Friday, June 26, 2009

TMI: It was 20 years ago today...

... a scrawny young college graduate walked into a shiny little office building in Belmont, California for his first day of work. He had been hired despite some people raising reservations that during the interviews a few days earlier, he came across as possibly being too shy to talk to customers on the phone. But others argued that the kid knew Unix, networking, and SQL and thought logically about a question even when given a vague problem description with no clear cut answer.

Fortunately, that department I interviewed with was desperate for employees, and I was desperate for a job, so apparently, it was a match made in heaven. I was even hired as an hourly temp so I could start quickly while the official papers were still going up the management chain for approvals.

Recently, I have been delivering technical presentations to a few groups of people around the country (and having the unenviable task of following Tom Kyte in some cases). Each time, I have tried to come up with a different way to introduce myself. The opening line starts out the same, then I improvise an ending. The attempts that were worth remembering went a little like this:

"Hello, my name is Roderick Manalac, and I'm N days away from celebrating 20 years here..."

- ".. and I hope with 5 more years of good behavior, I will finally be granted parole."
- "Thank you. But little did I know this would be my longest relationship with anybody in my life. I just hope this qualifies me to get a decent percentage of Larry's wealth in a divorce settlement."
- "And yes, it does feel like 140 in dog years."
- "I've thought about resigning and driving away in a convertible, but I fear that while I'm packing my bags, someone will gas my room, knock me out, strand me on an island, and the people there will only refer to me as Number 6."

In all seriousness though, I feel very fortunate to have landed a great job with a consistently successful company. I have met a bunch of nice, intelligent people within the corporation and at customer sites around the world. The technology evolves so quickly that I still learn several new things each day. And I have grown up from a shy nerd who could barely say "Hello" on the phone with a very shaky voice to a computer geek who could stand in front of hundreds of people and confidently tell a series of dumb jokes interspersed with a few nuggets of useful technical information.

I have enjoyed the experience, and I hope this gig continues for many more years.


PTCruiser said...

Congratulations, Eric. Pretty awesome to have been able to work at a job you enjoy for the past 20 years. And to think, it only took me 20 years to find the one I liked.

Roger Snowden said...

Yeah, great going, Eric.

Who the hell is Eric?

Roderick said...

Eric's my family/school nickname.

Dzung Nguyen said...

Very impressive and great roads of success which you've been thru Eric. Good role model.