Mar 16, 2011

A puch in the face

I work tech for a software company. I have been there 5 years this month. The people are great to work with, I like the job but I have been there so long that I feel my skills are VASTLY under utilized. I have been there so long because I am trying to advance to a position on the Quality Assurance team with the same company. I have shadowed QA guys, taken on extra support for BETA testing sites, helped with regression testing and have become one of the best guys at SQL on my team. I have applied for the position with QA twice now. The first time I applied, I knew it wasn't likely I would get the job because of another shoe-in candidate but this time I was a prime candidate... or so I thought. Looooong story short, I found out that not only did I not get the job, someone who has been with the company a quarter of the time I have, got the job. The worst part, I think one of the reasons he got the job was because a lot of my hard work building complex SQL statements that has saved the company countless hours and headache got repackaged as HIS work. Although I like the guy and believe he will be good at the new job, it is needless to say I was NOT having a good day yesterday.

Que the comfort food right? WRONG. The old Mike would have gone into a week long funk numbed with deliciously awful foods and moping around work pissed at my situation. New Mike stuck it out till work was over yesterday, came home to change and hit the gym. When your pissed, you can work out like nothing else. I hit the elliptical machine for a WHOLE HOUR killing 1150 calories then finished up on the treadmill for 30 min. for another 350 calories. 1500 calories wasn't enough. I still wanted to punch someone in the face so I hit the weights. After rocking out every one of my upper body muscles, the feeling of being warn out drowned out the suck that happened from work. Because I had taken care of my frustrations at the gym, I didn't take my anger home to my family. In fact after working out I took the kids off my wife's hands and went shoe shopping for them (an exercise in patience on a good day.)

Although I am over the initial anger, trying to get my job done today with everyone congratulating the other guy and hearing how he is going to be able to move his family into a house is going to make for a very unproductive day. I need to regroup today. I decided to take a personal day today in the best interest of the company, my customers and my sanity.

It's like  I told my bud Ron, a newcomer to the weight loss blog world:

"Don't focus on the crap happening to you. You can't control 90% of it. You DO however have 100% control over your body. Focus you efforts on what you have control over and crush some goals!"

14 comments:

  1. My husband works as a software developer and architect-in-testing, and it's only in the last couple years that he's become more aware and focused on tooting his own horn. He's one of those devoted, creative worker guys--lots of patents, good team builder--but I had to give him the big sit-down about how he needs to let otehrs know HIS WORK is the one being lauded, cause it's easy for others to (not always unethically, but often opportunitically) take the credit. All the credit.

    I hope he's consistent about it.

    Now, you know. Make sure your work is recognized as YOUR work and your contributions are attributed to YOU. Toot your horn. Have a talk with your upper-up as necessary to let them know what YOU are accomplishing.

    Being humble doesn't always pay off, as I've seen with my very smart, very well-educated, hard-working hubby. Squeaky wheels..get the promotion....

    Calm down. Eat well. Move. Put it in God's hands. Ask him to enlarge your opportunities and open doors and let your work be recognized. For you and your family's well-being. He will hear.

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  2. More bad stuff. Sometimes us fatties are passed over because we are...wait for it... fat.. Another reason to fight to fight brother...Then we can be the snobs..

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  3. I'm sorry that things didn't go how you hoped at work, but what an awesome success story about how you handled it! I think it is awesome that you were able to deal with your stress in such a productive way. That totally rocks! Congrats.

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  4. That is a bummer. I am also a SQL programmer and love it. Princess and Allan have good points.

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  5. Wow! An hour on the elliptical? Hoorah! And that was just a start? You are awesome.

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  6. Sorry Mike. Everyone has already said what there is to say but I am sorry Mike.
    You did awesome at the work out. I had one of "those" days with my daycare parents last week and boy was I happy to go and beat on the equipment at the gym. It did help.
    Take care and God Bless!!

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  7. I have been in your shoes. Good for you in taking your frustrations out at the gym. I think I drank margaritas when it happened to me. Not productive.

    I agree with Princess.
    ;-)

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  8. Having been in the software industry for more than 20 years (how depressing to be so old), the best piece of advice I can give you is to change companies. Do not be loyal - no company is loyal to you.

    Of course, this all depends on the economy - I'm not sure how healthy it is there in the US.

    Can you take a course, maybe a data warehouse course to add to your SQL skills? Or maybe a PL/SQL or T-SQL course, depending on what platform you're using? Or get certified by Oracle or MS.

    Then get out. I've never stayed in a job longer than 2 years (this is very common among techies). I'd estimate that I would never have made more than 70k if I'd stayed in one company whereas I make more than double that now. To put things into perspective, my previous job was a PL/SQL programmer and technical lead on a data migration. I'm now doing mostly XSLT and Docbook and HL7 CDA (and I took a 40k paycut to do this job because I'm passionate about e-health). It also pays to be versatile!

    Sorry, I hope this comment wasn't too pushy but these evil companies taking advantage of people like you, really wind me up... Remember that they need you and they are lucky to have you - it's not the other way around.

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  9. One more thing, I disagree with the comment about being passed over for the job because you are overweight. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's a desired trait when hiring techies, but the physique does suggest a possible love affair with the computer.All-weekend programming sessions with free pizza when on deadline are a less favourable option to the triathlete who has to get off his ass to train.

    This is somewhat tongue in cheek, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't one of the reasons we hired a guy about a month ago.

    Obviously, it's also a gross generalisation (yourself being a prime example) to say that overweight people don't have outside interests, but it is, unfortunately, a common perception.

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  10. At this poin I am going to stick it out. So many people are out of jobs right now I am blessed to have the one I do. In order to make any moves right now would take a significant pay cut. My finances are not such that that is a doable thing right now.

    School is something I am ready to tackle sooner than later but right now I need to focus on my health. Getting a 4 Year would put me ahead of most in the game but I feel strong that I need to be nearer to the summit of this mountain with my weight before I fully commit to another climb. There is a lot to be said about stability through all this, unfortunately the trade off is complacency in my career right now. Blahhh.

    I am sticking with it a little longer but I DEFINITELY will take the "toot your own horn" advice to heart.

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  11. Yeah, moving jobs only works in a good economy. I've been fortunate in that regard, moving from the UK to Australia about a year before the GFC, which miraculously didn't hit Australia.

    It will all work out in the end I'm sure - maybe it's for the best that you stay in a job that is easy for you while you tackle the weight. One of the things that I allow to derail me healthwise is work - i.e. saying "I have to work through lunch today so I can't make it to the gym". So less pressure is good!

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  12. It's so hard not to turn to food in bad (and good!) times. Job opportunities come and go but you are in the PERFECT mindset right now to focus on yourself. You should be REALLY proud of yourself for hitting the gym. I bet it felt great!

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  13. Hitting the gym always feels good. Word to the wise though, if you hit the gym when you are angry and take it all out on the equipment, be ready to need a days rest after because you are bound to OVER do it :)

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  14. Way to GO Mike. Being an emotional eater sucks and training yourself to do something different is SO hard but feels amazing when you do. Something I still struggle with. Thank you for being an example I'm so proud of you. Oh and the story about you and Shelley made me laugh SO hard. You are a good writer and I can just picture the whole thing. Especially you laughing your head off afterward.

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