Thursday, March 31, 2005

FAQ - Last day at the DOE

Thank you - all of you that replied to my last email and blog regarding the "Last day at the DOE." I tried to reply to each person that sent me email about it, but I also decided to create this FAQ. I'm sure these questions will come up again as more people realize I'm no longer there when they come back from spring break.

  • Q. Why is your blog called "That's my stapler" ?!

  • A. It's a reference to one of my favourite movies : "Office Space." Even though Milton never really says that line, he appears to mumble it often. He is very upset that his company switched staplers and he kept his old one "because it didn't jam and if they take his stapler away, he'll burn down the building." His boss eventually takes his stapler and ... I digress, but you should rent the movie - many of the scenes mirror my experiences in the corporate world.

  • Q. What are you doing next (after DOE) ?

  • A. I don't have anything yet. It appears that I'll be Mr. Mom for the next while and then I'm going to look around Calgary. I have a few prospects in Edmonton, but mostly government projects (go figure). I also want to pursue some of my "entrepreneurial interests" like Traffic Shark. With spring coming, the yardwork on the acreage will keep me busy as well.

  • Q. So - you're moving (back) to Calgary ?

  • A. No. My wife says we're not moving again, as her and I have moved 5 times (4 cities) so far during my career! I will probably rent an apartment (or try to buy a condo "someday") in Calgary and do the commute - if I can find a flexible client/contract. Quite often in previous jobs I was away from home for long trips and/or long hours. So my wife and I decided that if we were closer to her family in Edmonton, it would be that much easier on her and the kids - if I had to commute to another city.

  • Q. Why didn't you renew/continue at the DOE ?

  • A. Well, the root cause/reason is that in the last 13 years I've been in about 10 different companies in 4 cities (USA & Canada) and the longest stay (employee or contract) was the DOE at 3 years and 4 months. I enjoy new challenges all the time and I think that my experience shows that focus. I realize now that many people who work for the government (employee or contract) become lifers and my mode d'operation is quite unfamiliar.

  • Q. I didn't know you were leaving!

  • A. That's not a question, but I understand your point. I was told that "people would be notified of the resource transition." You can still reach me at my home email address, but my spam filters will catch the keywords : OBS, XMAP, CAN, YOU, HELP, ME

  • Q. So, you're not going to respond to any requests for help/support on OBS or XMAP are you ? Can you help me ?

  • Q. Did you know that ASP is the species of snake that bit Cleopatra ?

  • A. Yes I did and you're behind by one blog post aren't you ?

  • Q. I've heard you talk about Oklahoma quite a bit lately... [Why ?]

  • A. It's been on my mind (again) lately. This April 19th is the 10th 'anniversary' of the bombing in Oklahoma City. I was thinking about going back for a visit - but that doesn't appear do-able right now. Long story short, I was almost in the building that morning and I would have been standing about 20 feet from the truck that decimated the Social Security office and most of the building. There will be a blog about that "soon" as well as the "Oklahoma City Drunk Tank" story. Otherwise, Oklahoma was a great experience and I often tell people that Albertans are not half as friendly as they think they are (in comparison). And yes, it is "Africa hot" in the summertime there...

  • Q. What was your solution to leaving after the bathroom guy ?

  • A. I used my pinky to pull the door open on a part of the door handle that I figure would be the least used. I heard that others do the paper towel condom on the door handle idea, but then use their foot to prop the door open so they can reach back to throw the towel away. YMMV. My wife says that you can use your shirt sleeve on the door handle - but I'm a geek that wears short sleeve shirts 'often.'

  • Q. What is the Russian Coffee Syndicate ?

  • A. Our favourite Russian import was in charge of collecting the monthly fee for the coffee fund. Quite often he and his other Russian (actually Ukrainian) friend would finish off the coffee in the morning with their extra large cups before anybody else could have some. I couldn't talk about it before and please don't mention my name in reference to it. In fact, forget I mentioned it.

  • Q. Why didn't we do a final lunch ? When can we do lunch/beers/other ?

  • A. I didn't organize the final "team" lunch - sorry you didn't get invited. We can always do lunch/beers/other ! Are you buying ?

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