Monday, April 25, 2005

Papas got a brand new bag

So tomorrow I start a new job.

I mentioned I had a great prospect lined up a couple times; starting the night my mom went into the hospital. Well the interviews were great, and the little HR situation was sorted out; and last week we came to an agreement.

I've been holding off on mentioning it in case their building blew up between then and my start date or somesuch. I think I've mentioned before I've become quite paranoid about the job situation as I've discussed firm offers with three companies so far and have them pull out at the last second for unspecified reasons.I didn't want to push my luck on this job.

Well now that I'm starting tomorrow; it's time to tell y'all about it.

I was supposed to start May 2nd (next mondy), because that's their next "new employee orientation" (which I will still have to attend, from 8-5), but my new boss called me up this morning and asked if there was any way I could start sooner; to which I said "Heck yeah, May 2nd was doubleplusungood to me; that was just the earliest HR said I could start. I'd love to start tomorrow", his response "That's bull, we'll see about that". 30 minutes later HR called me up and said "Hey can you start tomorrow?" Yes, yes I can.

So in the morning I start as the new Systems Operations Manager, for the healtchare services division of the largest health care support services provider in the united states. What they do is provide care advice, on call nurses, employee assistance services, insurance and treatment prescreening and authorization, and various administrative and paperwork services; to employees, insurance companees, and HR departments.

I'll have about a dozen direct reports in three departments; service desk (including desktop support and operations support), systems and server admin, and IT operations. I'll also have a few dotted lines, and we'll probably be expanding the positions to about 20 total over the next few months.

I will also be the datacenter manager, and act as chief architect and senior administrator for the site. There are 5 other major sites, for which I will be expected to act as a contributing architect and associate manager.

I will direct report to the Director of IT operations for my division (there are 4 divisions), who direct reports to the CIO.

Basically this is a "buck stops here" position; which is exactly what I'm looking for. I'm responsible for pretty much all the IT and IT support for the division specifically, and for the southwest region of this company generaly. Considering it's a 250 million dollar company, and a 40 million dollar division; that's a pretty big deal.

Anyone who knows me knows there's two things I want in a gig: challenge, and responsibility (along with the authority and resources necessary to accomplish the mission of course); so I'm very happy about this.

Now with my mom, and working at the gun store for a few months; this will be the first regular 9-5 type job (actually probably more like 8-6 considering the responsiblities involved)I've been in since last August; so it's certainly going to be an adjustment. Also the current situation over there is screwed up with regards to architecture management, and operational management. Since this division was acquired by the parent company 2 years ago, there has been no onsite management; everything has pretty much been lieft willy nilly with the staffers reporting directly to my boss.

So yeah, it's going to be a challenge getting process and procedure into place where there was none before. The first challenge? Get the local non IT staff to understand that there IS an onsight manager now; and that my job is to see to their requirements through my people. They need to understand that I am the contact and control point for the rest of the division into this group. I set the assignments and the priorites, I make sure it gets done, I do the bitching if it doesn't, and I take the shit when it comes down. That's my job, not my peoples job.

That means no more direct requests or assignments for IT staff. That means no more bitching to them either. That's my job, not my peoples job.

That's going to be painful. These people are used to jsut piling stuff on the staffers directly. This is what happens when you have no effective local management; and this is why I'm being brought in.

I have to say; I'm excited. This is the first job I've REALLY wanted, in quite a while.

Oh, and a weird note: The HR manager for the last company that stiffed me (the guy just stopped returning calls) called me up and asked me what was going on, why I hadnt gone forward etc... I told her I had two interviews about two months ago; by the end of the second interview we were talking about when I could start; and I haven't heard anything since except a vague message about April something. I even had a guy I know inside the company ask what was up, but he never got a response. She's as mystified as I am, and has promised to track down what happened; even though I told her I was starting elsewhere tomorrow, we'd both like to know.