Monday, October 23, 2006

and the geek shall inherit the earth...

The new work-venture is going swimmingly; better than I could have hoped for really however it’s always good to have options. Yesterday was a dull day in the markets, so I spent a good deal of time looking for a Plan B…career-wise.
The problem is, like most 45 year olds, I've discovered that I'm woefully unqualified for most of the good jobs out there in the real world. Of course, when I speak of good jobs, I refer to those which provide the maximum amount of remuneration for a minimum of actual work.
With nothing specific in mind, I recalled how some of my friends had moved into IT, earning obscene sums of money for their minimal output. Not only that but almost to a man they claimed they had bluffed their way into the industry and learned everything they now know on the job.
Well, if I’ve gleaned anything from 15 years in the money-market, I do know how to tell whopping, great porky-pies, so I logged onto the IT section of Seek and went straight to the 'Jobs Vacant' page.
"...$350,000pa.....Senior Applications Developer.....blah, blah, blah....experienced in ASP, HTML, DHTML, WAP........."
"...$300,000 plus.....Senior Web Master.....blah, blah, blah......will possess extensive knowledge of SQL server and OLE, DB, ADO, COM/DCOM......."
"...$250,000 + bonus.....Software Development Manager......blah, blah, blah.....familiar with PSB, AVS, COBOL, PVC, DILDO......"
What the fuck were they talking about??
I'd never felt so acronym-deficient in my entire life.
I thought that perhaps IT was just a bit too slick a game for this practicing Luddite, when suddenly I spotted a potential wormhole into the information/communication revolution.
"...$150,000 base....Dynamic start-up company looking for Java guru....."
Well, I might not know much about lengthy strings of capital letters...but I sure can make a good cup of Java.
Suspiciously good money for a coffee-boy, though.
Then again, compared to what the top guys are getting paid, I figured it was all relative.
Sure, it's conceivable they would pay $150,000 for good coffee; I bet they drink gallons of the stuff in that super-charged atmosphere. I would just have to start at the bottom, learn everything there was to know, then steadily climb the corporate ladder to unimaginable wealth.
I rang the number, spent 5 minutes navigating the company's fearsome 'phone tree' ("..For general enquiries, press 1, followed by the hash, followed by your 43-digit pin #..."), eventually locating the AVP in charge of IT/HR.
In keeping with my perception that this was a brash, confidence-driven industry, I dispensed with the pleasantries and immediately proceeded to state a case.

"I want to be your new Java guru!!"
"OK. Do you have any experience with C++ ??"
(Huh…C++…what the fuck...must be industry jargon?? Of course....double strength caffeine or something. These guys probably pull 20 hour days....they'd need really strong coffee...not just the ordinary stuff the rest of us plebs were living off.....I'll just bluff this cunt.)
"Oh yes, C++......I've been using that for years."
"Great. And when are you able start??"

Too easy…

Sunday, October 08, 2006

don't attack your heart and it won't attack you...

Well I’m back…and I’m not happy about it.
Ten days lying on the sand at Sunshine Beach, soaking up the beneficial UV radiation (sans block-out), re-acquainting myself with the art of riding a long board and taking long peeks at the topless chicks from behind my sunglasses has steeled my resolve to become retired as soon as possible.
I will never, ever, ever understand those people who say ‘Oh no…I could never give up working; I wouldn’t know what to do with myself.’ Me…I could give up tomorrow and trade it all for a shack on the beach. Well, maybe not a shack in the strict sense of the word…but certainly for an architect-designed dream-house perched on the headland, 180-degree ocean views, satellite TV with a 300cm projector-screen, infinity pool, ducted air-conditioning and a dune-buggy in the garage.
Like the one I’ve reluctantly just left to come back here and resume my fulfilling career for…
Anyway…mustn’t complain; I’m feeling marvellous for now, all tanned-up, blacker than some of my World Vision Spades and still at least two lousy work days away from wiping the holiday smile from my temporarily crease-ridden face.
AND…and…I’ve lost 4kgs as a result of the punishing exercise programme (a 90-minute walk on the beach every morning) initiated after catching a reflected glimpse of myself in a shop-window on the first day.
Which brings me to the point of this piece; in my entire life, or what has so far passed for it, I have NEVER felt the supposed high that some athletes claim they get from doing exercise.
Not once.
Not even close.
I sometimes get a craving for a cigarette during exercise but I never get the dopamine-rush that so many gym-junkies sometimes wank on about.
I walked briskly on the sand every morning, sometimes on hard sand, sometimes on soft sand…never less than 90 minutes, once for nearly 2 hours. I felt pain, cramp, nausea, headache and a weird burning sensation as my soft-tissue disintegrated under the workload BUT NOT ONCE did I experience anything even remotely resembling pleasure from the ordeal.
Sure, I slept like a baby each night and it’s great to lose a notch on my belt but it would be some stretch of the imagination to say that I enjoyed any of it.
And I have a pretty good imagination…