Yeah, it's an old cliche, but it's still very much appropriate for my situation. Four years ago, I was working at Scantron, dying a little each day. I hated working there, and I felt like the company was deliberately trying to suffocate me. I felt that I had to do something, anything, to get out of there. So I sent my resume to Be. Lo' and behold! Be liked me, and hired me. I was saved. That was the step forward.

I must admit, that from my second or third week at Be on, I was worried about my future there. That was when the announcement of the "focus shift" came down to us employees, and I heard much grumbling. People that were legends in the Be community left Be shortly thereafter, and I began wondering if I had made a mistake in taking the job. I don't regret staying with Be until I was asked not to return, and I still miss working there. I always will. Be was the best employer I've had and likely ever will until and unless I start my own business. I miss my co-workers, and I miss the environment. Call me silly. I'm glad that in principle, Be has won its lawsuit against Microsoft, but I think I'd have much rathered to see Bill Gates issue a formal apology for what he and his company did to Be and other companies, than have Be receive a tiny settlement of $23 million. (Yes, I know it was a settlement, but to not lose a case against Microsoft is a victory against them. And I also realize that the settlement amount is a huge amount of money I'll never likely see in my life time, but it's not even a scratch in Microsoft's bank accounts.) I hate the fact that Microsoft doesn't have to admit to any wrong-doing. I hate that. But what can I do?

Getting laid off from Be was most definitely a step back in my life and in my career. It wasn't for two full years that I finally managed to get another job; even then, I got the job because three really good friends recommended me for it. Each of them had spent much of the last few years unemployed and had gotten hired by this company, and knew of my situation. I am really fortunate to have such good friends. I wish companies would take a cue from their employees: people are not their jobs or their resumes; having a degree doesn't necessarily mean they have the talent, skill, or experience to get the job done.

Despite the fact that I appreciate not being unemployed any more, and that my friends did go out of their way to get me this job, I must confess that I am not at all happy there. This job is a definite step back in my career path. First and foremost, I am once again in a position where I have to deal with customers via phone and e-mail, trying to resolve their problems. The twist, compared to all my tech support jobs, is that I now am in a customer service position and have to be the person that tells these customers that they are or aren't qualified for a refund. Or that they are only getting half of their money back.

Any one that really knows me, knows that I truly hate handling other people's money. I hate it. I hate it feeling guilty because I feel that the person really should be getting a refund, and because they weren't made aware of this or that, or their time period has expired, or whatever, they won't be getting that money back. It fucking sucks. Add to this the quality of my co-workers' work ethic... While I just got a new co-worker in my department, and he's working out pretty well so far, I'm completely at a loss of what to say and do about our female department mate. She has no work ethic at all. She's late daily, takes extra long lunches and unreported breaks, and don't get me started on the personal calls. For example, there is a street faire going on outside our building this weekend; on Friday, she said she had to go move her car so it wouldn't be towed. She was gone for half an hour. Oddly enough, she had gotten off her cell phone a few minutes earlier; telling the caller exactly where to park and where her car was. And not long after she returned from "moving her car", her son's father showed up to take her to lunch... Funny how that works...

I really do appreciate the employment opportunity, but I can't stand the company's policies, the position, or this specific employee. There are other employees I also have issues with, but they don't annoy me nearly as much. Oh, and I nearly forgot about another major gripe against this job: on the average, getting to, being at, and getting home from this job takes about 12 hours out of my day. Aren't I lucky? When I get home each day, I feel like just going to bed, and hoping that I won't have to go back to work the next day...

Any ways, there are some things I'm thinking about trying to do in the not too distant future. One is trying to make the suggestion to George Lucas and LucasFilm to do a Star Wars television series based on the New Jedi Order books. There is nothing currently in the works that I know of, but I think that a TV series based on those books could easily fill the gap left in science fiction on TV by the demise of such excellent shows as Farscape, Space: Above and Beyond, Babylon 5, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Dark Angel. I know some of these shows died years ago, but I don't think there's been a really good sci-fi TV show other than these I've mentioned in the last 5-8 years. If you agree, drop me a line, and maybe we can come up with something to try to get Mr. Lucas' attention.

I think that about covers it for today... Talk to you later.