Thursday, February 12, 2009

Looking Back and Looking Forward

I know that everyone always says "Don't look back.  Always look forward".  Even I say that and indeed, live that idea always.  I rarely look back.  But 2008 sucked so horribly bad that I find myself looking back on it to appreciate where I'm at now.  I ask myself "a year ago, exactly, what was I doing?  where was I?"  

On Febuary 12, 2008, I was in Gloucester (Virginia, not England), working on a small office network upgrade for an attorney client.  Sounds funny to say "attorney client" in one sentence.  Setting up a Smal Business Server 2003 network with daily backups to USB storage, and installing a new file server with a 3/2 disk setup, and a point-to-point VPN using Linksys RVL-200 routers for their two branch offices.  Some of it was new to me, but it was exciting to learn it as well.  

Around that same period I was also shuffling back and forth from Virginia Beach to Richmond, working on a few other things.  I had another month of employment ahead of me then, and didn't even know it.  The week before, I drove up to the company headquarters in Richmond for an "all-hands" party and briefing on our "positive growth and new directions".  Dinner and open bar
were included.  A nice time to meet people I had never met, and some I hadn't seen in a while.  The president shook my hand afterwards and assured me that although our local office was "new and making its mark" that they were "in this for the long haul".  Translation: one more month.

A month later, the president drove down to conduct the only marketing "luncheon" I ever saw, to introduce our services to the local area.  They played their first (and only) radio advertising spot over the PA system (HP partnership ad).  After it was done, they called me into the bar and I was informed that the local office would be closed and only two employees would remain for this area (I wasn't one of them).  That counted as the third company in a row to leave me holding a bag of burning crap, although, it actually turned out to be the least costly of problems of the three.  Even with the subsequent two months of being unemployed.  That was a major turning point in my life and for my family.  I really learned who my friends are, and I was surprised to find that many were people I had never met face-to-face.

Stop and think for a moment:  Where were you exactly one year ago?  What were you working on?  Where were you?

Sometimes a pause like that gives you a new perspective on where you are now.
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