Sunday, May 17, 2015

A Yank No Longer in Oz

Of course this is old news. The end of 2010 was the end of my adventure down under. I do wish I could've stayed, but couldn't find a job and whether AAM would pass my working visa to another firm, which cost them quite a bit, was another matter.  So I came back home and eventually went back to work for then, Aerometric.  That lasted off and on for a bit but I was among the first round of 10% corporate layoffs demanded by our new Venture Capitalist overlords.

I told them at our exit meeting that if they did lay me off, the company would close! I was joking and sure enough, 8 months later the Seattle office did close.  Not my fault since Aerometric disappeared into a 3 way merger to form Impotent Spatial or something like that. Heads continued to roll after this new creation and I don't know how they're doing but I do know they have had trouble responding to their clients. That's probably to be expected in a large merger like that. The good news is that Miller Creek Mapping came into being, started by Jim Schulz and employs 5 other Aerometric employees. I hear they're doing great which is excellent news.  There is a huge benefit in that industry by being local, small and maneuverable. Clients need to know who they can talk to and that Miller Creek Mapping knows what is needed.

Meanwhile, this Yank (as mentioned in my profile) actually did start driving a school bus for First Student which contracts with the Vashon School District.  It was mostly as something to do since their wage structure is literally 15 years behind the times.  Since contracts are in negotiation this year, I can assure you there will be strikes if this Scottish-owned mega corporation doesn't pull its head out. All the jokes about Scots being overly thrifty are true. Remember Safeway used to have their house brand of Scot's Buy?

In addition to being a school bus driver, I also started working at the Island's Liquor Store.  Some people see this as a conflict but most realize the two jobs go hand in hand.  I stopped working there in February so I could train as a Metro Transit Operator. I also temporarily stopped driving a school bus as I made more money during the month long training than actually driving a school bus!  I've just finished week #10 on my route, taking people home from downtown Seattle to Woodinville.  It's only 2.5 hours but I hope for better things.

Next week, I'll train for 4 days to learn how to operate an electric bus.  You know the ones, they have 2 poles that connect to overhead wires.  This is a slightly longer afternoon route from Queen Anne through downtown to 34th Avenue in the CD.  It should be interesting.

I have driven on Vashon for about 2 weeks, covering different drivers who had time off.  With a couple of the long time Island drivers retiring, it might be possible that I could end up with and Island route in the future!  We'll see.

I should probably look for a real job though.  I just don't feel confident that being out of it for a while, that I could effectively catch up with the latest software in use for project management, sales and marketing, and the technical programs used in engineering or whatever I would be able to go after.  I really admire Jim Schulz to taking business courses and Pat Kelly for taking GIS courses that helped form Miller Creek Mapping.

Well this is long enough and would be surprised if anyone has read this far.  I'll keep you posted on any other goings-on, especially if it's exciting.  An example would be getting the old sailboat seaworthy and go on an adventure!