They say experience is what you get, when you didn't get what you wanted. I'm not completely sure about that... but work experiences make us who we are (or influence it). This is too brutally honest to be in any Résumé, it's more a Dilbert-esque look at the working world, not to malign the companies I worked at (which were far from the worst places), but more to remind others or myself of what experiences and lessons I got, when I didn't always get what I wanted.
Work : 28 items
I had to get my first Security Clearance, and was quite amused at the process. Mostly it was as exciting as filling out an IRS audit: a lot of DoD (Department of Defense) forms, and knowing they were going to do an investigation on the veracity of those answers.
I figured I was going to have problems; my real-father was from Iran, I had multiple names, and had been an experimental kid (when it came to sex, drugs and rock and roll -- some dumb experience in life wasn't going to slip by me untried).
Again, I lasted a bit over 3 years on a 6 month contract. And again, it turned out I made many friends and one enemy -- but one wrong enemy is all it takes (especially as a consultant). So I left on less than optimum terms: with one enemy and many friends. But when they tried to make me look bad after I was gone, it backlashed, and Karma exposed my detractors as not very bight big-mouths.
We watched the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster on live feed at Rockwell that morning. When it blew up, there was a bit of stunned silence. After a while, I walked back to my desk, and thought about the lives lost, and the politically correct environment, and what it would mean. Then I used a big red cancelled stamp I had acquired, and stamped it in red across a poster that was on my cubical wall: turns out, that was not a politically correct move.
Now I've lived an interesting life, and been one of those people that things either happen to, or happen around. A lot of those experiences aren't necessarily things that I'd wish for; but heck, if I learn from them then they aren't a complete waste. Many that start hearing the extent of my life stories, start staring at me, agape in disbelief - or often just look at me with skepticism, and assume that I have to be a bullshitter, because that doesn't happen to one person (until I present witnesses or evidence). But I've lived a pretty bland life compared to some I know... and a few of those I worked with a Collins. Dr. Roger Parks was one of them.
As a consultant you were paid to get things done. Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges. Over, under, around or through: problems will be solved. Thus permission was something for the political employees to get, I just made things happen because you either solved problems or they ended the contract and got people that could get the problems solved. It made you far more productive than the employees, but a bit of assholes that they resented, because while they were going through the process, you just made political messes for them to clean up.
The bonus was this project had been ongoing for a while, and was a project where two other members of me team, HATED each other and were ready to battle to the death, and take the whole project down with them... and they were both 20+ years my senior and weren't exactly hot on a kid who still had acne, telling them what to do. I guess management figured if I hadn't failed at code, at least I could fail at people management.
My solution was simple (and the immature one), they could both do nothing, and I'd do all 3 of our jobs. They didn't have to talk to each other, they just submitted whatever they wanted to me, I'd ignore it, and write something else to make it all work, and they got credit for the code, while I got credit for getting them to work together.
I had been a bit of a hack in High School and College(s). I was never the worst/best, both because I could be lazy about it, and because I had better things to do. But I could break into systems, and did at various times, and in various ways. But most of it was not criminal or vandalous; it was usually very focused and for a reason (or the conquest of a challenge). I'd gotten over it quickly, especially when a few friends got arrested by the FBI, but as I said, it took too much time, and was too dangerous, and I mostly left well enough alone. I was having too much fun getting paid to be criminal about things. Until one day...
I've had a somewhat interesting life, as have many people I've known. And we humans are strongly made up of our experiences. But our experiences not only happen to us; but if we are smart, we can learn something from what happens to people around us (if their actions/stories truly effect us, and we can learn from it). One person that had many stories, and life lessons, was Dave Quigley; even if some of his lessons were "how not to", or at least just "Life is fleeting, enjoy while you can".
I had wanted to do Mac Application Development, so I went to a small startup called WTi (Workstation Technologies, Inc). The job was creating a QuickTime VDIG and a dithering algorithm for teleconferencing, and QT-VCR a commercial application used for recording and playback of streams. Hardware acquired by Nortel. Software licensed by eMachines / SuperMAC / UMAX
- Baxter. But the company had a cost cutting measure that eliminated all (or many) of the consultants. Dave bounced up. He went on to start his own biomed consulting company: Relsys. Talk about turning lemons into lemonade. Actually, I think he'd been socking away money and planning for this kind of stuff all along; lessons for me about discipline and planning. At first, it was out of a spare room in his house, and I was his first employee. I helped with the demo that got him his first contract. But soon he got an office. I worked for him on a few projects and we took on some much larger companies on contracts, and won. That fearlessness and "go for it" attitude also impressed me. We got Alcon and Spectramed and a few others. It was also a big life lesson about how people you work and contacts you make can be much more significant than you realize at the time.
- dating on the job, the costs of defensive medicine, and just the problems in the provider side of healthcare.
- I got my security clearance, learned to deal with eccentric co-workers, learned about nepotism and how not to mix substance abuse and work, got "hit on" in front of my parents, and learned how NOT to exit a company.
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, these are a few of my favorite things. Or at least favorite things that have happened to me. Some good, some bad. But if you grow/learn from the bad, then they make you who you are... and thus are my favorite things as well.
Ari Sabouni - A short summary of experiences I've had, that makes me who I am. Understanding through anecdotes.
Favorites : Cars • Computer Experiences • Electric Bike • Favorite Books • Favorite Videos • Homes • Life Experiences • Medical • Memes-Mine • Pets • Refrigerator Magnet Poetry • Story of us • Timeline •
Medical : 1980 Black Widow • 1982 ⚕️Nose Job • 1995 ⚕️Heart Surgery • 2003 Jared • Broken Arms • Cars greatest hits • Colonoscopy • Phobias and Anxiety • Poison Oak •
Experiences : 1986 Just a burger • 1987 Skydiving • 2001.09.11 The Towers Fell • 9/11 • Air Rifles • Airline Attendant • Getting my CCW • Housing and Urban Development • How I spent Christmas Vacation (1997) • Jury Duty 1998 • Jury Duty 2013 • Pulling a gun • Speed Traps 2002 • Suicide is Painless • Thinking outside the box • Tired of suppressing my whiteness • What’s shooting like? •