Feren (feren) wrote,

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Life likes to just keep hitting me with things that keep me off balance. No, I'm not about to launch into a soap-opera detailing of how I "keep getting beaten when I'm down." For one, I'm hardly "down" at this point. It's actually quite the contrary, I've got tons of things going my way and I'm still on my feet. I just have some pretty heavy concerns placed before me. Not life-or-death by any means, but they affect my future a lot.

We're having a department reorganization, you see.

Yes, the big meeting today that was called was to announce that we're undergoing a department reorganization within IT that will be going into full effect tomorrow at 0830 sharp. This came as quite a surprise to most everyone in the department, because we'd never even heard the faintest rumblings that such a thing would be occurring -- that's how good the company is at holding things close to the vest with stuff like this. Most other companies would have had the rumor mill flying at full tilt before this meeting even got called. Almost every employee was touched in some way or another, be it reassignment to a different team or having their current team shifted so that they're reporting to a different manager. For some people this was a good thing, for others it was considerably less good. For me it was neutral... my team (network engineering) has remained untouched and will continue to answer to Allen LCasen. Everyone else that used to answer to Allen (the UNIX, NT and AS/400 engineers) have all been reassigned to the former manager of applications (a fellow named Tom Barry, who I will come back to in a moment). Allen's head count was more than halved, and he was left with only us network engineers. That's quite a slap in the face when you think about it, and it makes me wonder what message they're trying to send to Allen, or if there's no message being sent and the prayers of a half-dozen people were just spontaneously answered.

So I'm left with Allen, and everyone else has been shifted to Tom. On the outside, this seems like a good thing. Tom's a good guy and by and large has proven himself to us peon engineers to be a fairly competent manager. The folks I work with haven't always seen eye to eye with Tom, but they get along with him pretty well. It's been the observation of most of us that Tom is a fairly laid back guy who applies a bit more "empowerment" to his people. He doesn't seem to care so much how things are done, just that they do get done. He doesn't appear to micro manage people by shoving a microscope up their asses.

The reason this is causing me such a conundrum is because we have an opening for a UNIX engineer again, you see. Since I used to be the UNIX engineer for the company (the ONLY one) a lot of what I know is still applicable to today's environment, and what I don't know I can pick up again in a relatively short period of time. Most of all... I wouldn't answer to Allen anymore.

I'd be rid of Allen. At long, long last I'd be rid of Allen.

    The things that concern me are numerous:
  1. For all my observation of Tom, it is only just that: observation. He might be a worse manager than Allen.
  2. I'd be giving up some neat technological toys, like Cisco 6500s and 7206 VXRs.
  3. I'd be giving up responsibility. Right now I manage the WAN for the company, the 60+ firewalls in the enterprise as well as the WAN edge routers.
  4. I'd have to get back up to speed on our Solaris build-out
  5. I'm not sure I'll be happier doing Solaris, even if I do get away from Allen.

I've got a lot of soul-searching and heavy thinking to do tonight. I hope I can get ahold of my dad sometime soon to talk this over with him. I have to let Tom know tomorrow if I want to apply for the open UNIX position or not.

This was a surprise I didn't need dropped on me right now, because I have enough problems to worry about. But maybe it's an opportunity in disguise.

And for the broken heart, there is the sky

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