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Bullet Dodging

Two years in a row I was interviewed as candidate for IT director position at the local school district. Fortunately, I was not offered the job on either occasion. Major bullets dodged.

At that time, business was not picking up for my little company even though recession recovery stimulus money was flowing free and fast into surrounding rural communities. Approaching a point of desperation, I foolishly decided to apply for the job knowing if I didn't find a way to earn income close to home soon, I would have had to admit defeat and move back to some city to work while immersed in roiling, toxic mayhem again.

The first time I interviewed with the school district, they were in dire need of someone to rapidly prepare their jinky network and aged personal computers for use administering online standardized tests scheduled to begin that spring. They needed someone to get it done with little or no budget allocated for the project. I heard later that the online testing period was a fiasco. The second time, the fellow who interviewed me let me know up front that it was strictly a firefighting job–a low-paying position with no budget allocated to improve their still-ailing IT systems. Apparently, modernization of IT resources for the sake of their students is not as high a priority as maintaining high-compensation administrator salaries is. A few months later, that fellow resigned and was eventually arrested, charged, tried and convicted for forging his education licenses and credentials to get his job there.

I could have done the job under their no-budget conditions. I had done it before. If the fools at the school district had bothered to check my references, they would have been told I was entirely capable of doing what they needed done within their horrendous budget constraints. While working for the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer, I led a development project utilizing 100%, zero-cost open source tools to bring it to successful completion after others had failed, spending tens of thousands of dollars using contractor services and expensive commercial tools running on antiquated PCs. That success helped yank the department into the 21st century in terms of custom software development and support.

Not long after that, I landed a contract with an outfit needing budget IT services and very efficiently, very effectively helped them achieve their goals without robbing Fort Knox. That contract lasted through to retirement and now the specter of living in any poisonous city again has been eliminated. Major bullets stopped.

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