Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,

Making it Official

After 17 years I will be leaving my job at SGI (I'm including my time at Cray before SGI acquired it) and starting work at a different company (which I'm leaving unnamed here because some places have very strick rules about bloggers -- I doubt my new company does, but caution is good). I'm at SGI through the end of the month, although a good part of the remainder of the month will be vacation. I start my new job right after Labor Day.

In terms of my life this is major, even seismic, but from the outside this is what we call "invisible to the user". This change will make very little difference, if any, to anybody else but me. I find that an odd thought. But what a big difference it will make to me.

I actually knew from the time this possibility came up (it first came up as a possibility in February) that if I were offered this position I would take it. But boy, there were sure a lot of things to work through, in my head. For one thing, the job possibility became real (that is, the req. for the position was approved) halfway through my time in Australia, which was just the worst timing possible. I was beginning a huge interesting project, my company seemed newly focused, and I was working in AUSTRALIA! "Can we hold off for two or three months?" I wanted to say. But even saying, "Can we hold off until I get back to the US" wasn't sufficient -- I had my first interview for this position at my new company's sales offices in Sydney, by phone, during my brief vacation in that city. I did love telling people that I had a job interview in Sydney without specifying that it was for a job in Minneapolis.

But interviewing for a job, and imagining a job, and considering your options, is not the same thing as getting a job offer. As I say, I knew I would ultimately accept the offer, but my emotional gut reaction to the email was an involuntary, "I don't want to leave SGI!". That thought exists simultaneously with "Wow, I'm really looking forward to working at this position." Job offers like this one, for a technical writer, are uncommon approaching unique. It really looks like a great job for me, very much in line with my experience and interests. It brings me back closer to the world of system administration; my current job, with the exception of the Australia project, has been moving me away from that.

It's perhaps injudicious for me to be writing about this publicly, but the folks at SGI have been wonderful about all of this. People have been gratifyingly sad at my departure but sincerely happy for this opportunity. It all seems quite sincere, and my boss in particular is making things as easy as possible for me. On my end, I'm working long hard hours trying to complete the draft of the Australia project, and to package up my other projects -- projects that have been mine and mine alone for a decade. Fortunately, over the years, I have sat down and written up small procedural overviews of these projects, internal manuals whose audience was only me. Giving up ownership is hard.

I used to say that the only two ways you could ever lose a documentation project at my company were:

- To sell off the piece of the company that develops and maintains the product -- and even then you get email and phone calls for two years!

- To have your co-worker Lori Johnson oversee the project while you are on Sabbatical.

But now I'm hoping that actually resigning from the company is a third way. We'll have to see.

I am so looking forward to the new position. I am so sad at leaving a place where, at least on an immediate management level, they have been very very good and supportive to me, to an extent that's extraordinarily unusual in my profession.
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