Life Work

2 years!

Today is the 2 year anniversary of when I officially entered the workforce. Or as I told my friend today, 2 down, 43 to go. Still, it’s a pretty crazy feeling. A couple things have been going through my head as I think about it.

1. I have a really long way to go

This is pretty obvious given my above comment. But I’m not really looking forward to retirement at all. I like being active and now that I’ve found something I enjoy doing I’m looking forward to what the future has in store for me.

2. I have already changed careers

In the end, my work at Samsung was valuable, but it was not a great situation. I decided to change careers in order to escape work I did not enjoy doing and to not have to deal with unnecessary stress.

3. I have a TON to learn

I’ll be posting more about this later, but it is really humbling when you try talking electronics with engineers who have been in the business for 20+ years. This was a major choice in moving and changing jobs so I knew it was coming. Plus, I really want to learn more.

4. I quit when the quitting was good

Another future post (what? I’m busy, people!) will be about knowing when to quit in bad situations. As much as I miss my friends in Austin, the feel of Austin and the lovely weather, I would do it all again in a heart beat. Sometimes things are just right.

5. Things I’ve accomplished

Short answer: Not much. I could blame this on a lot of things, but really the only one that matters is myself. I did not accomplish much at Samsung other than increasing my knowledge of Microsoft Excel and Powerpoint; I did keep the fab running smoothly and there’s something to be said about that. But I didn’t really change the world at all and I will be working on that more in the near future.

6. I’ve been out of school for 2 years now

This might be the most sobering thought of all. I really still think of myself as a student (not necessarily a bad thing), especially when going to the movies. But there are some different priorities that go along with no longer being a student. I try to network more now. I keep an eye on professional journals and towards any other career opportunities (I’m still happy at Keithley, don’t worry).  I drink less cheap college beer (ok, I still do once in a while). It’s just a different mindset now and I don’t think it’ll change if/when I go back for my master’s.

So that’s about it. 2 years down. Feels weird and I do miss the people I started with at Samsung. But I’d say I’m better off now.


Lesson’s learned on Christmas Eve

I worked Christmas Eve at Samsung.

This was and is an unfortunate side effect of having an odd schedule, and even more so of being scheduled to work Tuesdays when holidays happen to fall on said Tuesdays. Regardless, I could not take off work because when we were scheduling the holiday season I was working by myself and had to be there. Fine, no problem. My counterpart on the opposite end of the week was kind enough to cover for me on the evening of the 25th, so I got to go home on Christmas morning after work.

However, after all of this, I found something sad and sweet about being there. It’s really touching to see people working Christmas Eve; not because they want to, but because they care so much about the people they leave at home on those evenings. Those same people that are so understanding about the situation their family members’ are in, and how they must work these days as part of their job.

I was particularly touched upon hearing one of my female co-workers talk to her family on Christmas Eve. She works the day shift and was not getting home until around 8 pm. She had left her kids with her parents and was calling to wish them goodnight. This would possibly be fine in my mind if she was going home to them, but the knowledge was particular heart wrenching for me.

Another instance was my counter part on nights, Jason. He was distraught and in a similar situation as me (I’m not married). He left his new wife at home on Christmas, and they were both hurting being away on the first major holiday they had as a married couple. My heart goes out to them, as I know how hard it is being on nights with a loved one at home.

Yet another co-worker on nights with me took Christmas eve off, but only because his wife was working that evening. They had to have Christmas on the morning of the 24th (hardly a travesty for the kids I’m sure). However, work coming in front of family is a rough thing for anyone, especially when there are younger children involved. This is a sad reality of many families today, with credit cards and house payments. Doubly so at Christmas.

And lastly were those crazy people I work with that didn’t take (or get) any time off. These were mostly the people my age who are working day shift. Granted, some of these unfortunate individuals are workaholics, others were forced to be there, and that’s just not right. I don’t care who you are or what you do, nothing is really getting done on a major holiday, especially Christmas. Paperwork, maybe, but that can usually wait.

So why this rambling post? I guess to offset my current situation from my sheltered childhood. I grew up in a suburban neighborhood, with parents that stayed together, loved me, showered me with too many gifts and made a big deal of the holidays (they still do on all counts and I love them for it). I guess it’s just weird to see how others have to deal with work schedules and tougher situations. I never have had to experience it or even really think about it that much. So even though I did not particularly enjoy working on Christmas eve and not spending that time with my loved ones, it gave me a unique perspective on how people deal with holiday scheduling; moreso, it helped to show me that holidays usually are not as important as we make them out to be. Everything generally worked out fine, what with coming home on Christmas morning (and probably would have been the same if I had to come home 2 days earlier or later). The idea is to spend SOME time with those you love, around the holidays. This has been helpful to me also, because I have to work New Years Eve. Thumbs down.

Anyway, I hope this perspective was helpful for all who read it.