Once you’re in, there’s no getting out.
A very brief summary of my work history, is that I was looking for a teaching job, and hired to install some computers for a school I was working at. One thing let to another, and I was trained by a technology consultant and hired by the school to be their in-house technician. I worked there for three years, then the position was dissolved, and I was hired by the consultant who trained me. I worked for him for four years, and was laid off. By then I’d given up on the idea of teaching, and spent my unemployed months looking for work in the IT field. I was hired as technical support about the same time I said “I’m done with this” and went to the police academy.
Now, that should have been the end of it. A career change. Exactly what I wanted. No more computers. I don’t particularly like working with computers or networks, or any of that. I took on the work way back when because it was available, but ended up stuck to it.
“Freedom!” I thought when I entered the academy.
Right back into it I was dragged, from day #2 on.
As soon as the drill instructors and directors started talking to us about functioning as a team, and working together and helping each other out, the computer problems which plagued fellow recruits on the academic front became my problem. I’d get emails and texts from them about all kinds of things, including last minute crap which cut into my own work. One of the recruits started calling me “Geek Squad” – and knowing full well that nicknames tend to stick in environments like this, I threatened to dismember him and anyone else who thought that was a clever thing to do. It stopped.
Still though, whenever an instructor had technical trouble with a presentation, I was looked to. I remember standing on a desk trying to fix a projector one day. Nothing will fill you full of terror like being caught standing on a desk in the middle of the room when a Drill Instructor wanders into the classroom. Thankfully, the instructor told the terrifying man what I was doing, and I wasn’t consumed alive.
Graduating should have been the end right? The very end? I was free. FINALLY.
As soon as I graduated, I got a phone call from my old boss, the consultant asking me what my schedule looked like, they could use some help at a local client. I agreed to take on two days a week for him, because…money. Things blossomed, and I’m up to four days a week.
Not only that, but I can’t tell you how many phone calls I’ve taken from fellow officers regarding computer problems in the office. I’ve become the department computer guy. Even our OIC (Officer in Charge) called me the other day to tell me he ‘delegated’ a responsibility to me….installing a patch on the server that would update some database or other.
I’ll be on patrol and people will stop me and ask if I still do computer work on the side.
Once you’re in, you never get out.
And I want out. So very, very badly. Its the main reason I want to transfer or lateral somewhere else. If I leave this area, not only will I be free of the political nonsense which I got wrapped up into last year, but nobody will know I used to work with computers, and I can leave them be. I can finally be free.