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  1. Junior Member
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    Default I knew I had made a terrible mistake in entering the IT field... [Long Story]

    I can clearly remember the day I knew I had made a terrible mistake in entering the IT field...

    I was one of those people who hopped on the IT bandwagon back in 1997. Back then the pitch was, "Get your MCSE and you are guaranteed to make at least $40/hour!" I gulped as I charged $8000 on my credit card for MCSE night classes and went all-in. I pretty much spent almost every waking hour the next few years either working or studying. I got my MCSE and a job doing support for Microsoft [IIS 4.0, Proxy Server 2.0 (Remember that?)]. I kept studying, and took a few more MS exams for the MCSE+Internet. I didn't know much about PC Hardware so I built my first computer and got my A+. Back in 1998 a couple of Cisco reps gave a speech at our training facility. They made it seem like if you got your CCNA the next question you had to answer was, "What color would you like your Porsche to be?" I bought a used Cisco 2501 router for $600 [I'd like to have that one back], studied, and passed my CCNA back in 1999. I kept going and passed the CCDA. I started studying for the Routing exam when I had this Moment of Clarity:

    "What the hell am I doing?"

    The past couple of years were a blur. I felt like crap. I was out of shape - I didn't have time for exercise. My love life had diminished to hooking up with this fat girl I knew from time to time - and that's when I had the energy. I had bounced around a couple of phone support jobs and disliked all of them. My co-workers were 99% beta males and 1% unattractive females. I had spent all this time and money and I hadn't gone anywhere.

    By this time I was back at Microsoft doing Exchange 5.5 support as an "Orange Badge". Having an Orange Badge meant you were a temp and you were treated as if you had incurable leprosy by the "Blue Badge" salaried techs.

    There was this one "Uber-Geek" who was hired in the same wave as a bunch of us. He wasn't just fat - he was Jabba the Hut fat. He had this condition that years later would have its own acronym.

    FUPA = Fat Upper Pubic Area

    I was mesmerized by the way the area from his waist to his crotch bowed out in a rounded, convex, shape. Back in 2001, I didn't think such a thing was possible [Was he shoving something down his pants?]. Sadly, this is no longer such an oddity.

    Jabba was a pretty nice guy, but it seemed inconceivable he would ever enjoy sexual contact with a woman - unless cash was involved. If he ever did, he would have to be on his back because if he was ever on top there might be a manslaughter charge in his future.

    Jabba didn't have any experience with Microsoft server products, and I don't think he ever did support. But he took to everything like an alcoholic takes to malt liquor. His enthusiasm for computers was boundless. He was happy to be at his desk all day. He didn't seem to feel any pressure even though our calls were always stressed users with major e-mail disasters. He thrived while I withered.

    One day we had this early morning meeting. Jabba came in and said this which forever shook my world:

    "Man, I was up all night long studying Exchange. I realized that if I went to sleep I wouldn't be able to wake up so I started watching old episodes of Babylon 5 until it was time to go to work."

    It was then I knew I could never win. The jig was up. Checkmated. The IT illusion shattered.

    It didn't matter how much time and effort I spent studying. I could never beat the Jabbas of this world. While I liked computers, Jabbas of the world LOVED computers and they would forever be the love of their lives. I then realized that the treadmill of studying and certification was endless - that in order to be good in this field you have to spend as much time studying as a doctor does.

    That to be really good in IT...

    You have to not care about exercise and let your body go – that early onset Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Morbid Obesity aren’t health concerns – they are badges of honor in the IT world.

    You have to give up dreams of a satisfying love life.

    You have to spend all your time studying, reading, and thinking about IT.

    You have to be prepared that you will have a pony tail someday.

    You have to have no hobbies or other interests.

    You have to realize that time spent not looking at a glowing rectangle is time wasted.

    You have to avoid eye contact with others and that social etiquette is for "civilians".

