Join Date: Jul 2007
Re: Random Chit Chat
Holy cow, what a whirlwind the past few years have been. I don’t remember the last time I was steadily active on here, and I make no promises going forward, but I thought I would at least update you all on what my life has looked like over the past few years.
For those of you who are newer, you may not know me on these forums. I was very active in high school (probably 2008-2009), and throughout college (2009-2013ish). Then I kind of dropped off the map.
I thought I knew what I wanted after graduating college in 2013 with a degree in business administration and social work, and a minor in marketing and graphic design. But, as will all things in life, sometimes we f*ck things up. I met a girl online during my senior year of college. After I graduated, I decided to move to a college town in South Dakota where she was finishing her own college education. We got an apartment together and starting spending a lot of time together. That’s when I really found out who she was. Unfortunately, that person turned out to be a lazy, entitled, daddy’s girl who accepted her parents views as her own without having any kind of opinion of her own. We thought we were forever, but in the end her and her family’s political views tore us apart. It ended up being for the best. We almost got engaged, and I would have hated the rest of my life with her, while just grunting and bearing it. We were through right around the middle-end of summer, 2013.
For a while after we broke things off, I was living on my own. I had finally found a job in the next town over at a University. I was helping in their IT Department it their Help Desk office (helping users with getting information on their accounts, helping them setup their computers, fixing/removing viruses, etc.). In the end, it was just a lot of phone calls. We did unofficial transcript requests for past graduates, and it just was a lot of work; it ended up being a lot identity verification and data work on the phone to get people authenticated into the alumni system. A lot was expected of us from our boss, and we had coworkers who slacked. It was great pay with great bene’s, but in the end, it was just too stressful.
In early 2014, a car accident, which left my cousin dead, prompted my return back to my home town in Minnesota, about 3 ˝ hours away from where I was living in South Dakota. I realized that after I had broken up with my ex, there was nothing keeping me there except for my job—which I hated anyways. So I moved home in May of 2014, closer to old friends and closer to family. I moved back in with my parents, unfortunately, but it was free room and board, and that was nice.
When I got home, I actually applied for only one job. I interview, they loved me, and I ended up with the job the next day. It was a job working in the IT Department for a small-mid size bank with about 150 employees. I would be the Help Desk IT Support Technician (i.e. NOT a systems administrator, just a lowly grunt worker, taking calls from internal employees about issues they were experiencing). I worked there from May of 2014 to October of 2015, and during that time I quickly because everyone’s go-to IT guy—far exceeding the other two systems administrators.
It was during this time, in September of 2014, that I met my future wife. My mother has worked in the school district in my home town for many, many years, and my wife was hired as the new Spanish teacher at the high school. My mother was the first person to tour her around the building, and talked me up to her. Eventually, after stalking each other on Facebook for about a week, we exchanged phone numbers and we just hit it off from there. We could both tell very early on that we were meant to be. Too many of the same passions, too many of the same life experiences. We dated through 2014 and into 2015. In March or April, I proposed to her, and we set a date for July of 2015 (yes, 2015!). Why the expedited process? Well, before we met, she had applied to serve in the Peace Corps. She had been on the list for quite a while, and during the time we dated, she was accepted. She was to leave January of 2016. So, we figured, let’s get married before she goes AND have some time together as a married couple before she departs. Our wedding went off without a hitch, and we had a great honeymoon.
I began doing more sys. admin work, and around the middle of 2015, I realized that I should be in the same pay scale as the other sys. admins. I was doing server work, administrative IT duties, even to the point where I was better and more efficient at daily sys. admin duties than the others that had been seasoned for many years. I had a few meetings with the higher-ups to discuss moving me into a position of higher pay and job status, but it just wasn’t in the cards.
During my time negotiating my pay/job title, I received two cold-calls (unsolicited) to help out two school districts near my hometown. The schools were between 10-30 minutes away, so it was a no brainer. It would be contracted IT help at $60.00/hour (a far cry from the $18.00/hr + benefits I was making at the bank job). So I accepted both offers and drew up contracts. I would be making the same gross pay by working 12 hours per week at both schools, combined, as I would be netting at my bank job working 40 hours per week. It was terrific. I loved the freedom.
I decided to form an LLC to continue my IT adventure on my own. This prompted me to finally quit my bank job in October of 2015, after having a few months of IT work under my belt at each of the schools.
I rented an office space on Main Street in our small town (~3,500 people). I’m currently still lining up more clients, but still get the occasional personal computer repair request from those in the community who know I exist. I haven’t had time to advertise yet, as I’ve been busy with my current clients and getting my office space set up to look professional. My plan is to expand into graphic design and marketing, as well as web design. Eventually I want to get away from on-site and personal computer repairs to allow me to work from wherever I want to in the world (barring I have an internet connection).
My wife just left for Colombia, South America, two weeks ago with her Peace Corps group. It was very hard to say goodbye, but I plan to visit her in about 6 months during the summer. I’ll have a lot of time to keep working on my business in the meantime!
The schools that I am working for are planning some major upgrades coming up. I’m in the planning process for all of those, and that’s pretty neat. The smaller school deals with special needs students who don’t fit in the traditional school setting. That school will be getting a server and some new networking equipment.
The larger school will be installing wireless throughout the building, and I have to work on the E-rate grant writing to fund that. It’s a huge overhaul since the network currently doesn’t support anything wireless, other than a few consumer grade wireless routers plopped around the building in various places.
Anyways, I’m excited to hopefully be lurking around here more often. I’ll probably make a post soon in Hardware about the server building I may be possibly doing for the school district above. I’ll try to take pictures of my office when it is completed and show you guys.
I hope you’re all well!
Intel Core i7-2600K @ 3.4GHz || GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3P-B3 || Corsair Vengeance 16GB DDR3-1600 || EVGA GeForce GTX 480 || Samsung EVO 256GB SSD
my feet get cold and that gives me diarrhea sometimes - Smart_Guy