Saturday, April 08, 2006

Dazed and Confused Confessions

Confession #1: I've been kinda "out of it" for the past couple of weeks. The "wreck" and a special project at work have been eating my lunch.

Worn out. I've even been too busy to drop many comments in over at the TechBlog, my virtual pub hangout with the regulars.

See, because of my l33t 5killz I've been placed on a special project at work. It has almost nothing to do with networking or computers or any of that stuff. And to be honest, I don't have much experience at all with this other system and its hardware. Plus it involves supporting a new customer's system so we want to look good. So I've got binders of stuff I'm trying to understand. New offices to find and visit, and new customers who are so happy to see us when we show up, but are confused when we leave without fixing anything (still don't know how!).

Frustrated. Because it is hard leaving my zone of security (desktop/network support) to do something completely foreign is stressful. While I could spend 30 minutes solving a very challenging computer issue, I am spending hours working out how to troubleshoot something I know should be a 10 min. fix if I only knew the system and the commands.

If anyone knows of any good Nortel Meridian PBX system virtualization software out there (if such a thing even exists), I'd love to hear about it from you. Doesn't have to be very new--heck, I don't think Nortel even supports the Meridian systems we have any longer. So crashing a 400+ user PBX system because I don't know the right commands to manage it would be a bummer. I really need something I can practice on and see how all the parts work together.

How tired am I? Our IT team was issued new laptops last week. Our former laptops had to have been between 4-5 years old. These new ones are easily at least four times as powerful (and fast) and instead of being excited, I just got irked that I had to take the time to set it up. I want to be excited about it, really. It is pretty nice. I'm just so stressed out right now I can't find the time to enjoy it. I need to find some removable stickers/labels to put on it (flames?) to pimp it out. Maybe that would help...

The body shop returned my poor car to me this week. It was amazing! Total damage done was close to $2000. I had to pick up the deductible +rental upgrade. I was very nervous about how it would drive being a front wheel drive and them having to straighten up the front end frame. Tracked perfectly with no drift or pull. They even cleaned it up better than when I drove it off the lot new. I did have to adjust the air-pressure in the tires. I keep them a few pounds of pressure higher then recommended so I don't pre-wear the outside edges of my tires (tire-shop tip). They did an awesome job. The family at Kopriva Body Works has had to fix my car twice now, and each time I've been thrilled. It's nice to have my confidence in my car restored so wonderfully. Good folks and wonderful craftsmen. Now if I could just say the same about having trust and confidence in other drivers I share the road with....

Random Links I've collected this week:

The Narrow House -- [an englishman in Osaka] -- Looks kinda cool to me. Something about small and efficiently designed architecture really inspires me. Not for everybody.

Six Studio Ghibli movies to re-air in May on Turner Classic Movies - Set your Tivo today. I highly recommend them all, but that "Pom Poko" one is kinda weird...

Airstream travel trailers teamed with Nissan to design a model called the Basecamp. Looks really nice. I have only the fondest memories of Airstream trailers as we grew up with Mom's parents traveling all over the States in one. Every weekend grandpa would be found on his ladder polishing and waxing the thing.

I haven't really even started playing Kingdom Hearts yet on our PS2. Now comes word that that the sequel Kingdom Hearts 2 is out. Yikes! I better get busy!

ComputerZen master Scott Hanselman takes folks through a walk-though of hunting down a trojan on a system. Good technique to know.

Get some useful Windows XP Command-line tips from Amit Agarwal over at his Digital Inspiration site. In fact, knowing your way around the Command-line interface really can give you an edge with working on your XP/2000 desktop. It's well worth the time to practice using them. Microsoft's XP Command-line reference page, and Windows 2000 Command-line reference page.

New to home networking? Check out Network Magic. Freeware/$$ verisons available. This well polished application helps you to set up and manage a home network. The site has some really good documentation and previews on how it all works. Well worth a look if managing a home network is something you want to do, but don't know where to begin. Seen across many posts, including over at Download Squad.

Confession #2: Guilty blog reading pleasure--Bored Housewife. You go, girl!

See you in the skies,

1 comment:

acronymonious said...

Dude, the story of my career has been being thrown into situations where I was (on paper) grossly underqualified and felt totally overwhelmed. As corny as it seems, I kept a scan from an article in my desk at work for many years. It was called "The Imposter", and dealt with the notion that many successful people feel as if they are one failure away from "being found out" as a fraud. It's that dread that you will fail the next test although you've passed 100 in a row with an A+ each time. (They don't know how incompetent I really am...I've just fooled them all along) Although aimed at students, the author had some good advice for working professionals, my personal favorite, (which I still find myself repeating to this day) was:

The skills which have made you successful to this moment, will not suddenly fail you now.

We often "think" we know what others value in us and we "think" we know what skills we need. But in all honesty, it's not the fact that we know how to flawlessly execute some Nortel something or other with a PBX and no errors, it's that we are focussed, reliable, dedicated, smart-enough-to-eventually-figure-it-out, and that we care enough not to give-up halfway or accept second best. The result is that we feel stress if we think we're not at the top of our game, but in reality, if we didn't feel stressed it would be because we didn't care enough or take pride in our work.

One manager once told me..."you know that uncomfortable feeling you have, that anxiety associated with this new job...that's called learning and challenging yourself...if it was easy you'd feel fine...and you wouldn't grow."

So, I congratulate you on the opportunity. As someone who was hospitalized for failing to keep it all in perspective, I sympathize with the stress. But as someone who knows your character, I'm confident this one will go in the "success" column of your much more so because of the challenge!

- Digger