Monday, June 20, 2011

What DO I do?

Just recently while the in-laws were over from Samoa for a visit, my MIL (mother-in-law) saw how I was up most nights working after the toddler was put to bed. This was after the usual full day at the office.

Curious, she asked (in Samoan) "So what do you do at your job?"

EEK! I'm sure she saw the look of helplessness on my face. I am not a teacher, laywer, mechanic, engineer, dentist or doctor. I don't work at the bank. I don't drive a bus or a taxi. I don't work in retail. Those are pretty much the only jobs I can describe accurately in Samoan. (I know, how sad). As it was, I struggled to get people to understand what I did while conversing in English.

I am an IT Consultant of sorts, primarily in Business Intelligence. Huh, you say? I work in Information Technology. Ooohh, can you fix my computer? I think that's my least favourite question. As far as anything to do with a home computer setup goes, I know as much as anyone out there who can read a manual. And I can understand how that confuses people. I mean, I'm in IT right? Like the IT department that you call to come fix your computer when it does something unexpected or undesirable. Right?

Wrong. Ok, attempt no. 3. I write programs that load data from different sources to a central location, and transform it into a format that the business owners can use to make business decisions. At this point (if the poor listener was patient enough to hang around) I get a look of "get better work stories". Ok, it is not thrilling, creative stuff. But I ... like it. If I had to work (and believe me, I do, and I will have to for quite a while yet), then this is what I want to do.

So back to my MIL. Looking at me. Expectant. I took a deep breath, and out came a jumble of words ... actually, every second word was "computer" (and that isn't even Samoan!). I can't even remember what I said, and if I did, I would never repeat it. I looked at MIL. Yep, there it was. The " you have a boring job that involves computers" look. Bingo. I think I could sign that off as a success!

Note: I actually am a competent BI Consultant...if anyone is looking for one...

1 comment:

Lani Wendt Young said...

I read this post and now I feel dumb. (well dumber than usual) Because I still dont understand what you do. - see, I have no hope of ever understanding my computer cos I cant understand what "writing programs that load data.." means. HELP!?
and now im doubly impressed that you write a super blog AND do computer things that I dont understand...