BennyEast.Com/Blog The official blog of Kenny West


6pm Dentist Appointment

So tonight I had a 6pm dentist appointment.  I schedule my appointments after business hours on purpose.

This is my work ethic.  See, most people don't do this. They just schedule their appointment during the working day... And then just say "Okay, I'm going to be out tomorrow for an appointment."

To me?  That's just not my work ethic.

I'm there.  I work hard.  And always show up.  I show up on time.  And don't like to take off.  Most people don't have that work ethic.  They take off a lot.  They don't care.

I guess that's just how I am.  I believe in working hard and not taking off, and always going that extra mile.

Most people believe in maxing out vacation days, sick days, leaving early when the boss isn't looking, basically using every excuse to not work.

Most people like to watch YouTube videos on company time... Basically, waste time that they should be doing work.

That's not me.  I basically refuse to do that stuff.  When I'm at work, I work.

But that's just my philosophy.

Anyway... So, I started poking around on the job listings of some of the colleges in and around Bethlehem.  It's close enough that if I did get a job, I could commute while I looked for a place up there.

I mean, I have so many options.  I own my house and there's no mortgage on it.  So, I could always just buy a second house in Bethlehem.  Or rent.  Or rent this house out, and then rent up there and have the rent here cover my rent there... And the great part is Bethlehem is cheaper than this area.

What I'd probably do is commute for a while, then just find a place to rent and like come home every other night or something.  Although I do have these cats to tend to.  And they are a handful that's for sure!

But ideally if I could find a roomie up in bethlehem who liked cats, they could help me take care of them.

I mean, what I COULD do, is just buy a second house up there... And then basically put an ad out for a roomie where I'd let them pay reduced rent in exchange for cat duties so I could focus more on work and dealing with trying to maybe sell this house down here.

Not sure yet.  My plan at this point is just to job search up there until something shows up, and then apply for it just for kicks to see what happens.  I haven't been on a job interview in 11 years... so I really would just be doing it just for practice and not really to try and get a job.

My other thing is, I would ask for a significant amount more than I'm making now.  I mean, I don't all make that much... But I'm not going to bother to ask for a raise at my current organization.  If they think I'm doing a good job, they would give me one.  But they don't.  So obviously I'm not doing a good enough job for what they would consider raise worthy.  But, I work to my own standards like I said and I think I'm doing a personal bang up job.

But, basically what I would do is just apply to places in Bethlehem.  See if someone calls back.  Go on an interview for kicks if they DID call back... and then if they said... "We actually want to hire you...  How much do you want to get paid?"

I'd be like... Since I really don't expect to even get the job... I'd just be like... How about 50 percent more than what I'm making now.  Or even double what I'm making.

So they will probably come back, "Uhhhh yeah.  How about not."

Obviously if they say back... "Deal."

I would be like... "Whoa... okay then!"

Of course then obviously I would turn back to my current employer and say... If you can't match that... I'm going to have to take it.  I mean, if someone offered me double what I was making now, I couldn't turn that down.  That's just how the real world works.  You don't turn down a job that wold pay you more than your current job.  Obviously.  That's like working 101 though, everyone knows that.

I feel like that's a fair way to do it.  You basically apply for jobs... And if someone offered you more... and then you say to your employer... Hey, my market value is this much money... Because to me, market value of anything s the value someone is willing to pay for it.

A house.

A stock.

A painting.

A salary for labor.

It's all really what someone is willing to pay.

I guess I've just never really decided to see what my market value might be.

Maybe it's time!

Mostly the reason I never did was because I just wasn't super confident in myself.

Since my boss has been out this last month though, and I've basically done all the normal things he would do, and I've pretty much smoothly sailed through them all...

I'm just kind of like... really confident now... and especially in comparison to other people that I know where they basically don't do any work outside of work, which I do that a lot, and don't mind it either...

I guess that was another thing that stopped me was when I would glance at a job every now and then, I'd always see... "This job might require weekend work, or overnight, or on call hours..."

I'm basically doing that now.  As I was even at work this Friday night until 11pm.... SO I basically worked from 9am to 11pm.

I mean, I'm already doing it... Might as well see what someone is willing to pay me to do that as a requirement.  And who knows, it might just be the same as what I'm making now.  Which is fine.  Obviously if it's the same, I would just stay where I'm at.

My biggest hold back right now though, actually, is my cats... They require meds and stuff because they are older.  So, it's tough because if a job requires travel, that's hard.  Each time I travel I basically have to pay for a cat sitter to come watch them.  And there's a turtle as well.  Although I'm about to order an auto feeder for the turtle.  Hah.  One less thing I need to do every day.

Automation is awesome in my view.

