Thursday, April 18, 2013

Fake Football Universe Revival

Hello there everyone.

I was just browsing through some of my old posts and spotted this one that covered a week in my college football "Alternaverse". Back then, I was rocking a Playstation 2 and playing NCAA Football 2007. My teams at the time were the USC Trojans, Colorado Buffaloes, and San Jose State Spartans. I didn't post anything after that but I had fun writing up the little blurbs on my teams' games and it's fun to read them now. Just as a little exercise in writing and time suckage, I'd like to revive this process. I've since upgraded the game system to an Xbox 360 and the game to NCAA Football 2013, but the spirit is still the same. EA Sports has done away with the player discipline portion (not sure what year that happened) so there won't be any infractions for me to embellish in my write-ups. Maybe I'll pick a random player from each team and write up a whole fake back story along the lines of, say, Manti Te'o? We'll see.

My two current teams in the game are my hometown Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Texas State Bobcats. Whenever I get a new version of the football game I will always start with the Cornhuskers. After I've dominated for a few years (I've already won two National Championships) I will usually have my "coach" of the Huskers take a position with a different team. But I'm still at Nebraska for now. So, my two coaches are the faux Bo Pelini (not to be confused with this faux Pelini) with the Huskers and a young whippersnapper by the name of Nate Johnson at Texas State. I find it both satisfying and frustrating to play with more than one team. You get more variety in opponents, talent, and bowl games by playing with more than one team. Especially if you have two teams on opposite ends of the spectrum like Nebraska and Texas State. But it also takes you twice as long to go through a season if you're playing with two.

The pull of a powerhouse team (aside from favorite team allegiance) is that you know you will always get top-tier talent and will almost always be in competition for a national title. But that can also get boring if your team is so good that it wins it all year after year. That's great when the real-life team is winning like that, but it gets boring in a video game. Hence the attraction of a team near the bottom. You get the challenge of trying to win with a team that is not nearly as talented. Recruiting is much harder and it usually takes at least one season to even get ranked in the top 25 and three-to-four more to be in contention for a national title. And this is even if you go undefeated and win your toilet bowl game. Usually, if your team is coming from a lesser conference and you perform well for a few years, you will be invited to join a better conference. This helps a lot in the quest for the National Championship. But it also increases the level of your competition.

In the previous "Alternaverse" the team I brought up from obscurity was San Jose State. It took quite a few years but eventually I was able to get marquee recruits and win multiple national titles. Patience and lots of time wasted are the keys to success.

I don't know how long I'll actually run this little fake football recap but I hope to have some fun with it. If you've read any of my blog you know that I am not consistent. At all. In fact, I am only consistent in not being consistent. I'm gonna shoot low and promise at least three write-ups. We shall see. In the meantime, watch this video of a dude and his dog talking about bacon.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Finis Est Principo

Do you remember all of that whining I was doing about having to go to job interviews and working with a recruiter and being rejected by most of the places I interviewed at and waiting impatiently to hear back from the one place that hadn't rejected me yet?

Well, I heard back from that place.

And they offered me a job.






Now, as my faithful readers, you probably want to know the nitty-gritty on the whole process. I've been purposefully vague on here (if you follow me on Twitter or are my friend on Facebook you've probably seen me check-in at a few places for interviews) because I wanted to wait until I finally had a job. There was probably no good reason for that. Maybe just to build suspense for you, my faithful readers! No, not really.


I actually interviewed at a business a few months before I finished school. That place is Five Nines, a local managed IT services company. I interviewed there twice (first interview was 10/23/2012 and the second was 11/2/2012) with an understanding that I would be done with school in December and able to start at the beginning of the year. When that time rolled around I was told that there weren't any openings at that time in their help desk area. Bummer.

My next interview was January 28 (two days before my birthday, yay!) at the University of Nebraska Foundation for a help desk position. The interview went well and I thought it would be fun to work there. The interviewer told me that it could be a fairly lengthy wait before the second interview so I knew it would be a while before I found out. I didn't even get a second interview. I got the rejection email on February 26.

On to interview number two (of 2013, anyway). This time I met with some folks at MacPractice, a company down in the Haymarket here in Lincoln who provide practice management software for doctor's offices and support for that software. This particular position would have been in their call center providing support for the various users of their software. This interview also went pretty well but I didn't know if I necessarily wanted to work at a place like this. I've already worked in a high volume call center and didn't know if I wanted to spend more time in that kind of environment. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for being busy and having to deal with a lot of things at work. That's what work is. But, I just wasn't necessarily liking the environment or the vibe from that particular place. I'm sure it's a fine place to work, just not for me. So, I wasn't too broken up about their rejection email that arrived on February 12.

#3. This interview was with Olsson Associates on February 20. I was really impressed with them. There were four people in on the interview with me but I didn't really feel intimidated by them. I felt that I really presented myself well and had a good rapport with the interviewers. This was the company that I had the phone interview with, which was on February 27.

Are you guys with me still?

On April 2nd I got a call from Olsson Associates and they offered me a position with their company. I was slightly shocked, very relieved, and super excited to get that call! It had been such a long time that I figured they weren't going to offer the job to me and were just taking their time before they called and told me they'd chosen someone else. But, I wasn't doing too good of a job remembering (even with Wanda reminding me every so often) that this was how the job search process goes. It takes time. It's frustrating. It can be demoralizing. But you just have to keep trying. I'd also like to point out that the situation I found myself in after graduating was infinitely better than what scores of other graduates find themselves in. How, you ask?

1. I still had the same job at AdventSource that I had held while I was a student. They let me stay there while I hunted for a permanent position and were always flexible when I needed to leave for an interview. I will be eternally grateful to them for the opportunity to work and learn while I was in school.

2. My wife has a great job that she loves. We weren't in a situation where I was the only source of income. None of this school stuff would have been possible without my loving wife, Wanda. Thanks babe!

3. It only took me about three months of full job hunt mode to get a job. Some people search for much longer than this and still can't find any work. I know that I am lucky and need to be grateful for what I already have and the opportunities that are before me. Now I just need to make the most of them.

I start my new job as a Computer Systems Technician next Monday, the 22nd of April. 8:00 AM sharp!

Thanks for reading, everyone.