    You have to start wearing polo shirts with some random tech company logo on the front - and a white T-shirt underneath to complete the "asexual geek" look.

    You have to slump your shoulders in order to get the telltale "mighty humpback" and look like the life has been beaten out of you.

    You have to have a cell phone attached to your belt buckle and a bluetooth ear piece in case anyone has to know what TCP Port 563 does at a moment's notice.

    You have to realize that telling a woman, "I work in IT" kills sexual attraction faster than saying, "I have herpes".

    You have to worship at the altar of IT by putting your genitals in a jar, much like a eunuch, monk, or priest - and instead of chasing girls, dedicate your life to more useful pursuits like "The 3 Phases of PPP Session Establishment".

    I was lucky to escape the "Geek Matrix" by going down a wormhole and doing IT work for the Military overseas, but that is another story...
    Last edited by Leonardo Fantastico; 07-22-2011 at 08:21 AM.
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    #2
    Uhhhh.... wow?
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  4. Google Ninja jibbajabba's Avatar
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    #3
    lol - but so true ...
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  5. Senior Member
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    #4
    .....wow.....

    Yes, there are people who are totally absorbed by working with computers. While I love working in IT, I don't think about it all day long. You need a healthy balance.

    As far as your points about being really good in IT, I hope those are tongue in cheek. Looking through the list, none of those apply to me. I make time for family activities, church, working out - have lost 22 pounds in the last 7 weeks by eating healthy and doing P90x.
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  6. Senior Member Turgon's Avatar
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    #5
    Im afraid even Jabba's are not safe these days my friend. They are perceived as having the wrong image for the companies they work for and being slowly marginalised before being laid off never to return. That look is unemployable in this industry. I can relate to the rat race of the late nineties. I was there. However I have avoided a lot of the traps you rightly mention by ensuring I have a life. Everyone, put the blackberry down and get out of the house more often.
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  7. Boss Man cxzar20's Avatar
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    #6
    Epic lol glad to say that I can't relate. I have a good work/life balance, but that is probably because I stopped short of going for my CCIE.
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  8. Virtually Certifiable tbgree00's Avatar
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    #7
    Probably too true for me! I'm a "mental Jabba" in that I work all day with excitement then go home and study or play with new tech for hours. I am the guy you ask about new stuff and I like that. I also haven't been to the gym in a month, though I'm still maintaining my goal weight through a combination of voodoo and luck.

    I also bought yesterday's woot of 15 polo shirts at the recommendation of my wife. I have the polo/white T-shirt look down to a science!
    I finally started that blog - www.thomgreene.com
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  9. wibble! bertieb's Avatar
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    #8
    ^ What turgon said.

    Which is why I disagree with your final points though they do seem a bit tongue in cheek to me I regard myself as having a pretty good career (so far) within IT where I've been since the late 90's and have a decent work/life balance. Don't get me wrong, if I'm really interested in a piece of tech or a cert that floats my boat I will spend a lot of time outside of work doing it, but 'variety is the spice of life' as they say. I used to work with a variety of Jabbas but the very thought of turning into one just made me want to stay away from them, particularly outside of work. Perhaps my current environment where the rest of the office are avid sport and fitness fanatics helps to keep me motivated on the fitness front?

    Hammering down a decent trail on the MTB or trying(!) to learn the guitar are my current favourites, as is spending some quality time with the missus and my dogs - basically staying away from anything IT helps me to recharge the batteries.

    I'd also have to say that a lot of what you say can be applied to most professional jobs these days and not just IT. A lot of my friends are doctors/lawyers and the amount of hours/reading/study and work they have to do scares me senseless.
    Last edited by bertieb; 07-22-2011 at 12:34 PM. Reason: as ever, spelling corrections!
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  10. Junior Member
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    #9
    Currently experiencing the lost of a life, work, study, and exercise it is all i do. And my closet has like 20 polo shirts that just get cycled now found that to be kinda depressing.
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by tbgree00 View Post
    Probably too true for me! I'm a "mental Jabba" in that I work all day with excitement then go home and study or play with new tech for hours. I am the guy you ask about new stuff and I like that. I also haven't been to the gym in a month, though I'm still maintaining my goal weight through a combination of voodoo and luck.