Anyway... So I've just realized that I'm a really hard worker.  I never really thought of myself as such, but basically since my boss has been out... I've noticed that I'm willing to go above and beyond and take care of business, and I've also noticed that other people aren't.  That other people leave early, take off days... Don't do any work outside of work.

So, I'm just going to start applying to jobs that do require that outside or weekend or on call work... And see what happens.  Who knows, I might end up finding a job that pays double or even triple what I'm making now.

I feel like it would be kind of awkward though to actually get offered something.  Like, that would be SOOO awkward to go back to my job and be like... "So, Um... I kind of applied for this job, and they offered me double what I'm making... SO... I'll totally stay, but you have to match my salary offer".

Now let's say they did match... How awkward is that?  Now they are like looking at you like you're ripping them off all the time or something because they were paying you half what they are paying you now.

Who knows.  I don't know.

My biggest thing is, I hate that stuff.  I just want enough money to be able to pay bills, and go see comedy improv, and buy the latest versions of recording software.

I guess I don't really need to make a TON of money... But it would just be interesting just for kicks to see how much someone would be willing to pay me.  Obviously I don't have a family to support, so my costs are pretty minimal.

Also, it wouldn't be bad to just go work somewhere new just as a change.  I mean, I don't know... Just switch things up a bit.  Obviously, again, I have no kids, or significant other to support... Just cats.  And two of the cats are 15... which means most likely they only have a year or two or three left, and then I'll just have one cat.  Sure cats can live to 20 or more, but in my experience all the cats we've ever owned only one has lived beyond 20.  The rest only made it to about 16 or so.

If I only had one cat and had a turtle on auto feed... I could definitely then travel for work a lot easier, which means I could then apply for jobs that say they need me to travel for work.

I think too one thing I'd like to start doing is just taking like random IT certification tests and such.  It would be cool to just start collecting certs.  Mostly Cisco.  I'm actually pretty good at configuring routing and network equip.  I wouldn't mind going and getting the certifications for it all to see how the testing compares to the real world use that I've done for the last 10 years.

I'm not really sure I have a big grand plan goal in mind for anything...  Some people are like... I want to do THIS with my career!

I mean, I've always dreamed of becoming a musician or writer or actor... But, I'm good at IT... Might as well stick with something I'm good at I guess.

All I know is that, I think it would be cool to mostly try and start seeing if I can get a boost in my work titles.  Since I don't really see my job willingly doing the salary increase thing, or the change of my job title to kind of reflect more of a growth in my "career".  I just think it could be fun to start at least applying to other jobs to see what sort of interest there is.  I just kind of want a change of scenery.

Just a different work entrance and office to show up to.  Different coworker to say hello to each day.  Just something different.  Just for the heck of it.

I just never thought I would even get so much as a call from applying to jobs... And who knows, I still may not.  So that's why I never even bothered to try before.

I guess you never know until you try!  Just like I never knew I could do all the task I've done over the last month that my boss used to do until I basically was the only one there to do the work.

I suppose I would feel bad if I actually did get a job offer.

Although it's just work.  I mean, that's the thing... I feel like sometimes we feel attached to our employers because we've been there a long time, or we kind of get comfortable....

But at the end of the day... I mean, a job is a job... If I left, they'd hire someone new to replace me pretty quick I would imagine.

I mean... It's not like fixing computer issues is such a rare skill.  I'm not magician.  A lot of people can do what I do out there in the world, it's not rocket science.  Who knows, maybe it is?  I guess I've always just thought pretty much anyone and their cousin could fix a PC or configure a switch, or recover an exchange server with a database that won't mount, or create a new subnet for a network...

Maybe it's just me?  The stuff I do doesn't really seem all that difficult.

So, I don't know.  I might apply for jobs and never hear anything back.  Who knows.

Mostly though I want to try and make my next move up to Bethlehem, at least for the time being, so... That's where I'll most likely focus my search and sending out applications and resumes.

Then once I have less cat duties in the eventual future, I'll consider moving across the country or something for my next gig.

Who knows... I have no real set plans at the moment.  No kids, no significant other.  Just me and wherever the wind takes me.

But one thing I do know for sure... I won't schedule my dentist appointments during working hours.  Goes against my work ethic.  Business gets done during business hours, and personal stuff gets done on your own time.  Not on the clock at your job time.  That's my own personal work ethic.


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Improv Fest

Last night I went up to the improv comedy fest up in Bethlehem.  It was great.  I went last year and had a good time.  This year was just as good.  I can't wait until next year.

My plan next year is to go Friday night too.  And then also go all day Saturday.

We'll see if that happens. I only went Saturday this year and last year and missed the Friday night performances.

I really want to find other improv fest to go to.  They are just so much fun!

