My first day of management training back in the late 80s in a record store found me in the back room with the store manager. She was describing the cramped store's storage system, telling me where things were and how they were arranged. She pointed to a shelf of CDs in their long box packaging and blandly told me, "This is where we keep all of our product."
At that instant I knew I was in the wrong job.
I went to work at the record store because (a) I needed a job and (b) I loved music. That the CDs weren't even being referring to as "CDs" was troubling enough. To have them referred to by the generic product was a bit too much.
Today I sat through my first Staff and Manager's Meeting. It's really three meetings rolled into one, with various layers of people leaving at coordinated times as certain things are discussed and then moved on from. Being a member of the "Senior Staff" I get to sit through all of them. It's all new to me, which helps make it fascinating.
As the various division managers were doing their rapid-fire discussion on the practical points on publishing a new title, I was reminded of that first day at the record store. Today was a sharp contrast. The people around me were doing serious work, all interested in putting out a good book not just a sellable "product".
"I'm Not a Programmer"
At the end of the presentation part of my interview for a teaching job at RIT we were discussing areas of interest and entry-level classes I'd be willing to teach. One woman asked about the beginning programming classes. My response was, "I'm not a programmer."
The correct response, of course, was, "I don't do programming now, but would love to learn it and would be happy to teach it."
The Old Job introduced me to programming on a daily basis. Nothing elegant, nothing in-depth, but just enough to access data in ways that the front-end interface didn't allow.
I knew the phrase from RIT was coming back to haunt me.
The description for The New Job I mentioned FileMaker Pro. I indicated that I had supported it, because I had.
Supported, as it turns out, has various meanings. To me it meant if the application stops working, I did troubleshooting to figure out why it wasn't working. To The New Job it means understand the database programming, fix errors within the database and create new features and reports that we need.
These two are not exactly the same as each other.
Guess which one wins, though?