Geek On

Today is my last day as a Temp. Again. Next week, Jennifer and I start our new jobs, which are really the same. We’ll be working for the same company, doing pretty much the same thing, for the same people. My parents and my sisters both say that this is “pukingly cute”, but I think it’s going to be quite an experience. I suppose it might have the potential for some big trouble, but as long as neither of us is the boss of the other (all you other married men can keep your sniggers to yourself), we’ll be just fine. As Jennifer says, we built a house together, we can certainly work together.

This new job has nothing to do with web development or anything like that, except peripherally. I’ll be training folks on how to use a particular piece of software. I can’t say what exactly what it will be, of course, but let’s assign it a pseudonymic sort of function. Let’s say… that I’ll be training mollusc handlers in the state how to better administer the sea turtle maintenance database. The company we’ll be working for is Benthic Creatures ‘R’ Us, though Jennifer will probably call it something different.

There. Now when I say something like, “All of these MH’s are really getting the hang of multiplying the tortoise shell quantifexes perfectly!” you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

I kind of miss the coding days, when I was programming web functionality and building websites around that functionality, but there’s a part of me which really doesn’t miss it. Okay, I’ve got mixed feelings. I admit it. I like coding and I like doing websites, but I don’t want to do it all the time. Does that make sense?

Part of the exciting thing about decided to move away from being a web geek to library geek is the growing realization that I can keep doing the web geek thing. Just about every librarian I’ve talked to or corresponded with over the past couple of months has been computer-literate, and a lot of them have been competent web designers and programmers. Looking at some of the classes that are offered by the school I plan to go to, I see that there are classes in computer programming, in XML and Java and Perl, and information architecture.

In other words, I don’t have to give up the web thing completely after all. An unexpected and happy consequence of shifting the geek gears.

This new job, with Benthic Creatures, isn’t very geeky in either sense, but it involves teaching and training, which can never be bad things to know how to do (in fact, I was explaining to my current-and-within-a-few-hours-no-longer-to-be-boss what I’ll be doing, and her response was, “Wow, you’ll be really good at that!”). I think it will be fun, though probably busier than either Jennifer and I are really expecting right now.

The other day, I chatted with another former employee of my last company; he has a theory that because that company is moving all of their technology (but not their people) from their current location to where we are located, we’ll both get called up soon. I’ve wondered if I’d go back. Granted, Little Engine would pay me more than Benthic Creatures, but do I really want to go back to that? I’ve decided to burn that bridge when I come to it.

There are a lot of us running around these days in the aftermath of the Great Dot-Com Wreck of Double-Aught: those of us who busted our butts learning how to program or code in HTML and who found that what we’d learned, without the benefit of professional training, was in demand. For awhile. And then when the bubble burst and we found ourselves out of those jobs we realized that the skills we’d acquired weren’t enough to make us competitive with those who really did have professional training and degrees in the field. I’m convinced that we make up an interesting and diverse little sub-culture, and that there’s a great book waiting to be written about it.

In the meantime, I’m shifting gears. Web Geek to Library Geek. Kind of like switching from a Geo Metro to a Honda Accord: different trappings, but at the core you’ve still got an internal combustion engine.

Or something. My analogies suck today.

So, anyway. Just keep on geekin’.

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