Monday, May 07, 2007

A fork in the road, and one in the eye, too.

A couple of weeks ago, our team lead quit. I'd worked with Lewis the entire 5.5 years I've been here, so it was a little jarring when he said he was leaving. He gave 2 weeks notice, but he really didn't get much accomplished during those two weeks.

Lewis's departure put me in an interesting place, though: I have a unique opportunity to decide how my IT career will pan out over the next several years. He was our only SAN administrator, and was far more knowledgeable in a lot of areas than the rest of us. He was also the first person our supervisor would come to, our principal architect, and very visible around the work area.

2 weeks wasn't enough time to back-fill his position, so my company is looking at me to step in and take some of the burden. So here are my choices:

1. Step up to the challenge, attend several training classes for SAN and Citrix administration, update my certifications, and take on the lead position, even if only for a while.
2. Accept provisional responsibility for the interim, backing away from serious challenges.
3. Quit and take one of the myriad other jobs that are out there right now.

I'm working on Option 1, but I'm scared by it. Training and certification almost certainly mean travel, and potentially a lot of it (the first piece might be a 2-week trip to California in June).

Option 1 also has the benefit of enhancing my income and my resume at the same time. While I have no particular desire to leave my company, anything that makes my resume look better is a great thing, especially since our contract options run out next year.

Option 2 is much easier for me while I settle my grandmother's estate, and allows me to spend more time with Amanda and Alastair, which is my favorite hobby in the world. It allows me to pursue my hobbies, too.

Option 3 is really not viable, but I'm feeling a lot of pressure from a lot of areas from my life, and it's tempting to look for an easy exit strategy. It wouldn't be fair to my company, to the client, or to my wife and child. There's also no guarantee that any job would be any more permanent than this one, and I can't afford to bounce between jobs. Of course, I could potentially get a $15K raise...

So my job is in flux, that's the fork in the road. The fork in the eye has 2 tines: 1 is my grandmother's estate, and the other is the Miata's rollcage.

I'm worried that my mom is trying to bamboozle me in settling my grandmother's estate. Against all good sense, I was named Executor of the estate, and mom is "doing me a favor" by getting all the accounts and statements in order. She thinks that I'll just go and sign any papers she's prepared, and she can file them, and that will be that. Only, as I've said before, I trust my mom as far as I can throw her, so I'm going to take all the papers she brings me to a lawyer. As executor, I'm responsible if anything is wrong, and I'm not interested in going to jail so that my mom can get her hands on some cash.

I tried to meet her for lunch last week to tell her this, and she brought a friend, so I didn't feel comfortable telling her that I don't trust her. So screw her: if she's going to surround herself with safety-dates to keep people from being forthright with her, she can go to jail for being sneaky.

The rollcage, as stated, is the other issue that's keeping me up at night. Wes Richard, the original guy I had lined up to do the welding, won't return my calls, and I have less than 3 weeks left until the next autocross. So screw him, too. I contacted Jeff at Delta V today, and this afternoon, I'm going to take the instructions for my cage to him and try to convince him to take the job. The work will probably cost almost twice as much, but with the settlement of CD's that were payable upon my grandmother's death, that shouldn't be too much of a problem.

In the good news department, there's a man in my backyard building our new shed today. He'll be there almost all week, and then there are folks coming to till the yard after he's done. Hopefully we'll then get around to paving the driveway and replacing the fence.

So much to do... It's part of why the career choice is so tough. Do I really have enough personal time to devote to all these projects, and still be able to pursue certifications?

Time will tell, I suppose.

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