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New Job: End of the Third Day

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by tripwire45, Apr 27, 2007.

  1. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    In keeping with kat's tradition, I thought I'd hold off describing my experiences with the new job until the end of the third day at work. For anyone who wants a detailed description of my first day, they can find it at Tech-Unity.com.

    I'll have to tell you this part first because it's skrewing up my ability to keyboard. I've got one of those awful ergonomic keyboards at work. I hate them but I've have to use it (a regular keyboard is on order) to work. At first, I couldn't type a thing on it. I'm starting to get a little better at it now, but it's ruining me for a regular keyboard. Trying to type this post is kind of tough.

    Anyway...the place I work for creates technical content for a wide variety of customers including HP, Microsoft, Adobe...you get the idea...all major players. I've been thrown in on an Adobe project that needs an entire chapter on the CLI inputs of a particular product done ASAP. Technically, my deadline is May 7th but in working with my "point man" in Cupertino, it'll probably take longer.

    Apparently, getting all of the players in this project (not just Adobe) to give us what we need has been tough. They're still working on a way to give me actual shell access to the product so I can verify that the commands I'm trying to write about actually work.

    I've been provided with documentation to work from and when I finally figured out how to use it, made my life alot easier. Ken, my liasion in Cupertino is good to work with and we're both in the same boat (except his boat is much bigger). He and Brent, my Project Manager at the local office, have taken a lot of the pressure off. They're both understanding and knowledgable.

    Oh...I'm using Adobe FrameMaker 7.2 for the first time. I managed to dig up a copy of the user's manual for 6.0 and have been slowly teaching myself how to use Frame. I'm getting better at it although how I'm solving certain tasks is probably pretty kloogie. I'm supposed to write an original 25 page doc in Frame and after 2 1/2 days of actual work (including a mountain of research and more conference calls than I want to remember) have just hit the top of page 10.

    I know writing nine plus pages in 2 1/2 days might seem pretty lame to you, but this isn't just generating narrative on a subject I'm fluent in. I've got to drag all the details out of two or three other docs, plus my notes from phone calls and from emails. Then I've got to write while learning the application I'm writing with from scratch. Using FrameMaker isn't like typing an email or a Word doc. I still don't know how most of it works.

    I have to say that at the end of the third day, I'm starting to feel like this is doable. By the end of the first day, I was beginning to wonder if I hadn't bitten off more than I could chew. I do have to admit that I come home exhausted. I know I'm sitting on my arse most of the time, but trying to learn everything "uphill" so to speak takes a lot of energy.

    I go for walks on my lunch and I'm very familiar with the area so that part's ok. The weather has been great so that's been a plus.

    The "kind of a drag" part is that you only get paid what you can bill for which is "research and writing". That means I don't get paid for staff meetings and the like. However, if they keep me working steadily, it'll be ok. There's no paid holidays, paid vacations, paid sick leave or such, but after working 1000 consecutive hours, I get a bonus of 6.5 days extra pay. That is supposed to be put aside for holidays and the like.

    After working 500 consecutive hours, I become eligible for reembursement for professional training up to 75% of the cost. Ok, I don't get paid if I'm not working and I'm not working if I'm in training, but I can now afford to go to seminars and take classes relevant to my projects and career goals.

    I do get medical, dental, 401K etc if I work for at least 20 hours a week over a minimum of 4 weeks so that is encouraging. Of course all this hinges upon them getting and keeping an ongoing stream of projects for their customers. They're busy right now (hence my being hired) but the future is ever changing or to quote Yoda, "Difficult to see...always in motion is the future".

    One more day before the weekend but I've got all my freelance projects to consider. I've got to start pulling some evening energy together to keep on track.

    Anyway...that's the end of the third day. Signing off, now.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  2. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

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    It isn't one of those Microsoft Natural Keyboards with the keyboard "split" in half?
     
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  3. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Good on you Trip as I am confident you'd be okay:D
     
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  4. kat731
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    kat731 Megabyte Poster

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    Nice one Trip...

    K
     
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  5. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Cool beans, the job sounds very interesting and i cannot think of a better person to meet the challenge 8)
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  6. Mitzs
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    Mitzs Ducktape Goddess

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    Yes I belive it is wiz.

    Sounds like your doing a great job trip. Your up to the task. Do you need me to try and find some more stuff on it? I don't understand why they will not just order you a dam book for the tools you must use. Would make your job easier not to mention faster.
     
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  7. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Yes wiz, it is one of those "split in half" type keyboards and it makes me nuts.

    Mitzs, I haven't asked them to order me a FrameMaker book as yet. Actually, what I've found in the 6.0 manual so far maps to 7.2 well enough. I've just never worked with a desktop publishing tool before and it's really different.

    When I listen to conversations in the office, I hear the names of other Adobe products being talked about so I imagine I'll be using other software products to produce content as I go along. It's all good and expands my experience on my CV.

    I can't go into details about my project because of the whole confidentiality thing, but I can say that I'm working on a chapter in an operations manual directly addressing the CLI and UNIX commands. Nobody else I'm working with on this project seems to understand UNIX command syntax so I feel kind of "special" :biggrin

    The guy I'm working with in Cupertino is having a tough time getting the customer to arrange remote shell access so I can verify that what I'm writing about actually works on their servers. He joked about flying me out to San Francisco for a day next week to see if they'd be willing to make a local machine available to me.

    Since that's not an option, I've got the email address of someone who's supposed to be the customer's CLI guru, so we'll go from there.

    Mitzs, I have requested review copies of the two most recent FrameMaker books (they cover version 7.0) so assuming the publisher is willing, I'll be able to use the books for self-training after reviewing them.

    The problem with these books is that you pretty much have to read them through and carefully to really learn the product. I'm so busy now, that what I really need is a quick reference guide on FrameMaker to answer specific question about how to do individual tasks.

    If I live through this and learn Frame, I might bug O'Reilly and see if they'd let me write a book like "Adobe FrameMaker in a Nutshell" to fill the gap. :tongue
     
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  8. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

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    The bottom line is trip, are you enjoying the job? :D
     
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  9. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I think I am but it's too soon to tell. :tongue

    I enjoy doing good work and I enjoy it when the customer tells me I'm spot on with what I've producted. Ken, the fellow in Cupertino reviewed what I have so far and said it was what he wanted. Keep in mind, it's not just him though. There are at least two other major players in the game, so it's complicated in terms of satisfying everyone's needs.

    Socially, everyone at my office is friendly but because we only get paid for our billable hours, we all tend to keep to our keyboards without a lot of crosstalk. Also, there are about 30 people working there and I've only been around them for 3 1/2 days, so I haven't had the time to get to know anyone.

    I'm learning a heck of a lot which I like so that's a good thing, too. Enjoying the job? Yes, I suppose so given the limitations I've expressed. I think I'll be better able to answer that question when a bit more time has passed.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  10. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Am I supposed to post a thread when I get to the end of my third day at Boson? :p
     
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  11. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

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    Depends whether you want to uphold the tradition :D
     
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  12. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Traditions are established for a reason. Therefore... I'll see ya Wednesday!
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  13. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    To quote Tevye, "Tradition! The Papa! Tradition...", but I digress. :biggrin
     
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