Wednesday 23 February 2005

A full circle of consequence

To the present
I have been ruminating about how to tie up the loose ends that made the year 2004 such an eventful, turbulent, interesting and ground-breaking year.
If you have been a follower of my blogs, the year started on both a cynical and anxious note.
Cynical by reason of the fact my manager exhibited every trait of management except one that included responsibility, integrity and leadership, the event are quite vividly played through the months starting from May to when I finally left the employ of that company at the end of July.
Anxious as a result of what I read out of Tom Peter's book Re-Imagine! [1]. Getting close to 40 and after working 15 years in all manner of Information Technology roles was I up for the COBOL graveyard and ready for a new lease of innovative influence?
The real question being; how do I avoid the former and attain the latter?
My life at work had become a sordid tale exemplified in this major rant by Tom Peters.
My overall rant, in brief: People … in enterprise and government … are by large well intentioned. They’d like to get things done. To be of service to others. But they are thwarted … at every step of the way … by absurd organizational barriers … and by egos of petty tyrants (be they corporate middle managers, or army colonels, or school superintendents).[2]
Even you might begin to nod your head to that.
The youth are coming to make you irrelevant
The realities that present themselves signify that a younger generation is picking up these skills faster, better, snappier and cheaper and it appears that the only thing one can leverage is a wealth of experience and an appreciation of corporate politics in the face of unscrupulous middle management tyrants [2] who have done well to lose every ounce of humanity for the excellence in acquiring filthy lucre and demonic influence at whatever cost.
The first quarter represented a time of serious searching for inspiration especially after it appeared that my vision had been obscured and ambition seriously curtailed by the fact that the section that brought my manager fame was now a minuscule entity in his grand empire.
When I finally decided in the next game plan, my boss would by none of it, not only was he hostile he was consummately against the notion that I had the ability to pursue a Masters of Science degree in Information Technology and recommended vendor certifications the equivalent of doing evening courses in knitting and embroidery rather than dressing up supermodels for catwalks in Paris, Milan and New York. One is not given to hyperbole but this comes close.
From that point it was clear that following that path was a dead-end job.
Get out and look out
Having placed my marketing literature online prospecting for new opportunities, an agent who has handled my affairs came across my resume and was on the phone promising to get me a job, which he did in 4 weeks; however, it took 7 weeks of unnecessary pain, aggravation and outright malice to take up that position.
In that time I had begun my orientation with the Online University curriculum of the University of Liverpool undertaking a self-sponsored Masters in Science degree in Information Technology. [3]
I first heard about this course in November 2003 when a good friend of 17 years asked me to provide him a character reference as part of his assessment for eligibility for the course, it was a short note of just 3 paragraphs, which in some way may the Admissions Officer think that I was just as eligible for the course on the strength of my recommendation.
I am enjoying this
At that time, I was of the view that a Masters degree can only add prestige and nothing else, however, in the 6 months before I finally committed to undertaking the venture, I realised that a masters degree is really a stepping-stone to a research degree and work is apace on attaining that goal.
Having completed 2 modules and reflected on my ability to excel at a programming module at a later time rather than now, my next module includes an exciting read on e-Commerce, an opportunity for prose, philosophy and ideas such that one can get carried away.
A wonderful life
The year ended on a rather poignant note having been battered by a couple of drunk and drugged kids, but I got up and walked away to the poor service of replacement glasses that had an unfitting frame.
Meanwhile, one argues what all the fuss about security is when a crime committed in Amsterdam cannot be reported at just any police station in Amsterdam, especially the one outside the hospital where one received treatment.
But Hey! As long as there is life, there is life, there is love, there is faith, there is hope, there is a future so bright and a healthy dose of cynicism - perfection is accentuated by its flaws.
[3] University of Liverpool Lifelong Learning - Distance learning with Laureate Online Education

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