    I also bought yesterday's woot of 15 polo shirts at the recommendation of my wife. I have the polo/white T-shirt look down to a science!
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  12. Virtually Certifiable tbgree00's Avatar
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by LoMo View Post
    I'm glad you pointed out my avatar! It reminds me that I do have a hobby and interest outside of IT and technology. I visit zoos and aquariums to take animal photos and videos. That creature is actually one of my favorites, a ray in the manatee aquarium at the Columbus Zoo. I have an awesome video if it eating salad greens up against the glass. They're pretty amazing.

    So yes I am a tech obsessed nerd but I also get out and have fun and see the world some. I'm proud of my job and knowledge. This may inspire me to hit the gym and drop some more pounds though.
    I finally started that blog - www.thomgreene.com
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  13. Senior Member Turgon's Avatar
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by bertieb View Post
    ^ What turgon said.

    Which is why I disagree with your final points though they do seem a bit tongue in cheek to me I regard myself as having a pretty good career (so far) within IT where I've been since the late 90's and have a decent work/life balance. Don't get me wrong, if I'm really interested in a piece of tech or a cert that floats my boat I will spend a lot of time outside of work doing it, but 'variety is the spice of life' as they say. I used to work with a variety of Jabbas but the very thought of turning into one just made me want to stay away from them, particularly outside of work. Perhaps my current environment where the rest of the office are avid sport and fitness fanatics helps to keep me motivated on the fitness front?

    Hammering down a decent trail on the MTB or trying(!) to learn the guitar are my current favourites, as is spending some quality time with the missus and my dogs - basically staying away from anything IT helps me to recharge the batteries.

    I'd also have to say that a lot of what you say can be applied to most professional jobs these days and not just IT. A lot of my friends are doctors/lawyers and the amount of hours/reading/study and work they have to do scares me senseless.
    Correct, and if it's a toss up of being effective at work and happily married sans CCIE or exhausted at work and living alone but with #3xxxx hanging on the wall..well you can keep the blessed number. Choose happiness and life
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  14. Network Ninjaneer Panzer919's Avatar
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    #13
    I think we have all come across that one person who seems to get off on technology. As much as I want to get my IE, my family takes priority. Plus if I tried to study all the time, I would get fed up with IT and probably change careers.
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  15. Senior Member
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Turgon View Post
    Correct, and if it's a toss up of being effective at work and happily married sans CCIE or exhausted at work and living alone but with #3xxxx hanging on the wall..well you can keep the blessed number. Choose happiness and life
    ^ That's the "secret" to life right there. Take some time to listen to Ekhart Tolle, dude.....and then realize that perception is 9/10th's of reality.

    I work 10 hour days, but still find 20 minutes to exercise on those workdays. You don't have to devote your life to exercise, just commit to a long term goal! And as far as the physical appearance of your co-workers, that is not a representation of who you are unless you allow it to be.

    I don't see how anyone can be an effective person in their life at anything if they're not at peace with what they are doing and where they are going.
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  16. Skilled Hamburglar Monkerz's Avatar
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Leonardo Fantastico View Post
    You have to worship at the altar of IT by putting your genitals in a jar, much like a eunuch, monk, or priest - and instead of chasing girls, dedicate your life to more useful pursuits like "The 3 Phases of PPP Session Establishment".
    So, because my last name is Monk, does this mean my genitals are in a jar already?
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  17. Network Ninjaneer Panzer919's Avatar
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Monkerz View Post
    So, because my last name is Monk, does this mean my genitals are in a jar already?
    yes
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  18. Senior Member NetworkingStudent's Avatar
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Leonardo Fantastico View Post
    I can clearly remember the day I knew I had made a terrible mistake in entering the IT field...

