giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
I've been kinda quiet here for the last month or so, and that's because, after my workplace got a visit from the FBI(!!) a few months back, I decided that was a sign it was time to move on. I had been there for 5 years (an eternity for a software engineer) and really felt like I was outgrowing the position. I wanted to move up in my career and into a position with more responsibility. So I spent a few weeks in November quietly doing job interviews, eventually found an employer that was a good fit, received an offer, and started work for them 2 weeks ago.

The new position has me working as the senior most engineer with a startup in Center City Philadelphia. In addition to actual programming, I also play the part of the sysadmin and get to be a one-man NOC. It's a big step up in responsibility, and with the corresponding pay raise I got at the new job, it's like a promotion of sorts. The company is still small, and only a month old, so I also have the chance to build something really cool as the company grows. It's the kind of challenge that attracted me to computer programming in the first place.

Yes, they're a Drupal shop, why do you ask? :-) Seriously, Drupal is a big piece of software, and I've learned even more about it in the last 2 weeks. This in turn means I do more neat things with the Drupal sites that I run. Everybody wins!

In health-related news, I finally got over to the Rothman Institute (which is like the Anthrocon of sports medicine) and got a diagnosis on my knee issues. And the diagnosis is: patellar tendinopathy, also known as chronic tendinitis. Here's my MRI:

It turns out that this wasn't brought on by exercise, but rather because the length of my patellar tendons are a few millimeters shorter than is normal. This predisposes me to issues with that tendon, and normally affects people when they get to be around my age. The rest of the knees are "perfectly healthy" according to my knee doctor, and this particular injury is treated with physical therapy. This would be different from the physical therapy I had in the spring, in terms of what muscles are exercised.

I asked the doctor if chondromalacia had anything to do with this. He explained to me that my problems were never chondromalacia. The previous issues I had were just warning signs of this. So I see more physical therapy in my future, and hopefully I can get the knees back to normal.
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
My employer is hiring for several open Customer Service Representative (CSR) positions for day, evening, and overnight shifts. The office is in Center City Philadelphia, convenient to SEPTA's Regional Rail lines as well as several bus routes.

Here's the listing:

Applicant must have customer service experience, be computer proficient, detail oriented, and have an excellent phone manner.

Position responsibilities include answering calls, handling customer inquiries as well as some clerical work.

College level degree is a plus.

We offer excellent starting salary, benefits, 401k, vacation, bonuses. There is excellent potential for advancement.

You'll be using software that I had a hand in writing. Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing is up to you. :-)

They're not kidding about the 401(k), either. For those of you who are new to retirement plans, a 401(k) with employer matching is basically free money.

Please DM/email your resume and salary requirements to me. I'll make sure it ends up in the hands of the hiring manager.
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
In what is definitely a blast from the past, I found this old news story laying around on my hard drive of TurnTide from 2004:

Strangely enough, I make two appearances in this--the first one at 2:40 is of file footage from when they interviewed me for a story about spam in 2003. That was amusing.

A few months after this story was shown, the Symantec Corporation bought us for $28 Million. Those of you who saw me at Anthrocon 2004 might recall that I was tightlipped about work, as well as carrying around this skateboard. Now you know why. :-)
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
So today at the company meeting, we played around with Google's autocomplete searching feature and tried to figure out what had the most results. Co-worker A suggested "Obama". Not too bad:

Then I suggested "email":

At the end of the meeting, this went down:

My boss: Who said "email"?

Me: "Me!"

My boss: "You win the dildo!"

So now I am officially the owner of an 18-inch dildo, courtesy of $WORK. A dildo that is bigger around than my WRIST, I might add. what?
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
I came into work this morning to find an 18-inch double-ended dildo on my chair.

"The Dildo Award" is what my one co-worker called it.

Uh, thanks guys...
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
The Garfield Minus Garfield comic strip keeps getting stranger and stranger:

Who knew that John Arbuckle was really a bottom? (Linked because my parents read this LJ and probably don't know what that word means in this context :-P )

In other news, the Chipotle in Ardmore is offering FREE BURRITOS today! I'll be there around 7 PM feeding my fat face.

I bought Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel for the Play Station 2 last weekend and beat it last night. Yeah, I'd say it was worth the the $12.99 I paid for it... and not a penny more. I'm glad that game's over.

Some recruiter decided to call me yesterday at work. I cannot begin to wrap my brain around what prompts these people think: "Gee, I'm going to call someone at work during business hours and try and get him to leave his job there!" Then said recruiter went screaming over the line as she war-dialed her way across the floor and bothered some other co-workers too. Not cool.

Also speaking of work, was CCed on an e-mail from a co-worker a short while ago. That's not unusual. The fact that the primary recipient of the email was the Cron Daemon was, however. In fact, I don't think I ever saw that done before. :-)

And finally, in Anthrocon news, we have a couple of featured musical performers this year. Both Tom Smith and Alexander Adams will be performing live concerts on the evening of Thursday, June 26th at AC.
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
I had a crazy dream last night, in which I had visited my old high school and gave a presentation to the computer club on Life, The Universe, and working in the computer industry. What's scary is how intense the dream was. I recall myself going through different sections in detail and giving real world examples based on my own experiences. I even recall this in the form of a Powerpoint presentation, which is downright creepy.

If I were giving such a presentation, I think it would come off looking like this:

- About me
-- Working in the industry for 10 years
--- 6 different employers. Laid off twice.
-- I did *not* attend college
-- I studied additional technology on my own
-- Networking networking networking!

- School
-- Bad grades aren't the end of the world
--- But don't drop out!
-- Practice your skills
-- College may not be for you
--- But education still matters!
-- Networking networking networking!

- Higher education
-- It's expensive
--- Student loans
-- Great practice for the real world
--- Office politics
-- Get involved with clubs/organizations
-- Networking networking networking!

- The first job
-- Getting your foot in the door
-- It's *who* you know
-- Networking networking networking!

- The office
-- Office politics
--- Rank vs. leverage
-- HR. Don't piss them off.
-- Don't exceed your access.

- Things that keep me up at night
-- Outsourcing
-- Outsourcing
-- Outsourcing

- Your career
-- Technology that does not exist today
-- Find a niche and become an expert
-- Keep up to date
--- Slashdot, Wired, etc.
-- Networking networking networking!
--- LinkedIn

- Any questions?

I think that covers most of the things I'd talk about. Did I miss anything? Maybe I should have a separate section on office politics. Hmm...
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Me: Looks like we're getting snow and freezing rain later. It's gonna be an interesting night.
Co-worker S: My nipples are already hard.
Me: ...
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Got my performance review at work just now.

Phrases like, "exceeds expectations", "steadily showed improvement", and "numerous contributions" were all present. Certainly good to have.

But one comment puzzled me: "The decor in Doug's cube is appropriate for the office". I'm not sure why they mentioned that. Maybe they really liked my coffee pot? :-P


giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Douglas Muth

April 2012



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