The End of an Era in My Life

I sit now in next to Gate 26 in the Sky Harbor airport. It is the end of a long couple of weeks.

It is also the end of an era for me.

For fourteeen years I have worked for the same company, in the same IT department.

I and the people I have worked with have built and maintained the Madison data center for this past decade and a half. Things have changed so, so much in that time. By now of course, people around the globe, across the US, Europe, and Asia, depend on those applications and servers to get their jobs done.

Now the end has come. Over the past two weeks we have planned and toiled towards delivering the entirety of the Madison data center to a new home. We did it with a scant day and half of downtime, as those servers, coccooned in expanding foam packaging, flew across the country in a chartered jet.

We kicked ass… just as we kicked ass in everything. As with all the tasks given to us, we treated it as just another job to do.

But it wasn’t, really, just another job to do. It was a job with a goal to make the Madison office obsolete. Now, in June, we can shut the doors and turn off the lights, and the services that we built will still keep humming along.

The only people that will care that Madison is dark is those of us who lived there. I have given my entire professional life to that place, and now that is done.

Last week, I officially rejected relocation to the Arizona office. There are many good reasons for this, professionally and personally.

The end result, though, is the servers and applications that I have built and cared for for so long will soon be someone else’s responsibility. It is both a relief and a sadness.

Since the announcement about the Madison close, I’ve been so busy trying to make this thing happen that I’ve not had time to take proper stock of what it means to me. Of course I’m sad. I’m angry at the people and reasons this decision was made. I’m relieved I’m not going to get a 3am call that a server is down. I’m frightened about looking for a job in this economy. I’m excited at the prospects of finding something new.

At any rate, it is the end of a long journey. I will miss the people I have worked with. I have a lot of respect for a lot of people I have known through the years, and although it really stinks we’re in this situation, I think most of us will be okay. I certainly hope so.

So, if you know of a good IT position in the Madison area, please let me know. My resume is up at MadisonComputerGeek.com. It may sound arrogant, but I’m really good. I don’t know it all, but I know a lot about a really wide range of technologies (one of the advantages of being the Head Nerd for so long). I’d be lucky to find a place where I get to do half of the things I’ve gotten to do with Heurikon/Artesyn/Emerson over the years.

Good-bye Emerson, and good-bye Phoenix. Take good care of my babies.