Work Journal For Week of January 31, 2000

Last Update: Monday, February 07, 2000 07:56 PM


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Internet access at work was slow as molasses this morning. I needed to get some drivers off the IBM and HP web sites, but with the very low access speed it was a very long process. 

A quick check of the calendar shows that only 9 weeks remain in my contract. Time to step up production at the resume factory and get my resume submission number up from 1-2 a month to 1-2 per week.

I found the web site for the Southern Alberta Novell Users Group the other day and requested that they add me to their notification list so I can go to their next meeting. I had to do a double take when I saw the email address for the President of the group who emailed me to confirm that I had been added to the notification list. The President works For Telus ( the same company I currently work for ) as a contractor. I might have to track him down and see if I can do some networking for future job prospects.



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Windows 2000 will give you great grief with some devices and the available drivers. For example I was setting up an HP 7200e external parallel port CD Writer for which there is no Windows 2000 driver. The NT driver will not work and in some cases makes the PC do a memory dump unless you boot up in safe mode. The Windows 98 driver works but can case the PC to slow down at times. So if you must upgrade a PC to Windows 2000 and attach peripherals that do not have Windows 2000 drivers available be prepared to put in some grunt work to get things working , if they will work at all.

Things You'd Love To Say At Work (or a board meeting, or on line), But Can't! (or shouldn't)

1. Ahhh...I see the screw-up fairy has visited us again... 

2. I don't know what your problem is, but I'll bet it's hard to pronounce. 

3. How about never? Is never good for you?

4. I see you've set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public. 

5. I'm really easy to get along with once you people learn to worship me. 

6. I'll try being nicer if you'll try being smarter. 

7. I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message... 

8. I don't work here. I'm a consultant. 

9. It sounds like English, but I can't understand a word you're saying.

10. I can see your point, but I still think you're full of shit. 

11. I like you. You remind me of when I was young and stupid. 

12. You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers. 

13. I have plenty of talent and vision. I just don't give a damn. 

14. I'm already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth. 

15. I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you.

16. Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental. 

17. What am I? Flypaper for freaks!? 

18. I'm not being rude. You're just insignificant. 

19. It's a thankless job, but I've got a lot of Karma to burn off. 

20. Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial. 

21. And your crybaby whiny-butt opinion would be...? 

22. Do I look like a people person? 

23. This isn't an office. It's Hell with fluorescent lighting. 

24. I started out with nothing & still have most of it left. 

25. Sarcasm is just one more service we offer. 

26. If I throw a stick, will you leave? 

27. Errors have been made. Others will be blamed. 

28. Whatever kind of look you were going for, you missed. 

29. I'm trying to imagine you with a personality. 

30. A cubicle is just a padded cell without a door. 

31. Can I trade this job for what's behind door #1? 

32. Too many freaks, not enough circuses. 

33. Nice perfume. Must you marinate in it? 

34. Chaos, panic, & disorder-my work here is done. 

35. How do I set a laser printer to stun? 

36. I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted paychecks.



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For those of you out there who work out out of your home, or dream of doing so, take a gander @ for an interesting insight from a writer who works out of her home. I don't know how long this link will work, so be warned that there is no guarantee that beyond this week that this link will work. 

I have had a resume posted on for about a year and today it produced it's first lead. A local recruiter called me that had found my resume on, to inquire if I am interested in exploring a new opportunity as a Network Administrator with a local ( Calgary ) firm. The recruiter is just on a fishing expedition at the moment so that they can tell their client that they have X number of resumes for them to look at. When I had talked her she did not have full details on the position yet. I am to call back tomorrow to get the full scoop on the position and I can then let them know if I am interested in pursuing the job. 

Another company I have been keeping an eye on has had two of their top IT mangers give notice in the past week. I have worked for them before and have been watching for an opportunity to possibly return. Now with management in a fairly big mess at the moment it might not seem like a good time to get involved with a company. But they are large enough that they are not going to disappear, so it could also be a good time to get in on the ground floor of a company when it restructures it's IT department. 



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Things are starting to get quiet again at work, while the job hunting front is heating up a little bit. I got a call today about a job in Long Island New York. I need to do some hunting in regards to cost of living etc. before I can say whether the money they are offering is good or not. Also in regards to the inquiry I talked about yesterday, well they are now calling it a Network Engineer position instead of Network Administrator. I still don't have a company name but they do hotel reservations, car rentals and the like, and need to fill a space in their team that manages NT, Novell, SQL, Cytrix servers. Apparently there was an upgrade just done in Denver and now an identical system needs to be setup here in Calgary. When the recruiter first starting to tell me the limited details she had I thought that this position is for someone with more server experience than I have. Later I started to think that since they are looking to pay in the salary range of just a little more than I currently make as a support person, they must be wanting to bring someone in as an entry position into their support team and train them. The fact that they offer to train the candidate in SQL and Cytrix supports my assumption some what. Hopefully I will learn more tomorrow when I go for an interview with the recruiter.

