Ch- Ch- Ch- Changes

July 29, 1998
  Tonight's the last night, the last time I have to force myself to go to bed by 11:00, just as I'm gearing up, so I'll at least get 4 hours of sleep. Tomorrow's the last morning I'll be blasted out of bed by a blaring combo of beeping and static-enhanced Spanish talk radio at the ungodly hour of 3:30, just as my circadian rhythm is telling me it's time to go to bed. Tomorrow's my last day as a tech support agent. In a word: Yay.

At 1:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon I'll walk out the door and away from the place where I've worked for the last eight months. When I first started there I thought it was kind of a cool job, but as time has passed the gig has lost much of its luster. I still enjoy it to a certain extent in that I derive a sense of accomplishment from successfully troubleshooting and fixing the more difficult calls and it's a bit of an ego boost to have callers practically weeping for joy and praising my name because their problem has finally been solved after umpteen calls to tech support...but it's getting boring. Dealing with the same dull password issues and explaining that 233 megahertz is not the modem speed and saying "No, double-click. Yes, with the left button." over and over and over again five days a week tends to suck the fun out of the job.

So I'm glad I'm leaving because it means an end to the tedium. But on the other hand, I almost don't want to leave because of the friends I've made there. I remember looking around the room on my first day of training and thinking, "My God, what a bunch of geeks," and now some of them are friends. Sure, they're still geeks, but I've come to grudgingly accept that...well, maybe I'm a little geeky, too. I'd kind of have to be to have this job, right? But just a little. In the hierarchy of geekdom I think I'm up towards the top, in the ranks of the folks who have a touch of the geek but don't lean toward pocket protectors and mismatched clothing, people who are socially adept, people who know that life exists beyond Star Trek and processor speeds. We pass for normal, in other words, as opposed to the majority of the people there, who are straight out of Revenge of the Nerds.

Most of the friends I've made are of an equivalent social strata -- our breaks are filled with discussions about 4-wheeling and aviation and other such non-geek topics rather than what motherboard has the best chipset -- but a few of my new friends do tip the weenie scale. So, as Stan of South Park might say, "I've learned something today. I've come to realize that geeks are people too!" So I'm feeling a slight twinge over leaving. I'm sure it'll be the same story as with any job you leave -- you promise to keep in touch...and then don't, and knowing that's going to be the case almost makes me want to stay. Almost.

But of course, I won't. The new job awaits, with new challenges and experiences and people and, most important of all, more money. A lot more money. A 450% raise, to be exact. Plus mileage for travelling, and being able to set my own hours to a certain extent, and a shorter work day, and an entry on the ol' resume that could lead to higher paying jobs down the line, etc. It's a good gig and I'm looking forward to it. So while I might be feeling an unexpected tug at leaving the tech support job, I'd have be...well, a geek not to go. And I ain't no geek, as I think I've explained at "thou doth protest too much" length.

I swear on my pocket protector.

Copyright © 1998
Chuck Atkins