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moof's prattling

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January 10th, 2016

disco tent @ 05:48 pm


My boss announced, in a Friday staff meeting, that this coming Friday would be his last day. He didn't tell any of us beforehand, although in my 1:1 meeting on Tuesday he mentioned how he felt like he was drifting, and unmotivated, and that the company was making it almost impossible to get promoted, and that there was no real place for him to go. I told him that I felt much the same way, and he expressed sympathy, but without a lot of reassurance; that explains why.

After my three week vacation, it was incredibly difficult to reengage with my job; while I like my immediate coworkers, and I mostly get to set my own priorities for what I'm working on, it still feels like I'm stagnating a bit, and the majority of my work is now cleaning out the gutters and quietly cleaning up after the sloppiness of my teammates (often without them knowing.) All in all, not terribly rewarding, except for the alleviation of the irritation at knowing that stuff is terrible.

At the same time... I'm not sure what else I'd want to do. The trend for my specialty (unix-based system admin for IT) seems to be "going away in favor of AWS or the handwavey cloud", production sysadmin work is going towards the same plus "docker + vagrant + framework of the week". I suppose I could pick up coding again, but I don't think I'd be too enthusiastic about it. (But with depression + anhedonia, not a whole lot sounds too enthusing.) What complicates things significantly is my housing situation: if I left SF to go work somewhere else (the SFBA peninsula, south bay, or elsewhere), there's no way I'd be able to get an apartment in the city for what I'm currently paying. For that matter, it seems doubtful that I'd get an apartment for what I'm currently paying anywhere in the Bay Area. That implies I could or should start looking elsewhere, but I turn into a Buridan's ass way too quickly when confronted with excess choice.

I suppose I should find a shrink; judging from how pimply and broken out I've gotten after coming back, my stress levels are through the roof. Plan B: win the billion dollar lottery, ho ho ho. (Plan C is "move back to my parent's house and try to connive my way into a Master's program somewhere despite not having a Bachelor's"; I don't know how much more likely that is than plan A.)

 
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From:caladri
Date:January 13th, 2016 08:57 pm (UTC)
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connive my way into a Master's program somewhere despite not having a Bachelor's

Doctoral programs might be easier, assuming you want to do something tech-wise. Avoid state-run schools, as the people involved may be skittish about figuring out how to navigate bureaucratic hurdles, or even perceive the admissions requirements to be inflexible matters of law or state regulation otherwise. If possible, find a program where someone already admires you. It really just takes getting one person to go to bat for you. I don't think you'd have a hard time finding that.

Or you could even go through one of the doctorate-by-portfolio style programs, like the one at St. Andrews. I have a friend who has just completed his doctorate there and could put you in touch; you guys would like each other (and almost met in the Bay Area through me, but I don't think you did — Bruce Simpson / bms / udp.)

Of course, I opted to go for a graduate degree in a field I didn't even have a working background in without an undergrad degree, because I lost interest in following through on what I'd worked out my options to be for going the CS route.
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From:moof
Date:January 14th, 2016 12:27 am (UTC)
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I have little desire to go into a tech PhD program, at least not in the area of computers; programming really doesn't thrill me, theoretical computer science doesn't float my boat, and about the only other tech fields left where I think I'd have any appreciable amounts of experiences are infosec or networking - neither of which I feel comfortable (or enthused about) to pursue academically. Where the vast majority of my experience lies is in operational work - and not a lot of that is easily recorded or made into a portfolio; if anything, I suspect it would be more like business/social science theses than technical, per se (OTOH, my sister got her MLIS from Dominican University.)

Don't think I ever met Bruce Simpson, although his name sounds ever so vaguely familiar.

Too bad $company doesn't offer sabbaticals; at the moment, I'd like to go tromping around Europe for a couple of months. Or maybe go bum around Thailand.
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From:caladri
Date:January 14th, 2016 01:02 am (UTC)
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Y'know, you might have luck with interdisciplinary work. Big luck. Hell, come do a Master's o' Environmental Science at Evergreen, it's hugely flexible. I know less about social science opportunities, but I can say that your skills would give you a big leg up on getting involved in exciting work, in learning new fields, and are still terribly desirable and sought-after among people doing all kinds of science, and other fields, also. I think you'd enjoy ecoinformatics, but that may be my projection. Awful databases, important work, and so much damn low-hanging fruit because nobody involved has the operational skills, nor even the basic information theory, to know what's possible, let alone being able to do it.
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From:moof
Date:January 14th, 2016 01:58 am (UTC)
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Huh. I'm gonna have to ruminate on that quite a bit, I think. Every eighteen months or so I get the urge to go and finish some sort of degree, and it's about time.

Whether I could get sufficient psych care and Ritalin are two important questions, unfortunately; my attention span has improved a little as I've gotten older, but not nearly enough.

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