    There was this one "Uber-Geek" who was hired in the same wave as a bunch of us. He wasn't just fat - he was Jabba the Hut fat. He had this condition that years later would have its own acronym.

    FUPA = Fat Upper Pubic Area

    I was mesmerized by the way the area from his waist to his crotch bowed out in a rounded, convex, shape. Back in 2001, I didn't think such a thing was possible [Was he shoving something down his pants?]. Sadly, this is no longer such an oddity.

    ...
    Why are you so focus on his crotch?

    I’m currently looking for a job in the IT field, and I have met quite a few IT professionals along the way. I think your image of them is way off. Not all of them are overweight and obsessed with technology. Some are skinny, some are fat, some are short and some are tall. Some of them love technology and others are more passionate about the technology that they use to do their job, than the current technology trends. Each IT professional is different in their own way. Just like no person is the same as another.

    You mentioned how this co worker stayed up late nights studying for exchange, how you think he had no luck with women, and that you feel he loved computers more than you, but I think you saw a lot of yourself in him. Maybe that’s what scared you…

    Side note- I don’t work in IT yet, but I believe your wrong about studying and certifications. Yes, you need to continue your education, but there comes a time when a IT pro needs to realize they have enough certifications. There is no way an IT pro will know everything.
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  19. Audentis Fortuna Iuvat veritas_libertas's Avatar
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    #18
    IT is not a bad profession. What you are missing is moderation! The tortoise, not hare will win the race. This is something that I have to constantly remind myself. As soon as our heatwave is over (105 - 110F feel temperature) I will continue with my daily running routine.
    Currently working on: Linux and Python
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  20. PMP-Wannabe! erpadmin's Avatar
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    #19
    Name one professional occupation/field that doesn't require any continuing education requirement? I seriously can't think of any....

    Law--nope, laws change every day.

    Medicine--nope, new medical procedures come out every now and then.

    Teaching--nope (though that profession deserves a rant all on its own, but that's neither here nor there).

    Accounting--nope

    Etc., Etc.


    So why would you think that IT is different? Because you want to perpetuate negative stereotypes that is pretty much dying? A lot of IT guys are fat. A lot of them work out. A lot of them are single. A lot of them are married.

    I started in IT in the 90s, just like you did. Unlike you though, I didn't get suckered in the make $200k a year BS with millions in worthless stock options. I had a decent salary ($26k) that has since balooned to triple that amount in 14 years. I can assure you, I'm not fat and I didn't spend all my free time getting certs. I was partying, getting lucky with the ladies, and drinking my butt off [typical "frat"(ernity) boy nonsense]. I even got into a fight with a college football player who played for that state's worst college team [not to mention 2-3 times my size, and I'm not a small guy] and won....I shocked even myself, but it showed everyone around me that I had balls and could throw down if I had to.

    Then I grew up. If I could turn back time, I wouldn't have started in IT so early (if at all), but not for the reasons you stated. You bought into the lie...I knew it was a bunch of crap even back then. I got into IT because I have a "natural aptitude" for technology.

    It's guys like you that I have posted about on this board the past year. I'm just glad a real life example decided to validate that. Thanks for that.
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  21. Senior Member MrRyte's Avatar
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    #20
    If a person can't find 10-15 mins a day to do something as simple as pushups or situps then they SERIOUSLY need to reassess how they spend their time.

    And as for this part:
    "Man, I was up all night long studying Exchange. I realized that if I went to sleep I wouldn't be able to wake up so I started watching old episodes of Babylon 5 until it was time to go to work."
    And how alert was he at work? How exactly can one be sharp on the job with practically no sleep???

    LF; don't use this guy as a measuring stick of your future in IT. Use him as a warning to never allow your job to take over your life.
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  22. Senior Member Devilsbane's Avatar
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    #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Leonardo Fantastico View Post
    That to be really good in IT...