I wonder if they are as well run as the ArtsQuest one is at Steel Stacks.  I find myself going to Arts Quest pretty awesome.  It's a great place.  I really want to check out more events there.  They have open mics too I think and they have comedy improv as well just on a Friday or Saturday night.

My only thing is, it's an hour drive.  Totally worth it though.

I wouldn't mind maybe moving there.  I like Bethlehem.  Maybe sell this house, buy a smaller house up there, look for a job at one of the colleges in that area.

Just something I've considered.

I find myself up there fairly often though.  All that aside, I kind of want to maybe head up there one Friday or Saturday night to see the regular show.

One of the guys there at the improv fest who helped organize it also helps run the regular scheduling of activities they have there.  He keeps saying to come check it out.  So, I think I will.

I always have a good time.  I was there in the Fall for the oktoberfest and 5k run and there for Musikfest as well... It's always a good time.

I really want to find out when this one group is performing again too. Charlie is the name of their group, and they do musical theater improv.  It's SOO cool.

I actually missed half their set, which I'm a little bummed about, but I was talking to them after they were performing and they are from NYC and are looking for more places to perform regularly.  I followed their social media.... SO I'm hoping to see them again.

Hopefully they will be at the festival next year.  This year was their first year there.

I did get to see the Flumplenarf's again though!  They rock.  They are like these monster costumes, and then the performers do improv as the monsters.  It's hilarious.  I don't know why, but it just is.  One of the monsters can blink the eyes.  It just cracked me up so much.  I was laughing so hard the whole time.

Such a good time though.  I can't wait until next year's festival, that's for sure!


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Not The Way It Works

So it's interesting.  The other day I sat in on an interview with a temporary sys admin that I would LOVE for us to hire.

The guy was crazy qualified.  I'd love to work with him and learn the things that he knows.

Right now we have a fair amount of things that are unresolved, and this guy, basically knows how to fix  them all.

Okay, so... When this interview took place, basically I was the one that was told to show up... I was at my desk, about to leave, and my other coworkers kind of looked at me like... "What about us?"

I said... "Well, they asked for me, but you can come along and see if they want you to stay."

Surprise surprise....

They didn't.

It's funny though because my coworkers kind of walked off like... with this vibe of, but why is HE staying and we're not?

Well... here's why.

During the time that we were supposed to be off from work for break...

My coworkers were off.

I mean, hey, there's nothing wrong with that.... And, my view is... You're adults... you make your own decisions.

But, during that time, there were issues and emails coming into helpdesk.

What happened?

I acted.  I went into work.  I responded to emails.

I made sure that people who relied on our helpdesk services.. Got help.

Even during the time we're supposed to be off.

My coworkers?

Not a peep.


Because their view is.... We're off.  I'm not going to respond outside of 9-5, or during breaks.  Because... and this is my coworkers exact wording... "If they want us to do that... Pay us more."

I have news for you...

That's not the way it works.  I know, it sucks, it's not mean.... It's called being an adult.  Get some motivation.

Heres' the deal...

No organization is going to suddenly bump your pay or give you a raise and THEN ask you to do more things.

Hey, I'm not being mean... I'm just being real.

The reason why I was sitting there on Friday in the VPs office with this possible new hire... Is because I went in over break.

I restored the mail server when it was down.  I restored the permissions and rights to the fileserver when it went offline and no one could access the file shares.

I went in with the tech and restored the fiber switch when it failed and our internet connection went out.

I'm there in hour extra every night, and you leave exactly at quitting time.

I don't know how to tell you this... But the way the REAL world works, is people who go that extra mile, are the ones who are looked at as being the leaders.

People who don't?  Are the ones who are shown the door when that meeting starts to interview someone new.

If you're offended, or upset... Or whatever.... It's your fault and no one else.

Hey, be angry.... But be angry at yourself for not willing to do anything extra.

And here's the thing, even if my current organization never gives me a dime extra... When I go to fill out those job applications and I put down my salary requirements... I now have all this extra experience to reference.

Additionally... Most organizations ask people to come in during off hours.  An unwillingness to work any time but your standard assigned hours... Is only going to hold you back.

Do what you want.  Like I said, you're an adult, make your own decisions.  But don't question when it comes time to have a meeting in the VP office... Why you weren't asked to stay for the meeting and I was.

If you want to stick to your regular working hours, and not do anything above and beyond the call... Don't expect for anyone to look at you as anything other than that.

Don't expect someone to consider you as having a higher level of expertise for something, if you're not willing to play the part.

Again... I'm not being mean... This is just how things fucking work in the real world.

If you don't get that?  I feel sorry for you in 5 or 10 years...

Start pushing yourself to work a little harder.  Trust me... You will thank me in 5 or 10 years.

