Too young to be old school? Dreamed 4178 days ago | | 830 words

I am 26.

I remember a time before Nintendo (The NES) when we played with LEGOs, dinosaurs and transformers.

I remember a time before we had a home computer. I remember fondly mucking about with an ancient KayPro and playing a game that involved being an X jumping over Os and Ps and things. The letters are jumbled in my head but it was beautiful in its green text black backed dual 5.25” floppy drive grandeur.

KayPro (Photo from wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaypro

I remember the old Zenith laptops in their yellowing plastic. I once dismantled 3 of them to combine the guts into one working machine.

When we got a Compaq PC with Windows 3.1 and the finally Windows 95 and the internet came in a big book.

Before that, I surfed BBSes much to the dismay of my parent’s whose phone bill inexplicably contained calls to New York and other east coast towns I was calling up.

But the internet. And Chameleon came in a big book with two floppies. These were 3.5” floppies by then and on those beautiful bits of plastic and metal was a TCP/IP program and the Mosaic web browser).

Back in the day, you had to hand configure your TCP/IP app to initialize the modem and dial the number properly for it to connect at the blazing speed of up to 2400bps.

Often it didn’t work. Often it would result in frustration. But when it succeeded, the potential was clear and exciting. And there was the Netscape Fish Cam.

To stare at these strange, remote fish was a wondrous thing from our farmhouse in Berryville, VA. A town with barely two stop lights.

Where am I going with all this reminiscent rambling?

This is merely the back story for why I feel the way I do now.

I am 26 and have more experience with computer than every certification-holding newly graduated person I’ve ever met or worked with. I know Windows and PCs inside and out and have fixed problems perplexing others for months.

I solve problems.

I fix things.

I have an innate wonder as to how things work. I want, no I need to understand systems. How the parts play together to make this collection of bits into a working whole.

I love to tinker. I have many ongoing projects that I do for fun on my own time, usually late at night. It’s given me a great insight to how computers and operating systems work.

It’s given me a solid technical background and my wildly selective memory allows me to store this random information in my head until a time I need it. At which time it immediately trashes the knowledge and empties my mental recycle bin.

So I google it.

Problem solved. Customer happy. And now I can get back to engaging my brain in a different way.

It frustrates me, working with people who are in “technical support” that are painfully nontechnical.

For instance a tech guy I once worked with kept all of his notes in paper notepads. Nothing was on the PC so every time he had a problem, he’d flip flip flip through his books to find the solution.

Time-consuming and it aggravated me to no end. This was the same person who once uttered “where is the Windows directory?”

I nearly died right then and there.

Part of my problem is being spoiled early on. I had the benefit of working under Mark Killmon at my dad’s company Copy General. This man was one of the most brilliant technical minds I’ve ever met. He knew his stuff and then some. In addition to being funny and friendly.

I learned more in the few months I spent working there than I have at any other job since. I don’t know if he ever knew how much I appreciated him. I was in high school and probably more interested with the high speed internet access. (Our farmhouse where I grew up still has no viable broadband available And no, satellite is not viable).

I want to work in technical support. I truly enjoy problem solving and helping people. I love the customer service aspect of my job as well as getting to dig into perplexing technical matters. It excites me and really gets me going.

The problem is I also want to work somewhere I can learn more and keep growing. In my last couple jobs I’ve been the most knowledgeable person, usually by far at the place. It was not even a situation similar to Copy General where I had someone to mentor or teach.

My co-workers had not interest in learning or being engaged. I couldn’t even figure out WHY they were working in support if they weren’t interested in technology or customer service.

I’m hoping that one day I will find another situation where I can work with someone I can consider a peer, instead of looking down on those around me with frustration.

Does anyone else feel this way?

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