I will begin with the fact that I love tech. I really do. I was a fan, and user like a junkie pulled to heroin at an early age. I had a Commodore 64, PlayStation, Univision, the whole “kit and caboodle” as they said years ago (oh just look it up you are a sourcer). It was raucous times and technology was booming. Languages were being spawned, algorithms were being written, Star Wars was trending, and Buck Rogers was on TV.
The difference was we wrote letters, sent postcards, and made phone calls. We SPOKE to one another, we COMMUNICATED with each other, we looked out for each other. We referred our friends and helped each other out when someone needed a job. Sure, we do that now, to a point but it seems that in the age of “social media” we are all alone, together, online. The human touch has become a digital footprint instead of a handshake or a hug. Damn, that is a shame, and it irks me to the core.
Recently I was at my new local watering hole, Aztec Willies in Portland, as I have just moved here recently. One of my closest friends lives here in town with his wife as does the many other pals of mine like Dawn Rasmussen, Blake Thiess, and the infectious Celinda Appleby to name just a few. I made sure when I moved here I would not have to drive that much, I hate to drive, and after the Oregon Trail move I went through to get here my PTSD was in high gear to be behind the wheel anytime soon. I also like to eat out, a lot, well almost always. It’s not that I don’t like to cook, I do, but doing so for one is a lonely and somewhat depressing endeavor, so I like being out and about meeting new people and making connections. It is the way I deal with my emotional anxiety of being an introvert and stretches me to be a better human being.
One recent night I met a new friend, named Brian. He had recently moved here as well, and we traded stories of travel and life in a new city. We were kindred spirits trying to assimilate into our new surroundings. We, of course, spoke about what we do for a living, family situations, you know the usual first layer of communication stuff that two people are getting to know each other do. We forged a friendship, and out of his curiosity he asked me if he got burned on his salary, he had, in fact, got a raw deal. He appreciated the honesty I gave him, and I told him that I would be happy to keep my eyes open in the market for him.
A week later we met up what has become our watering hole after work, our complaint corner to vent about, work, life, and just to be, you know, social. He told me that his lead coder quit and being the TPM this was going to be a big deal. They were already behind on the project and losing one of their top developers was not going to help productivity. Being who I am this was helpful information, and I was going to leverage it to the fullest, wouldn’t you? I went about asking for more details like his name etc.; he did not have contact info on him so since it is the age of information I asked him if he had a Twitter handle. He laughed and said yes he did and he used it often. I sent the hopeful candidate, from my end, a Tweet saying I heard what happened from my new friend and offered him assistance in retrieving a new role, with my company, of course. The next day he was following me and sent me a PM just as I had requested, funny how social works, when you know, you are social. A quick conversation, a resume, and a submittal ensued toot suite, (there I go again), and the manager got right back to me with an interview request. Funny enough the manager was a guy that was my first hire in Portland, so Karma is winning, right?
Long story short, Shannon P. always tells me too late, love you, lady, we were off to the races (seriously, having a senior moment at this point). Sure I got lucky, or did I? You see we all talk a good game, we listen to the thought leaders and try Boolean searches, pay through the nose and deplete coffers of ducats for the next great software tool, or Linkedin, with little to no return. You know what this whole thing cost me? Nada, Nichts, Méiyǒu, nothing but the satisfaction of getting a killer programmer in front of a manager and let them do their thing. All because, wait for it, I was social. #truestory
So, my mother was diagnosed with having a TIA (mini stroke) yesterday, she is good, but I got to thinking today. Any day could be your last day or someone you love.
Terrorist attacks, multiple countries, and people are dead or injured. Random acts of violence from both the left and the right, in this country and people, are dead or wounded. World politicians and billionaires vying for copy space in the news, as well as mindless comedians and actors who live in a different world and people, are dead or injured.
Take a minute or two or an hour or a day and tell the people who are close to you in your life that you love them, that they matter and you appreciate them.
I am taking this moment to do just that with my online family. Most I get to see at one event or another some I have never met but would like to. Know this you matter to me. Even if we disagree or make each other’s eyes role know that you matter and if at anytime you need a hug, a shoulder, or someone to just listen I will find the time. Even if only for a few minutes, to be there, because if you blink you may miss it and I don’t want to anymore.
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Thank you for reading.
Thank you for being there you are appreciated.