The recruiter types, and tips on the web and in books say to keep your resume to a maximum of 2 pages, but then the recruiter I talked to about the Network Engineer job asked for lots of detail. I keep one long format resume for my own records. As I need to squeeze more onto two pages, details get lost that I may need someday which is why I maintain a long form resume. I think I may print a copy of the long resume out to take with me as an option.

Damn I need to send a resume to Toronto so they can route it to the people in Long Island, but Shaw is being cranky and not letting me send or receive mail. Funny how I have had no problems with Shaw and email for sometime now, then today when I really need to send a message I lose the ability to send email. Maybe this is an omen!



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The meeting with the recruiter went well. I questioned them as best I could to get a feel for how their client intends to fill the position. Are they looking for lots of experience and/or certification. Then there are some companies which are more concerned with people fitting the corporate culture that anything else. The client it seems is not focusing on experience, certification or culture, but basically wants a can do person. Someone who sees what needs to be done and gets it done. How they get it done, by already knowing, or having to look it up is immaterial, the end result is key. Based on this I should be able to at least get one interview with the client ( they have a three interview process ). 

I know more about the position now. About 6 months ago the IT manager decided that he had to get away from supporting the servers and do more managing. So a new position was created and a person hired to manage the servers and network infrastructure. That person quit and returned to their old job. Now they need to fill the vacant position which is what I have been contacted by the recruiter in regards to.

The Windows 2000 rollout at work is a bit off track due to some software incompatibility issues that still have to be ironed out. The Goal of migrating 8000 PCs to Win2k by Feb 17 will not be met, it will be more like 5000. 



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Marcia Bilbrey sent me a link to which lists 100 job search web sites. I have spend quite a bit of time building my own list of job sites for my own use, but there are sites on the 100hot list that I have never even heard of before. Many of these sites are only good for locating jobs in the Unites States, some are International though. If you are interested in finding work locally where ever you may live check the yellow pages for recruiters and then check out the recruiters web sites. Any recruiter worth there salt have web sites with job search information as well as a listing of current employment opportunities they are trying to fill for clients.

If you are job searching via the net you will want to find a hand full of sites you like, stick with them. and for example often have listings for the same jobs. You want to find sites that compliment each other by not having all the same listings. If you check sites such as you will find jobs that clients are asking CNC to find bodies to fill. But the clients often contact more than one recruiter, plus they may post a job themselves on their own web site as well as a job board. So be careful and don't apply for the same job at three different web sites, it does not look good. Use common sense and when in doubt pick up the phone or send an email to clarify information. 

Also beware that recruiters often know nothing about the work you do. For example I work in IT and recruiters rarely know the difference between NT Server and Workstation. This leads to them never have enough information about a job for you to make a good decision about whether you want to peruse a job or not. You typically end up having to talk to the employer before you really know enough about a position to start making good decisions and ask the important questions. Unfortunately this wastes some of your and the potential employers time, but it is the nature of the job hunt when you deal with recruiters and job boards these days.

Remember those articles in the news paper about networking with people for job opportunities. They either make it sound very simple or very hard. In the end no matter what the articles say, networking comes down to one thing, communication. If you are looking for a new job or career, communicate this to all your friends and associates. You will be surprised in how many of them have heard of unadvertised opportunities, know someone in human resources, or know a supervisor who is hiring. These all can be used to your advantage over Joe Smith who relies only on the careers section of the local paper. Networking need not be an arduous task, you don't have to be a member of toastmasters or any such group to do it. You likely already belong to a group of friends etc. who if they know you are in the market for work are usually all too glad to pass on a name and/or phone number to you.

When you are making use of the job lead your buddy gave you, go the extra step and ask if you can drop their name when introducing your self to the contact. Name dropping can help break the ice, and may give you an edge depending how the contact knows your buddy.

The job boards are a good resource for more than just jobs leads. They have good information on questions you should and should not ask, or when to ask them. You may already know or think you know these things, but there always things you will find that are new. I find that reading a short list of do and don't questions before an interview primes my mind for the interview process and makes me less nervous.


The courier dropped off the February TechNet CDs last night which includes time bombed gold versions of Windows 2000 Professional and Server. I wish I had time to play with them but I don't, so they will go into my TechNet CD case for storage and safe keeping till I have time. For now I really need to get back to work on NetWare 5.

I am moving any data I need off my NT server to my workstation or to CD so I can convert the NT Server to Novell. I don't have time to play with trying to migrate NT to Novell so when I get all the data sorted out I am just going to fdisk the drive and start from scratch. 


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The weather was so fine yesterday afternoon that I opened windows to let some air in the house, then dragged my bicycle out of storage. I spent about an hour and half tooling around the neighborhood on my bike. I ended up way down hill by the river before I realized where i was, and that I had to ride all the way back up the hill to get home. Tackling a big hill on the first bike ride of the year is not my idea of fun. I paced myself and made the climb with out any problems, making me think maybe I am in better shape than I think I am. Weather permitting I am going to go for a real bike ride in the afternoon as a kind of fitness test.


Copyright 1999, 2000 John Doucette. All Rights Reserved


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