Bio - A Tale of Two Shitties

I have had quite a few people ask me - "What made you get into IT".
For the answer, you would have to go back to some of my previous jobs.
I started working at the age of 14 in a bakery. Up at 4am, work to 3pm every single day I did not have school.
And my boss new when we did not have school, he made sure of it. I was lifting 100 lb bags of flour which I must
say gave me quite an upper physique.

I quit that job to work at Burger King because it paid minimum wage.
About a tenth of the work for more money. I did the maintenance shift, so back up at 4am to have the place ready
when the first shift came in.
This is where I learned to drink coffee. Boy could I drink coffee. I normally had the first pot wiped out by the time
the first shift arrived. I loved me some coffee.
From BK I moved on to McD's.. quite a step up right?
Same game, I picked maintenance. You were offered a lot of freedom when you did maintenance.
It did how ever mean that you were the one who cleaned the bathrooms on those party weekends.
This was the first shitty!

From there I moved on to more maintenance with a newspaper.
This was a good job with quite a bit of driving. I also did their landscaping so I worked up a healthy tan in the process.
You can really stretch out lawn service. :)
Unfortunately, this is where my second and final shitty came into play.
It is called a filter bed. Human waste... feces... I was in charge of scraping off the dried feces from the filter bed.
This meant you gathered up some boots and proudly stomped into the bubbling ooze to scrape out what was left on the top.
This is where I decided that there had to be a better life for me!

I spent many days working besides the current telecommunications technician opaquing negatives for the newspaper every Wednesday.
We had hours to talk and he talked about all of his additional schooling and projects he was working on at home programming.
I was hooked. I literally took all of the NT (Northern Telecom) manuals home and read them. Stretched end to end, they would probably
fill up a wall.
My big break came when one day while working on a project to install the computers at the satellite offices, I was along for the ride to
determine where all of the cables would need to be run. To my surprise ( and everyone in the current IT dept) the company doing the
installs said that they would work with me directly and not the IT dept. But I am just a lowely maintenance guy!
I must have impressed them enough with my new knowledge about networking that they asked for me specifically.
I do not think the others in IT were too impressed, but they promptly said that they were too busy to do such mundane stuff and that
they would allow me to handle it.
The project went off flawless and later the telecom lead said that they needed to hire another person and thought that I would be good for the job.
That was it.. my lucky break. To this day I give Rick credit for jump starting my career!

From that point on, I did everything. Voice, data, programming, pc support, mainframe support.. literally everything.
I hung around the newspaper for a few more years and also met a new tech lead. We got along great together, and another new set of skills.

I finally decided that I was really not going anywhere at the newspaper. I ventured out and did up my resume.
My first attempt was with Airtouch Cellular. I landed the job! No more filter beds for me!
I have been in the cellular industry for 26 years now and love almost every minute of it.

More to come...