing up as well.
9 Reasons Why Developers Think the CIO Is Clueless
First, I don't want to say to much on the location. It was a Civilian Agency/Research Facility located within an Air Force Base in Colorado's front range. The CIO of the facility has a Ph.D. also graduated from West Point and retired as an Army Colonel. He was considered a "ring knocker".
When he took over when he was an Army Colonel, he cracked down on various items. When he retired from the Army, a slot was made for him to remain there. Below are the list of various items he did:
- Implemented a strict dress code including NO casual Fridays and no blue jeans, period rule
- Cracked down on hours you put in where they wanted you to be there basically from 8 to 5 and to make it difficult to work alternative hours
- Implemented strict rules on your desktop PC such as not allowing for alternative web browsers like Firefox. You were required to use Internet Explorer. Also, you could not change the settings either such as being able to block pop-up ads
- Implemented a highway traffic safety program where there is cooperation between the local police and the facility. If you get stopped for speeding going to/from work, you are reported to your workplace. Within several days of getting stopped, you get an e-mail directing you to report to the Deputy Program Manager's office to explain yourself.
On the dress code aspect, when he took over as colonel, he made an example out of a couple of Sys Admins when they showed to a meeting in blue jeans and sandals. He had them fired on the spot and escorted of the premises and off the base. A friend who worked there prior to when he showed up mentioned the place was fun to work at. When he did nights and weekends, they didn't care if you showed up dressed for comfort. When the colonel showed up that changed ! He also took away the traditional Hawaiian Shirt Friday as well. He also cracked down on people who left early on Friday, another "tradition" in the DoD contracting world.
When the colonel took over, he didn't consider the culture of the place at the time plus the culture of Colorado which is considered very casual like in dress. One thing not mentioned until now, his additional degrees are from East Coast schools like U. of Virginia. With formal rules being more important than getting the job done, the dynamic changed for the worst. I really don't to go back to that facility as long as he is there. I still keep in contact with some people who still work there. One day, there was a water problem where all the bathrooms were shutdown but people were told they could NOT leave for home early and to keep working. The basement of the building has been converted to "cube farms" from basically storage. One thing not included was more bathrooms. Even for the men you have to wait 5 or 10 minutes for a toilet stall to open up. A lot of times there are several people waiting for each stall. Complaints have so far been ignored.