atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#4624: Marches of the past.

The ides of March (tomorrow) and I'm looking at previous Fungus posts, thinking about how the world has changed over the last nine years. April 3rd will be the 9th anniversary of Atomic Fungus. When I started this, I didn't envision 4,600 posts; it's something I started as a lark, "Let's see how this goes." I've met plenty of people I wouldn't otherwise know if it weren't for the bloggeratin', and that's good.

I'm doing this in lieu of anything useful or productive, because I just don't have any energy. Today's not a hell day--I didn't have to work a shift today, just go in for that stupid meeting at 7:30 AM--so I was able to come home, post, and sleep for a while. But I'm still all floppy, because the meeting was stupid, full of the usual cheerleading bullshit that you see at any retail organization. It's hard to be enthusiastic about this job anyway, when nearly all the feedback I get is negative--"You're doing it wrong!"--and every judgement call I make results in more negative feedback. The happy horseshit would be tolerable if I weren't dealing with a cliquey organization where the supervisor's friends can leave early but I get taken to task for leaving on time as directed by the store's general manager. Retaining a firm grip on my temper requires far too much energy, and when I get home I am exhausted.

My next day off, temps aren't even predicted to hit 50°. *sigh* But we will have warm weather soon enough. Most important is for me to be ready to go on my projects when it is consistently warm. Anyway, if I have the gumption to work on something, I have no trouble with 47° weather; that requires a sweatshirt but otherwise as long as I'm moving it won't be an issue. (Provided it's not raining, but the forecast says "partly cloudy" and I can live with that. And heck, I have enough room in the garage that I can work with the door closed.)

* * *

On my way home from work today I was thinking about my skill set, and started getting really unhappy about things. The stove went haywire a week ago; within about two hours of the failure I knew what and why and how to fix it. Who else do I know that can do that? I am friends with one person who can, and acquainted with another (Og and Partner, respectively). Otherwise, I don't know anyone who could do that kind of thing.

I've worked with my hands since I was a freshman in high school, fixing engines, cars, computers; I've worked with computers daily since I first got my C-64 in 1983, which is not quite 32 years. I learned BASIC in 1981, PASCAL in 1990, C++ in 1992. I routinely solved intractable problems with computers and printers and was the "go-to" guy the entire time I worked as an on-site computer technician. I trained other techs, one guy almost from scratch, teaching him DOS and interrupts and everything back when "Plug and Play" was still in the future, when you had to worry about terminating resistors and cable polarities on hard and floppy drives, when you still had to set DIP switches on motherboards. And I taught myself that stuff, before I taught him or anyone else.

I am good with machines. I am not just good with them but 99th percentile good. There are very few people out there who have the kind of innate understanding of machinery like mine--not everyone has a knack for that--so why the hell am I working retail? Why am I not repairing machines instead of trying to sell service plans? My talents are grossly underused in the work I'm doing, and in fact they'd be underused even if I were a full time repair agent at that place.

The repair process there is "paint by numbers". The tech connects the computer, then puts in a disk which almost entirely automates the repair process, requiring almost no human input. The only time a repair tech has to do anything technical is when the computer doesn't boot, or won't connect, or otherwise cannot be repaired using the software tools. Even then, most of the time the answer is to do a system restore on the computer. A monkey could do that job, most of it.

Certainly it does not require any real skill or talent.

Well, no one cares, anyway.

* * *

But for now I've got some time to myself, and some nice dinner to eat, and I'm going to go on WoW and slaughter a few monsters with my wife. That's always worthwhile.

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