For the last three years, I’d been working in Roseville, California. Nothing too unusual there, except for the fact that I’d been living in Fresno; about three hours away by car. In fact, although I’d been living in Fresno for the last 20 years, or so, I’d been working elsewhere since 2005. The reason for this is that there are a number of limited opportunities in Fresno and for one reason or another none of them were “right” for me.
The job in Roseville was a pretty sweet gig. I was part of a small team that was developing a somewhat cutting edge distributed application that dealt with Futures trading on the Chicago Board of Exchange (you know, the exchange where you can buy Pork Belly futures). But, the client who was paying for this application hit a “bad patch” and was no longer able to pay for our services and so my project came to a somewhat sudden halt. Which put me back in the job market once again.
NOTE: From my interviews, it is pretty clear that THE skill to have right now is jQuery and AJAX. Not the Microsoft version. But the generic AJAX/jQuery kind. So learn it, know it, be it!
Eventually, I landed a gig working for a company in downtown Sacramento. I got the job because I’d have some passing experience with a prior version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. That, and because an old-timer like me knows how to interview when the interviewers are not 22 years old.
Downtown Sacramento is interesting. The neighborhood in which my office is located is composed of houses build from the late 1800s through the 1930’s (more or less). Most of the larger homes have been split into condos, apartments and duplexes. But there are still a handful of homes that are single family dwellings. Most of the people there are of lower/middle income variety, and there seems to be a large concentration of Asian people/families. All – in – all your basic working class neighborhood. The only troublesome part is that there are a handful of houses being renovated with high-end features. Which generally means that in about ten to twenty years, most of the people living there now will probably be priced out of theirs homes and apartments.
But I digress……
My new job centers around Microsoft Dynamics CRM (see Why I hate Microsoft CRM). This is a very powerful tool that our users abhor and that frustrates me to no end. But our management (more on this in the future) is sold on this product. So I will be struggling to conquer it. But, this position requires virtually no programming which for me is frustrating.
Being as how my job is now 50 miles from my house, I am now a “commuter.” What this entails is getting up a half-hour earlier, driving for about an hour in some stop-and-go traffic so that I can be at work at 8 AM. The commute home would be worse, except for the fact that I have discovered a particular surface-street route that saves me twenty minutes of freeway-parking-lot time. This long-ish stop-and-go commute made driving my Ford Mustang expensive and not very enjoyable (more on this later, as well). So I’ve switched to a new commuter-friendlier Kia Forte. Basic transportation to which I will need perform some upgrades.
And the last straw: a reduction in income. I do realize that in today’s economy any job is a good one. So I am happy to be working. But, I did have to take a sizable reduction in pay from my last job to this one. We are still doing OK by any standard. But the frustrating work situation coupled with the reduction in pay and increase in responsibility is, once again, frustrating.
So, in the last 90 days, I have undergone a handful of changes which have become a bit of a challenge. So I will be straightening out my tie, lacing up the proverbial boots, and hitting it hard, once again until things change. Hopefully for the better. And hopefully sooner, rather than later.
Enough complaining. Time to get back to work.