Big Dan's Ramblings

Ramblings from a Boston Boy stuck in New York

Category Archives: Work

GreenerĀ Pastures

Here I go again. I can’t sit still. I can’t create a foundation. I can’t enjoy consistency. I can’t stand the status-quo. I always wonder what-if. I can’t say ‘no’ to a potential change. I can’t stand stagnation.

That’s right, I’m changing jobs again.

For those of you that know me, this shouldn’t come as any great surprise. I have this tendency to go to a job, do a great job up front, make good contacts, get bored and move on. Hey, give me credit. I lasted about 2.5 years this time.

I’ll write more about the new job later – I’m on a (current) work computer right now. Needless to say, it’s a move in the right direction for my wife and I. I’m very excited/anxious/curious/scared about the new position. But, that’s nothing new. Those are all emotions I’ve felt every time I’ve switched jobs. OK, more new later…I’m going home soon.

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MiT?

Management in Training?

One can only hope/dread… The long story turned short is that my boss, the Mechanical Engineering Supervisor, had jury duty last week and is in Malaysia this week for work. The guy under him with the most seniority was finishing up his last week here (off to greener pastures), so I was left in charge. Apparently my robust 2.5 tenure here as allowed me the benefit of being the most suited for the job.

It was actually a good experience for me. I’ve been thinking about which direction I’m looking to go in – management or technical – and this gave me a flavor of the management side. I, obviously, have a feeling for the technical side. Now, after being able to eat from both sides of the table, I’m not sure which way I want to go. The technical aspect is great – I get to be on the leading edge of technology and build the ‘machines of tomorrow.’ Meanwhile, the management side is very interesting because I can help mold the direction of the company while being responsible for certain projects.

I tend to lack a general confidence in my technical ability and that, along with my innate sense of needing/wanting organization, is actually making me lean towards the management side. There are a LOT of things I need to work on, however, if I’m going to be a manager. Just to name a few:

  • Ability to say NO: I’m a pleaser. I always have been. You need that print? Let me stop what I’m doing and get it for you. You need a solid model of that assembly? Give me 15 minutes. I need to be able to step back, access my situation and be able to tell someone that I’ll have time at the end of the week or that I simply can’t do that in the time frame they are dictating.
  • Quick Thinking: My thought process is a bit more plodding and methodical than most and I tend to not be able to think quick on my feet. It’s something I need to build on.
  • They aren’t going to eat you: Upper management is a fear of mine – I’m afraid to say the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong person. It takes a great build up of nerve for me to disagree with a superior. Going back to my thought process – I tend to try to think what they are thinking before I disagree and that tends to make me look slow and more like a ‘yes man’ than I need to be.
  • Total Recall: There’s a reason why I write things down – my memory is shot. I don’t remember specifics at all. I know exactly where I need to dig to get specs, technical info, notes, etc. BUT, I suck at recalling them off the top of my head. I’m horrible with names as well.
All that being said, management is looking like the option for me – at the moment (I reserve the right to change my mind). I like organizing everyone and having my hand in the pot a bit more. I guess there’s also a little bit of ego/power-trip going on there too. I like being the go-to guy – as long as I have the info. That was the hardest part of this week. I was the go-to guy, but I didn’t have access to schedules, data, budget, or product specs like a normal manager would. That made making some of the decision rather difficult. All in time though.

So, guess I should start looking into that MBA a bit more now.

Movin’ On Up

I had a nice talk with my boss this week. Just a little background – late last week (or the week before) he had asked us for a self-assessment for 2005. Instead of putting my usual 2 minutes of effort into it, I spent a few hours on Saturday actually sitting down and defining accomplishments, goals, and areas that I want/need to improve. Anyway, when I was happy with the wording and presentation of everything, I sent it to him.

In the middle of one of our usual design discussions, he started talking about the future and how my company is trying to make career paths solid and identifiable. It seems as though I’m at the point where I’m almost ready to pick whether I want to go down the management or technical path. After getting a sneak peek at the ‘corporate ladder,’ it looks as though there is a point where you can cross over – something that’s good if you made the wrong choice šŸ˜‰

But, he has also been, slowly, loosening the reigns on me and letting me go. I like the idea of being able to ‘sink or swim’ a little bit more on my own. I feel a renewed sense of purpose and ambition here. I think it’s just what I need. It’s been a crazy week, but it ended off nicely. We got great news (can’t say too much, it’s not public yet) at work and also set up snowboarding plans for tomorrow. I’m pumped! Life is good – even if I’m broke at the moment.

The Forced VacationĀ Begins

So, I’m being forced to take some time off over this next week. I can’t say I’m very happy about it, but if it’s going to help our bottom line – especially given our stock price activity as of late (hint: It’s been going down faster than I can bomb an icy East Coast slope) – then I’m game for it. The weekend has started out pretty good so far. I went to Creek with Brent and snowboarded for a half day. Pretty good day – I hit up some nice table tops and even nailed the rails (note: a few of the rails and hits nailed me back).

Tomorrow I am dropping off my cousin and the city and will (finally) have my house back. She was a great guest – very quiet, fairly clean, and generally conscious of her surroundings – but I (and my wife) just felt like guests in our own home at times. The problem with tomorrow is that it’s supposed to be snowing here, so driving in to the city is going to be oh-so-fun. At least we’ll get her in there, drop her off, come back and relax on a snowy day (I’ll have to venture out at some point to go to the gym). After that, this week will b e pretty mellow. I’m going snowboarding with my (old?) boss on Wednesday – that’s the plan right now anyways. Then, the wife and I are probably going to head up to CT to go to either Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun for the day. Depending on the rate we get, we’ll probably stay the night. Then, I’ll be snowboarding next weekend. It’ll be a nice spend some time with the wife – I’m pissed that I’m being forced to waste my vacation time, but what am I going to do.

Another Slow Day..

Arrgghh, layoffs and work and stupid projects – oh my! Work has been less than stellar, to say the least. The only think that is making is bearable is that I should be able to go snowboarding this weekend. I can’t wait.