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It was ten years ago today that a puppet had to go away

3/11/2010

Time Flies Dept.: Dot-com craze peaked 10 years ago.

I had just been promoted and was in California at a strategy meeting where we were informed that our budget, the IT budget, would be increased to 7% of gross sales. We discussed our e-Commerce strategy and were introduced to our new CIO, who outlined his plan to do a complete tech refresh over the next year, from Dell to IBM, starting with all servers. We had just purchased our Dell servers seven months prior when the sale of my company was complete and Teledyne removed all of its corporate IT assets.

Within the next year we had closed three of seven plants, another was for sale and I was moved to a "corporate" position that was basically a temporary job, shutting down the IT infrastructure that we had spent all that money on. I remember sitting in my office, one of three people left in the building, when my new IBM laptop arrived via FedEx. Three days before I was finished.

It wasn't just the dotcoms who were irrationally exuberant in those days.

I got a new job, at about 60% of my old salary on September 11th, 2001. I took it for reasons that should be obvious given the date, and the fact that I was almost out of severance money. I didn't get paid as well in that job, but it was a good job, and a great bunch of people. And even though it was a corporate drone job that sucked the life out of the people who did it, I think it was the best job I ever had, even and including the one I have now, which I like better.

I learned a lot driving that cube, and the company that employed me at the time gave me the opportunity to do what I needed to do and learn what I needed to learn. And they paid me. Pretty well. So I'm kinda loyal to them, even to the managers I didn't like. And I'd go back to work there if they weren't canning their IT staff now like everyone else.

Now. That doesn't mean I'm super happy, or a positive guy. It means I can recognize a good thing when I have it. I have one now. But I can still point out the things that are wrong, and boy, is there a lot wrong. But when I started this blog I said I wouldn't blog about work and I wouldn't have a blog roll and I wouldn't get into blog fights or trackback pissing matches and so far, with few exceptions, I haven't. I can tell by my traffic that I've been mostly successful in not doing anything here remotely interesting and I guess that's been good for my career. So while I can still point out things that I don't like about work, I won't. Or rather, not in any recognizable format. But if you ever see a post that begins "Consider the lily..." or "A friend was telling me about an acquaintance of his problems..." you may assume the worst. Or not.



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