To think... Oh, if they pay me more, then I'll work more... is the kind of thinking that will never get you anywhere.

It's the other way around.  You have to push harder, work harder.. And then pay raises come out of that.

Sure, I haven't gotten any kind of pay raise... But I already see a level of respect happening from people who are in jobs above me.  They are looking at me different because I'm willing.

And they are looking at you the same because you aren't.

That's all there is to it.

If you're not wiling to do what I did on this most recent Friday night, where I stayed until working on restoring network access for students so that they would have wireless connectivity in the residence hall on a Friday night...

Don't expect anyone to hand you a raise or a promotion either at this organization or any other organization... When the time does finally come.

That's just not how it works.

The people who go above and beyond... The people who work off hours... Answer emails on weekends... Stay late on a Friday night instead of just clocking out at quitting time... Come in on holiday breaks to fix emergency issues...

Those are the people that management looks to.

That's how the working world works.

If you don't get that... I don't know what to tell you.  Honestly?  Keep doing what you're doing, if that's what you want to do.  But me?  I'm planning for the future...

I think everyone should want to work hard.  Learn more.  Improve skills.  Strive to be a better employee.  It doesn't matter to me if opportunities come form within my organization... Or at a new place outside.

Hard work is always rewarded.  Trust me.  It is, eventually.  And on the flip side working the basic "only what you're told" bottom line work... Also, doesn't go unnoticed.

SO when we're standing there in the VP office... And I'm asked to stay, and you're told you can go back downstairs to your office...

Don't sit there and scratch your head and wonder why I stayed and you didn't.  You know why.

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So, today, I found out I MIGHT have a chance to go to this conference for work in Nashville.  I'm excited!  I've never done any kind of traveling or conferencing for work.  It would be soooo cool though!

Sure, it may not happen...

But, I'm excited at even the possibility of going.

Right now, it's a maybe.

I'll go into more details as I know more details.  Right now here's what I know:

Work has been a little topsy turvy.  I won't go into much details with that either but I've just taken on some additional temporary responsibilities.  And I'm killing it, if I do say so myself.  But, it's been hard work for sure!

Which is fine, actually, I like the challenge.  Plus, I'm learning a lot.  Plus, it's sort of, molding me and pushing me to be much more efficient and more streamlined with my time, and how I manage my tasks.

So, it's cool.  Anyways, what has sort of happened is we're working closer with this one guy more at the moment.  I mean, he's kind of sort of in our department but sort of in a different one.  But, because of the current situation, we're working with him just to keep things on track at work.  He's cool, I've known him for years.  He's been at my work organization for slightly longer than I have.  So, there's a big amount of trust there, on both sides.

Well every year, he goes to this conference for what he does.  He's been wanting someone from IT to go for years and years... I basically said today, I would totally be willing to go.  So, he's on board, and I'm on board, just have to get the upper management friends on board.  Which really just means we have to convince them it's worth the money for me to go.

I've never been to Nashville!

Anyway, I'd love to go.  I'd definitely welcome any chance to learn more and do more.  It's actually not directly my job, but I work with the program and support it, and it's a major part of my working world.

My thing is... I think it would definitely be worth the cost.  And then also, to help, I found out tonight that one of my camp friends from the summer camp that I was a camper with... She basically said I could stay at her place, so that means I wouldn't have to pay for a hotel, AKA work wouldn't have to.  Saves some dough and makes it much more enticing.  So, they would just have to pay for plane ticket and registration fees.

I'm gonna see if I can work it.

I'd also like to get them to start paying for me to take more IT related certs.  We'll see if they bite.  Who knows.  Hah.  It's worth a shot though!

That's the latest.

Obviously this was a non-private password post, so, maybe my next post will be a password one.  I might alternate every other post.  A public one and then a private one.  You know, mix things up.

Anyway, I'm excited at the possibility of maybe going to Nashville!  And the possibility of enhancing my knowledge to be able to do my job even better.





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Password Post Recap

I THINK the password post worked.  I'm not sure.  It's hard to tell.  But I THINK it did.

I'll post another one in the near future.

Just to recap... In case it did not work, the password is...

  1. Name of street - But the word "street" is not in the password.  So, it's just 4 letters that is the street name itself.  So, it's the street where the apartment building that you lived in was, when we first met.
  2. Area code - This does not include the number "1".  So, it's the 3 numbers AFTER "1".  Some people put 1 in the area code before dialing.  So if the phone number is 987-654-3210, it would be 987.
  3. University name - So, this is the same as the first one with the details... It's just the first part, 7 letters, one word.  Not the second part where you add the university part.  Just the first part, the name.

Okay cool.  That should be clear.  If it DIDN'T work.  I won't know if it didn't work.  BUT... Hopefully it did!

I'll try another password protected post soon.


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