Time flies…

My cube neighbor is working on a list of miscellaneous defects* right now. Miscellaneous defects come from just about anywhere you can imagine and then some. That includes some of the specs I have written. So, she has been wheeling her office chair around into my cube with quite some regularity. And there was a lot of “when was I going through all that pain?” stuff from both of us as we untangled the problem at hand. Meaning “was it last summer or two (or three) summers ago that I was working on the spec from hell?” Don’t get me wrong. We both love our jobs. It’s just that when we are past the fun, exciting creative part of a new prodject, there is often a lot of repetitive stuff. Keeping ancillary documentation up to date, writing user documentation, or whatever.

After one of those sessions, I answered her “When did I go through that pain?” question with, “That was the summer before last.” And then I started thinking, “I have been here for a while…”

Today isn’t some kind of a milestone anniversary at all. It’s approximately 3-1/2 years since I first buzzed the building receptionist to be let in the front door. I was not looking for a job like this one. I was a community college student at the time, taking a higher level class in user experience design. The prof assigned us all (six of us) to internships. When I went to the first class session, I had no idea this was going to happen. I knew we would be doing “client work” but I figured I would be writing 50-page analyses of various “clients” websites and I figured those analyses would be promptly filed in the circular file.

To my huge SHOCK, I was assigned to an actual corporation. And. The prof pulled me aside at the end of the session to tell me privately that my internship would be paid. Unlike the other internships. Well. Of course, I was happy about the idea of being paid ANYTHING at that point in my life. The drug test? I was freaked out! Oh, not that I wouldn’t pass it. When I left my last corporate job, they were just starting to test new hires and I swore to myself that I would never subject myself to a drug test. Ah well… Something made me suck it up and do the whole freaking thing. And then, after I was officially hired, I showed up for my first actual day of work and the person I now call the long-suffering, cat-herding person was not there! My (now) cube neighbor had been tasked with trying to orient me until the LSCHP came in.

When the internship was just about up, I was offered a real job. I had gotten pretty dern used to being a vagabond by then. I wanted the job. (I wanted the money too.) But. Could I adjust to a 40 hour a week schedule after all those years of being a vagabond? I took the job and I have [mostly] adjusted. I am now cozily ensconced as a subject matter expert on the stuff that I do. (I have even received a small promotion, which was fun, but note that I am NOT on an upward track here. I’m not interested in my boss’s job, let alone the CEO’s.)

* I don’t usually talk about the details of my work but we use our own variation of the project management process that most other software/web application shops use, so I don’t think I’m revealing any secrets here.

One Response to “Time flies…”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I didn’t realize that it had been that recent! Wow! It sounds like you did a great job and got noticed. 🙂 I’ve been working in the same building for the past 31 years. It doesn’t feel like that long, until I look around and see how few people started out with me back then. (I think there are 2 or 3)