Early Days

I was minding my business, doing work, when Dre asked, “Hey, Mom! When did you know you wanted to become a project manager, and how long did it take for you to get there after you decided?”

Always, out of the blue he will ask these random questions. I’m sure I told you this before but its worth repeating. And you will likely hear it again.

The year was 2001, possibly 2002. I was about twelve months into my 2.5 year contract at IBM Canada – still doing helpdesk support for laptops, and hadn’t moved to X-Series and Netfinity servers yet. It’s the overnight shift, and of the 60-plus cubicle spaces, only five or six of us are on staff, including a supervisor and a tier-2 germaphobe. Can’t recall his name, but I remember the tier-2 guy because before he started his shift, he’d remove his monitor, keyboard, and mouse, then spray his desk and chair with Lysol, and anyone beside him would complain. He had this dry sense of humour and was the one who told me to watch American Pimp.

Unless some lonely soul called in after midnight, it was quiet. We’d do our typical overnight thing; web surfing, online scrabble, chit-chatting. This night, like, but unlike, every other night, I’m surfing, and the image below catches my eye:

wish I had the original image

This one has extra boxes – I don’t remember 5 and 11. They don’t make sense – if the programmer wrote it a certain way, who changed it for the beta testers. And why would the customer have to explain it for us to build it if marketing advertised it. I’m pretty sure the original only had eight boxes (1-3, 7-10 and 12). Whatever! Let’s continue …

I went on to read the article, and it resonated. Before finishing, I knew project management was what I wanted to do next. And it was especially relevant because many of the calls to tech support were of our own making.

“IBM Technical Support Samantha speaking. May I have your phone number starting with the area code, please?” (I’m sure that’s right. Never thought I’d forget the script.)

“Yeah, I just bought the new ThinkPad with a printer and an external CD drive, and I can’t get it to work!” I can hear the frantic urgency and frustration in his voice.

I get the model number and more details on the printer and external CD drive. Turns out, it was another package deal from the IBM sales and marketing team. Problem is, the laptop doesn’t have a port for connecting a printer or a CD drive.

Eventually, we had sessions with the sales guys – they had no technical knowledge. They’d never seen the machines or devices, external drives, docking stations, etc, didn’t know the names of the ports, but they were expected to package and sell this stuff. Crazy right!

BTW – I grew to hate IBM when working for Global Services – too big – too bureaucratic. Getting agreement to even pilot a new process took months, and months and months.

I had Dre in 2003, about a year after leaving IBM. By 2004 I was working again – I had to wait over a year to get him into daycare even though I applied when I still pregnant. Tomorrow I will tell you how I got my first PM job where I learned all about purchase orders and invoices and working with suppliers, mostly Ingram Micro.


Still haven’t found a writer to complete a cover letter for the volunteer position – all the effort I’m putting in, I could have written the damn letter already. But … I was testing one – gave it a few key words: “fall” “fashion” “worldwide” and look (I didn’t modify the output):

No matter where you are in the world, fall fashion is all about layers, colours and cosy outerwear. In Europe, you'll see people pairing ripped jeans with bomber jackets and sneakers. In Asia, you might spot people wearing bright colours and patterns. And in America, you'll definitely see people sporting athleisure wear and cozy shoes.
No matter where you are, there are definitely some key fall fashion trends that you can take inspiration from. So if you're looking to update your wardrobe for the cooler months, here are some of the best fall fashion trends from around the world.
In Europe, fall fashion is all about layering. You'll see people wearing ripped jeans with bomber jackets and sneakers. This is a great way to stay warm while still looking stylish. You can also add a scarf or a beanie to this look to really amp up the cosy factor.
In Asia, you might spot people wearing bright colours and patterns. This is a great way to add some fun and personality to your outfit. You can also experiment with different layering techniques to create a unique and stylish look.
In America, you'll definitely see people sporting athleisure wear and cozy shoes. This is a great way to stay comfortable while still looking put-together. You can also add a jacket or a scarf to this look to make it more appropriate for colder weather.

Good right! It gave me three different samples between 200 – 260 words and I can get it to write more once I pick the one I like. Still haven’t found a totally free one yet – most of them say they’re free but they only offer free trials, either by x-number of words or by a few days.

I love how Zoey’s ears move about. Sometimes she’ll take off running and it’s always funny – because the floor is slippery, it take a while for her to move. If you watched Loony Toons, you’ll know or Scooby-Doo.

Wed Nov 23, 2022

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