    You have to not care about exercise and let your body go – that early onset Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Morbid Obesity aren’t health concerns – they are badges of honor in the IT world.

    You have to give up dreams of a satisfying love life.

    You have to spend all your time studying, reading, and thinking about IT.

    You have to be prepared that you will have a pony tail someday.

    You have to have no hobbies or other interests.

    You have to realize that time spent not looking at a glowing rectangle is time wasted.

    You have to avoid eye contact with others and that social etiquette is for "civilians".

    You have to start wearing polo shirts with some random tech company logo on the front - and a white T-shirt underneath to complete the "asexual geek" look.

    You have to slump your shoulders in order to get the telltale "mighty humpback" and look like the life has been beaten out of you.

    You have to have a cell phone attached to your belt buckle and a bluetooth ear piece in case anyone has to know what TCP Port 563 does at a moment's notice.

    You have to realize that telling a woman, "I work in IT" kills sexual attraction faster than saying, "I have herpes".

    You have to worship at the altar of IT by putting your genitals in a jar, much like a eunuch, monk, or priest - and instead of chasing girls, dedicate your life to more useful pursuits like "The 3 Phases of PPP Session Establishment".
    I have to disagree with you here. You don't have to give up these things, you just need to learn time management. Sure, if you want to be the best out there then you likely won't have time for friends, girls, or anything else. Some people really are married to their work and have no problem with that.

    You don't have to let yourself go. Layoff the cheetos and spend an hour every couple days working out. I go through spurts of laziness and spurts of working out a lot. It's the times when I am working out that my study works the best. I have more energy, less stress, and I tend not to sleep as much. Take care of your body and it will take care of you.

    I haven't found the statement "I'm in IT" to be a chick deterrent. I actually find that they like it. I have a well paying stable job that I enjoy, work in an office, and I can fix their computer when they download a virus. Several have declared me as "their nerd", which is supposed to be a compliment based on their body language and tone of voice. It isn't being in IT that is the problem; it's developing that FUPA and giving up on yourself and anything else in this world that they find a turn off.
    Last edited by Devilsbane; 07-22-2011 at 07:22 PM.
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  23. Went to the dark side.... Moderator networker050184's Avatar
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    #22
    Sounds like you are a bit lazy and jealous. I'm successful in this field and I don't really do any of your "musts." I study after work sure, but I definitely have other hobbies and interests. I go to the gym at least three days a week, if not more most weeks. No pony tail. And I do just fine with the women. Maybe telling them you work in a call center and hate your job isn't the best way to describe your career. Keep buying into the stereotypes if you want, but its bs that we can all see through.


    You sound like the type that wouldn't be happy no matter what career you went in. Might as well just start playing the lottery now.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
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  24. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #23
    interesting... very interesting.
    While I might be Jabba like ( not the super fat part) I have no illusions of grandeur. I am going to get my A+ Net+ Sec+ and ccna and maybe CCNP but before that I plan on getting the CCAI. Thats all I want to become is an instructor.
    If I was like the Jabba you described I would shoot myself, I love my free time way too much.. think about it When I become an instructor I get summers off
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  25. Network Ninjaneer Panzer919's Avatar
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    #24
    Because of my kids, every time someone says FUPA I think of this


    (I know her name is foofa but it sounds too similar)
    Last edited by Panzer919; 07-22-2011 at 03:20 PM.
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  26. Happiness is !!!!! MAC_Addy's Avatar
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    #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Psoasman View Post
    have lost 22 pounds in the last 7 weeks by eating healthy and doing P90x.
    Congrats on the weight loss. I, too am doing P90X and their other program - insanity. I have already done P90X and Insanity once this year (lost 30lbs with insanity, and gained 5lbs - muscle with p90x). Now in prep for a beach vacation I'm doing both at the same time.
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