14 December 2011

The end of the World as I know it....(Pt 1)

That's right. It is the end of the world as I know it. At least the end of my world as I know it.

I know, it has been over a year since my last post. And quite a lot has changed since then. I have a new little girl named Markayla. (Actually, I may not have mentioned my other daughter on here. Her name is Evencia and she is 7 now.)She was born Aug 18 of this year. I have changed jobs. I now work for Local Furniture Outlet in Corpus Christi, and Whataburger, and I clean my church every Sat (well, when I don't have other plans anyways). And a few other changes have happened since then. But, all in all, the changes are mostly minor (with the exception of my new daughter). It has been pretty much the same ole, same ole. Now, however, I am working on making some drastic changes.

The first has to do with my career choice. It actually started last year when I was working for Stripes. I got really good at creating spreadsheets in Excel and report templates in Monarch so I could analyze the data in Fuel Accounting Dept more easily (at least I thought it was easier, some of them didn't think so). I really enjoyed doing that too. Then they transferred me to another dept where I took over the accounts receivables and a few other tasks. There I redesigned their billing statements and created a few more spreadsheets to help balance out their accounts. Again, tasks that I really enjoyed. Then they fired me, saying that I wasn't performing up to their  standards. (OK. Maybe I was spending more time on the spreadsheets and templates then I should have. But I was actually enjoying my work then.)

It was during this time that I had begun to think that I needed to do something creative in my life. Yes, I know I was trying to be an author. But, as you can tell, I wasn't really pushing myself very hard. Anyways, I had contemplated on talking to the IT dept about what I would need to do to possibly transfer over when I got called into my bosses office and then escorted out of the building. I think I left a few things there cause I was a little pissed off at the time (at myself and them, but I really didn't think about who to focus my anger on at the time).

This was a scary time with the economic downturn and the high number of unemployed people in the country. There were actually several people let go around that time from Stripes, so those of us that still saw one another expressed our feelings that they were looking for ways to cut back on costs. See, Stripes had weathered most of the crisis very well. Sure, the didn't get their projected profits like they wanted, then again who did? But, they did see increases in their sales. After all, even during an economic crisis, people still need to put gas in their cars. Fortunately, thanks to the good Lord and good friends, I was able to find a job within 2 months, and thanks to the money we had saved and my mutual fund we were not hurting for money during that time.

Now, fast forward to the last couple of months. I get nominated to be the IT guy at my new job (Local Furniture Outlet) due to me having the greatest computer knowledge at the office (and also the fact that I was able to fix a few problems that cropped up before the made me the unofficial IT guy). We are also switching over to a new program for our POS (point of sales) and my knowledge of Excel spreadsheets is being used to help with transferring the information over. So, once again I am enjoying what I am doing with the creating the spreadsheets.

This got me again thinking about my future career choices. On the one hand, I could remain in accounting and just wait for the only other person there who knows much about accounting to retire (she isn't far off from doing it...well...that's what she says every few days). Or, I could look into going somewhere else. Now, looking for another accounting job doesn't appeal to me very well (its never easy switching jobs), and I am not sure how long I would have to wait for this lady to retire (or if I even want to take over for her). Which got me to thinking about my attempts to write and all, and about the joy I feel making the spreadsheets do what I want them to. So, I made up my mind to drop the accounting future and start to pursue a career in computer programming.

Now, don't think that I figure that just cause I enjoy manipulating data on a spreadsheet that I figure I would be good at programming. Au contrair (or something like that). I have been bitten by the programming bug before. In high school I took two years of programming (granted the computers were made of stone and you had to hit them with a club to get them to work) and I had a blast doing that. Each year we had to enter a programming contest and our grade was dependent on how well we did in the contest. I made it to the finals each year. I didn't place either year, but the first year was my own fault. A word of advice for any aspiring programmer, if you are on your way to present a program you have worked hard on don't mess with the code just before you present it. Especially if you don't have the time to test the changes out before the presentation. I did that and my game crashed as I was presenting it. The second year, no one (and I mean no one, not even the instructor) could figure out why my program wasn't doing what it was suppose to do.

I had actually worked on a game for each contest, but didn't even get close to completing it the second year due to time constraints (read, my dad didn't want the responsibility of hoping nothing happened to one of the schools computers over the summer, I had had a much grander game planned out for my second year).

So, I am in the process of teaching myself programming in C++ for now (other languages will join that one in the near future) with the intent of getting into game programming (though I will probably start somewhere else just as long as I am programming). I am also refreshing my math knowledge. So, between my jobs, studying, and working on my writing (I haven't given up on that) my world is in the process of changing.

Well, it is late and I need to go to bed. I will continue with the other changes that I am going to be implementing next time. (No, it won't be a year from now either.) Until then remember to take responsibility for your own actions, no one else will. 

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